holiday shopping

10 Tips To Save Over The Holidays

1:25 pm

by Jennifer Freeman

stocking and money

Tips To Save Over The Holidays

Here are 10 tips to help you save this year and in years to come!  The holidays are expensive, it is a fact!  But there is hope to curb holiday spending and still enjoy them.

The KEY to savings is to do something, anything —
Start on the road to saving somewhere, somehow!
You won’t be sorry, and besides you can always go back to spending more if you want! 

 

Holiday Saving Tips 1 and 2

Holiday Saving Tip #1 – Make A Spending Plan

Decide how much money you want to spend over the holidays.  It seems simple but put action to your spending plan by using prepaid credit cards.  Once you have determined how much money you plan to spend, get the cash and head to the store to load prepaid credit cards. Most stores, including grocery and pharmacies, have national credit cards (Visa, American Express and Master Card) that can be loaded with cash.

Prepaid credit cards are accepted and used like any other credit card. They cost a few dollars to load, but with your budget set and your prepaid credit card loaded unplanned spending will be limited and impulse buying lessened.

You could use the loaded credit card as a gift, wouldn’t a teenager love that?  If family plan to send money to kids for Christmas, no problem — load that cash to the prepaid cards too!

 

Holiday Saving Tip #2 – Use Gift Registries

To save time, money and hassle use a gift registry for your Christmas list.  No family member is guessing at what the kids want.  Have everyone in your household (mom, dad and kids) build a gift registry for the items they really want and create a Christmas Gift Registry in their name.  Most stores offer gift registries that are easily accessed and created online. Share the registry with each other, including out of state family.  Encourage your entire family to create a gift registry! But no peeking back at the registry after it’s created to see what has been purchased.

Have a variety of price points, size and item types.  Do the kids want a really cool pair of shoes? Do you want a certain kitchen gadget?  Balance your list with items wanted and needed.  Don’t forget the practical!  Adding items of need now means not having to buy them in the future; saving on your family budget.

When sharing the registry it helps prevent being stumped on what to buy each other and may alleviate receiving gifts you really do not want or need. Also, this will make sending the gifts nice and hassle free, too.  When ordering online, most companies will gift wrap and ship for you (many times for free!)— This saves you time, hassle and money: no gift wrapping, boxing, carrying, standing in line, extra luggage fees, etc.

Holiday savings tips #3 and #4,  coming soon
or for those who can’t wait (3&4) (5&6) (7&8) (9&10)

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stocking and money

Tips To Save Over The Holidays

This is the final installment on our “ways to save over the holidays”.  The holidays are expensive but if you implement something to save you some money you may feel extra satisfied at the end of the month!

I would bet some of my ideas sparked many ideas in your mind of ways you can save!  If you dare to share in the comments below, it would encourage others to know your holiday savings plans!

 

Holiday Saving Tips

Holiday Saving Tip #1 and #2
Holiday Saving Tips #3 and #4
Holiday Saving Tips #5 and #6
Holiday savings tips #7 and #8

Holiday Savings Tip #9 – Be Creative

It’s a cliche’ but it is the thought that counts!

Don’t overlook the value of intangibles. Sometimes finding the right gift at the right price can be near impossible. Do you want to give someone a gift but don’t have the money? Want to help a friend who has a lot on their plate? Offer to baby-sit or take their kids to the park, walk the dog, help organize the garage, or take her to lunch for a break. How about taking an elderly relative for a nice outing or helping them with some minor home repairs. The cost is next to nothing, but the gift is priceless.

Consider an inexpensive, but fun homemade gift. I love Gifts-In-A-Jar, see my Spiced Hot Chocolate in a Jar.   It’s simple: Find a glass jar with a lid (from the dollar store), print off or write a recipe card, layer the dry ingredients in the jar, cover the lid with a piece of square cut fabric and tie the recipe card to the lid.  See 100 Easy Recipes In Jars

 

Holiday Savings Tip #10 – Have A Catch-Up Year

If at the end of this holiday season you find yourself drowning in debt, received gifts you would rather not have, tired from a busy airport and crazy flight delay I have two solutions for next year. Either change the date of Christmas in your household for one year or have a “catch-up” Christmas next year.

