Before we get to the fun of spending time with loved ones and opening gifts on Noche Buena, we need to actually buy the gifts. While that may sound daunting to some, it doesn’t have to be. With a bit of patience, planning, and searching, you can make it through another holiday shopping season.  

Don’t let the stress of it ruin the magic of the season. We’ve got nine hacks for our money-saving and budget-conscious besties looking for ways to get the most out of their shopping trips.

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Set and stick to your budget

First things first, create your holiday shopping budget. It’s simpler than it sounds! Start by making a list of everyone you’re giving a gift to this year. Then, determine how much money you can spend on each person. This can be done digitally or in a notebook. Either option is great for when you’re shopping in-store or searching online.

Now, the tricky part is sticking to the budget. Spend time planning your gifts for each person, and organize it in your budget with any links. Avoid any impulse purchases that take you over the top of your budget. 

Audit your inbox for deals

After setting your budget, now is the time to look through your inbox for emails from stores you plan on buying from. These emails usually include information about current or upcoming sales (Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we’re looking at you!) or even coupons. Sort them into their own folder for easy barcode access when shopping in-store or online.

Join loyalty or rewards programs

Most stores these days have loyalty or rewards programs that are free to sign up. Once you do that, save any introductory deals and coupons sent to you. Also, download any apps from big box stores for convenient shopping. Oftentimes, there are in-app exclusive sales you won’t want to miss out on!

A tried and true online shopping cart hack

Here’s a trick for online shoppers: if you’re deciding what to buy, get to the checkout page with some items in your cart. Then, after entering your email, leave your cart alone. Sometimes, stores will email you a small discount code so you can complete your purchase. It doesn’t work for every store, but it’s worth giving a shot!

Money-saving browser extensions

Look into add-on browser extensions that search the whole web for coupon codes. Once you get to the shopping cart or checkout page, it will pop up, and try every code imaginable to get you the most savings.

Browser extensions can also alert you if a specific product drops in price. This can be particularly useful for any tech purchases you might make this holiday season!

Compare prices

There is no shame in shopping around to see where you can get the best deal. Just search the name of the product you’re looking for and see where it’s available and how much it’s selling for. Don’t forget to check local businesses as well! 

Influencer discount codes

Refresh your social media feeds often this month just in case any influencer you follow posts a discount code for a trendy product. They will usually range from 10-20% off your purchase. All you have to do is keep your eyes peeled.

Pick up your purchases in-store or curbside

If you want the online discounts but don’t want to deal with shipping costs or potential delays the closer we get to Navidad, there’s a solution. Place your order to pick up in-store or curbside so you can conveniently shop from home.

Speaking of shipping delays… 

Mail your gifts on time! The United States Postal Service has announced the cutoff dates for holiday shipping. The recommended send-by date for the U.S. is Dec. 16. Any mail going to Central and South America should be sent by Nov. 29, while mail headed to Mexico or the Caribbean should be sent by Dec. 6. These dates are crucial to know so you don’t face any extra shipping costs, and gifts arrive by Christmas.