Where has the time gone? It seems to go faster and faster the older I get! The holidays are upon us, and holiday shopping has been underway for weeks prior to Black Friday because supply issues are not a problem this year. The challenge is inflation and the rising costs of food, gas, energy, and practically everything else, which is putting a direct hit on our discretionary spending.
For seniors on a fixed income, this is especially problematic. Fortunately, I found a few helpful tips for seniors who want to do their holiday shopping while saving time, money, and stress.
The Washington Post suggests we become strategic shoppers this holiday season by making a list of recipients and gift ideas, formulating a budget for gifts, and tracking prices for items at large retailers like Target, Walmart, Amazon, Kohls's, and Gap. These stores have excess inventory and they will be competitive with pricing and discounts for consumers.
They also suggest that you price-check products on Google because the search engine shows item prices across multiple retailers making it easier for shoppers to know where to find the best deals.
Ike Boruchow, Wells Fargo Senior Retail Softlines Analyst suggests, “Keep your eyes open for a lot more deals than you saw last year. Apparel and footwear are going to be pretty competitive this year because of over-inventory.”
Natalie Kotlyar, a retail analyst for accounting, tax and financial advisory company BDO, said she’s seen an “unprecedented” number of promotions for health and wellness products this year. Some items you’ll probably find among holiday promotions: shampoo, vitamins, soap, makeup, face masks. It’s for all of us — the consumer — to feel good about ourselves … and then to also gift that to someone else.”
If you plan to shop for gifts online, coupon browser extensions like Rakuten, Ibotta, CouponCabin, BeFrugal, and Honey apply cash back on purchases when you link a credit card to their app, or they offer discount codes for certain stores and products.
According to AARP, deals on technology are slated to begin on Thanksgiving and Black Friday when bigger discounts are offered on electronics like laptops, tablets, televisions, video game consoles, and Smartphones.
“Online tech deals will come later in the month as well. Online prices for electronics in general will be lowest on Thanksgiving Day. The best prices on TVs will hit on Black Friday, while computers will have the biggest discounts on Cyber Monday, according to an online shopping forecast from Adobe,” Beth Braverman at AARP says.
Zachary Fadem, Wells Fargo Senior Retail Hardlines Analyst added, “Select dealers in various categories are dealing with excess inventory of bigger ticket items — furniture, TVs, appliances, tools, and grills. If you’re selective and you stick to the categories that are over-inventoried and promotional, that’s where the deals are going to be.”
As part of your shopping strategy, shop and ship early to save money and stress! The United States Postal Service (USPS) is generally the cheapest option for shipping packages, but it may take them longer to get packages to their destinations.
That said, when you purchase gifts you will be sending to loved ones, make sure to carefully read the return policies. If the retailer has a 2-week return window, but the gift won’t arrive in time for the recipient to return it, that poses a potential problem if it doesn’t work or doesn’t fit.
Plus, even if a retailer has a healthy grace period for returns, check to see if there are costs applied for return labels, or if they charge restocking fees.
Gift cards may be the best option for loved ones who live a distance away and have stores they frequent in their area.
Wells Fargo Senior Economist, Tim Quinlan suggests you opt for experiences. “If you have older kids, taking your family out to a nice meal someplace in lieu of presents is a perfect way to celebrate the holiday.”
Finally, use credit cards wisely to avoid accumulating debt at higher interest rates. Your joy can quickly turn to despair when you see the balances and the payments are due.
If you are a senior who is unable to do holiday shopping due to physical or mental health conditions, a compassionate caregiver from Home Helpers can help bridge the gap.
Home Helpers® makes life easier for seniors over the holidays and year-round. I’m happy to offer a FREE Assessment to discuss specific needs, after which I will review the in-home care services we provide. That way, I can create a custom-tailored Cared-4℠ plan to assist you with activities of daily living, improve your overall quality of life, and preserve your senior independence.
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The Washington Post