Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tips and Tricks: Holiday Shopping

Does holiday shopping drive you as nuts as it drives me? And I'm not talking about the limited funds and desire to buy everything you see in sight--I'm talking about the sales. This is the only time of year where I never know what I'm going to get! My normal rules of waiting and being patient for sale prices don't apply.

Now, I realize that this blog post runs a bit late for the season. I'm sure (well, I hope) that almost all of you have most of your holiday shopping done. Truth be told, I was not struck with inspiration to write this post until after I'd completed my 10 millionth price adjustment for the season! I figured, if I'm struggling, you guys might be struggling as well!

Well, better late than never, right? I've got some important guidelines to share that will help the rest of your holiday shopping period to go by a bit smoother.

I went back and rebought my r&b cardigan! Now have another $10 to use on something else... perhaps the MJ scarf?

❤ First, and foremost, do your research. And I don't just mean quality and pricing research, I mean, do your store research. Whether your taking the brick and mortar route or shopping online, the sheer amount of coupons out there will blow your mind.

Example: Target had a coupon out that gets you a $10 giftcard for every $50 you spend in-store. Now you couldn't apply that $10 towards your $50 purchase, but you could use that $10 towards a future purchase - or hey! use it as a giftcard for a co-worker. There is never more an important time to maximize your spending budget than right now.

And if you happened to be purchasing clothing during your Target trip, well then you would also be armed with a $5 off $25 women's apparel coupon too, right?

❤ Break up your purchases into multiple transactions! Don't be afraid to ask the cashier if they're willing to do it for you. 99% of the time he or she will smile at you and say "sure!" Now you do have to keep in mind coupon restrictions. In the case of the Target $10 giftcard, it does say only one coupon per customer, so more than likely a Target cashier may not let you do it.

Example: However, a couple of weeks ago Old Navy had a coupon out that was $15 off $50. I was definitely spending enough to use two of those coupons, but was also feeling lazy and didn't want to make multiple trips back to the store. I asked the cashier if I could split up my transaction and use my coupon twice and she said yes! In the end, its really to their benefit. Companies would rather have you spend $70 in one day than only $35. Win win situation. They walk off with all of your money (lol) and you get to walk off with presents for everyone (including yourself)!

❤ Which brings me to my next point - and this will be the only time of year I say this. Don't wait (Anna is totally glaring at me right now because I mistakenly told her to do this a couple of weeks ago). If you want it and you can afford it, just buy it. Everyone is shopping right now--bargin shoppers and non-bargin shoppers. And its the non-bargin shoppers that you really need to be afraid of! The non-bargin shoppers don't know to any better. They don't know to wait. They will actually *gasp* pay full price for something without a single thought. And because the entire herd of them are out and about, you don't stand a chance. So if you see it, and its what you need for someone or for yourself, just grab it.

❤ And the reason why you're just going to grab it, even if it is full price, is because you can always do a price adjustment (Modcloth is an exception to this rule. They only have a 7 day window). Most stores have a 14 day one-time price adjustment policy. Keep your receipts and keep and eye out on your stores. Prices are changing every day, and if worse comes to worse and you miss your price adjustment period, you can always rebuy and return.

Say what? Isn't that kind of shady? No, not at all. If the items are still in stock, you are within your rights to purchase and return your old items (extended return period during this season make this a valuable point). Besides, I don't know what retailers expect. Its not like the economy is doing well yet; people have to save where they got to save! And all of these "not valid on a previous purchase" restrictions are so silly.

My Old Navy sweaters ended up being around $10 (vs the $30 original price) a piece!

Example: Going back to my Old Navy purchase with the $15 off $50 coupons. Quite literally the following week everything I purchased went on sale by a significant amount. I went back and luckily everything that I had previously purchased was still in-stock. I repurchased everything at the lower cost and used another $15 off $50 coupon. I was able to take everything that I purchased in those two previous transactions and repurchase them under one. I was able to get back over $40! Totally worth the efforts.

Whether its $50 or three dollars, fight for it. Get it back. Those three dollars could go towards a small gift for your co-worker, or the mailman, or whoever it is you need to buy. Money is super important this time of year. Don't let it go to waste.

❤ One more tip before I end this post. Not totally related to shopping, but definitely related to the holidays. When you are at the stores, ask for extra tissue paper, or if your online purchase includes free gift wrapping--get it. You won't believe how useful those items come in handy. It'll save you a few bucks and often times, the tissue paper they give out in store is prettier and of higher quality than what you would buy at Walmart or Target (I think Victoria's Secret probably as the best all around).

Welp, thats it! Good luck to all of you. And if you are a super, duper last minute shopper, please be nice to the sale associates! No one likes t work on Christmas Eve. And they like it even less when you are yelling at them because something is out of stock. Its not their fault--promise. Just smile and ask if they have any suggestions for an alternative!



  1. Thank you for sharing your tips. I love the shirt you ate wearing underneath your old navy sweaters. :) where did you get it?

    1. H&M! :) It was during the summer season I believe, so they're not longer in-stores. But I do know they're always coming out with new shirts that have adorable collars on them, so hopefully you can find something similar!

  2. omg those sweaters! so cute! it's nice to see that, with enough diligence, such savvy, thrifty shopping pays off. :P i had no idea about the price adjustment policies, by the way. thanks for that info! great post!

    - Anna


    1. Hahaha BF says marketing people must hate me. I'm that whatever odd percent that finds all the loop holes and work arounds. :) Gotta get the best bang for your buck!