Stretching Your Christmas Shopping Dollar

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Train yourself to harness the power of the web to save yourself some big bucks this holiday season.

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Fill your cart without emptying your wallet!

‘Tis the season for long lines, no parking spots, that Paul McCartney song playing in every single store you go to, and endless frustrations around every corner. Another added concern and issue that pops up during the holiday time is money stress. Arguments over money and spending causes strife between couples and no one wants to go into debt for the sake of giving the ultimate gift. How do you cross everything off of your list and survive until January?

There are deals out there, you just have to be aware of them. More and more, retailers such as the Bay and Future Shop are turning to “power sales” and mailing lists with additional coupons. Yesterday alone I saved more than $200 on a much needed new duvet and was able to purchase a 2-terabyte external hard drive $60 off. By shopping online, you can often find some really great deals including free shipping to you, or your intended recipient and often at a great discount.

Why would it be cheaper to buy online? Less staff have to be paid and you are not paying for the store front or the display. I do worry about this potentially leading to the removal of some jobs, but on the other hand doesn’t it seem that your neighbourhood discount department store doesn’t quite have enough staff during the holidays let alone during the rest of the year? Besides, you will be indirectly employing warehouse staff and Canada Post so at some point this must balance out.

If you aren’t into shopping at big box stores, or shopping online, harness the power of the net to find that neat little specialty store that you didn’t know existed. Sites such as Groupon, Calgary Blog Deals and Edmonton Blog Deals offer a daily newsletter featuring local businesses you may not have know about, and deals that you definitely would not have known about. With Groupons, you can harness the power of buying in bulk without knowing anyone else who wants in on the deal. For example, last month I was able to buy tickets for the Calgary Opera at half price.

At this time of year, every store is battling for your hard earned dollar and by increasing their volume of sales, retailers are able to offer you a discounted price. Whether you are in favour or not, retailers are turning more and more to the internet not only to promote their stores, but also to advertise their sales entising you to give them a slice of your Christmas shopping list.

By shopping online, or even just signing up for mailing lists you will often be privy to additional discounts, friends and family sales, you’ll know about one day only in store sales and then there is the power of google and discount coupon codes. It doesn’t matter if you are on a particular store’s mailing list if you can google the store’s name and check for coupon codes yourself. You may have to try a few, or click on a number of pages but the few minutes sitting at your computer could save you a lot of money.

I know that many of you are computer savvy — I mean, you’re here right? — but some of you haven’t thought of checking to see if places you shop have mailing lists or coupons. Harness the power of the web I say! Do a little research before you venture off to the mall, and even make yourself a list and you just may keep your sanity and home life together.

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