Ok, if you read my piece on Buyer Bewares on Layaway have no fear. I don’t like to just point problems out without offering solutions.
1. A savings program! If this was earlier in the year I would recommend doing a Christmas Club savings program. (My bank: Fresno County Federal Credit Union has one. Tell the Jacqueline Cromwell sent you;) Since it is a little late in the year do an envelope! Just put aside a little every pay period (in addition to anything you have already saved) and that is your Christmas fund! That is it! No debt!
2. Make a detailed list of everyone you are buying for and anything you are planning on buying. If you don’t know what to get them that is fine. Make sure you have any sizes or likes, etc. And put a maximum dollar amount for each person. Even your kids and spouse!
3. Start browsing so you know a good price on your items when you see it!
4. If shopping online make sure to use Shopping portals like Ebates and use coupons!
5. Watch for free shipping deals. Shop at Target.com to get free shipping with $50 purchases. Amazon has free shipping with a $25 purchase. You can even get a trial month of Amazon Prime! That will give you free 2 day shipping.
6. Consider buying online and having them shipped directly to friends and family out of town. When I began doing that I saved $20 each on average! By the time I shopped, packaged up at home and then paid for shipping it got pricey and labor intensive.
7. Keep an eye out not only for Black Friday deals but those that come before and after. Many stores will be advertising their best price of the year at other times to motivate shoppers to come in at other times. Be aware of that and take advantage of it!
8. And lastly, always remember…. It is the thought that counts and not the money you spend that counts!!!!!