How to tackle your holiday shopping list and get the best deals

Holiday Hacks helps you prepare for the holiday season with simple tips and tricks to turn your season from a stressful situation to a joyful celebration, so you can actually enjoy the holidays for once!  

Shopping for holiday gifts can get expensive, and not to mention, time consuming. This year, we're using these tricks to find big savings, earn rewards and save us some time while shopping for friends and family. 

1. Score deals on major shopping holidays

Keep an eye on your most-wanted products this Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and in the days leading up. Some stores will have deals starting as early as Nov. 1, like Walmart!

2. Collect coupons

Subscribe to store emails to collect in-store and online shopping coupons. Plus, you can use websites and apps like RetailMeNot, Coupons.com, RedPlum and SmartSource to find more promo codes for your favorite stores.

3. Get Amazon Prime (with free two-day shipping!)

If you aren't an Amazon Prime member yet, sign up for a free 30-day trial leading up to the holidays to score free two-day shipping. (You'll also get access to Amazon Pantry and Amazon Video!) Plus, check out Amazon's HoliDeals for daily savings on things like the Instant Pot, Bissell Robot Vacuum Cleaner and 23andMe Ancestry + Traits DNA Service kit.

4. Compare prices between stores

Use websites like WikiBuy, Yroo, PriceGrabber and more to compare prices on your favorite products so you know you're getting the best deals.

5. Use no fee credit cards with great rewards

Credit cards like the American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card, Chase Freedom Credit Card, Citi Double Cash Credit Card and Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card have zero annual fees, and you can rack up rewards and get cash back for your holiday shopping. You'll basically earn money for shopping!

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Money-saving online shopping hacks
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Money-saving online shopping hacks

1. Clear your browser history

Some retailers might sneakily increase prices based on your browsing patterns and demand - so make sure to always clear your history and cookies before shopping! 

Photo credit: Shutterstock

2. Use an alternate email address

When you log in to a retailer's site with a new email address, retailers will often welcome you as a new customer with exciting new promotions and discounts. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock

3. Note price changes throughout the week

Another pro tip: Prices and deals can fluctuate based on the day of the week. For instance, if you're purchasing a flight, monitor prices for around a week to see if they take a dip on any particular day before purchasing. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock

4. Let items linger in your cart

Here's a hack: Add items to your cart, but let them sit for 24 hours before purchasing. The retailer might attempt to lure you back with additional discounts.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

5. Check out multiple sites

Do some research! Don't settle for the first price you see - poke around on a search engine and find the best deal. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock

6. Bargain with customer service

Use customer service to your advantage. If you ask (politely!) about an expired coupon, you'll often find yourself pleasantly surprised by an extension or new code! 

Photo credit: Shutterstock

7. Don't purchase impulsively

Try this shopping hack - don't buy that shiny, new toy right away. Step away for a few hours, and if you find yourself itching to go back and click 'purchase', then you know you won't regret your investment!

Photo credit: FogStock

8. Avoid shipping fees

Take advantage of free shipping! If you are a few dollars below the free shipping price point, add a low-cost filler item you need anyway (like socks!) and make the math work out in your favor. 

Photo credit: Alamy

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