4 Tips to Survive the Holiday Shopping Season -- Savings Experiment


4 Tips to Survive the Holiday Shopping Season
4 Tips to Survive the Holiday Shopping Season

The holidays are rapidly approaching, and we all have some shopping to do in the weeks ahead. But before you hit the stores, here are a few savings tips that will help you and your budget survive the season.

First, take advantage of your smartphone to dial-up some discounts. RedLaser is an app that transforms your phone's camera into a barcode scanner. Simply point and scan on a product, and it will show you the lowest prices at stores in your area.

RedLaser also provides a price comparison function so you can see how one sale stacks up against thousands of others, both online and in brick-and-mortar stores.

And if you don't like "flipping" through messy sales circulars, give Flipp a try. This app condenses over 300 store flyers and discounts and puts it all in the palm of your hand. Simply look up a retailer and locate an item on sale. With just one click, you can save all your coupons to access later when you shop.

It also pays to remember that some merchandise, like electronics, software and Blu-ray discs are subject to restocking fees if the product isn't returned in a factory-sealed box. These fees can range between 10-25 percent, so if you plan on returning these types of gifts, there will likely be a charge if the packaging is opened.

Not everything comes with a penalty this season. Many stores, including Target, Staples and Best Buy, offer price-protection guarantees. This means that even after you purchase an item, you may be entitled to money back if the retailer or a competitor later offers the same product at a lower price.

Before you start your holiday shopping, put these simple tips to use. You'll find that giving more doesn't always mean spending more.

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