How to save money while holiday shopping as inflation rate remains high

Jason Knowles Image
Friday, November 25, 2022
Tips for holiday shopping as inflation rate remains high
Here are some tips for both online shopping and making purchases on Chicago's State Street and Mag Mile as the inflation rate remains high.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Holiday shopping will cost you more this year.

The latest inflation rate is still high at 7.7%, year to year. Financial experts say consumers are dreading a possible recession and looking to tighten their holiday shopping budgets. Here are some tips.

It's time to shop on Chicago's Magnificent Mile, State Street and online. But with inflation still top of mind, how can you save?

SEE ALSO | Consumers' Checkbook comparing grocery store prices ahead of Thanksgiving

First, write out your overall budget. Then assign an amount to each person.

"So when you start your budget, I would start with the goal in mind. How much do we want to spend for the holiday season, and you know I have this mantra that you can't help others unless you help yourself. So, don't spend more than you can afford to," said Phillip Shaw with Goldstone Financial Group in Oakbrook Terrace.

Shaw suggests saving money by shopping in a different county or state where taxes are lower.

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If you're shopping online and comparing prices, turn on the option on your browser that allows you to look privately without websites tracking your online moves.

"Do yourself a favor and do your browsing incognito, so that the brands don't know you're shopping for them, because sometimes they will mark up the products on you if they know you're coming back again and again to look for a product," Shaw said.

Also, google the product or company and see if there is a promo or coupon code available.

Consider shopping for "certified used" or refurbished electronics and appliances online. These items can be anywhere from 20-30% off, and they are as good as new.

Consumer data resource group, Jungle Scout says people are also saving by getting wrapping paper and holiday cards at low-cost discount stores.

"About 25% of consumers are considering buying second hand holiday gifts this year," said Michael Scheschuk with Jungle Scout. "They are also going to spend less on holiday decorating, frankly. Some people are going to spend less on travel, and some people are going to be re-gifting or recycling gifts."

The ABC7 data team broke down inflation cost data by product.

Items like toys, clothes and sports gear are up anywhere from 4% to 7% on-track with overall inflation, while TVs and smartphones are actually priced lower this year.

Item percent change

  • Apparel: 4.1%
  • New cars: 9.6%
  • Used cars: 2.0%

TV: -16.5%

  • Pets and pet products: 12.5%
  • Sports equipment: 5.7%
  • Toys, games and playground equipment: 6.7%
  • Smartphones: -22.9%
  • Airfare: 42.9%
  • Cookies: 16.8%
  • Ham: 8.7%
  • Milk: 14.5%
  • Potatoes: 15.2%
  • Butter and margarine: 33.6%
  • Other fats and oils: 18.8%
  • Flour: 24.6%
  • Eggs: 43.0%