Consumers Are Using These 10 Strategies to Save on the Holidays This Year. You Should, Too

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  • Many people are aiming to spend less on the holidays this year.
  • There are different tactics you can employ to lower your costs, such as using coupons and making a shopping list before hitting the stores.
  • Look for discounts and deals, but also consider giving thoughtful gifts you don't have to spend a ton on.

You might end up saving a bundle.

It's been a tough year for a lot of people, financially speaking. Inflation has driven living costs up, to the point where many Americans have been consistently raiding their savings just to stay afloat.

If money has gotten tight in your world, then the idea of having to tackle upcoming holiday expenses may be overwhelming. But there are steps you can take to lower your holiday costs. In fact, here are 10 specific steps consumers are taking to save on the holidays this year, according to a recent CouponFollow survey.

1. Using coupons

Some retailers put out coupons that can result in nice savings. If you're willing to dig around, you might find coupons that apply to some of the items on your list.

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2. Shopping early

The more time you give yourself to compare prices at retailers, the more likely you'll be to pay less for the items you're buying. It makes sense to start your holiday shopping early rather than wait until mid or late December.

3. Seeking out discounted items

Retailers routinely slash items during the holidays. If you're not set on a specific gift list, you can see which items are most heavily discounted and do your shopping around that.

4. Setting a holiday budget

Just as following a budget can help you spend less money in general, so too can sticking to a holiday budget help you limit your spending. Figure out what you can comfortably afford to spend and set a limit so you don't go overboard.

5. Paying in cash

When you charge holiday purchases on a credit card and pay off the balance over time, you can easily end up accruing lots of interest on those items -- and spending more. If you leave your credit cards home when you shop for the holidays and stick to cash, you'll take the possibility of interest charges off the table.

6. Avoiding travel

The cost of travel is up this year, and travel tends to be particularly expensive during the holiday season. If you're willing to stay home for the holidays, you might really save a bundle.

7. Making a shopping list

Retailers tend to go all out on deals during the holiday season. That could lead you to make unnecessary purchases. But if you compile a shopping list and pledge to stick to it, you may be less likely to fall victim to impulse buys that cost you money you can't afford to spend.

8. Being careful with credit cards

You may not want to pay for holiday purchases in cash, as doing so will mean giving up credit card rewards and cash back. But if you're mindful of your credit card usage and make a point to track your balances weekly, you may find that you're able to enjoy those rewards and cash back without negative consequences.

9. Scooping up doorbuster deals

Retailers tend to offer doorbuster deals on Black Friday, and those items can be really heavily discounted. Snagging doorbusters is a good way to save on holiday gifts, but proceed with caution -- those deals are generally only available in a very limited quantity. You'll usually need to be one of the first people in the door to snag them.

10. Giving gifts that are thoughtful rather than expensive

The important people in your life are bound to appreciate the thought you put into the gifts you give them. It's a good idea to focus on that more so than cost when doing your shopping. You can even opt for homemade gifts rather than store-bought ones to keep your spending down.

The holidays can be an expensive time of the year. But there are steps you can take to trim your costs -- and avoid financial stress.

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