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Holiday Shopping Tips for Fighting Inflation


December 13, 2022

If you’re an American trying to pay for housing, buy groceries, and cover utility costs in 2022, you’re well aware that inflation is driving up prices on, well … just about everything. Americans experienced unusually high inflation rates of over nine percent this summer and everyone’s feeling the pinch as 2022 draws to a close.

Although the inflation rate has trended downward recently, you may still worry about having enough to cover your holiday shopping. But don’t fret! Inflation doesn’t have to keep you from having a merry holiday. These tips and money-saving discounts will help you to make the most of your seasonal spending this year.

Inflation Affects Many Holiday Shoppers in 2022

Matthew Shay, the president and CEO of the National Retail Federation, said that despite rising prices, Black Friday shopping set new records even though 80 percent of shoppers were aware of the inflation problem.

“As inflationary pressures persist, consumers have responded by stretching their dollars in any way possible,” said Shay. He added that many used Black Friday sales to combat inflation.

Here are some tips to help you stretch your dollars during the winter holidays.

Step 1: Pare Down your Holiday Shopping List to Fight Back on Inflation

If you are looking for ways to celebrate the holidays without spending too much, reduce the number of people on your shopping list. Here’s how you can trim your list:

  • Draw names. Inflation can be the reason for starting a new tradition. Suggest drawing names for the extended family’s gift exchange. You can make it even more affordable by having a white elephant exchange, where each of you brings a gently used item from your own home.
  • One gift per household. If it’s too late to suggest drawing names, you can reduce purchases by buying household gifts. For example, rather than buying four gifts for your sister, her spouse, and her two children, buy one game the whole family can enjoy.
  • Rethink who’s on your list. Does your child’s fourth-grade teacher want or need a “Best Teacher Mug?” There’s a good chance they would rather have a homemade gift or handwritten note.

Step 2: Fight Holiday Inflation with Discounts and Promotion Codes

Once you’re sure you’re only buying gifts for people you actually want to buy for, consider ways to cut your budget by getting every discount, deal, and rebate you qualify for.

Know the Discounts You Qualify For

Teachers, military personnel, and healthcare professionals are just some of the people who often qualify for special discounts. For example, Hey Dude Shoes offers 20 percent off all year for military personnel. Companies like Samsung, Reebok, and Under Armour offer substantial discounts to medical providers through Shop.

Shop Clearance … Even Online!

Even online retailers often maintain a clearance area of steeply discounted items. Often these potential gifts are perfectly lovely but discounted because they are out of season. But a short-sleeve shirt can still make a nice gift any time of year! L.L. Bean maintains a robust clearance area, and if you shop with your membership, you can get up to 1.5 percent cash back. Walmart offers shoppers up to 2 percent cash back on clearance items.

Look for Discount Codes

Before you buy anything online, spend a little time googling for active promotions or coupon codes. Some retailers offer significant discounts for things like subscribing to email lists or share codes on their social media feeds. Or, make it easier on yourself by heading to Shop to qualify for instant discounts from thousands of retailers!

Step 3: Think Outside the Box to Beat Higher Prices at the Holidays

Shopping sales, getting discounts, checking on clearance items – these are tried and true ways to save money during the holidays. But the truly bold can think of new ways to save even more!

Buy Used or Refurbished

Hear us out! No one is suggesting you give someone your used socks. But a vintage vinyl record, a funky thrift store vase, or a refurbished smartphone can be an excellent idea. For example, Walmart offers shoppers cash back on refurbished electronics that often sell for 20 percent less than new.

Shop at the Grocery Store

When funds are tight, practical gifts are more appreciated than ever. At the National Retail Federation Black Friday news conference, analysts reported that 40 percent of Black Friday shoppers went to grocery stores. And why not? You can put together a delightful basket of essentials and include some just-for-fun items, too.

Consider items like:

  • Gourmet coffee or tea
  • Seasonal fruits (oranges or a pomegranate, perhaps?)
  • Flavored oil or vinegar
  • Unique crackers or other savory snacks
  • Chocolates, cookies, or other sweets
  • Dried fruits and nuts

Delay Gift Giving One Week

Can you put off your holiday gift exchange until New Year’s Eve? If so, you and your fellow gift exchangers can take advantage of huge post-holiday sales. You’re likely to find impressive discounts, sometimes over 70 percent off! Who knows? Maybe you’ll start a new post-holiday gift-giving tradition.