Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Black Friday Shopping: All December Long

(via AzBusiness)
Black Friday is over, but what if you've still got a buttload of Christmas gifts to get? What if you decided to sleep in on the day after Thanksgiving and then have a leisurely pumpkin pie breakfast in bed? What if, instead of shopping, you decided to spend Black Friday sitting in one of those massage chairs in the middle of the mall with a Cinnabon, people watching in awestruck wonder as the masses trampled themselves?

Now what?

I'm Luke Skywalker -- I'm here to rescue you.

Here are a few of my favorite thrifty, coupony, discounty shopping tips -- both for the holiday season and all year round:

My favorite online shopping tip: Before you hit "process order" on anything, go to Google and type in "*store name* discount code" or "*store name* coupon." Most likely, something will come up. My favorite online coupon code sites are RetailMeNot, Dealigg, and DealsPlus. All three of these typically offer reliable coupon codes for many popular retailers. I can't tell you how many times I've been able to save $5-$10 or have gotten free shipping on an order because I ran a quick online search for possible discounts first.

Second favorite online shopping tip: Subscribe to the retailer's email updates. Most of the time, when you sign up to receive their newsletter or deal digest, they'll send you a thank you or welcome coupon (which sometimes can even be used in store as well as online). After you've printed or copied or used the coupon code, you can unsubscribe from the email list.

Check the store's Facebook page or Twitter feed: many times they'll have limited time discount codes or extra coupons that can be used online or are printable for in store use.

Sign up for a free trial: Amazon is now offering month-by-month Amazon Prime memberships. One month costs $7.99... which is typically what you'd spend on shipping for one item, making it worth the money. The even better news is, they're currently running an offer for a free trial of Prime for a month -- I just signed up and now won't have to pay for 2-day shipping for the month of December, making Christmas shopping that much cheaper! If you do take advantage of this, be sure to go into your Amazon account settings and select "do not auto renew" right after you sign up so your credit card isn't automatically charged after the free trial/your month of Amazon Prime ends.

Sign up for or switch your credit card service to one with a rewards program: We needed to build our credit, so we signed up for the Capital One Venture card, and it's been great. You get a 1.5 points for every dollar you spend, and once you accrue 2,500 points, you can redeem those points for a $25 gift card (and if you have 5,000 points, you can get a $50 gift card, etc.). Gift card options include common retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, iTunes, Target, and Old Navy, as well as a number of restaurants and home stores. Free clothes, date nights, and gifts? What's not to love?! (Side note: Not to be your mom or anything, but I'd only recommend going the credit card route if you're able to reliably pay it off each month... no sense getting into debt all for the sake of "free" gift cards, right?)

Do you have any helpful/sneaky/amazing shopping tips you'd like to share? Leave a comment! I'd love to add more deals secrets to my arsenal. In the meantime, happy shopping!

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