It's a lot more than you'd think.
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
But while that holiday cheer might be priceless, it comes at a steep cost. According to Deloitte's annual holiday survey, the average American household spends an extra $1,496 on the holiday season. Most of the people surveyed (78 percent) even said they planned to spend at least—if not more—than what they spent the year before, so that number could jump even higher.
Here's exactly where all that money is going (hint: it's not just gifts) and our e-commerce editor's top tips for cutting down the cost of your holiday shopping this year.
Interestingly enough, the category with the biggest spending isn't presents—it's experiences and celebrations. People spend an average of $596 on everything from parties to travel to dining out during the holiday season. The second biggest cost is gifts, with Americans planning to spend about $511 on buying presents (including gift cards). And the final $396 is put towards "non-gift purchases," which include seasonal/home decor or any miscellaneous holiday-related buys.
Good news: You can spend less without buying less if you know how to shop smarter. And it all starts with your inbox, according to our e-commerce editor, Courtney Campbell. "Sign up for newsletter for places you’re planning to buy gifts," she says. "That’s honestly how I find out about sales most of the time."
If you're doing any online shopping, there are also plenty of websites and extensions that will help you compare prices across retailers and find the best deals. Courtney's favorites for shopping on Amazon are Keepa and CamelCamelCamel, both of which track Amazon prices on the products of your choosing and alert you when they drop. For Google Chrome users, she also recommends Honey, an extension that automatically finds and applies coupon codes when you go to check out.
Keep in mind that higher price doesn't always mean higher quality either. "Don’t just buy something that seems nicer solely because of a high price tag," Courtney cautions, adding, "Some products—like the best essential oil diffuser—can be less expensive and actually perform better." A.k.a do your research before you start shopping. Read reviews (we know a good site that can help with that, wink wink) or ask friends and family for recommendations to determine whether the most expensive product is really the best.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Sign up for our newsletter to get real advice from real experts.