Hello, Darlings! Today I am going to share my Tips and Tricks For Shopping Online & Holiday Gift Guide. This year I am keeping everything simple, not buying as much, and trying to shop local. For many retailers, especially smaller business owners, this time of year makes up half their revenue. It is make or break for them.
Also remember, that those business had to buy for the holidays during COVID restricitions, many via zoom like meetings with vendors. Most were hesitant to over buy or take a chance of new style merchandise. So don’t expect a lot of inventory to chose from, or new and different styles.
Tips And Tricks For Shopping Online & Holiday Gift Guide
Tips and Tricks For Holiday Shopping Online: Warning About Shipping Times For Holidays
With us getting into the cold/flu season, plus COVID, expect things to start shutting down again. Added restrictions on top of low inventory spells problems. Many people will be looking to shop online. Shipping is going to be a big problem if you wait. Shop early, many stores are already starting Black Friday Deals including free shipping. As we get closer to the holidays, expect to pay up for shipping in time for Christmas.
Warning About “Deals” On Holiday Sales
Don’t expect many “deals” this holiday. From what I have seen already in the market, most of the best sales are about 30% off. This is the same you will get on weekend and other holiday sales. Also, many items I have seen have been ridiculously marked up only to be put on sale- toys are the worst offenders. Remember, inventory is low so sales are usually a function of inventory.
Both Rakuten and Honey are great online tools to use when shopping. Rakuten, the old Ebates, give cash back on purchases. Just yesterday I got $95 cashback from my online shopping and it cost me nothing extra. Honey is more of a point system that rewards you with gift cards.
Both Rakuten and Honey are web browser extentions you add to your computer. When you shop on a store’s website, they will pop up and let you know if you get some kind of cash back/points for using their program. They will also “try out” any coupons that they know of. Honey is the BEST for coupons.
** Just checked my Honey Gold balance and redeemed for 3- $100 gift cards from Amazon!!! Winning!!! Check your rewards points and use those rewards as gifts!
Note, you can not use both Honey and Rakuten at the same time on the same website. But you can check each one to see which give the best deals.
Tips and Tricks For Holiday Shopping: Sign Up For Emails & Check Social Media For Sales
You can still get deals from smaller retailers and specific brands. One of the best tools is to sign up for their emails. Many will give you 10% just for signing up. Also check their social media such as Facebook and Instagram for deals and coupon codes. Many time these might be a “day of sale” or just for those following on social media.
Again, yesterday I was able to use Rakuten for 5% off a small business and their social media code on Instagram, plus paid with my Chase Freedom Credit Card, which saved me almost $30 on gifts. It almost becomes a game, how much can I save?
Tips and Tricks For Holiday Shopping:Before You Shop Online- Check Your Credit Cards For Reward Points
Another little shopping tip is to check your credit card to see if there is a rewards program attached. Many do, and just using it and shopping online can save you money and reward you. I usually check mine in November and redeem any points for gift card, which I use as gifts!
If you don’t have a rewards credit card, I highly recommend signing up for Chase Freedom Credit Card. This is the main card I use to shop online. I get up to 5 % cash back when I shop. This includes all purchases I make using PayPal. So far this year I have earned almost $500 in cash back, just for using my Chase Freedom Credit Card.
So you see, all these little “tips and trick” start to add up to lots of extra money to use during the holidays. Better than any savings account.
My Holiday Gift Guide
Here are some of my favorite gift ideas. Some of these are gifts I am giving this year, others are gifts I gave in years past.
For The Girls
Great gift ideas for your daughter, daughters in laws, nieces, moms, the list goes on. These necklace are the HOT style this year and talked about by many “influencers”.
Made By Mary website has simple, unique pieces of jewelry. You can chose color (gold, rose gold, silver) and lengths in necklaces. The layered look is hot this year. Girls LOVE the smaller layered necklaces.
Gifts For The Guys
I am a HUGE fan of Orvis. My favorite gift is the Merino Wool Zipneck Sweater. Great look with casual pants or jeans.
It took some time for my husband to come on board with pants from Lululemon (he said, that is a “chick store”). Now he is a true believer- most comfortable pants EVER! They come in 10 different colors (he has 4). My boys love them too. He also has the Commission Shorts too.
Another huge hits has been Tommy John’s Second Skin Relaxed Boxer Brief. Time to get rid of the “tighty whities” and introduce silky soft modal fabric. They also have a sport collection, holiday collection, and pajamas.
Everyone has their own special tumbler. Yeti cups are great for keeping cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. I have mine with my name on it. You can have it customized with logos, sport teams, or initials. Make sure you order early and give time for customization. Right now at Yeti customization is free and free shipping.
For The Home
Check out my daughter Anna’s Christmas Gift Guide for a HUGE selections of gift ideas, especially those for the home.
Natural additive free, Keto Friendly wines from Dry Farm Wines makes a unique gift. I have personally tested these wines and love them. No red wine hangovers! You can order gift boxes and have them sent to states that allow it, unfortunately, Alabama is not one.
More Gift Ideas To Come
This will get your mind rolling in ideas and inspiration. Make sure you check out my daughter, Anna’s Christmas Gift Guide– so many more ideas. I just don’t have time to create that long of a guide right now.
Also, if you are wanting some help with a decorating project, Anna’s Homzie Designs, an online decoration/shopping company specializes in smaller projects on a budget. She is now offering gift cards. This is a great idea for young couples moving in to a new home.
Final Tip- Ask
Let your family know if you are keeping it simple this year. Ask if they have some need or request. Many truly don’t have any needs or wants and the Amazon gift card is always a good choice. I am trying not to go there as I really want to shop local or shop smaller companies online and retailers that have been struggling due to COVID closures.