NEW YORK (WABC) -- The holiday season is officially underway and 7 On Your Side has the tips to save money, get discount deals on hot gifts and avoid scams.
Despite rising inflation, Americans are not getting Grinched out of celebrating in 2022.
In fact, the National Retail Federation estimates families will spend an average of $832 -- most of it during the five-day shopping marathon between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Check out the topics we're covering to help save you money:
Instead of a sprint to snag sales on Black Friday, holiday shopping is now more of an entire season.
Experts warn not to wait for Christmas to make your holiday purchases, because by then the products will be sold out and not discounted at all.
If you are paying full price, especially during the holidays, you haven't done your research -- but we have a special guest who has done the work for you.
Ignacia Fulcher, senior editor at Wirecutter, and her team drilled down on tens of thousands of deals to find the very best ones.
TIPS TO SAVE
Before you shop, go to your favorite stores or brands on social media and hit the like or follow button. Usually within a few hours you will get a little gift in your inbox in the form of a coupon or promo code.
7 On Your Side has more tricks to uncover some saving secrets.
SPOTTING SWINDLES AND SCAMS
Gift cards have been the most popular holiday gift for 16 years running, but con artists also love them.
The FTC says last year $233 million was lost in gift card scams alone, but that's just a drop in the bucket when you consider $6.9 billion was stolen in cyber scams.
Thieves are getting savvier every second, but we have tips on how to stay ahead of the hackers.
Small Business Saturday is a day when shoppers are encouraged to shop locally at mom and pop shops.
And is has worked -- American Express projects sales for Small Business Saturday to hit a record $23.3 billion, with more consumers shopping on Saturday than Black Friday.
We'll highlight some small businesses where the special day is much appreciated.
After Turkey Day, Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday comes Giving Tuesday.
What better place to give this holiday season than to a reputable nonprofit? If you are in a position to be generous, think first about donating locally where your dollars can improve the lives of children and families in your area.
But before you donate, check out Charity Navigator as a resource to check ratings. And you don't have to donate money, you can also volunteer your time.
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