Wednesday, December 1, 2010

You Missed Black Friday? Now What?

We here at Shopping Nanny know that the need for savings doesn’t stop once a holiday is over.  We have put together some of the best tips for you use for your after-Thanksgiving/pre-Christmas shopping and family activities.

  1.    The two weeks after Thanksgiving have some of the very best buys of the year for travel. So it might be a good idea to visit relatives early, and then be home for Christmas.  Maybe even a romantic weekend for mom and dad at a swanky local hotel

2.       Make sure to check the clearance racks when you're out shopping. All the stores and shoppers are focused on the promotional items, and you might find some forgotten gems on the clearance racks. 

3. Many museums and attractions have special hours and rates in December to lure in visitors. So check around to see what you can do that would be a fun activity for the whole family.

4.      If you enjoy some Thanksgiving favorites like turkey, cranberry sauce, or pumpkin, stock up on it during the after-thanksgiving and after-Christmas sales.

5.       If you can wait to buy Christmas decorations, DO IT! Christmas decorations are ALWAYS half-off after Christmas day.

6. Watch for special offers from your favorite stores.  If they didn't get you into the store for black Friday, they will likely keep trying.  At this time of year, some stores like to mail special offers or coupons to their customers.  Watch for those coupons and special offers, then use the best ones to get additional savings.  Also, don't forget that a lot of stores are offering "rewards" plans for your spending.  At the holidays, make sure you don't forget about using those reward dollars for extra savings.

7.  Take a close look at your traditions.  Think about all the holiday traditions your family enjoys. Then evaluate them on the joy and enjoyment they bring versus how much they cost you.  You might find that ice skating on the local pons is something your kids enjoy a LOT more than going out for lunch.

8. Have everyone participate in making at least one (or even more) hand-made gift or treat.  Not only will you have a lot of fun as a family, but something special almost always comes out of an activity like this.  Plus, it can help teach kids the real value of putting some personal effort into your family relationships.

9.  There are whole organizations devoted to the concept of "Pay it twice." If you make a frivolous unnecessary or unplanned purchase, you have to make a matching payment to a debt or to savings.  Not only does it cause you to think twice when spending, but it can help reduce your debt load faster.

10. Set up a budget for all your remaining holiday spending and stick to it.  Make sure you pick a budget number you can afford.  If you overspend now, you'll end up paying for it later when the bills come due.  If you simply MUST have a little extra, choose something you already have that can sell.  Having to go through the trouble to put some of your existing treasures up for sale online will really help you set priorities.

And remember, you can always show your budget some love and save money on holiday meals by using Shopping Nanny to combine your coupons with store specials at your favorite stores. Shopping Nanny also shows ALL the store specials, even those for non-food items. One of our members recently saved over $100 on a bicycle by checking Shopping Nanny before they bought!

Happy Savings!


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