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Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in Holiday, Savings Advice | 0 comments

Save Time and Money this Holiday Season with Free Shipping and More

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This year, instead of stressing about over-spending during the holidays, save time and money with these quick and easy tips for holiday shopping…

Shop Online – National Free Shipping Day is December 15

We all know shopping online saves time, but I think many people still have reservations about how it can save money. So, let me clarify. Online shopping gives you a big advantage in that you can quickly compare prices from a variety of retailers to find the lowest price. The thing you have to watch for is shipping costs. However, many retailers, especially around the holidays offer free shipping – particularly if you’re spending a substantial amount of money.

So, to maximize your savings with online shopping, find a discounted retailer that carries an array of products, like Kohl’s, where you can find many of the gifts you need for various friends and family that you can buy in one place. With consolidated shopping at one online store that has free shipping, you will have maximum benefits of saving time and money. Not to mention the added bonus of avoiding holiday shopping crowds.

And to maximize your savings, make your online purchases during National Free Shipping Day, which is December 15. Over 900 retailers are participating, including Target, Walmart, H&M, Mattel Shop, Forever 21, Aveda, Kay Jewelers, Coach, TJ Maxx, Timberland, Samsung, Cabela’s, and more.

Each mail provider has specific dates that you must have your packages shipped by in order to make a Christmas delivery date. These dates don’t include the retailers handling time. Make sure to factor that in if you’re shipping directly from the store. Here are the deadlines:

USPS

  • Dec 15 – Standard Parcel Post (Mail)
  • Dec 20 – First Class Mail and Priority Mail
  • Dec 23 – Priority Mail Express

UPS

  • Dec 18 – 3 Day Select
  • Dec 20 – 2nd Day Air
  • Dec 22 – Next Day Air (packages must be processed and labeled for Saturday delivery)

FedEx

  • Dec 11 – SmartPost Shipments
  • Dec 15 – Ground Shipments
  • Dec 18 – Home Delivery Shipments
  • Dec 19 – Express Saver Shipments
  • Dec 20 – 2-Day and 2-Day A.M. Shipments
  • Dec 21 – Standard Overnight, Priority Overnight, and First Overnight Shipments
  • Dec 25 – SameDay Shipments

Shop Early

Timing is everything, even with shopping. And we all know the lowest prices can be found during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But you can also shop early and avoid crowds at stores that guarantee price adjustments if the price drops lower within a certain amount of time after purchase. If this is the case, you can go back to the store with your receipt and be refunded the difference. And did you know that there are even “sweet spots” to buy certain products? Check out this cool infographic for more details on smart times for shopping.

Use Technology

Technology is your friend (even if you sometimes feel like you can’t keep up). Whether it is simply shopping online or using the latest Apps for an in-store search comparison, tech tools bring you a plethora of data all at once so you can do a quick comparison and purchase where you find the lowest price. One of our favorite apps, which you can also use at any computer, is the PriceJump tool, which does a quick retail price comparison on products you want to buy. It’s as easy as a scanning a barcode (or copy and paste to the toolbar if you’re online) for fast results before you buy.  Results show the lowest price online, the lowest price in your area and the lowest price on Amazon. With such easy ways to check prices when you’re shopping, there’s no excuse for not saving big with finding the lowest prices on all your items!

Compare, compare, compare. There are so many retailers online and in your neighborhood that you need to make sure you do your research before purchasing. With the right due diligence, you can find the lowest price out there and rest assured you’ve been a smart shopper.

Use Coupons for In-store and Online Savings

Whether digital coupons or coupons you physically hold in your hand, coupon savings add up quick. In fact, despite popular belief, coupons are still widely used. According to USA Today, “17% of shoppers said they type in a discount code online, and 15% said they use coupons and discount codes saved in their phones….Even those ages 18 to 24 are using paper coupons about twice as much as any other method.” So why shouldn’t you get in on this easy way to save? There are so many methods to couponing that fit your lifestyle and make saving easy. And today, there are so many coupon savings platforms you can use online that you can find discounts on almost anything. For example, with Valpak you can get coupons online or in-hand for so many local and national retailers, you are sure to find gifts for everyone on your list, no matter what their interests are.

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