Change The Date Of Christmas:  pick a date in early January and do all your family present exchanges and celebrating on that date. The airline flights won’t be overbooked, the gifts will be purchased at after Christmas prices and you will have the whole month of December to plan and prepare! You could make it really fun with the anticipation and lack of stress.

“Catch-Up- Christmas” simply means, next year make a pact with those around you to consider not spending for one Christmas. One non-spending Christmas will ensure your budget catches up. There are still a lot of things you can do to celebrate Christmas without spending money. Exchange gifts only from things you currently have, make a nice meal without it being expensive, make homemade gifts from recycled and inexpensive items.

Make an effort to simply enjoy each others company next year and save your money.

Dare To Share? 

How are you going to save over the holidays? 

Leave a comment below!!

Your words encourage others!

 

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stocking and money

Tips To Save Over The Holidays

The holidays are expensive, it’s  just a fact!  But there is hope to curb holiday spending and still enjoy them.  I have 10 tips to help you save this year and in years to come!

Holiday Saving Tips

Holiday Saving Tip #1 and #2
Holiday Saving Tips #3 and #4
Holiday Saving Tips #5 and #6
Holiday savings tips #7 and #8 below
~tips 9 and 10 coming tomorrow!

Holiday Savings Tip #7 – Strategic Shopping

Shop prices not sales and make big purchases last –it’s a mental thing.  Once a big priced item is bought, it softens you to spending. Here’s why: Once you shell out for something costly, your brain loses perspective on what’s a good price.  After you buy the $250 item, purchasing a $30 or $40 item fazes you less. Great sales will continue through the shopping season.

Shop your price point. Start by doing a bit of research about item prices on your holiday list and armed with this information, when you see that price –head to the store or internet, buy it and don’t look back.

Avoid multiple trips to the store or you’ll spend more than planned. Go in the store armed with coupons (search online for coupon codes or printable discounts) and avoid impulse buying by purchase only the items planned.

 

Holiday Savings Tip #8 – Buy In Advance

Watch for sales on products you need through the year. This time of year so many things are on sale and they are not necessarily just for the holidays: chocolate chips, sugars, flour, canned broth or soups, cracker varieties and nuts.  I have a monthly seasonal sales list to help you.

Purchase extra staple groceries with a long shelf life now. Watch for discounts on paper napkins, mailing supplies, boxes, tape, envelopes, batteries and pet items too. Consider upcoming events, birthdays, weddings, baby showers, or other coming holidays and events.

When purchasing gifts or decorations now for upcoming occasions it saves you money, time and the frustration of finding them later.

  • Buy timeless gifts. For kids look for traditional toys: building blocks, games, play kitchen items, coloring books or puzzles.
  • Weddings or bridal showers: picture frames, serving dishes, crystal, kitchen appliances or gadgets, or linens. For adults: tools, electronics, perfume, jewelry or jewelry boxes.
  • Future holidays: Buy red for Valentine’s Day, buy green for St. Patrick’s Day, buy tissue paper, candles and plain gift bags for upcoming celebrations or office parties.

By applying the saving strategy of purchasing now for the future will help your pocketbook all year long.

Search the Tip Resource Coupon Database for extra coupon savings on these items.  Print holiday coupons and watch for sales or upcoming clearance items!

 

The KEY to savings is to do something, anything –
Start on the road to saving somewhere, somehow! You won’t be sorry.
Besides you can always go back to spending more if you want!

 

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Tips To Save Over The Holidays – 5 & 6

12:00 pm

by Jennifer Freeman

stocking and money

Tips To Save Over The Holidays

There are ways to easily curb your budge over the holiday season and I have shared some of my favorite holiday saving tips over the last few days.  They are practical and ones you can easily do without feeling like the Grinch!  See the Holiday Saving Tips 1 & 2, and  3 & 4, today comes 5 & 6.   Try to implement a few of the tips, or even ONE, but do something to find some holiday savings.

The KEY to savings is to do something, anything –
Start on the road to saving somewhere, somehow! You won’t be sorry.
Besides you can always go back to spending more if you want!

