My tips for saving a little cash during the holiday. While I might not be an expert, by any means, I do try to save a buck if I can.
1. Shop around. Find things you might want to buy for a person in an actual store, and then go online to see if you can find a better deal. Case in point – I found a book for $15 at the local book store, and then went to Amazon.com and found the same book for $10 (free shipping because my order was over $25)
2. If you go to the stores to shop, don’t settle on the first thing you find for someone. Keep looking for a similar item, if it’s appropriate. Of course, if you’re going to the store specifically for a Malibu Barbie, for instance, you can’t do this (and why would you, unless you went back in time to 1971? And if you were going back in time, you probably don’t have to worry about saving a buck because you’re rich for inventing time travel!). But if for instance you want to buy someone a mop, shop around the mop section to find the best deal.*
3. Get creative. If a kid likes, lets say Elmo for example, don’t go for the hot toy of the year, search around online and in stores for smaller Elmo-themed things that are less expensive. This way you can buy a few small things with Elmo on them and give the kid more toys, while saving money. For example, I went on Ebay and bought 5 “Elmo” things for around $9 total, including shipping. They were all small things, so I wrapped each one individually because kids love unwrapping things!
4. Don’t shy away from Black Friday/Cyber Monday. It’s too late for that this year, but next year give it a go if you haven’t. I generally advise not actually going out to the stores, that’s not safe for anyone! But stores online have great deals during that weekend that are hard to pass up. I bought many items 30%-50% off. I may have lost a chunk of my soul in the process, but hey, a bucks a buck right?
5. The top three sites I use to save money, during the holidays or any time of the year are amazon.com, half.com, and ebay.com. It’s not as easy as it used to be to find deals on Ebay, but it’s still good to check. Whichever site you use though, make sure to shop around a few of them. You may find something on Amazon for $10 while half.com has it for $5. Just be sure to take shipping into consideration.
6. Don’t stress out. Have fun with Christmas shopping. People get so worked up about how “materialistic” it makes people, but they forget that (religious aspects aside) Christmas is about giving gifts and celebrating friends and family. So Black Friday might be a completely insane tradition in our society, but it allowed me to get more things for my husband, and I’m truly glad to be able to give him so many things this Christmas morning. Ok that got really sappy and I hate sappy so I have to rectify that. Damn ye wenches get in thine kitchen and ponder over thine dinner…. I have no idea what that means, it’s just the first thing that came to mind…
*Don’t buy anyone a mop, unless they specifically ask for a mop. And in that case, just go ahead and don’t associate with that person, because anyone asking for a mop for Christmas is untrustworthy!