Friday, April 20, 2007

Shop Early - Save Big

OK... here is an important bargain shopping tip.

Don't grocery shop hungry and don't shop for presents in a hurry!

What I mean is this... don't shop for Christmas presents on December 24th. Don't shop for a birthday present on your way to the party. Don't try to find the perfect anniversary present on your way to meet your spouse at the restaurant. You will NOT find a bargain... you WILL spend more than you would if you weren't in such a time crunch.

I shop for Holiday presents all year long. I have a box (that becomes boxes) that is off limits to the rest of the family. Every time I find something that I think would make a great present, I buy it and stash it away in the present box. Most of the items in this box come from clearance shelves, yard sales, deep discount tables, thrift shops, etc. By the time the Holidays come around, I have almost all my shopping done. I then can go out and get some items that had to wait - like new shoes for growing feet.

I even have a box for presents for myself. (The rule is that I am not allowed to look at the presents in my own box. Then at the Holidays, I give my husband the box and have him wrap my presents! I always get what I want and I know it was a bargain.)

I also have a box where I keep presents that will be good for Birthday Party gifts. If I find a great craft kit that is age appropriate for my daughter's friends, I will buy several and put them in the Birthday Present box. Then, when I get 24 hours notice that, "Oh, mom, I forgot.... Sally invited me to her birthday party ... it's tomorrow." No worries... I just grab one of the kits from the present box, wrap and take to the party.

I must give credit to this idea from my mom, who always had a stash of wonderful "hostess presents" in the closet, just ready to take to the next party. She also had a freezer full of frozen cookies and fried chicken.. the women could feed a small army that just dropped in, out of the food in her freezer. But, that, is another story.

Hope this tip helps you save time and money.

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