Holiday Saving Tip #5 Know what and when to spend.

Pick a deadline, use cash (or pre-paid card) and shop alone.

Choose a date when your Christmas spending is over and stick to that deadline. Deals and sales will continue up until Christmas. When you hit the store for a hot deal, most likely you’ll buy more than just the deal!  That’s what the stores are banking on.

Use cash (or prepaid card) for all holiday purchases, get $50’s and $100’s, and keep your holiday money for shopping separate. You will be less likely to break the big bills on unnecessary purchases.

Go it alone — get in and out of the store quickly.  Having a friend with you slows you down and seeing all the things they are buying will tempt you to purchase more than planned.  Just meet your friend for coffee or lunch, but don’t shop together!

These 3 specific tips will help eliminate the aimless spending that we have all done.

 

Holiday Saving Tip #6 –Guarantee Your Price

Arm yourself with your receipts and ads.  Many retailers offer price match guarantees; some for the season only and others are year around. Ask the store if they offer a price match or sale guarantee or check online.  Some of the programs offered by the retailers include price matching if an ad from online or print ad is presented.  Or a purchase guarantee if a price is lowered in a given time period a refund may be offered.

Keeping your receipts organized is easy.  Simply use an envelope for all Christmas receipts or use technology.  There are apps for phones and computers that will scan your receipt and keep it filed.  Just a little bit of added effort will keep more money in your wallet.

 


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Tips To Save Over The Holidays – 3 & 4

12:01 pm

by Jennifer Freeman

stocking and money

Tips To Save Over The Holidays

The holidays are expensive, it’s  just a fact!  Yesterday I shared my Holiday Savings Tips #1 and #2  because there are ways to save during the Christmas season.   Try to implement a few of the tips to have some holiday savings.

Holiday Saving Tips #3 and #4
~tips #5 and  #6 coming tomorrow!

Holiday Savings Tip #3 – Cash In Rewards.

Have you forgotten about the reward programs offered by your credit cards or banks? Check your membership reward point balances and see what items you can cash them in for that would make great Christmas gifts. You may be pleasantly surprised. Many offer subscriptions, Wines Of The Month, gift cards, jewelry, even phone or computer accessories. When you are cashing in your rewards keep in mind you earned these and they are valuable. Christmas isn’t about spending money; it is about giving a gift a person will enjoy. Look for meaning.  Finding the perfect gift, no matter where it comes from, is most important.  So cash in your rewards!

 

Holiday Savings Tip #4 – Run Away From the Store

Retailers are wise. Avoid all the creative ways they use to help you spend more of your hard earned money by playing holiday music getting you in a spending mood and strategically placing deals and sales in the store. Retail stores are designed to keep you there longer because the more items you walk past the more likely you are to buy. Ever wonder why milk and eggs are located in the back corner of the store, furthest away from the entrance?

Instead of scouring ransacked shelves at the store, head to their website instead.  Many deals online are better than the store and comparison shopping is at your fingertips. As a bonus, you just may land free gift wrapping & shipping.  Search for discount coupon codes available online too.  Some items may only be available in the store, but head to the retail store after your online purchasing is done.  Use Cash Back programs like Shopmium or Ebates.

 

The KEY to savings is to do something, anything –
Start on the road to saving somewhere, somehow! You won’t be sorry.
Besides you can always go back to spending more if you want! 

 

Holiday Saving Tip #1 and #2
Holiday Saving Tips #3 and #4
Watch for Holiday savings tips #5 and #6 tomorrow

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mitten gift tags

Gift Closet Stash

Start shopping for upcoming occasions WAY in advance.  Buy gifts whenever you find a good sale. This will prevent you from paying full price at the last minute and will also make sticking to a budget easier.

Sit down (right now) and make a note of the next 12 months of birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, baby showers or weddings. Look for great deals now and through the holiday season sales and see if you can squeeze into your budget a few advance gift purchases.  Not only will you be prepared, but you will save a bundle of money over time.

Stash these gifts if a bin under the bed or in a closet.  Store them away for the next kids birthday party, baby shower, wedding or event you are heading too!

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