Conserve That Cash! Tips For Holiday Savings

October 15, 2012  |  
The holidays are fast approaching. Halloween is just a couple of weeks away and following closely behind are Thanksgiving and Christmas. So not only is this time of year particularly festive, it’s also expensive.

 

You may be one of those people who has already gotten your holidays well underway, putting items on layaway, purchasing your discount airline tickets and hitting the gym in preparation for all the cookies, candies and assorted treats you plan to eat. But everyone else is just getting their act together.

 

We asked “The Double Saving Divas” for tips on two big issues — holiday travel and last-minute Halloween costumes — and gathered the info below. The Double Saving Divas — Tai and Tarin Perry — dish out the savings tips on their website and through their many past appearances on  The Rachael Ray Show and other programs.
Any other holiday spending issues you’re concerned with? Any tips you care to share? Please take to the comments readers!

 

Madame Noire: What are your tips for getting a deal on holiday airfare?
Double Saving Divas:

 

  1. Book Your Airfare Early. We suggest booking at least six to eight weeks in advance. Airlines are aware of the holiday demand and at most times their prices will reflect that.
  2. Travel on Non-Peak Days. Travel at least three to four days before the holiday with a return flight at least two to three days after. This can bank you at least $80 to $100 in a lower fare.
  3. Avoid Returning on a Sunday. Avoid traveling on the Sunday after a holiday. This is when flights are the most booked and the pricing will be much higher. Returning on a weekday will save you more money on your fare.
  4. Sign Up for Airfare Alerts. Some airlines will have 24-to-48-hour flash sales. Be made aware of these discounts by signing up for alerts such as, FareWatcher Plus by Travelocity. It’s a FREE service that watches your destinations of choice (up to 10), and notifies you of price changes, special offers, and more.
MN: Airlines have mounted a ton of fees for individual services. What are the best ways to avoid them?

 

DSD:

 

  1. Book Your Ticket Online. Some airlines charge a service fee if you book with their customer service personnel. If possible, book your airfare online to avoid this surcharge.
  2. Sit In the Middle Seat. Did you know that for some airlines a window or aisle seat is considered a premium seat? This can result in an additional $5 to $50 on your fare.
  3. Check for Carry-On Fees. Starting this year, some airlines will now start charging for carry-on baggage. Count up the cost for baggage fees. At times it may be to your best interest to ship your luggage in advance to your destination to avoid these higher prices. Fedex has a luggage service that may be worth your while.
  4. Avoid Seat Reservations. Most airlines charge a fee if you reserve your seat early. This can be an up-charge of an additional $10 or more. Save more money by allowing the airlines to determine where you sit.
  5. Weigh Your Luggage. Be sure your luggage falls between the airlines weight guidelines. This guideline is usually between 40 to 50 pounds. If luggage weighs more than allowed this can cost you an additional $50 or more.
  6. Avoid Third-Party Booking. Most airlines charge extra if you booked through a third-party and needed to make changes to your reservations. Also, most third-party sites charge a service fee for booking with them.
  7. Sleep on Your Neighbors Shoulder. Just kidding. However, if you need to unwind and get some rest while flying, be sure not to ask for a pillow or blanket if you don’t mind paying for it. Hard to believe isn’t it? Yes, many airlines now charge for this amenity.
MN: Halloween is just a couple of weeks away. Any thoughts on saving cash on last-minute costumes, parties, and treats?
  1. Shop Resale or Consignment. Why pay regular price for a costume if your child is going to only wear it once? Most resale shops have discounted costumes that look like new. Some will even allow you to trade lasts years costume for credit towards your current costume’s purchase.
  2. Shop Craigslist. You can place a detailed search for costumes by the minimum price you are willing to pay. We would suggest you search their “Free” section first. You may get lucky and get to keep your money in your pocket!
  3. Purchase Your Candy Last Minute. Many stores are gearing up to display Thanksgiving and Christmas items around this time. Typically, if you wait one to two days before; sometimes the day of Halloween, you can score candy for up to 50 percent off.
  4. Stick to Fun-Size. The larger the candy, the higher the price. In most cases, the bite-size is all a child needs to satisfy his/her sweet tooth and excitement.
  5. Party with Your Community. Most communities have free-to-low-cost festivities that you can take part in at your town hall, churches, or local schools.
  6. Buy for Next Year. Shop for your kids’ costume the day after Halloween. You’ll be sure to score next year’s get-up for up to 75 percent off in most cases.

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