“I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying ‘toys not included.’” Bernard Manning
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Back in September I posted about getting ready for the Christmas shopping season. It’s now November and soon as you know it Black Friday will be here! I’ve already got Hubs and Sonny working on their Christmas lists and I’m making mine. I’m also figuring out who I need to shop for and how much I’m going to spend. If you haven’t yet started this process, now is the time!!
Make your List
There are a lot of printables available online (Pinterest is a GREAT resource!) to help with making your list. I will typically put mine together on a spreadsheet-it’s the accountant in me and I can’t help it! 🙂 List out all your recipients and how much you have budgeted for each person. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a list with some gift ideas. Sonny insists on writing a list and getting a list from Hubs and me. It makes the gift buying process MUCH easier. Don’t forget pets and your hair stylist, letter carrier, and any other professional who provides a service and deserves a “thank you”.
Check the Sales
If you don’t yet subscribe to Gotta Deal’s Black Friday notifications, now is the time to sign up! I don’t know how they do it but somehow they manage to get their hands on advance copies of the Black Friday sale flyers for dozens of retailers including Amazon, Target and Wal Mart. The early notice makes shopping on a budget SO much easier!
I’m not much for going to the mall like I was when I was younger-the crowds make me crazy! Many retailers will start their Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving Day if you shop online. If for some reason you can’t shop on Black Friday, don’t fret! Retailers are constantly adding sales and some of the sales offered after Black Friday get better the closer to Christmas you get. Watch your Sunday paper or your Flipp app! (Sign up for Flipp if you haven’t already!)
The retailers will be pounding the “treat yourself” message over and over in their advertising. It’s hard, but if you want to stay on budget you MUST resist the temptation to shop for yourself while you’re completing your shopping list. If you find something you’d like to have, add it to your own list and let someone gift it to you. Win/win!
If you want to shop after Christmas to cash in on the marked down merchandise, be sure to budget for that! Christmas decor is heavily discounted starting December 26 and you can save a ton by waiting. I can remember one year my Mom & Dad sent a Target gift card for my Christmas gift. I saved it for after Christmas shopping and purchased my Christmas dishes. I got 8 place settings of Christopher Radko Christmas dinnerware for the same price I would have paid for 4 on December 24. Score!
Whew! Here’s how I plot my Christmas shopping and, more importantly, SAVING strategy. I’m sure you have some favorite money saving tips, as well. Please share in the comments.
Be well and God Bless-until we meet again…