Saturday, April 30, 2011

How to Save Money During the Holidays

Let’s face it, no matter how much you love the holidays it can be the stressful time of the year, and by the time the end of December 
rolls around, you are probably ready to pull out your hair in frustration. From the crowded stores, to the sold out items, to the parties, to the preparation, it can be hard to keep up, and with all of that stress the last thing you want to be worried about is your bank account.
That’s why I have a few tips to help you to save a little of that hard earned cash during the holidays, and lessen the Christmas load.

Tip 1). Homemade gifts. I’m not talking about knitted sweaters, although that always is an option, time consuming as it would be. Instead, homemade gifts like cakes, cookies, or brownies are a great way to go for those extended friends, family, and coworkers you are bound to give something to. You can find a nice little box to put them in at any dollar store, and cook large batches the day before, so all you will have to do is pop them into some paper-lined containers and stick a bow on top. 

Tip 2). Wait until the last minute. This takes some careful maneuvering, and if you have something specific in mind, don’t wait, because it may be gone by the time you get to it. But if you aren’t sure what to pick up for a certain gift, feel free to wait until the last week leading up to Christmas. The prices are so much lower, and there are even items on clearance for ¼ of the original retail price in a bid to get rid of it before the new year.
If you have someone who you know you won’t be seeing under after the holidays, then wait even further and pick up a gift for them after the big day. The savings on after-Christmas items are incredible, which is why so many flock tot he stores to cash in those gift cards before the sales end.

Tip 3). Compare online. If you have ever popped a sale keyword into a search engine, you have probably found some incredible wholesale and discount sites that offer the brands you are looking for with huge cost cuts for several weeks leading up to Christmas. Using these resources to compare products can save you a bundle, not to mention a trip to the mall.
You can also find various sites that offer bulk discounts when you buy more then one item, with deals on everything from purses, to leather jackets, to BBQ accessories, so if you can find something various people will enjoy, you should aim to pick them all up at once, and maybe a little something for yourself as well. After all, the holidays are hard work. Don’t you deserve a little something special for the effort?
Using these tips you may be surprised about how much you have left in checking in the end, and that will give you plenty of money to spend in the New Year, a prospect we can all enjoy, especially in such a stagnant economy.
Happy Holidays!