Shopping and Saving This Christmas

I’ve got this love hate thing going on with Christmas shopping. I love getting a good deal, but I don’t want to feel like I spent my whole season hunting for the lowest prices. But on the contrary, it’s against my nature to just buy what I need and disregard that it may go on sale, etc. So what’s a girl to do?

Balance, right?

If an item is a must have, don’t waste time getting it ordered and secured. But for all that other stuff, here’s what I am doing.

  1. Don’t disregard the flyers in the mail and newspaper. I don’t normally shop at JCPenney but they have a $10 off $10 coupon in their ad. Pssst. That means free! Go buy a pair of earrings for your coworker or some socks for your husbands stocking, but don’t waste free money! Are they banking on you buying more once you’re there? Probably. But stay strong, you can do it!
  2. Sign up for those annoying emails and cancel after Christmas. Dick’s, Barnes and Nobles and Ulta have been great resources. Same goes for downloading store apps like Target. They have deals only available through their app, which yesterday was 50% off all coats, gloves, etc. Well worth the space on my phone.
  3. Don’t underestimate a thrift store. I finally took all the bags of clothes we recently purged to our Hospice Thrift Store and took a spin around the store before I left. Let me back up by saying that my family invested in a Christmas village set this year and when I say invested, I do mean that even with my coupon shopping, it was a chunk of change. So here I am in the thrift store when what to my wondering eyes should appear? A ton of Christmas village pieces! Victorian homes, a gorgeous church, a cute tea house, and more, all for $6-$8. I resisted the urge to buy it all because I don’t have the room for it. But I did get a train to go with our village for just $3! Gosh I wish I had thought to check there first for decorations! Some people’s trash, is still trash. But these were finds for sure!
  4. A return policy goes a long way and is worth spending a little more so that you don’t have to sweat this. I recently bought from Amazon “Marketplace” unknowing that returns don’t work the same way that orders fulfilled by Amazon do. My bad, but I do feel like I got burned. And Old Navy? Hello Dark Ages. I returned something without a receipt and instead of getting a card with store credit, I had to wait two weeks to get a store credit check by mail. The admin costs for that are so wasteful and meant that I couldn’t spent that money the day I was in the store. Poopy customer service. I’ve had better luck at Wal-Mart if you can believe that.
  5. Go to the mall. If you’re like me, this does not sound like fun in the month of December. But I did this last week and was pleasantly surprised with how many stores had “in-store only” deals. This is especially nice for places like Victoria’s Secret that charges for shipping unless you spent a lot of $$. I was able to score 30% off one item at PINK and get 7 panties for $28. All to take home and not pay for shipping or wait a ridiculously long time to receive (still haven’t received my Black Friday order from them!).
  6. Check for coupons before you shop! Places like Kohl’s, Dick’s, Michaels and Bath and Body Works consistently offer coupons this time of year. If you aren’t getting the emails, at least check the web for the deals before you buy!
  7. Grab it now! Or don’t? Remember that prices are changing daily. There was a sweater at Abercrombie for $23 a few days ago…I couldn’t decide and today it’s $34. Boo. On the flip side, I bought a jacket for $60, which was $48 the following week. I have no magic algorithm for this, just save your receipts and keep your eye on the sales!
  8. Amazon does NOT have the lowest prices during Christmas. Yes, they are amazingly convenient, but I am noticing more and more that they are charging for this convenience at least in the toy arena. If you care about getting the best deal, at least check other stores before committing to buying on Amazon.

    That’s it for now, but I am headed out shopping so if I find any steals and deals, I’ll update this!


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