You think boxing day shopping is easy? Boxing day shopping is the hardest thing there is. Before childbirth. And grad school. And maybe driving cross-town in rush hour traffic.

Okay, okay, it may not be the most difficult thing in the world, but it’s PRETTY hard.

Finding something you like and then finding the best possible price and then not waking up to credit card debt in January is the mark of a warrior.

It takes guts, determination and a pile of protein bars.

Before you even start shopping on boxing day you need to make sure the deals are worth it:

Don’t assume Boxing Day has the best price

Don’t fall for Boxing Day . It’s merely the s opening act of the sale season. As January goes on, deeper discounts often reveal themselves, so you may want to wait to do the bulk of your shopping then.

But you can still get a great deal on Boxing Day if it’s a door crasher, a heritage brand like Crane stationary that rarely goes on sale or if you don’t want to take the chance that the item will be sold out later.

Don’t fall for false sales

Retailers know that a sale sign to shoppers is like honey to bees. To capitalize on the psychology of the sale, they’ve begun several borderline-dishonest practices.

The most common one is having a constant stream of sales. If there’s always a sale, then the sale price is the actual price and the sticker price is fake.

At that point, it becomes a matter of finding the best sale. You think you’re getting a deal for buying one and getting the second half off, but just last week you could have gotten 30% off the whole store! Large American retailers like Ann Taylor and Bath and Body Works seem to be especially guilty of this.

Another popular tactic is writing a price on the tag that the retailer never intended to sell the item for, and then putting a “sale” price on it — which is actually the real price they intend to sell it at! You think you’re getting a deal but you’re really paying full price. A class-action law suit was recently launched by Californian shoppers against Kate Spade for such “illusory discounts.”

To avoid this trap, it’s essential you get to know the store well. If, during your research phase, (YES YOU NEED A SHOPPING RESEARCH PHASE) there seems to be a different promotion every week, it’s highly likely the store is engaging in false discounting. En garde.

Have a spending limit

You need a rough idea of how much you’re willing to spend, and you should bring that amount in cash.   Leaving your credit/debit cards at home will  force yourself to stick to this limit and to prioritize what you really and truly want/need. Otherwise you may find yourself buying stuff just because it’s on sale.

YES folks. Boxing-day shopping IS that intensive.

Want even MORE  more tips for holiday spending? Check out our FREE COURSE. You’ll get a customizable and printable planning tool that helps you make your list, plan ahead and stick to your budget!

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