“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.” —Eleanor Roosevelt
Ever since I can remember, I have loved giving gifts. Whether it’s handmade gifts or purchased, it always makes me happy to see the look on someone’s face when I give them a just-because gift or one for an occasion/milestone. And I’ll never get tired of it as it’s one of my love languages on how I show others I care.
To me, it’s the effort put into any kind of gift that counts the most. And the older I get, the more I want to buy gifts ahead of time for three reasons: 1) to put more thought into my gift 2) reduce stress and save time by planning purchases in advance and 3) stay within my budget without sacrificing the luxury touch I want to give.
If you love gift giving as much as I do, I’m here to tell you that it is possible to plan and purchase thoughtful, luxury gifts for less!
You guys know I’ve always preached on quality over quantity.
And with Mother’s Day around the corner, I wanted to let you in on a secret shopping resource I’ve been personally using for several years. Aside from sharing with you my shopping strategy to help you score luxury gifts for less, it’s important to me to help you shop more mindfully as well.
Since secrets don’t make friends, here are my tried-and-true smart shopping tips when it comes to gift giving:
SHOP SMARTER WITH TECHNOLOGY
Formally known as Shoptagr, Karma is a “save now, buy later” technology I’ve been using since 2018. It’s absolutely free to use and all you do is download the extension as it works on any web browser. When you’re shopping or browsing online and find something you want to purchase later, all you do is save the items you want to purchase to your lists.
Then, if applicable, all you do is set detailed specifications such as size and color and that’s it! You can adjust your settings to receive email notifications from Karma when products’ prices change to when your item goes on sale for 25% or 50% off. If you want, you can also choose to receive emails to alert you of retailer promotions, flash sales, similar items, and when an item you’ve saved is low in stock/back in stock.
Let me tell you, even with Karma notifying me, there have been times when I’ve missed items I want that went on sale. My personal tip? Add the same item from different retailers!
You can also download the Karma app to your Apple or Android phone if you shop from your phone more than your desktop.
MAKE A LIST & MARK THE OCCASION
We’ve all scrambled at the last minute when we purchased a card along with a gift card, am I right? There’s nothing wrong with that, but sometimes, doesn’t it seem like it’s obvious that it’s a last-minute gift? One of my best friends hates giving cash or gift cards because she’s the type who wants to give a thoughtful gift or an experience. Did I mention Karma also partners with travel and hotels? Yep.
If you want to make more of an effort with your gift-giving, start making lists. Whether you’re old-fashioned or tech-savvy, start taking notes! Who do you give gifts to every year? What types of gifts do you want to give? Are there any upcoming affairs where you may need to purchase a gift?
Don’t forget to earmark other occasions such as housewarmings, engagements, bachelorettes, bridal showers, weddings, baby showers, graduations, business launches, and career milestones.
To keep track of gifts for those in my life and as well as for myself, I also use customized lists within Karma. For example, I have lists such as “Gifts – Fun” and “Home – Kitchen” to keep an eye of what items I want.
SET A BUDGET
Set a budget, particularly for gift-giving and add extra cushion to it. You never know when need to purchase a gift for an event that might pop up. I mean, life is always full of surprises, right?
My best guy friend gave me this idea several years ago when he opened a savings account for everything Christmas-related. Decor, lighting, gifts, you name it, everything he wanted to get for Christmas went into that specific account.
If you can or want to, open a bank account for “fun spending” such as gift-giving and charitable giving. Retail therapy for when you want to splurge on yourself counts too. Then you can use Karma to save yourself more money and justify your splurge, ha! Talk about good karma! Pun intended.
EARN MORE CASH BACK BY SHOPPING SALES STRATEGICALLY
If you’re good at shopping sales, you’ll know the timing of your favorite brands/retailers’ sales events like the back of your hand. If you want to be an expert, you’ll use technology to earn cash back too. You can score luxury goods for less by also earning cash back through Karma. I call this method the champagne-taste-on-a-beer-budget strategy.
You can receive payouts through Karma cashback. All you have to do is make sure your purchase is cashback eligible and that your browser extension is active. Before you check out, make sure to click ‘Activate’ on Scout to ensure you earn your cashback. That’s it!
NO SHAME IN USING COUPON CODES
Even as a teenager and young adult, I’ve never been ashamed of using coupons. I take great pride when my friends call me the queen of shopping because of my ability to save money. However, I totally give the credit to my mom! When I was young, my mom taught me about coupons during our shopping trips at the grocery store. She instilled in me that whatever I end up saving on a purchase, I can either use that difference on another purchase or put back the amount I saved into my bank account.
Even though shopping has shifted to online more and more, my coupon and money-saving habits have not changed. I still look for discounts and coupon codes whenever I shop online.
Speaking of, did you know that Karma also helps you find the best coupon codes? Do you know what’s even better? It’s automatically done for you! Now, you can feel even better spending money because you know you’re getting a fantastic deal.
If you want to be a master at shopping, intentionally use Karma to help you plan and shop more mindfully. For me, I also use Karma to curb my spending habits. It’s like my Pinterest method where I pin items to a secret board and keep them there for a while. Most of the time, when I revisit months later, I realized I no longer want/need some of the items I’ve pinned!
I must admit, I used Karma a ton last year (check out purchases I’ve made with Karma in the widget below!).
And considering 2020 was a difficult year, I had peace of mind because I saved a ton of money.
I truly hope you enjoyed this article and that you add Karma to your shopping strategy if you already don’t use it. And I hope you’ve found my tips to be helpful when planning to shop for gifts for your loved ones (and yourself) now and in the future!
Oh and if you’re a geek like me, here’s a great article on the history and psychology of gift-giving!
Have you ever used technology like Karma to shop for gifts?
If not, what do you like best about what you’ve heard about Karma?
DISCLOSURE: A huge thank you to Karma for sponsoring this article! All thoughts and opinions are my own. As always, thank you for supporting my sponsors!