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4 Ways to save while shopping this holiday season

Natalie Bracco is a freelance writer and an amateur baker. When she's not busy in the kitchen, you can find her writing about technology, travel, food and finance. Follow her on Twitter @nataliebracco.

How to make the holidays sales work for you

Most people have made the transition to buying many things online instead of venturing out to the store. This is especially true for those who live in a rural or secluded area.

In the past, it seemed that only the wealthy daughters of doctors and lawyers were shopping online. Now, with technology at everyone’s fingertips, things are changing immensely. A large percentage of the traffic that websites get are from mobile devices — so people are stepping it up even more by using their smartphones to shop. It doesn’t take an insanely good job or copious amounts of money in your savings to shop online as there are multiple ways to do this while staying budget friendly.

Rebate websites

There are websites that will give you cash back just for shopping through their site. For example, if you bought an Xbox, you would get a percentage back just by shopping at Target through their site. Generally, these rebate websites have a minimum cash-out number that is either $5 or $10. If you do a good amount of online shopping this holiday season through a rebate site, you can earn hundreds of dollars back depending on where you are shopping. You are going to shop online anyway — you might as well enjoy getting paid to shop from some of the best and reputable rebate sites out there.

Coupon websites

Whether you are looking for online coupons or coupons in the paper, there are a multitude of deals out there that many do not take advantage of. Just by checking the website before you checkout of your favorite online store, you can save immense amounts of money. If you shop at Target frequently online and spend over $50, there is an ongoing coupon that takes off $5. This can be used for nearly every transaction, so it can save hundreds of dollars over the course of the year. Coupon websites can be frustrating at times, as some do not update as frequently as others, so some coupons might be expired. But, going through a couple dud coupons is worth it to save money at the end of the purchase.

Online auction sites

Those who have mastered online auctions can make quite a lot of money. The profit margin for those who buy and sell products won on penny auction websites is immense. These auction sites can be a steal, as some people just want to sell the item regardless of what price they get. Obviously, great deals come with some competition, but then there are those deals that you can see at the last minute and snatch away from other bidders. Often times these sites will have a minimum price that has to be hit — be careful not to go too far above the minimum, as many people want to at least get what the item is actually worth.

Wait it out

The newest pieces of technology and the hot items usually drive their prices up during the holidays. Waiting out the holiday season can make prices drop immensely, especially if a new piece of tech is coming out. Some people want to be up with the newest item, but others just need it to function properly and do not care what version it is. Waiting out smartphones can save hundreds of dollars, as many prices plummet for some of the older phones once a new Android or Apple phone comes out. If you have kids, then this might not be as easy, but it can be a good lesson to teach them on patience.

Shopping in a budget-friendly way this holiday season can leave your bank account full and your credit card bills small. It just takes a bit of searching to find some of the best deals available. Don’t be lazy and just waste your money.

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