How To Be A Savvy Holiday Shopper

How To Be A Savvy Holiday Shopper

This is a sponsored post by Chase Ultimate Rewards®. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Money Can Buy Lipstick.

It may sound cliché, but the holiday season is seriously my favorite time of year. Everything about the season, from the music to the shopping to the weather, is so magical and exciting. I’ve always been someone who especially loves the holidays because I love gift-giving. Of course, just like everyone else, I also love to receive gifts, but there is something special about seeing the look on someone’s face after you’ve given them a present they love. As much as I love giving gifts, I also know how stressful (and expensive) holiday shopping can be. After years of shopping mishaps, overspending, and far too many trips to the mall on December 23rd, I have finally figured out the best way to shop for everyone on my list, while saving. Today I’m going to share my four tips for savvy holiday shopping, and introduce you to my favorite rewards program, Chase Ultimate Rewards. 

1. Create a list of everyone you need to shop for. The easiest way to make sure you don’t forget anyone is by writing your entire list down. It also helps to jot down a gift idea next to their name so you’re not completely overwhelmed when you’re actually shopping.

2. Set a budget. Now that you know exactly how many people you need to shop for, it’s time to create a budget. It’s very easy to overspend when shopping for holiday gifts. I don’t know about you but I have a tendency to get caught up in the season and start channeling my inner Oprah. You get a gift! You get a gift! You get a gift! It’s nice to want to give, but you also need to be reasonable. You can calculate an overall budget and create a limit for each gift. Don’t forget to take wrapping paper, gift bags, and other supplies into consideration when finalizing your budget. That stuff can add up too!

3. Redeem gift cards through Chase Ultimate Rewards. It wasn’t until the last couple of years that I started utilizing my Chase Freedom card for redeeming gift cards. Matt and I were getting ready to go on a trip earlier this year and our spending budget for the trip was a bit low. When I logged into Chase to pay the bill for the month, I realized that we could utilize the points we earned for a gift card to a restaurant that was in the area we were traveling to. From that moment, I vowed to take advantage of the points we earned through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and I knew they would come in handy for the holidays.

This holiday season Chase cardmembers can redeem rewards for gift cards from so many incredible retailers! There are more than 150 gift card options to choose from, from beauty to restaurants to travel, and more. Plus, during the month of November, Chase Freedom cardmembers can get 10 percent off select gift cards redeemed through Ultimate Rewards. Check out this offer before the month ends!

Now, let me tell you why I love gift cards. I know people tend to shy away from them because they’re “impersonal”, but I know I would rather have the freedom to buy whatever I want, rather than end up with a gift that’s not really me. Also, a lot of people tend to take advantage of the incredible sales that go on after the holidays, so the person you’re giving the gift card to may be able to stretch the gift card even further. Every year, since we were old enough to go out on our own, my best friend and I would take all of the gift cards we received for the holidays and go on a post-holiday shopping spree. We still do it to this day, and our eyes light up whenever we see a gift card.

In addition to redeeming gift cards to use as presents, you can also use the gift cards for holiday shopping. Maybe your nephew wants a special new toy exclusive to Toys “R” Us. Well, you can log-on to Chase Ultimate Rewards, redeem your points for a Toys “R” Us gift card, and buy the gift without having to spend a penny. Gift cards are a great way to monitor your spending and make sure everyone on your list can get something they love.

4. Start shopping early. Don’t wait until the last possible second to start holiday shopping. Like I said, I have spent many years at the mall on December 23rd, and it is not fun. This year Matt and I have been purchasing at least one gift a week and it has already put a dent in our shopping list. Shopping early also prevents any unnecessary last-minute splurging. Last year I forgot a couple of people on our list and I ended up having to spend a ridiculous amount of money on overnight shipping. I promised myself I would never end up in that situation again!

Another great reason to start shopping now is because 10 percent off select gift cards redeemed through Ultimate Rewards with Chase Freedom only lasts through November. Check it out soon because limited quantities are available! 

If you are already a Chase cardmember with Ultimate Rewards, sign in to your account at to learn about gift card offers and more. Not a Chase Ultimate Rewards? Learn more about Chase credit cards with Ultimate Rewards at

I hope my tips help make you a savvier shopper this holiday season!

Inclusion of specific retailers in this post is not an indication of an affiliation or endorsement by JPMorgan Chase.

  • Taylor Mead

    To start, these pictures are SO adorable. I’m obsessed! Also, these tips are fantastic. Especially the Chase Rewards one! I love redeeming my rewards!

    xo, Taylor (

  • Monica

    Such good ideas. One thing I always forget on my list is all the grab bag gifts for the parties and they sure add up! Good thing for chase rewards!! Although I usually chose cash back!!

  • Steven N Madison Weaver

    These are great tips! I’m always trying to be organized and shopping early really helps me.

  • I am such a procrastinator when it comes to holiday shopping. I need to be more like my mom and start in the Summer!

  • This is so helpful! I struggle with my holiday shopping and actually try to avoid it even though I love giving!

  • Joanna Clute

    Sounds like you tackle Christmas much in the way I do. Making a list and budget is vital.