You are probably still sleeping off the Black Friday madness, or maybe you are already strategizing your Cyber Monday purchases but the sad reality is come this Tuesday, the savings won’t be as easy to get a hold of. Here are some tips to keep in mind so you the holidays don’t prove to be a complete budget buster.

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of pre-holiday jitters. As if you aren’t already stressed about getting everyone not-destined-to-be-returned gifts, you are also pulling out your credit card every 2.5 seconds. Everyone’s budget takes a hit during the holidays, whether it’s for travel or gift buying. Here are some tips to lessen the blow:

Christmas prices

Black Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday…

Our economy isn’t what it used to be, and neither is Black Friday. A lot of retailers are extending deals and savings throughout the week after Thanksgiving to prolong shopper excitement. Just because you chose to sleep off your food coma, doesn’t necessarily mean you missed out on savings, according to a Wall Street Journal piece, it is much more typical to see a week of deals after Black Friday.

MyBankTracker.com reporter Simon Zhen, broke down getting the best holiday savings in to three steps: 1). Shop Online, 2). Grab Discounts as they come and 3). Diversify your standards

If you are more willing to shop for product vs. brand, you are more likely to score all sorts of savings during this time. Check out the bigger retailers today as many of them will still be offering similar sales they were offering on Black Friday. One thing to look out for is out-of-stock items, as many retailers may have run out of those popular holiday steals.

Sunday is a good day to take to online, as many sneaky shoppers begin to sell the items they bought on Black Friday. Items may not be as cheap as they were going for on Friday, but still are cheaper than usual.

Rumor on the street is that this Cyber Monday may not be as a large as ones in the past, but don’t let this deter you from scoping out the deals. Check out cybermonday.com for a concentration of deals and coupons offered around the web.

What’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Most of America will be eating leftovers for the next few weeks, not only is this efficient, but it also gives your budget a break. Check out some easy-to-make and cheap leftover recipes from our very own Willy Staley.

You are probably stuffed full of Thanksgiving food right now, but a lot of what you just ate will be going on sale this week. Stock up on sweet potatoes, turkey and all other discount Thanksgiving food. If you want to take a break from the Thanksgiving essentials, just freeze the food and dig in at a later date. This is a great way to save some money and not overstock your fridge before the December holiday festivities begin.

Save on Your Christmas Tree

Ah the Christmas tree, a tricky game of; live vs. fake, big vs. small, early vs. last minute. So many options and they all impact your budget. Depending on where in the country you live it may be easier to find deals.

The earlier you go shopping for these trees the cheaper they will be, look for trees that cost around $6 a foot for the best deal. Unfortunately pine trees only stay fresh for 7 – 10 days so if you do not want to take the risk this may not be the best option for you.

Another great way to strike up a deal is visiting street corner tree stands. These are more prevalent in urban areas, and could offer a better discount than a tree lot. They also are more flexible on prices a.k.a haggling.

Your best bet is to hit up a big retailer that sells tress, such as Best Buy. Their prices will most likely be the lowest, but be weary; not all of these places offer delivery. Stores that do offer delivery often make up for the cheap tree prices on their delivery rates, so you may still be getting a better offer, and tree, at a tree lot.

There is always the option of buying your own christmas tree. This is great for the environment and your budget, the only tricky part is keeping it alive year-round — including the week it spends inside your home. But if your green thumb can handle it, this could prove to be the most cost-effective method of being decorative during the holiday season.

Stakeout the best travel deals

Traveling during the holidays is tricky. The travel industry knows they are a hot commodity during the winter season and therefore up the prices around the holidays. If you need to travel during the holiday there are a few things you can do to ensure the best prices:

  1. Buy your tickets now. Yes, right now. There is a lot of debate on whether or not last-minute tickets are better or not, dont risk it during the holidays. Everyone is pushing off buying tickets so you may as well bite the bullet and make the purchase as early as possible, you are more likely to score a better deal.
  2. Fly during inconvenient times. Flights leaving at early hours or during work hours are often a much cheaper than rush hour flights.
  3. Check for rebates. Just because you already purchased your travel tickets doesn’t mean you can’t save still. Some airlines allow rebates or travel vouchers if flights end up being discounted.

If you are on the fence about traveling, try rescheduling a reunion with the family after the holidays, you are bound to save much more this way. Although the best deals for holiday travel are offered far in advance of travel date, there is still an opportunity to save on some last-minute deals.

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