Getting Ready for Holiday Shopping
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Getting Ready for Holiday Shopping

Posted on Tuesday, July 14th, 2009 at 12:49 pm
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If my husband saw me writing a post about holiday shopping, he might think that I was a little crazy. After all, it is the middle of July, we are wearing summer clothes, and everything is summer green not Christmas green.

“Stop!” you are probably thinking, “Just let me get through back to school.” But if you want to get the best deals, there are a few good reasons to start thinking ahead, right now.

1. If you get your list together now, you can compare the normal retail prices with sale prices that may be coming up when we get closer to the holiday season. How do you know if that ring marked at 50% off wasn’t actually marked up 60% first? Having a clear sense of what things cost will help you a great deal, even before you are ready to make any purchases.

2. You may spot some great hidden deals. Why spend an extra $1,000 on a HDTV, if you can buy one a few months before the holiday season and save that amount? As retailers gear up for the holiday, they may be anxious to get rid of current electronics and other products to make room for newer models and styles. The closeouts are starting.

3. Shopping for the best bargains online can take a little time if you want the lowest prices. This is because there are so many more stores to explore, and navigating them make take a little longer than just popping over to the mall. Of course, the convenience of shopping online plus the greater chance of getting a bargain outweighs the bit of extra work involved.

The best thing you can do right now is to create a list of the people you want to gift. Nail down some general gift ideas as well as a budget. You can book mark websites and then check FreeCoupons often for free shipping deals and money off coupon codes. When you spot a good deal on a gift, grab it! Starting now means that you will have more time to make sure you get that perfect gift at a perfect price.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.