Small Business Saturday is an annual shopping day started by American Express in 2010. Held each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, it’s not only an opportunity to find unique gifts for the holiday season. It’s also an opportunity to support small businesses in your community.
While shopping small can boost the local economy and support businesses during these unprecedented times, it’s also important to watch your spending.
Here are a few money saving tips for the fast-approaching Small Business Saturday!
Follow local businesses on social media
Small businesses are the backbone of the economy. But with so many businesses in your area, where do you focus your attention?
To get the most out of Small Business Saturday, consider following local businesses on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. As we get closer to the end of the month, many businesses will advertise special offers on their social media pages.
You might find information on discounts, featured items, buy-one-get-one-free offers, and more. Some businesses might promote contests like the chance to win a gift card to the store, or if you “check-in” on social media, you might receive an additional discount off your purchase. Or, a business might offer extra loyalty reward points on Small Business Saturday.
Come up with a budget
Of course, with so many deals and offers, it might be easy to go overboard and overspend.
You want to put money into your local economy — but not at the expense of your own personal finances. As you prepare for Small Business Saturday, take a look at your finances and determine how much you can realistically afford to spend. Commit to sticking with this budget.
Between now and the end of November, take steps to reduce spending. This can include cooking your own meals instead of eating out, shopping with a list to avoid impulse buying, or planning a few no-spend days or weeks.
Ask for a cash discount
If you find an item that’s a little more than you’re prepared to spend, ask the business for a cash discount.
Merchants pay hefty credit card processing fees which eat into their profit. Sometimes, though, it’s cheaper for them to give discounts to buyers who pay with cash or a gift card.
It’s uncommon for big box retailers to offer cash discounts. There is, however, more opportunity to negotiate with small businesses. In fact, a small business might welcome your suggestion. Avoiding credit card processing fees can help the store save money.
Use a rewards credit card
If you use a credit card, try and use a rewards credit card. Earning cash back or points for every $1 is an excellent way to get back some of what you spend. Since you’re shopping anyway, it only makes sense to earn money in the process.
However, if you’re using a credit card on Small Business Saturday, only charge what you can afford and pay off the balance in full to avoid paying interest.
Small Business Saturday is a great time to hit the pavement and browse local stores by foot. Keep in mind, though, that some local businesses might also offer online shopping. You can purchase merchandise from their website, and they’ll ship the item to your house.
In the end, shopping online might be cheaper (especially if you receive free shipping). You don’t have to pay for gas or parking, and you don’t have to stop for lunch as you make your way from store to store. All things considered, Small Business Saturday is a great way to kick off the holidays in a budget friendly way that also supports your local businesses.