Reveals Gift Giving as Number One Financial Stress for Canadians This Holiday Season

Smart Cookies joins team to offer Canadians advice on holiday financial relief

TORONTO, Nov. 7, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadians are making their lists, checking them twice … and then crossing out the names of loved ones to help cope with holiday financial stress. That's right - a recent survey by found that nearly 8 in 10 Canadian consumers (79 per cent) indicated that the cost of gift giving was a top stress during the holiday season. The number one way Canadians are coping? According to the survey, they are limiting the number of people on their gift-giving lists (34 per cent). Other stress triggers, such as buying food (8 per cent), hosting parties (8 per cent), travel expenses (7 per cent) and decorations (a measly 1 per cent) don't even come close.


This season, is teaming up with Smart Cookies, the daily guide to living a sweet life debt free, to help Canadians curb the stress while saving dough on all the jingle bells and whistles they need to purchase this season.

"With the vast majority of Canadians feeling the pressure to stick within their budgets this year, the time to start planning is now," said Angela Self, a co-founder of Smart Cookies. "People want deals on travel, gifts, holiday meals and decorations from the names they trust, and RetailMeNot is part of the holiday solution this festive season."

In addition to financial stress associated with gift giving, Canadians surveyed also commented on the other elements of the holiday season that increase their blood pressure:

  • Sticking within a budget: Trying not to overspend and blow the budget (71 per cent);
  • Navigating the crowds: Congestion at mall or department store parking lots (76 per cent);
  • Hurrying up and waiting: Long lines at in-store checkouts (77 per cent);
  • Buying the right stuff: The pressure to find the right gift (77 per cent).

Nearly half (46 per cent) of Canadians surveyed don't have a clue where to get the best deals on the hottest holiday gifts. Combined with the stress of holiday parties, travel and decorating, it can be tough to get everything and be everywhere without blowing the budget. Angela Self and Katie Dunsworth from Smart Cookies shared a few insider tips to kick-start the savings:

  • Shop online in advance: In addition to the great savings you will find online, you'll also save by selecting free or standard shipping as there will be plenty of time for your items to arrive. Aim to have all presents arrive by December 20, as this is the last Friday before Christmas this year so you won't sweat it!
  • Score big savings by booking basic travel: Chances are your holiday travel schedule will be packed and planned to the minute. If you know your travel dates, choose the trains, planes and automotive (rental) deals with the least flexibility. This can save hundreds of dollars over options with more flexibility and no cancellation fees.
  • Extend your holiday shopping budget with coupons: Gone are the days of hours spent clipping coupons - now using coupons online and through apps is easier than ever. There is no excuse to buy anything, whether it's in-store or online, without checking if there are savings to be had first. Who knows, the money you save using coupons, could be used to buy yourself a little something!
  • Set a time limit: Avoid overspending this holiday season by setting a strict time limit when you shop. Whether you're shopping at the mall or online, set an appointment for yourself 30 minutes or an hour after start. Whether it's a hair appointment or a coffee date with a friend, knowing you're on a strict time-limit while you shop will help you stay focused, stick to your list and keep on budget.

Luckily for the romantics out there, most Canadians still plan to spend a healthy amount on their significant other. Forty per cent of those surveyed indicated they would spend between $100 and $250, while over 20 per cent will spend more than $250.

The survey also reveals what Canadian women—and men—want this holiday season:

  • Tablets and tech toys top men's wish lists: Men want electronics (41 per cent), followed by clothing (27 per cent) and travel (19 per cent);
  • A trip to the North Pole perhaps?: Women have other priorities, with one in four selecting travel as their top choice, followed closely by clothing (24 per cent), electronics (18 per cent) and jewelry (16 per cent);
  • Men plan to put sparkle under the tree: Men are most likely to buy jewelry this holiday season for their significant other (30 per cent), followed by clothing (23 per cent);
  • Another Christmas sweater? Women are more likely to buy their significant other clothes (47 per cent), followed by electronics (30 per cent).

Canadians surveyed also indicated that they intend to shop locally this season, with 84 per cent planning to shop in-store in Canada and visit Canadian-based e-commerce sites (35 per cent). Only 13 per cent will use a U.S. based e-commerce site, and a mere 8 per cent will physically cross the border to try to snag a deal. regularly conducts consumer behaviour surveys to examine the buying habits of Canadians.

About ( is a new digital coupon site in Canada. Its mission is to help consumers save money and enjoy a hassle-free discount shopping experience with retailers serving Canada. promotes digital coupons from thousands of retailers who do business with Canadians. is operated by RetailMeNot, Inc. (NASDAQ: SALE), the world's largest digital coupon marketplace.

Twitter: @retailmenotca

About RetailMeNot, Inc.
RetailMeNot, Inc. ( operates the world's largest digital coupon marketplace. The company's websites enable consumers across the globe seeking to save money to find hundreds of thousands of digital coupons and offers from retailers and brands. RetailMeNot, Inc. experienced more than 500 million visits to its websites in the last 12 months. The RetailMeNot, Inc. portfolio of coupon and deal websites includes, the leading digital coupon site in the United States; in Canada;, the leading digital coupon site in the United Kingdom; in Germany;, a leading digital coupon site in the Netherlands; and, leading digital coupon sites in France;, a leading digital coupon site with cash back in France; and, a leading discount offer site in North America. RetailMeNot, Inc. went public in July 2013 and is listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol "SALE." Investors interested in learning more about the company can visit:

About the survey:
From October 23rd to October 24th 2013 an online survey was conducted among 1,519 randomly selected Canadian adult residents who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

For more information or to schedule an interview with a Smart Cookie for the holiday season, please contact:

Rachael Collier
Citizen Optimum
416 306 6641 office
416 995 1432 mobile

Christy Rabil
RetailMeNot, Inc.
512 777 2897 office
646 554 8873 mobile


For further information:


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