Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Frugal Finds for Christmas by Brenda Nixon

There are many frugal finds for Christmas if you take the time to look.
Online, you can go to a gazillion freebie websites; one of my faves is Also, "shop" online before going out to the brick and mortar stores. Often you'll find better bargains online because you're not spending gasoline or paying sales tax.

In neighborhood stores you can use coupons, scout out clearance items, and watch for manager sales. Car pool with friends to save gas.

I used to think driving to the store once a week was the best way to save on my budget. My rationale was, If I'm in the store only once, then I'm not tempted to buy unnecessary items, plus I save gas by staying home. While this practice may help some folks, I've since changed my ways. I frequent the stores several days weekly. Why? Because when I pop in, I might find a "just marked-down" item or a one-day only unadvertised sale. Of course, I always take along my coupons and hope that I have one to match the clearance item. And I do not buy just because it's a good deal -- there must be a need for or an eventual use for the item.

Most of the stores I frequent either offer double-coupon value or they match any competitor's ad. By simply showing a manager the advertised price of their competitor, I can get it at that location for the competitor's price -- and that saves me gas and time.

When stores mail me a $10 off coupon good toward any $10 or more purchase -- you guessed it. I can't wait to ferret out a $10 item and then by presenting the coupon, get it free! Recently, I received one of those coupons from a local retailer. "I'm going to see what I can get," I cheerfully announced to my husband.

"You'll end up spending more money. That's what they count on," he warned.

"No, it's like a challenge or a game to me. I bet I get something we need for free or at a garage sale price.

I slowly browsed around the store and found adorable garden ornaments reduced by 30%. Since I wanted a couple more cutsie garden decorations, I grabbed a $15-priced plaster blue bird. With the sale price plus my coupon, I paid only $ .50 and that's what I call a deal! Because of it's beauty and future use, I felt it was a reasonable purchase. Now, I could've put it back for a Christmas gift but, a bare spot in my garden needed it more.

Watch for end-of-season markdowns. Now is the time to buy your graduation cards, announcements, or deco for next year. In the fall, buy summer items on clearance. After Christmas, get the following season's wrapping paper, gifts, and cards.

With today's dwindling economy wise families must create ways to be frugal. It can be fun and challenging. Make a game of it; see who in your family can ferret out the best deal.

Wishing you and your family a bountiful Christmas!
Brenda Nixon,
Co-Author, A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts


Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Cathy Messecar said...

Jennifer, welcome to our blog. Thanks for your comment. Yes, between the six co-authors you will find varied ideas for this holiday season, and the neat things is we're always learning from each other.

I especially liked the week we posted about solar-powered gifts...I'm already looking for the suggestions for this year's gift list.