What brightens up your holiday season? You may love the peaceful time at home or the cheerful family gatherings and all of your favorite seasonal foods. What about the hand-to-hand combat on Black Friday? Or the hectic Cyber Monday shopping? We can all agree that saving money during this season (and any season for that […]

What brightens up your holiday season? You may love the peaceful time at home or the cheerful family gatherings and all of your favorite seasonal foods. What about the hand-to-hand combat on Black Friday? Or the hectic Cyber Monday shopping?

We can all agree that saving money during this season (and any season for that matter) adds an extra layer of cheer, but shopping for the holidays can actually be a hassle. Don’t let the stress of holiday shopping make you feel like the Grinch. Get an early start on your Christmas shopping and find the perfect gift for everyone on your list by following these time- and money-saving tips.

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1. MAKE A LIST (AND CHECK IT TWICE)

Avoid the temptation of shopping without a list and looking for holiday inspiration as you browse through stores. You’ll find inspiration, but also many gift items at a higher price than you anticipated. Having a list can help you organize your shopping and spending.

2. CREATE A BUDGET

A budget is usually the first step and one of the key elements to any form of saving. After making your gift list, research all of the items on it to find a reasonable price range that will allow you to recognize a good deal when you see it. Make sure that you budget for all incidentals, like gift-wrapping, holiday cards and even eating out while shopping.

3. PRICE CHECK WITH YOUR PHONE

Use technology to your advantage. Retailer websites, coupon apps, sites that track deals and many other online resources can help you find great deals. Use your phone to see if you can find a better price elsewhere. For example, you can use the Amazon app to research the items on your gift list and compare prices while you are at the store. Remember, some stores have price-matching policies if you find a better deal.

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4. PLAN YOUR BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING

A little planning goes a long way when making sure that your shopping trip results in more sales cheer than bargain-hunting disappointment. Stay on top of Black Friday deals and sales by making a list of the retailers that you want to visit and connect with them through social media or their mobile app. Retailers often reward their followers with additional savings or special alerts about Black Friday promotions.

5. TRY ONLINE SHOPPING — CYBER MONDAY

For successful shopping on Cyber Monday, do your research on your favorite online retailers. Check their refund and exchange policies, search for coupons and strike fast. Most of the time, the best deals pop up and disappear in the blink of an eye — so when you find what you want within a reasonable price range, don’t hesitate!

6. SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES

Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, is a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities. Get to know your neighbors and shop at local, small businesses near you.

7. EARN REWARDS ON YOUR PURCHASES

Now’s the time to earn rewards and claim those points you’ve been racking up all year long! If you’re a GECU Rewards credit card* holder, you can earn double the reward points on qualifying purchases up to $2,500 before December 31. You can then redeem your points for cash back, gift cards, travel, merchandise and much more. Learn all about the GECU Rewards credit card here.

Holiday GECU Rewards Credit Card

Check out these articles for more holiday shopping tips:

Holiday Survival Tips

Gift Giving Tips from GECU

Security Tips: Be Careful During the Holidays

Protect Your Identity Online

*Subject to credit qualification and approval. Other conditions apply. Cash advances, balance transfers, ATM transactions and transactions with the use of convenience checks are not eligible to earn points. Double points may only be earned on qualifying purchases up to $2,500 spent from November 12, 2018, through December 31, 2018. Other conditions apply. Learn how to become a member at gecu.com.