It’s time for all of that holiday shopping again. Have you already begun or are you a procrastinator and will be waiting until the last minute to get your shopping done? Sometimes all of the gifts we buy every year can get to be pretty expensive. But they don’t have to be. Here are a few ways that you can get your holiday shopping done without breaking the bank in the process.
I’ve found that some of the best Christmas shopping can be done AFTER Christmas. That’s right, the after Christmas sales are fabulous sales for finding many of the things that you will want to purchase for the next holiday season. Sure, sometimes we don’t know what to buy for a year from now but if you see something that you KNOW you will want to purchase, like gift baskets and bags, then go ahead and stock up on them during the after Christmas sales. I know last year my local Wal-Mart had so many left over gift baskets that I couldn’t help but want them. The really nice, expensive ones that were marked $30 or more, ended up selling for $10 or less. People had carts full of nothing but gift baskets. I also enjoy the after Christmas sales when it comes to shoppping for Christmas cards, wrapping paper, bows and anything else holiday related. Last year I stocked up on about 12 boxes of Christmas cards and about 12 rolls of wrapping paper. All for pennies.
Another great day to do your holiday shopping is on Black Friday. This is the day after Thanksgiving and the official start of the holiday shopping season. These sales are fantastic! But you will have to get up very early and be ready to fight the crowds as soon as the stores open. People will actually form lines outside big stores that are having great sales. There could be some pushing and shoving and grabbing. Make sure you have a sales paper and go straight to the products that you want most of all. That way you will be more likely to get the items you want rather than shopping around the stores while everyone else is grabbing what they want. The best tip I have heard, and used, for shopping on Black Friday is to go to the back of the stores as soon as you get into them. Most of the people will focus more on what’s right at the front of the store and it will be harder to get anything at the front than it would be further into the stores.
Speaking of sales. It’s always a good idea to purchase gifts throughout the year when you find things on sale. Amazon.com likes to have big sales all during the year. So if you see that there are board games on sale for Buy One, Get One Free with free shipping then jump on it as fast as you can. If you are out in town and you see a gift that would be great for you Aunt but it’s only August, get it! If you do this all through the year then you will be finished or very close to finished by the time the holidays roll around.
One of my favorite ways to shop for the holidays is on Ebay.com. Ebay is my all time favorite place to shop for any time of the year but especially for the holidays. You can find so many things on Ebay that may be on your holiday wishlist. All you have to do is look. For example, my oldest daughter has been asking me for an MP3 player for a few months now. I had decided that I would get her a cheap one since she’s only nine years old. I looked on Amazon and found one for $30. So last night I looked on Ebay and found one almost identical to the one on Amazon. I bid and won it for $1.25. After the shipping and insurance, I paid just pennies over $12 for a brand new MP3 player. That’s less than half of what I would have paid on Amazon. Don’t forget that you can also make some spending money by selling your unwanted items on Ebay. I sell all through the year and then turn around and use the money I make from there to buy other things that I want.
Another great way to shop cheaply is to use gift cards from the points and survey sites that I talked about in a previous article. This might not help you this year if you haven’t already become a member of these sites but it will definitely help in the years to come. I know one year I earned so many gift cards that I actually paid for ALL of my Christmas gifts with just gift cards. That was a great year!! All you have to do is be consistant with your participation and save up all of the gift certificates and checks that you will receive during the year and then use that money at the end of the year for all of your holiday gifts. For places, like Amazon, who have gift certificates that have expiration dates just go ahead and purchase gifts during the year and put them up for the holidays.
Lastly, the best way to shop for the holidays without breaking the bank is to use the money you make from Associated Content!! This is by far the best way to shop. I am almost finished with my Christmas shopping. I actually only have about four more gifts to purchase and then I’ll be finished. So far every gift that I have bought in the last few weeks has been paid for by the money I have earned here on Associated Content.
While these suggestions may not work for everyone, for one reason or other, I find them very useful. We are a one income family of five and I really have to watch our budget, so these tips help me continue to do the job that I love the most….Stay-At-Home-Mom!! Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping to all!!