Grow: 8 ways to trim your holiday spending without looking like a cheapskate

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Got an extra $638 laying around that you won’t miss? Yeah, me neither. Yet that’s how much the average American will spend on holiday gifts this year.

The good news is we don’t have to be average. Avoid paying full price and it’s a lot easier to trim holiday spending. Here are eight ways to do that without compromising on the gifts.

1. Go for discounted gift cards

On sites like GiftCardGranny and GiftCards.com, double-digit discounts on gift cards for GameStop GME, -1.53% Nordstrom JWN, -0.81%   and Urban Outfitters URBN, -3.32%   are easy to find. Use the discounted cards to buy gifts—or gift the cards themselves. Americans have ranked gift cards the No. 1 most popular wish list item for 12 years in row in National Retail Foundation’s annual holiday survey.

2. Sign up for the list

To attract new customers, some retailers offer discounts for your first online purchase. For example, you can get 15% off and free shipping at Kate Spade, 15% off at Kohl’s KSS, -3.73%   and 10% off from Dick’s Sporting Goods DKS, -0.91%   simply by signing up for the brand’s newsletter.

If you stay on the list, you can potentially score even better deals. Victoria’s Secret sends special promotions twice a day to its email subscribers, and Bed Bath & Beyond BBBY, -0.55%   sends coupons for $5-$15 every month.

3. Abandon your cart

When online shopping, try leaving items in your virtual shopping cart overnight. For some retailers, like Bonobos, that triggers a “you forgot something” email, where they may offer an extra discount to motivate shoppers to complete their purchase.

4. Get social

Local brands in particular are likely to offer exclusive deals to their social media fans, says Chelsea Hudson of TopCashBack.com—so follow your favorite stores on Instagram, Twitter TWTR, -1.55%   or Facebook FB, -2.29%   for an inside scoop on flash sales, promo codes and giveaways. Bloggers and social media “influencers” partner with brands and share their own promo codes with followers, too.

5. Forget brand loyalty

In many cases, the gift you’re looking for is sold at a bunch of different retailers—so do a little research before buying to ensure you’re paying the lowest price. If you’re in store, swing by the customer service desk; they’ll often price-match what you find online to convince you to buy an item right then.

6. Refer a friend

At clothing line Boden, refer a friend for a $15 coupon, and your friend will get 20% off their first purchase, too. At shoe company Rothy’s and Rebecca Minkoff, referring a pal will get you each $20 to spend, and UNIQLO will give you both $10.

7. Watch for price drops

If you’re looking for a specific item but can’t find a coupon or sale, tools like Savelist, CamelCamelCamel (for Amazon AMZN, -0.97%   items) and SlickDeals’ alerts will keep track of prices and notify you when a new deal is posted.

8. Negotiate

If you don’t ask, you won’t get. Some (usually smaller) businesses may offer a discount for paying in cash, so they can avoid paying fees levied by credit card issuers. And in secondhand stores or on resell marketplaces, like eBay EBAY, +0.35%   and Poshmark, asking the seller directly if they’re willing to lower a price is likely to save at least a small amount.

Read the original article on Grow.

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