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Helpful saving tips to prevent breaking the bank this Christmas

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"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other." - Burton Hillis, columnist and author

This year the sales started before Thanksgiving dinner was cold, and they are set to run straight through until Christmas Eve. Your children have a Santa's list a mile long and the space under the tree is begging to be filled with brightly colored packages. This is going to be expensive. Saving money during the holidays might seem like a misnomer, but it is far from impossible.

Don’t break the bank this holiday season! Shop smart and reap the rewards with these helpful savings tips from GrandSave.

  • Set a Budget and Stick to it

What can you realistically afford to spend this year? That’s the number you have to work with and it has to cover everything from presents to the holiday dinner. Creating a detailed budget will make it easier to resist impulse buys and know what you can spend on each person on your list.

  • Paper not plastic

Put the credit cards far out of reach and use cash only this holiday season. Remember, you can’t spend what you don’t have! (See #1)

ShopSavvy, an IOS and Android app can be used online or at the mall to find the best deal. You can scan the barcode or type in the name of an item. Whether you decide to purchase from an online merchant or a store, you can pay with the app if you store your credit card info in it. If an item is available locally, it will be displayed on a map with a blue dot next to it if it's in stock. Know what you’re after and make a point to find it at the best price possible. Remember to include shipping costs in your comparison if you’re purchasing online.

  • Look for BOGO Deals and Combo Platters

Buy one, get one deals are everywhere this time of year — from sweaters to toys to gift cards. Cross two people off your list in one fell swoop! I have also found groupings of items in one packaging are great to split up between those on your shopping list. For example, an expensive perfume set can be shared between a few of your favorite girlfriends.

  • Homemade Gifts

Making some of your gifts at home can help you to save a bundle on your holiday shopping. Baked goods, candles, soaps, and crafts are easy to make and cost a fraction of what you’d pay in a store.

Saving money this time of year isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Do you have any helpful saving tips to prevent breaking your bank this year?

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