Christmas is just around the corner, so for smart savers with an eye for a bargain, that means that each day brings the Boxing Day sales closer. It's the adult equivalent of Christmas Day for kids, complete with bratty behaviour, running and ripping, and a nap being required between lunch and dinner.
So that you don't end up getting fleeced, spending more than you should, or just running out of puff at this year's Boxing Day sales, we've got you covered with our best money saving hacks.
Make a list
Look, what's good for Santa is good for you, right? Just like the bearded gentleman wouldn't set off without his trusty scroll to keep him on track making deliveries, neither should you leave home on Boxing Day to tackle the Christmas sales without having plotted your goals for the day. Have a think about things that you want or need - perhaps there's something you've had your eye on, or something that needs replacing? Having these targets will help you maintain focus and will help you avoid excess spending on distractions once you hit the shops.
Sign up for mailing lists
By looking out for flyers in your mailbox, or by signing up to the mailing lists of your favourite brands online, you can get an idea of just where the real bargains lie ahead of time. Any retailer worth their salt will announce their sale details ahead of time, so choose your targets carefully based on where the most value is to be had. I know what you're thinking, and yes, if you sign up for too many mailing lists, your email inbox can get a little spammy, but simply set up a folder to dump all these marketing emails throughout the year, and then when it comes time to hit the shope post-Christmas, you can review the latest and work on your purchase list.
Stick to your budget
We all know the feeling. Our budget for the sales spent, we once more reach for our card after being pulled in by another deal to scandalous to pass up. Smart shoppers know that the only way to make the Boxing Day sales work from a customer's perspective is to set a concrete budget, and not to go over it with unnecessary spending. You've made your list for a reason - anything else shiny or loud and flashing or seemingly irresistible you see on the day is just overkill, and you're playing into retailers' hands. Plus, who needs the extra credit card debt, or more excess junk lying around the house at Christmas time? No thanks...
Dress the part
If you're still a 'bricks and mortar' shopper who prefers to head to the mall to shop on Boxing Day, you've got to be kind to yourself and manage your expectations. Yes, it's going to be crowded. Yes, you may have to wait for parking, and yes, it may be a long day. Make things a bit easier for yourself.
- It's December, so wear comfortable clothing and footwear - an outfit that will be easy to get in and out of when trying on clothes
- Set your alarm and go early - avoid the main rushes of the day around mealtimes
- Have plenty to eat and drink, and take breaks if you're planning to be on your feet all day solid
When is a bargain a bargain?
Yet another advantage to making your list and planning ahead is that in the weeks leading up to Christmas, you can do a quick bit of research into the current prices being offered by retailers and online for the products you're after. A bargain isn't a bargain just because a retailer says so with a big SALE banner out the front. Doing some comparison work can help you avoid that hollow feeling after finding an item you bought in the Boxing Day sales cheaper somewhere else.
Shop online and go beyond the 26th
More and more shoppers are opting out of the madness of the mall on Boxing Day and turning instead to their smartphone, tablet or laptop to cash in on post-Christmas savings. It can make sense, with many retailers offering extra discounts for online shoppers, and free shipping, allowing you to pick items off your list from the comfort of the couch. What's more, these days the Boxing Day sales aren't just on December 26, with retailers wanting to clear end of year stock keeping prices relaxed well after the confetti and champagne of New Years. Just a thought...