Save on holiday shopping with local expert's tricks

Posted at 9:26 PM, Dec 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-15 23:24:19-05

We're just ten days away from Christmas, so if you're not done shopping yet, it's crunch time.

TODAY'S TMJ4 knows it's hard to look for deals when you're under the wire. We went to a local expert to find her tricks.

Ann Heinzel from My Milwaukee Mommy said she spends four or five hours a day during the holiday season to bring readers the best deals.

"I surf a lot of websites," she said.

But, knowing many people don't have time for that, she's sharing her tricks.

First, she suggests doing a Google search. She said it's something people forget when they know exactly what they're looking for.

"We just go to the website to go shopping," Heinzel said.

Heinzel warns not every deal online is legitimate. She said tries to find the best prices at retailers she knows.

She said as we get closer to Christmas, you may have to pay more for shipping online. That's when you need Trick #2.

"A lot of the big box retailers will match the prices. They're all competing right now," Heinzel said.

Retailers like Target and Best Buy will price match certain stores and even online stores like

"They're trying to meet and beat and have the best price out there for you," she said.

So instead of ordering online and hoping the package arrives on time, you can show the cheaper online price in a store that price matches and walk out with your item that day.

If you do go to the store, Trick #3 could save you money there.

Heinzel uses apps to pile on discounts and rewards.

  • Target's Cartwheel App allows you to add discounts to purchases- even price matched items.
  • Walmart's Savings Catcher will give you a gift card with the difference between the price you paid in their store and a competitor's price.
  • Ibotta gives you cash back on purchases at certain stores.
  • Shopkick gives you points for going into stores. You can redeem those for gift cards.

She also said Kohl's Cash has the same effect.

"You're getting a gift for somebody else, but you're also getting a gift for yourself in the end," Heinzel said.

Her final word of advice is to act fast if you see a good deal close to the holidays.

Dec. 15 is considered "Free Shipping" day by many stores. If you miss that day, Heinzel recommends Amazon Prime, which offers free two-day shipping to members. You can get a free trial of the service.

Heinzel said if a box is guaranteed to get to you in time but it doesn't, retailers will often give you a credit or discount on a future purchase.