According to a survey from the consulting firm Deloitte, shoppers expect to buy fewer presents, an average of 18.2 compared with last year's 21.5. They also plan to spend less, an average of $452, down from $532 a year ago.
Experts at Deloitte warn that holding out for the deep discounts seen during last year's holiday season might not prove fruitful because retailers are operating off leaner inventories this year.
Still, the hunt is on for the perfect gift at the right price. Here are some strategies on finding the most value for your holiday dollars:
Discount or value department stores are the top destination this year, with six of 10 consumers reporting they'll shop there. Stores such as T.J. Maxx receive three or four shipments of merchandise each week. If you know what you're looking for, such as earrings, try asking an associate when the next shipment of jewelry will come in.
Sites such as dealnews.com will help you find the lowest price among major stores.
Social media sites such as The Purse Forum lets users aggregate discount codes and add to a thread. You can find everything from Banana Republic discounts to free samples from Sephora.
CHECK THE NEWSPAPER FLIERS
Cutting coupons and keeping an eye on sales early can pay off big when it comes to gift-giving. Comparison shopping with ads in The Augusta Chronicle can tell you where to go to buy that big item.
Contact Sarah Day Owen at (706) 823-3223 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.