The Holiday Season, On a Student-Budget
This holiday season, students will be focused on three primary concerns. The first concern, how to find a fun and affordable way to unwind after exams. The second concern, how to buy gifts for everyone on their list. And the third concern, how to afford it all and still be able to buy supplies for the coming semester. But the key to having fun during the holidays can sometimes be one click away.
With online shopping now at the height of its popularity, online bargains have become a staple for Canadian shoppers. Groupon.com – a coupon website – offers deals as high as 90 per cent off, says Julie Mossler, spokeswoman for the site. In addition to offering deals of the day the site will soon offer the Grouponicus Holiday Store, where deals will be extended for 3 to 5 days. Also, the coupons and deals can now be sent to friends and family as gifts. Mossler says buying gifts on the Groupon website is a “win-win” because the recipient only sees the original value of the gift. So you can keep your discount a secret.
“By offering the best that their city has to see, eat, do and buy at 50-90% off, students save money on everything from life’s essentials like teeth cleaning and dining at the corner café, to the guilty pleasures like hot stone massages and shopping sprees at local boutiques,” Mossler says.
While Redflagdeals.com also offers a deal of the day – unlike Groupon.com – that isn’t the website’s primary service. Web editor Andrew Lau, says the site caters to all Canadians, while showing them deals on a wide range of products and services– from entertainment, food and drinks to beauty and wellness and even freebies.
The site’s student section offers student-specific deals and coupons for apparel and electronics. The site also has textbook forums where students can buy and sell textbooks or offer each other advice on where to find textbook sales. In addition the student discussion section offers students a forum to give each other tips on how to improve the quality of their lives. One great example is a forum about tips for dealing with the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP.)
“Whether you’re looking for winter tires, a new laptop, a Vegas vacation package, or groceries, we are out there looking for deals. You might find exactly what you’re looking for, or you may end up using RedFlagDeals.com as a great research tool. In the end, we give users information so that they can make the best shopping decisions,” Lau says.
Lastly, always remember to make a budget before shopping and stick to it. That way you can compare the price you paid to the retail price of each item and you’ll know how much you’ve saved from all the great deals you’ve found. And you’ll be more likely to have money left over.
Here’s a list of websites that offer deals/coupons/bargains or reveal local warehouse, retail and sample sales.
If you’re on a tight budget, one of the best things you can do to save on holiday gifts is to make them yourself. Baked goods, homemade jams and sauces, DIY soaps and lotions. Save money and make something your recipient will actually use!