November 22, 2023

Shopping for holiday gifts may be inevitable, but you can stretch your dollars and keep your sanity.

“Black Friday” has become the colloquial term used to describe the day after Thanksgiving. It is the biggest day for retail sales as people look to jumpstart their holiday shopping or score a deal. According to the National Retail Federation, holiday spending is expected to grow 3-4% over 2022, reaching record levels over $955 billion!  So how do you know if you are actually getting a deal and not just adding to retailers’ profits?

Shopping for gifts may be inevitable for you this holiday season, but you can stretch your dollars and be a savvy consumer.

Make a List

Before you brave the stores, make a list of the people you are planning to buy gifts for.  Then take some time to consider your budget and what you would like to get them – are you shopping for experiences, going the homemade route, or “you will know it when you see it”?  Making a list can help avoid draining your bank account and narrow down the stores to visit on Black Friday – saving you time!

Research and Compare Prices

If you know what you are going to buy, it is a good idea to compare prices among different stores ahead of time.  Most large retailers will mail or email their holiday ads showing upcoming sale prices on popular items such as clothes, toys, electronics, and appliances.  Doing your homework ahead of time can help ensure you are paying the lowest price for your gift!

Price Match

Did you find the perfect gift but found it cheaper online?  Many stores offer “price matching”, meaning they will match the price of a competitor’s item if it is offered cheaper.  So, while you may be thinking, “I can get it cheaper on Amazon”, you could have your gift for the lower price a lot sooner by asking for a price match.

Shop Online

Black Friday has transformed from the traditional single day of in-person shopping as online shopping has become super easy and convenient, creating a new day of deals known as “Cyber Monday”.  Retailers whose Black Friday sales have ended may extend similar promotions to their online stores. Many companies send promo emails with coupons, some of which are exclusively for online purchases.  Shopping online can also save you time navigating traffic and the chaos of a parking lot and checkout lines, saving you valuable time to spend with your family and friends.

Reach Out to Customer Service

Have you ever bought something only to see it offered for an even lower price a week later?  This is your one opportunity to be a “Karen” – but in a nice way.  Some retailers have policies in place to refund the difference between what you paid vs the sale price if your purchase was made within a certain time frame. Another reason to save your receipts!

While the easiest way to save money this holiday season is to buy no gifts at all, being a grinch is no fun! Use these tips to plan your shopping in advance to help avoid unnecessary stress this holiday season.

Weekly Recipe

Turkey Cutlets and Gravy

Kayla Hsu

Authored By

Kayla Hsu, MPH, CHES®

Kinetiq Health Program Manager

As a Kinetiq Health Program Manager, Kayla provides businesses with customized health and wellness solutions to better manage and improve the overall health and well-being of their employees.

Prior to joining Apex in March 2022, Kayla worked at the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center on a statewide grant initiative integrating evidence-based tobacco treatment services into behavioral healthcare settings. She also has experience as a quality improvement advisor with a nonprofit healthcare quality improvement consultancy and Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO).

Kayla is a trained Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS) and earned the National Certificate in Tobacco Treatment Practice (NCTTP). She is a member of the Indiana Society for Public Health Education (InSOPHE) and a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®).

Meet Kayla