December 28, 2007

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Find a Craft and Fabric Store

Filed under: Save Money,Shopping Tips — sandilarson @ 8:30 am

Even if you don’t sew or craft, the fabric and craft stores often have the highest discounts on Christmas merchandise by now.  They’ve been discounting Christmas merchandise for a month already.  I’ve found discounts as high as 90% off  ribbons, wraps, cards, decorations, and giftable items like Holiday papers for scrapbookers, and Christmas Craft books and kits.  You may not sew or craft, but I’ll bet some people on your list do.

December 27, 2007

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After Christmas Sales Strategies

Filed under: Debt Reduction,Organize,Save Money,Shopping Tips — sandilarson @ 9:01 am

            Watch all the sales for the next few days.  If a store has Christmas Cards, Wrap, or necessary decorations on sale for more than 50% off, consider purchasing next year’s supply now.  Don’t go if the sale price is just 50% off, the prices will get lower in a few days.

Up-date your Christmas Card Record Book.  If you’ve received gifts in the mail from family members, address Envelopes for Thank you notes.  Keep the notes handy.  Then, as the gifts are unwrapped, you can mark in pencil on the envelope where the stamp is going to go what the gift was.  A few days later, it will be simple to remember who got what from who, and make writing thank you notes much easier.  If you need thank you notes or a Christmas Card Record Book, you can get them here:  http://bobbibopstuff.com/

By now, those giant tins of cookies, popcorn, and other Christmas treats should be on sale for just a Dollar or two.  Buy a few of them. The treats can be used as snacks for the next couple weeks. Keep the tins.  They will be a big part  of your success next year. 

Returning items today?  Shopping the sales?  Get a head start on next year by purchasing wrap, cards, decorations, tags, and gifts.  If you’re just starting this program, you may have overspent for the Christmas you just celebrated.  If so, don’t use credit for any purchases today no matter how cheap things are.  Only use cash.  No cash?  Return that silly sweater “Aunt Beth” bought for you, and use the cash or store credit to purchase needed sale items.  It will be one of the best presents you’ve ever received, your first steps to Christmas without debt. 

After Christmas sales go on for almost two weeks.  Take your time.  The longer you wait, the lower the prices.  Your selection will be limited the longer you wait, but the prices make up for it if you aren’t real picky.  Try to purchase at least one unique roll of Christmas wrap for each member of your family.  If the price is right, get two or three rolls of each design.  If you have dollar stores in your area, their Christmas paper should be 50¢ a roll.  The quality isn’t great, but you can’t beat the price. 

December 14, 2007

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Taking Care of Details

Filed under: Organize,Shopping Tips — sandilarson @ 8:59 am

Mark your calendar for any special religious services you want to attend.  Are there plays, or special events you need to attend for the kids?  Prioritize events, and extend regrets to those you don’t really want to attend.  You need time to yourself if you don’t want things getting too hectic.

Purchase any supplies you will need for Christmas Day, such as film and batteries for toys that require them.

If you usually call extended family and friends during the holidays, start now.  Later you may be too busy, they may be too busy, or the telephone circuits may be too busy. 

December 11, 2007

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Start Decorating

Filed under: Cooking Tip,Organize,Shopping Tips — sandilarson @ 7:48 am

The time for decorating is always a personal or family preference.  If you like having the decorations up for a long time, start now!  If you get a few things out each day for the next week or so, and they finish with the tree-trimming, it might be easier for you, and more fun for the kids, since they get to prepare for Christmas every day.

If you’ve made Catalog orders, it’s time to check on them.  Has everything arrived?  Shop for substitute gifts if necessary.

Finish wrapping all the gifts you have purchased for your family and friends.  If the tree is already up, you can tag the gifts now, and begin placing them under the tree.  Want to keep them in suspense until Christmas morning?  Don’t use tags at all, just wait until Christmas and let them know what their individual wrap design is then.

Double check your shopping lists, menus, and supplies.  If you are invited to Holiday parties, save invitations until you have written a thank you note.  Take baked goodies or snack mixes as hostess gifts.

November 26, 2007

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Lots to Do

Filed under: Cooking Tip,Craft Project,Organize,Save Money,Shopping Tips — sandilarson @ 7:46 am

Begin making a special “I love you” gift for each family member.  Plan on opening these gifts on Christmas Eve.  You’ll see some ideas in some of the up-coming pages.  This is also the time to begin making any special “from your kitchen” gifts for friends, family and neighbors.  Make a few extras for hostess gifts.  Herb oils and vinegars, fruitcakes, sourdough starters, plum puddings, and other items like these need time to “mellow”.

It’s Time to open the Christmas Tin.  If you’ve been working this plan since last Christmas, you’ll have enough money in the tin to pay for all gifts, events, food, and entertaining.  If you’ve only been doing the plan for a short while, you may not have enough, but do EVERYTHING you can to avoid using the credit cards this year.  Follow the plan to the best of your ability, and by next Christmas you’ll be set.

Take all the money from the tin to the bank.  Try to make this a family event.  It’s very exciting to see how much everyone has been able to save.  Don’t go to one of those “change machines” at the grocery store, they take a percentage of your money, and you’ve worked too hard for it to leave a portion in a machine.

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