Thursday, December 8, 2011

How to Play for Less Part IV: Christmas!

Woah, have a I dropped the ball on this series or what?  Catching up? Check out Part I, Part II, and Part III.  Moving on.
Now that we've established that it is, indeed the holiday season (it snowed yesterday!  Slightly...) bring out the wrapping paper!  The bows! The ribbon!  Oops.  I mean, let's shop first.
Now, I realize I'm a bit late with this....some people got their shopping done on Black Friday, but I do know that most of us still have a bit to do.  And I don't know about you, but they sure don't pay me any more in December than any other month.  So, with that, I try to make the rest of my shopping somewhat pleasant :-)  Here goes:

1.  Never ever pay full price.  Especially when shopping online.  A simple google of "store/site coupon codes" will usually net you at least free shipping.  Bingo.  At least 7 bucks saved.

2.  Subscribe to  a money saving site like the "Krazy Koupon Lady".  I get an email every day with the local deals around town and on the Internet.  I got the hubster a gift for 75% off this way.....sweet.  No I can't tell you what it is now....he pretends to read the blog!

3.  Have a chat with your friends and family.  Set a price limit on gifts.  Do a cookie exchange.  Buy each other a cup of coffee.  Basically, live within your means during the holiday.  Sure, everyone loves a $100 gift card to fill in the blank or the latest Ipod, but your runner friend will also love a warm pair of running gloves or a commitment to run a 5k together and you buy breakfast afterwards.  It really is about the thought!  Same thing with family.  I set a 5-10 dollar limit on extended family and pick up a small, thoughtful gift (hopefully :-)) that they can enjoy.  Keeping the sentiment, not breaking the bank.
4.  Subscribe to your favorite stores via email, twitter or facebook.  Target just ran a special on facebook giving you back $10 for spending $50.  Same thing with The Christmas Tree Store.  #winning.
5.  Don't shop for yourself.  Or at least try not to!  I broke that one this year, but half of the treadmill was for the hubster, so I call technicality on that one :-)  Remember, your Aunt Edna who has always given you $20 will probably do so again this year.  And after Christmas sales rock too :-D
6. within your means.  Sounds stupid and simple, but so true.  Don't go into debt to make a "picture perfect" Christmas.  Even though gifts are fun (and whoever says different is blowing smoke) that's not what the holidays are about.  If your limit is $10, keep to it.  If it's a card and some cookies, that means just as much.  Last year my favorite gift cost $10....even though I got a few really nice things!  Again, it's not all about money :-) It's about this:
Being together.  Oh, and reindeer ears.  Clearly.  Happy Holidays!

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