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Holiday shopping is different during coronavirus Christmas season

Posted at 4:38 PM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 18:24:09-05

TAMPA, Fla. — 2020 has changed many American traditions, Black Friday is no exception. The pandemic has many retailers pushing out their best holiday deals online this year over an expanded time frame.

Money-saving blogger and mother of four Marisa Langford says it is important to set family expectations when it comes to gift-giving.

She suggests setting aside time to speak with extended family members such as grandparents, so everyone is on the same page.

“No one wants to waste money for the holidays and having a plan can definitely help you do that,” Langford said.

The blogger recommends the Santa’s Bag app for tracking the gift list, your spending and for stashing links to items you plan to purchase.

The personal finance experts at NerdWallet advise online shoppers to download Honey.

“It is basically constantly scanning in the background when you are online shopping and tells you if there are coupons,” NerdWallet’s Kimberly Palmer said.

Remember this Black Friday is different than in years past. It is just another day in a long string of weeks filled with promotions and deals.

Palmer advises shoppers to “compare prices constantly because there is not one big day where all of the sales are best.”

Amazon shoppers looking for the perfect time to click on the items in their cart can sign up at CamelCamelCamel, a price tracker. Users can sign up for free and receive price drop alerts.

For those who plan to shop in brick and mortar stores, download the app ShopSavvy. It allows you to scan bar codes to find which store has the best deal on that item.

You should also find out which stores are offering to price-match a better deal somewhere else.

This time of year, it might be tempting to open a store credit card for cashback and discounted prices. But before you do, do the math and decide if you can pay that card off when the bill comes due.

According to NerdWallet, 30% of all shoppers who opened a credit card last Christmas are still making payments on the purchases. That is a lot of money to waste on interest payments.