Updated: Monday, 12 Nov 2012, 10:04 AM EST
Published : Monday, 12 Nov 2012, 9:59 AM EST
Grand Rapids, Mich (WOTV) - It's the biggest shopping season of the year. Black Friday deals are coming and stores are trying to get you in the door. They are offering deep discounts and limited selections. It's not only a great time to grab gifts, but is an opportunity to buy things you have needed or wanted for a lower price. It's also very easy to spend way more than you intended and can afford. Here are some tips to help you keep your budget on track this holiday season.
1 - Make a budget. You hear it all the time, but you really need to do it. Figure out how much you can afford to spend and make your buying decisions based around that number. And stick to it. If you allow yourself to spend an extra few bucks on one gift, you will let yourself slide on others and be overspending in no time.
2 - Comparison shop and price match. Check out Black Friday deals in advance , price check against Walmart.com or use an Amazon discount finder to see if the sale price measures up. Make sure you know what your store's policy is on price matching. Almost ever major retailer has a policy, but they do vary from store to store.
3 - Wait to buy, but not too long. And know the store return policies. Sometimes the first sale you see is the best, but often stores make last minute markdowns to move items that haven't sold as well as planned or to get you in the store. This is why it's important to comparison shop every item you see. And know if you are allowed to return an item if you find it cheaper somewhere else, or if the store will even price match prior purchases in their own store. But, don't wait to shop until the last week. There will be a few sales, but you are less likely to get everything you want at a good price.
4 - Make it homemade. Not everyone is super crafty or can bake like grandma, but there's likely something you can do to save some money. Jarred ingredients with cooking instructions are cute and practical and make a great gift. Knotted fleece blankets are simple to make for a child as well.
5 - Apply every day savings tips to your holiday shopping. Check out a searchable coupon database for use in store, use a searchable online shopping codes database , watch for gift card discounts like buy $25 get $5 and get $10 off your next shopping order when you purchase $100+ in gift cards.
Nine-time Grammy winning performer, Sheryl Crow played to a sold out crowd …