Cut your holiday expenses

Published: Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 11:58 AM.

* Other expenses (decorations, etc.)

Some people relish hunting for bargains; others loathe it. Either way, here are a few money-saving tips:

* Clip newspaper and online coupons. Stores often match competitors' prices even if their own items aren't on sale. Plus, many consolidation websites post downloadable coupons and sale codes for online retailers.

* Mobile shopping apps let in-store smartphone and tablet users scan product barcodes and make on-the-spot price comparisons, read reviews, download coupons, buy products and more.

* If you're traveling for the holidays, note that many airlines charge $25 or more for each checked bag. Many stores and websites ship gifts for free, saving you hassle at the airport.

* Carefully read purchase-return policies for deadlines, exclusions (e.g., for sale or clearance items) and restocking charges.

* Keep receipts. Many retailers will refund the price difference if an item goes on sale within a few weeks after purchase.

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