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Thanksgiving and Holiday Shopping

  • Lisa Jordan.

The turkey has been devoured, the game is over and there are thirty-one days until Christmas. This means one thing: Shopping!!! Almost everyone with something to sell has black Friday deals. From Verizon to Walgreens to specialty hobbies, sporting goods, pet stores and even vacations sites, retailers have all gotten into the act.  The National Retail Federation estimates 137.4 million Americans will shop in stores or online during the four days of Black Friday weekend. 

I like shopping and I love shopping for deals. I have navigated black Friday/cyber Monday shopping for years and I hope these suggestions will make your shopping a little easier.

Pay attention to limited quantities. While the deals will be noteworthy, most retailers will have a limited quantity. Generally, rainchecks are also not issued for black Friday deals. 

Door busters, early bird specials, etc. are offered for a limited time. Once the timeframe has ended the great sale price may end also. 

Don’t forget to comparison shop. If you see a popular item at one retailer, you may be able to price match the item at another store or online retailer.  I always check with Amazon and Wal-Mart, for instance, to ensure I am getting the best price.

You may not have to physically go to the store. If you are like me and have a love affair with cozy pajamas, then online shopping is for you. Many retailers waive or discount shipping fees.  A little word to the wise: standard shipping (generally 5-10 days) is more cost effective than two-day or next- day shipping. If you have started early, you’ll be ok.

When you’re in the thick of things, it’s important to stay organized. Two apps available on ios and Android are:

  • ShopSavvy:  Allows you to compare the prices online, and at local retailers, on a particular item. It provides reviews as well, a feature I love!
  • FLIPP:  Allows you to search circulars for the items you need, organize what items you will purchase from various retailers, and track coupons (Yaaay!)

There are many websites that offer price comparisons.  A few of the ones I am familiar with include:

 

If you find your holiday shopping list isn’t complete by Sunday, don’t stress over it.  According to CNN Money, Cyber Monday sales in November 2016 were over $3.4 billion. Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving, dedicated to e-commerce (online).  My husband does not like crowds or shopping for that matter.  So, imagine my surprise, after a frantic and disappointing trip to a local retailer (where I learned that the item had sold out in less than one hour), when he saved Christmas, at least in my mind, by purchasing the item during cyber Monday at a very good price. Score!

It’s easy to be swayed into over-spending by the euphoria, decorations and holiday cheer.  Don’t fall for it. Stick to your budget. While it would be great to be the Queen or King of the holiday by providing the most eye-popping, gasp-worthy gifts, your finances and peace of mind will thank you if you make a budget and stick to it.

Top 10 Black Friday Shopping Tips https://www.consumerreports.org/holiday-shopping/top-10-black-friday-sho...

  1. Start Early
  2. Do your homework.
  3. Compare Prices
  4. Be loyal.
  5. Get social.
  6. Phone it in.
  7. Create a budget and stick to it.
  8. Check all store policies in advance.
  9. Avoid pricey accessories.
  10. The cheapest TVs aren’t always to best deals.

Have a happy Thanksgiving and a very fruitful shopping season.

For more information, contact your local Extension Office 1.800.ASK.UGA1.  Are you interested in saving money at the grocery store, healthy eating and quick and easy meals, contact your local UGA Cooperative Extension.  Free nutrition sessions are offered in Spanish or English, at a time that is best for you and your family.  If you are interested in taking sessions to assist you with learning more about nutrition please contact the following staff:                                               Chatham County – Carmen Martinez, (912) 652-7994, or martinez@uga.edu                   Appling/Wayne – Fani Orellana, (912) 367-8130 or fanio@uga.edu

 

Issue Month: 
Tuesday, October 31, 2017