06272017
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4 money-saving tricks to get the most out of your paycheck this holiday season

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Melea Johnson is the bargain shopper behind Freebies2Deals.com, which was voted the No. 1 deal site by Utah Valley Magazine readers.  (Photo courtesy Melea Johnson)

Melea Johnson is the bargain shopper behind Freebies2Deals.com, which was voted the No. 1 deal site by Utah Valley Magazine readers. (Photo courtesy Melea Johnson)

In an effort to save her family money, Melea Johnson fell into a full-time job blogging about deals. Five years later not only has Freebies2Deals.com been voted the No. 1 Local Deals Site by the readers of Utah Valley Magazine and UtahValley360.com, but Melea has also self-published a book, “Choose Your Own Money-Saving Adventure,” which reached No. 1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases.

Just in time for Christmas, Melea (formerly of Lehi) shares four deal-finding tips to get the most bang for the hard-earned buck this holiday season.

1. Know product pricing

Half the battle in finding a good deal is recognizing one when you see it. After five years of searching for deals, Melea knows a good deal before it hits her in the face.

“I take the guess work out of it for everybody,” Melea says. “I focus on only posting the best of the best on my site.”

2. Buy multiples

When you come across a killer deal, don’t buy one and be grateful you saved money that week. (This is especially true when grocery shopping.) Melea recommends buying multiples and putting extras in storage.

3. Get free samples

A lot of companies give out free samples online, especially in Facebook posts. On her website, Melea posts about the most legitimate giveaways she finds and suggests people take advantage of these freebies. Timely tip? Freebies are ideal stocking stuffers.

4. Take advantage of Amazon

Amazon is competitive in beating — or at least matching — prices. If you find a better price somewhere other than Amazon, you can email them to request a price match.

Amazon Lighting Deals are short, limited bargains scheduled every day on hot products.

“Every day you can see items at a dramatic discount for a limited time with a limited quantity,” Melea says. (Oh, and the deals get better the closer to the holidays you get.)

Also, Melea recommends getting the Amazon Prime 30-day trial during the holidays in order to get your shipping for free.

BONUS: Beat Black Friday!

If you want to stay out of stores and out of trouble this Black Friday, snag deals online before the bargains begin on Nov. 27. The deals in stores often go on sale online 2-3 days before Black Friday, so skip the chaos by ordering online, shipping it to your home or picking it up onsite — sans the wrestling match.

“You don’t even need to go into stores to get the best deals,” Melea says. “You can stay in and get the deals. Plus, a lot of time the deals are better online.”

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