ShopSmart's Secrets for Increased Savings this Holiday Season
The best times to shop and save
YONKERS, NY ― Time is money, and sometimes shopping at specific times can lead to big savings. The November 2014 issue of ShopSmart, from Consumer Reports, uncovers the best times to look for and score bargains throughout the holiday season.
“Whether shoppers are looking for gift cards, groceries, or winter clothes, we wanted to discover the times where they would be most likely to get a great deal,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. “The holidays can be an expensive time, and it’s important to look for little ways to save.”
When to Shop
Below are five shop smarter tips from ShopSmart. A lot of the savings comes from determining the best time to take advantage of some of the big sales or online bargains. Insider tip: Patience is key.
Beat Black Friday deals. The best way to score holiday bargains might be to wait for Cyber Monday. Last year the biggest markdowns were on that day, followed by Thanksgiving (the biggest day for coupons), and Black Friday. Look for sales on electronics as usual, but also expect more door busters in other categories, including clothing, home goods, and health and beauty items.
Buy groceries on Wednesday nights. Grocery stores often start their new sales on Wednesdays but may still honor the previous week’s deals. Plus many stores get their deliveries on Mondays and Tuesdays, so shoppers should find a good selection. And shopping later in the day means that you might get extra markdowns on bakery items, meat, produce, and other perishables.
Scope holiday bargains. To maximize savings, shoppers should plan their holiday shopping in advance. A good first step is to sneak a peek at sales on websites such as blackfriday.com, blackfriday.gottadeal.com, cybermonday.com, and cybermonday2014.com. Also follow @blackfriday and @cybermonday on Twitter.
Wait to buy. It can pay to hold off on buying toys and winter items, such as ski jackets and sleds, until the last minute because they tend to be cheaper right before the holidays. However, those who have a wish-list toy, or need a certain color and size, should not wait. Just choose a retailer that will issue a refund if the price drops.
Get gift cards for less. No present is easier than a gift card, especially those looking for a last-minute solution. But if they plan ahead, shoppers can buy gift cards for less at warehouse clubs. ShopSmart found discounts at all three clubs: BJ’s, which offers a section called “Extreme Values”; Costco, which has the most options, including flowers and food but no stores; and Sam’s Club, which adds jewelry to the mix.
For the full story on ShopSmart’s insider tips, along with other ways to shop and save, pick up the November 2014 issue on newsstands now.
About Consumer Reports:
Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.
About ShopSmart magazine:
Launched in Fall 2006 by Consumer Reports, ShopSmart draws upon the publication’s celebrated tradition of accepting no advertisements and providing unbiased product reviews. ShopSmartfeatures product reviews, shopping tips on how to get the most out of products and “best of the best” lists. It’s ideal for busy shoppers who place a premium on time. ShopSmart has a newsstand price of $4.99 and is available nationwide at major retailers including Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Kroger, Safeway and Publix. ShopSmart is available by subscription at www.ShopSmartmag.org.