The holidays can get pricey, between the presents, the parties, and the travel (if that’s your thing). And whether you have two people on your list or 20, gift-giving is perhaps the most expensive task of all—securing thoughtful, useful presents for your people can put a serious dent in your savings. Fortunately, you can cut back on your grand total without looking like you cut back. Try four of our top tips for saving money on your holiday shopping (hint: it starts by shopping at the right place, like wallet-friendly Nordstrom Rack, which has nicely-priced prezzies for every special person in your life). Heed this advice to get more for your money during the most wonderful time of year.
Tip #1: Set your budget first, and then pick your presents.
Sure, setting a total budget for your holiday shopping is smart—but don’t stop there. Once you’ve decided on the overall amount you intend you spend, get specific—divvying that total up among your recipients. For instance, you might commit to spending under $100 on a gift for mom, and only $50 on each of your sisters. At Nordstrom Rack, that’s totally doable, and you’ll stay beneath an overall budget of $200. In other words, prioritize your budget, break it down person by person, and then look for gifts in that range.
Tip #2: Keep a running list year-round.
We all want to give people gifts that they actually want and will use. To ensure that happens, keep a handy note on your phone of items that your VIPs mention. (For example, if your brother drops a certain video game or pair of sneakers, write that down! If your tween wants a certain pair of headphones, note that before you forget it, too.) Keep an eye on this list throughout the year, especially during discount days, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, or at stores that offer year-round savings you can trust. And rather than cram all your shopping into the few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, flag the best times of year to buy various items on your calendar, too. By timing it right, you can get the best price.
Tip #3: Don’t wait until the last second to buy gifts.
In theory, we know we shouldn’t wait until the day before Christmas to scoop up those last few gifts…and yet, we do. When the pressure’s on and you’re down to the wire, you’re more likely to overspend just so you can be done shopping and onto the next holiday task. Plus, you run the risk of lower inventory (because items are out of stock), delayed shipping times (you’re not the only one last-minute shopping), and inflated prices. Starting your shopping a couple of months in advance—and finishing it by the first week in December—means you can carefully consider your purchases, nab the best price, space out your spending, and stay within budget.
Tip #4: Go where you know you’ll find discounts.
Stores fall into one of two categories: They either give discounts, or they don’t. We all know the ones that don’t—we go to their sites on Black Friday, hoping to get even 10% off the $50 set of pink rose quartz coasters we want to no avail. If you’re looking to spend less this time around, go where discounts are the norm—not the exception—and the prices are right. Off-price department stores like Nordstrom Rack are perfect for holiday shopping. They have a wide variety (from her to him to home and much, much more), so you can check off everyone on your list in one swoop, and they’re generous with discounts and sales, so you’ll always feel good about what you paid. In addition to their everyday amazing prices, be sure to check Nordstrom Rack’s special offers for extra-great deals on gifts. You’ll be glad you did!