Will you be ready?!
I've had Christmas on my mind lately, and I can't wait to decorate! But I promise I won't do any decorating till AFTER Thanksgiving (that was the rule in my house growing up!).
This year I want to think ahead and give meaningful practical gifts. Yet gifts that don't break our budget! If you have any gift giving ideas, I'd love to hear from you!
I recently read an article that gave some great shopping tips:
- Shop after 6 p.m. the day BEFORE the big sale.
In other words, if the ad says the storewide holiday discounts kick off on a Wednesday, don't wait until Wednesday to rush to the store. "Usually the special discounts get put into the system after 6 p.m. the day before and you can beat the crowds," said Dan Butler, vice president of retail operations and merchandising with the National Retail Federation. However, not all large stores follow this practice. Therefore, it's really up to consumers to try their luck at whatever stores they're keen to shop during the sales blitz.
- Pause and investigate before you click "Buy."
This applies if you're doing your gift shopping on the Internet, said Edgar Dworsky, consumer advocate and editor of Consumer World. "This is a little trick to help save money," said Dworsky. Essentially how it works is when you get to the checkout on an etailer's Web site and you're prompted to enter a coupon or promotions code, this signals that there are extra discounts available on that product. Dworsky said he usually takes the product code and name of merchant and enters it at coupon sites like couponcabin.com or fatwallets.com. "You can get the discount coupon code for the product from these sites and now use that at checkout to get additional discounts or even free shipping in some cases," he said.
- Make money while you shop.
Said Dworsky, "Some Web sites like Ebates give customers two to five percent of their money back on purchases. Ebates gives customers exclusive offers and free shipping deals from more than 800 retail chains. Dworsky said sites such as Ebates get a commission every time a consumer clicks through to a featured retailer. "But they also share the money they make from the referral by refunding some of the cash back to consumers on their purchases," Dworsky said.