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Tips on how to save money while holiday shopping

More than 25 percent of you are starting earlier than ever before. So, we have seven easy tips that are a good place to start.

More than 25 percent of you are starting earlier than ever before. So, we have seven easy tips that are a good place to start.

Black Friday usually kicks off the holiday shopping season but this is not a normal year. Holiday deals are already online and the whole month is now cyber November.

Shop early.

  • To get the good deals, avoid product shortages and shipping delays

Look for online deals.

  • Black Friday sales are online *now* at sites like Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, and Best Buy.

Take advantage of free shipping and coupon codes.

  • Lots of stores offer free shipping right now and discounts if you sign up for their emails. Do a coupon search before you checkout

Try layaway.

  • Some offer it year-round, others let you put items on hold just for the holidays. Try it at Burlington Coat Factory, Gamestop, TJ Maxx and Walmart.

Make a budget.

  • Decide the total amount you can spend and divide it by the people on your list. Stick to it!

If you're using a credit card, make sure it pays you back. 

  • You can turn reward points into cash or gift cards – but financial experts suggests only spending what you can pay off at the end of your billing cycle.

Before you buy anything online, use a shopping portal.

  • Those are websites that you "click-through" to get cash back on eligible purchases.

Bookmark this site: Cash Back Monitor. They track all of the portal rates so you can always pick the best one.