SAN DIEGO — Are you one of the 43% of consumers who wait until the very last minute to finish Christmas shopping? People who wait until the last minute to pick up gifts are often in a hurry and stressed. This means you have limited time to comparison shop, look for better value gift options or coupons and make hasty decisions that can mess with your budget.
Budgeting expert, Andrea Woroch, joined Morning Extra to give tips on how to knock last-minute holiday shopping out of the park.
Use tech tools to find deals faster.
Download a savings tool like Honey to your browser — they will do all the work of searching for and testing coupons for the site you’re shopping at, and automatically apply the one that offers the biggest discount to your order at check out for speedier savings.
When you’re shopping in-store, an app like ShopSavvy can help you compare prices quickly so you don't have to drive around town to hunt for the best deal. Plus, most retailers will price match the competitor offer. Some may even price match coupons!
Meanwhile, GiftCardGranny will give you access to discount e-gift cards for up to 25% off the value of the gift card to help you save even more on top of sales and other deals you apply.
If you’re using a credit card that doesn’t offer rewards, you’re leaving money on the table.
There are so many great options out there to help you earn something back at the retailers you shop at often and for all the things you’re buying. For example, the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard provides 5% back on online/mobile purchases, 2% back on in-store purchases (or 5% back on in-store for the first 12 months when you link the card to Walmart Pay) + 2% back on restaurants and travel & 1% everywhere else.
Keep in mind, your current rewards card may offer bonus reward categories or merchants but may require you to opt-in online to qualify for these extra earnings. Check your account regularly so you don’t miss out on these money-savings!
Take advantage of late store openings.
For many consumers, the night is the only time they can shop. Many retailers will keep their doors open later this last week leading up to the holiday, especially in the last couple of days before Christmas.
- Kohls will be open 24 hours on December 23 through 6 pm. on Christmas Eve
- Macys is open until midnight on December 23
- Burlington offers special hours until 1 am on December 21 through 23
- Best Buy open until 11 pm, Monday through Saturday, leading up to Christmas
Track your spending.
It’s easy to go overboard at the last minute when you’re rushing to get all your gifts marked off your list. Use an app like Santa’s Bag to stay on top of your gift list so you don’t forget anyone and also manage your budget. Through the app, you can note each item you’ve bought for the different people on your list along with the amount you spent, getting a quick glance at your total spending which can help you make better buying decisions for the rest of the items you have left to purchase.
When you’re in a rush, it’s easy to misplace receipts. But whether you’re giving something as a gift or keeping it for yourself, making a return after the holidays can be tricky without a receipt. First, you may not be able to return or exchange without a receipt or you could get slapped with a very low post-holiday sale price. To stay organized, ask all retailers if they offer digital receipts options and create a separate folder in your email to stash these. Otherwise, carry a separate envelope for all your holiday receipts and snap pictures of them in case they get lost or damaged.