“Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.” – Dave Barry, humor columnist
It’s official, the holiday shopping season has arrived. Did I just hear a chorus of groans? Don’t blame the messenger! I’m just stating a fact.
How do I know this to be true? In the past week my inbox has been filled with holiday sale ads and today alone I had two “Black Friday” preview sale flyers. In addition to the typically amazing electronic specials and “doorbusters” I noticed something else: retailers are opening earlier than ever before. You can have your turkey and then head to Wal-Mart because, for the first time, they will be open Thanksgiving night. Whether this news excites you are makes you want to stay in bed until January 1st, the National Consumer Council says that 40% of all retail sales happen in November and December. What an incredible number. Personally, I really look forward to the Holidays but in all reality, it can often be a very stressful time for many of us. Fighting the crowds and making sure not to overspend can be quite trying. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips to make this holiday shopping season easier, both on you and on your wallet.
The following is a from a post by Kyle James, who owns and operates a website called Rather-Be-Shopping.com which lists and organizes online coupon codes for over 700 stores, organized in 25 shopping categories.
~ Real Black Friday Opportunities – People get crazy when Black Friday deals come out. The problem is most stores have a very limited number of these incredible deals, and unless you want to stand in line all night long, you’re not going to be able to take advantage. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of Black Friday, especially when it comes to clothing. For the most part, consumers go ga-ga over the electronic deals, not the clothing deals. Try it this year, I think you will be blown away with the deals, and the stores won’t be nearly as crazy.
~ Check eBay.com – Perhaps my favorite holiday shopping tip is to check eBay.com the weekend of Black Friday. You will be amazed how many people buy stuff really cheap on Black Friday, only to turn around and try and make a quick profit by selling it on eBay. The best part is you get to sleep in on Black Friday, then check eBay later that weekend. It has been my experience that you will only pay a fraction more than if you had stood in line at 4am.
~ Go Social This Year – This year, more than ever, retailers will be using their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds to inform consumers of upcoming sales and coupons. So before you do any holiday shopping this year be sure to log-on to social networking sites and find the best deal possible. JCPenney.com actually announced that they will have exclusive Facebook Christmas coupons available this year. Make sure you don’t pay full price on anything.
Thanks Kyle! Be sure to check out his website for more great tips!
If you are looking for ways to save that are closer to home be sure to check out our upcoming workshop Great Holiday Wines on A Budget. Local wine enthusiast, Suzanne VanderFeen, will guide you through tasting and comparing seven great wines for a total cost of less than $80!
If you are wondering what to do with all the corks and bottles left over from you Holiday gatherings check out our Trash to Treasure workshop. Spend your Saturday with us and learn to make a variety of crafts from left-over corks and wine bottles. From simple coasters to more advanced home décor, we have something for every wine enthusiast.
Would you rather wow your guests with cake than wine? We have a workshop for that as well! Katie Goodpasture, owner of Fancy That Cake, will show you the right way to decorate, step by step, so that you experience the excitement of successfully decorating your first cake. You will learn to work with both frosting and fondant as you create a Christmas candle cake. Save money, have your cake and eat it too!
What early holiday shopping/giving strategies do you use to save time and money? I would love to hear and share any money saving tips, gift giving ideas or up-cycling strategies you may have!