Holiday shopping by the numbers – and how to make them work for you

Use our expert tips to save more than the majority this holiday season. Credit: Colourbox
Use our expert tips to save more than the majority this holiday season.
Credit: Colourbox

If buying presents for everyone on your list has you stressing about your bank account, fear not, dear shopper. Metro has some sneaky insider shopping tips that will help you save money without looking like a grinch. Take a look at the below statistics – all from 2012 – to get the stats on holiday shopping and how you can save while still checking off your list.

$750: Amount the average American spent on holiday presents and decorations last year. (National Retail Federation)
Insider tip: According to productivity consultant Brad Hines, the best way to save on buying gifts is to comparison shop. “Look for discounts online by Googling the item you want to buy and the word ‘coupon,’” he tells Metro.

60 percent: Percent of people who wanted a gift card for the holidays last year, beating out clothes, jewelry and even electronics. (National Retail Federation)
Insider tip: Shopping expert and founder Michelle Madhok knows a legit way to score gift cards at a discounted rate: “Check out,” she tells Metro. You can also sell gift cards you were given but don’t want. Genius.

$421.62: The average amount a person spent on gifts for their family members last year, with an additional $75.13 for friends. (National Retail Federation)
Insider tip: “Set a limit on gifts family members will give each other,” Hines advises. He also suggests signing up for daily deal sites like Living Social and Groupon in cities where your family members live. That way, you can give experience-based gifts or restaurant gift cards at a discounted rate.

4 out of 5: Shoppers who research what they want to buy on the Internet. (
Insider tip: Of course people use the Internet to browse. But most might not know the best way to do their research. “Go to and set up alerts for items you want, so you know if and when the price drops,” Madhok advises.

Dec. 23: The busiest shopping day of the year for Wal-mart, Macy’s and Kohl’s. (
Insider tip: This one is pretty obvious: If you want to shop at one of the aforementioned stores, go before Dec. 22. Any later and you risk the items you want being out of stock.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence


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