It’s Thanksgiving Tuesday, which means most of you are busy shopping for your turkey and all the trimmings. Others of you have an entirely different kind of shopping on the brain: Black Friday shopping. To help you map out your Black Friday shopping strategy, I went right to a pro—The Coupon Mom, Stephanie Nelson. Here are some of Nelson’s favorite tips for getting the most bang for your buck on both Black Friday and all holiday season long.
Shop online. “Shopping for gifts online is a stress-free way to shop for the holidays because you avoid traffic and crowds, and you can get a lot done in one sitting,” says Nelson. According to Nelson, the web is a great place to save thanks to things such as coupon codes, free shipping offers and printable mail in rebates. “For example, Amazon.com notes in the item description if there are any “special offers” that go with item, so pay attention. The Special Offer section will list specific coupon codes, free shipping, or rebate details,” she adds.
Search for printable coupons. “When I go out to local stores, I always search for a printable coupon by entering the name of the retailer and the term “printable coupon” in a search engine,” says Nelson. She also makes a habit of scoring her newspaper flyers for department store coupons.
Change it up. According to Nelson, many people don’t realize that some coupons are interchangeable between different stores. “Craft stores tend to accept each others coupons so you can save more by saving all of them. Since craft stores have toys, craft kits, picture frames, vases, books and more, they are a great place to get gifts,” she says.
Get creative. According to Nelson, making gift baskets for those on your list is a creative way to save money during the holiday season. “I create gift baskets with bargains I’ve bought at the drugstore with coupons and rebates such as a spa basket with body wash, shampoo, nail tools, and scented candles that I bought for 80% off or more.” And don’t forget to include the chocolate. “Drugstores are also a great place to buy boxed chocolates. This week I bought big boxes of chocolates usually priced at $9 for only $3 each,” adds Nelson.
Discounted gift certificates. “I’m a big fan of Restaurant.com for discounted restaurant gift certificates.” According to Nelson, the sit offers $25 gift certificates for just $10. Additionally, if you visit CouponMom.com before your purchase you can net a savings of an extra 60-80% off your purchase. “For example, a 70% off code allows you to buy a $25 certificate for only $3, or a $100 certificate for only $12,” says Nelson.
Want more of Nelson’s money-saving tips? Click here, enter “Coupon Mom” into the message box and you could win a copy of her new book “The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bill in Half.”