5 Step Plan for Post Holiday Shopping

The holidays are over, but many consumers are still out in the stores, taking advantage of the post holiday sales. While there are plenty of deals to be had, you need to make sure that you’re not throwing away your frugality for a quick sales fix. Here’s some post holiday shopping tips to help you save now and into the New Year.

1.       Know Your Budget – Before you head out to the store, take stock of your end of the year finances. Avoid post holiday shopping if you don’t have the money to cover it. If you put these sale items on your credit card, you could end up paying more if it takes you more than a month to pay off these charges.

2.       Do an Inventory – Go through your holiday stash and see what you need to stock up for next year. Holiday cards, decorations, wrapping paper and other holiday goodies are marked down this week, and now is a good time to stock up. Make a list of upcoming birthdays and other special occasions. Put down potential gift ideas in case they’re on sale after the holidays. Take a look at your winter wear, and make a list of items that you’re going to need for next year.

3.       Research Deals in Newspaper and Online – Make sure that you research everything you want to buy, and create a shopping plan for when you hit the stores. See if it makes sense to buy online. Many e-retailers are offering great deals to keep you out of the stores.

4.       Keep to Your Shopping List – Stay focused when you’re out shopping. Many retailers try to get you to buy more once you’re at the store. Keep to your shopping list and don’t buy what you don’t need. Remember if you didn’t intend to buy it in the first place, then you’re not saving money, you’re spending it.

5.       Use Gift Cards First – If you received a gift card for the store you’re shopping in, make sure that you use that first before pulling out the cash, debit or credit cards. The sooner you use your gift cards the less likely you are to lose them.

It’s easy to be a savvy shopper when you have a plan in place. Make sure to stay on track, and don’t let the hype of discounts entice you into purchases that you’ll regret. If you have additional tips on how to plan your post holiday shopping, please comment below.

About the Author

The following post is from Kathryn Katz, a Certified Personal Finance Counselor who works for Consolidated Credit in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Their non-profit agency helps families through financial crisis using credit counseling, debt consolidation and financial education.