Looking to Save Money This Christmas? Here are 4 steps to follow!

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This time of year it’s easy to get caught up in the gift giving, and the stores put their marketing & sales efforts into high gear too. Saving and investing go together, it takes money to invest and you can’t have the money if you spend it all. Here are some ways to save you money this Christmas.

Do You Really Need The Latest & Greatest?

Step 1, do you (or your recipient) really need the latest, flashiest, greatest product? Do you really need a 64GB iPhone when a 16GB version will do? Do you really need a 70” TV when a 50” or 46” will do just fine. Leading edge products are always more expensive than the trailing edge ones. Does your spouse really need a $2000 laptop just to check emails when a basic brand new laptop can be had for $399?

When it comes to technology products keep in mind that what you buy today will be half price in about a year from now. So pause, and think about what product you really need.

Check Online for the Lowest Prices First

Now that you know what you need you can move on to step 2. There are a number of websites that allow you to comparison shop from the comfort of your own home. Simply type in the name of an item you are looking for, and these websites will give you a list of all the stores that sell that item and its price. You can then sort the list from lowest price to highest.

 

 

 

Comparison Shopping Websites (Canada):
www.shopbot.ca
www.canadapost.ca/shopper

Comparison Shopping Websites (USA):
www.pricegrabber.com
www.nextag.com

A quick search for “Panasonic TC-P50S30” reveals prices ranging from $733.99 to $1199.00 for the exact
same product! This step alone could save you $465.01!

Always Price Match

Most large retailers will match competitor’s prices and give you an additional 10 % off of the difference.
Here’s a quick test for (this is a true story but I’ve changed the store names):

  • Both stores ABC, and XYZ offer price matching with 10% of the difference.
  • Store ABC is selling the laptop you are looking to buy for Christmas for $1200
  • Store XYC is selling the same laptop for $788

Which store do you purchase the laptop from? If you said store XYZ you would be wrong!

Purchase the laptop from store ABC and you’ll actually get it for less than $788, here’s how:

Store ABC will match the $788 price plus give you 10% off the difference ($1200 – $788 = $412).

The price you pay is going to be: $788 – $41.20 = $746.80

Not bad, you saved an additional $41.20 just comparison shopping and price matching.

Price matching is very simple to do, just bring in the ad (or print-out) of a competitor’s ad to the store,
and they will make the price adjustment for you.

Always Get Free Shipping

Most places will ship for free if your order is above a certain amount (Amazon.ca $25, Bestbuy.ca $20).
What if your order is less than the minimum amount, can you still get free shipping? Yes, combine your
order with someone else. Just ask around at home, or work and see if someone else is also looking to
place an order. I’ve done this so many times, and it benefits both parties, you both get free shipping!

Follow these 4 simple steps and you can easily save lots of money, enjoy your Christmas, and have more
money left over to invest!

Kanwal Sarai, is the founder of Simply Investing and on a quest to bring financial freedom to all. He
created the Simply Investing Online Course on the belief that the world can be a better place if people
didn’t have to worry or stress out about money. Simply Investing’s goal is to change the world one
investor at a time, by helping people like you to invest easily and successfully.

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Young is a writer and former owner of Young and Thrifty and the main "twitter' behind Young and Thrifty's twitter account. She lives in Vancouver, BC and enjoys long walks on the beach, spending time with her anxious dog, and finding good deals. If you like what you read, consider signing up for email updates.

17 Comments

  1. Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter on November 16, 2011 at 9:01 am

    We as families decided a couple years ago to boycott gifts. We are all adults and we really don’t need anything. It was just an extra thing to try to get done when we are already busy. I am sure gifts will resume when grandkids come though.



  2. retirebyforty on November 16, 2011 at 10:04 am

    We’ll probably buy some small gifts this year. Usually we set a limit of $25 or $50 for gifts and that works pretty well.



  3. kc on November 16, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    the easiest way to bank money at Christmas is to pay with CASH. if you have to use credit to buy gifts you are a sunk idiot.



  4. Allison on November 16, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    I agree all adults and we really don



  5. T.M @ My University Money on November 16, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Check out Black Friday and Cyber Monday to get the guaranteed best deals, and free shipping.



  6. SavingMentor on November 17, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    This sounds like a good spot to plug my best price comparison sites article 🙂

    Shopbot and Canada Post Shopper are good, but there are others out there too and no single one of them has access to the same inventory. The more you check the better you will do.

    Trying not to spend much this Christmas because income is limited right now. I’m sure it will be hard!



  7. Kanwal Sarai @ Simply Investing on November 17, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Great idea Miss T! It certainly makes the weeks leading up to Christmas less stressful!



  8. Kanwal Sarai @ Simply Investing on November 17, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Retirebyforty: In our family we always set a limit, otherwise things can get out of hand quickly 🙂

    My University Money: Thanks for the tip, much easier to buy online than sit out in the cold for 6 hours for the stores to open!

    SavingMentor: Your timing is perfect. You are right the more comparison sites you check the better off you will be. I did notice that not all sites return the same results.



  9. young on November 17, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    @Kanwai- I like the limit setting idea LOL.



  10. young on November 17, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    @Saving Mentor- LOL good plug! My boyfriend and I also agreed to limit the christmas shopping on each other as well.



  11. young on November 17, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    @T.M.- Even to Canada? 🙂



  12. young on November 17, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    @kc- unless you really limit yourself with your credit cards 🙂 I’m a points-addict.



  13. young on November 17, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    @retirebyforty- Yeah that’s usually what I spend for gifts too. It can really add up!



  14. young on November 17, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    @Miss T- I really like that idea! I think I should start this year. Or maybe the year when we turn 30!



  15. Little House on November 18, 2011 at 6:50 am

    I don’t need the 65″ flat screen tv, but apparently Mr. LH does. Or at least that’s what he’s been telling me. Thankfully, he’s been shopping around and isn’t in too big of a hurry. Why, oh why, must he need such items?!



  16. young on November 20, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    @Little House- Mr. Y&T also felt he needed a 55″ flat screen TV. Larger TV’s come with higher costs to maintain (like getting HD!! Once you go HD you can’t go back- I swear). Is he going to do Cyber Monday then? It should be the cheapest then, I think.



  17. Kanwal Sarai @ Simply Investing on November 21, 2011 at 5:03 am

    @Little House – “Why, oh why, must he need such items?!” It’s in the male DNA 🙂 The same is true for cars, power tools, computers…. Why buy a computer with 4 GB of memory when for “only” a few dollars more you can buy the one with 32 GB of memory. You never know when you may need the extra 28 GB! 😉 I’m guilty of this too, step #1 was the most difficult to write.



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