How to save money ahead of holiday shopping

The holiday shopping season will officially be here before you know it.

With rising prices and inflation, finding a way to pay for all the gifts on your list may take a Christmas miracle.

When it comes to buying gifts for the holidays this year, Michelle Kallick has more than just her two-year-old daughter to think about.

Her list has at least a dozen people on it.

With prices on the rise, she knows it's going to be more challenging trying to pay for those gifts this year.

"I mean it is a little stressful, but it is the holiday season, and it is what it is," said Kallick. "I don’t not want to buy a gift for someone because of it."

So, she is doing what she can now to help curb that cost.

"I'm trying to cut back a little bit more on other things I'm spending right now," said Kallick. "Thinking twice before I make my, you know, twelve o’clock amazon purchase at night…just trying to be more thoughtful this time of the year."

Many consumer experts agree cutting down on impulse buys is a good place to start if you are looking to save some cash fast. 

"A lot of people, if they are not used to pinching pennies, they don’t realize kind of the five, ten dollar expenditures here and there. How quickly those add up," said Brian Martucci, Financial Editor at

"If you don’t start putting money away, it's going to limit what you can do for holidays, but more importantly, potentially put you in debt," said Andrea Woroch, Consumer Financial Expert.

Woroch says there are more small things that you can do on a daily basis from now until Black Friday to help you save some money for the holidays. 

"The easiest place to start to see big savings and long-lasting habits is meal planning and reducing your take-out habits." said Woroch.

Woroch says by meal planning, limiting how much fresh food you buy in bulk, and choosing frozen over fresh produce, you could save as much as $228 in the next six weeks. 

When it comes to ordering take out, Woroch says the average U.S. household spends just over $2,300 a year, or about $45 a week.

"If you can cut back by just half of your takeout orders, you’re looking at saving $137 by the time Black Friday rolls around," said Woroch.

Another way you can stash some holiday cash is by cleaning out your closet and selling those items online.


"You’ll be amazed at how much interest you get as soon as you throw something up on there, within hours, more likely than not, if it's something people want, it will be gone," said Martucci.

Martucci says that is because people are looking to spend less these days, and they don’t mind buying second hand. 

Additionally, before you pull out your credit card, make sure you have one that offers cash back rewards, and you know how to get them.

"A credit card matching tool, Giga Point, did a study, and they found the average credit card user is missing out on $1,000 worth of cash back each year by using the wrong rewards card," said Woroch.

So, how do you know which card is right for you?

"You need to figure out where you spend the most money. Is it on dining out? Travel? Gas or groceries?" said Woroch. "And then find a rewards card that gives you more  cash back for that category."

Woroch estimates that if you start maximizing your cash back rewards now, you could save another $115 by Black Friday.

In the end, these steps could add up to some financial relief when you need it the most. 

One more tip from our experts? Don't forget to take a look at your data plan. 

Woroch says switching to a smaller, less expensive one could save you about $45 a month, or another $62 by Black Friday.