Advantages of Pre-Purchasing Gifts

Posted on April 27th, 2015 by Discount Debbie

gift copy

How do you beat the holiday rush when it comes to gifts? Buy as much as you can ahead of time! It might sound kind of stupid—I mean, isn’t the holiday season when all the sales are? But it can be worth it to plan for birthdays and holidays way ahead of time, if possible. If you have a 3 year old who is super into Dora the Explorer and after Christmas, a bunch of Dora stuff is 70% off, you may NOT want to go nuts buying stuff because in a year who knows what he or she will like? But gender neutral, basic things are almost always appreciated.

Naturally, after Christmas is when the biggest clearance sales, toy-wise, are. Many things hit 30-50% off the day after, but if you wait until after January 1st, many things hit 75% or more off. Of course, it’s kind of a gamble what you will find, but if anything looks even vaguely like someone on your gift list might like, buy it!

I found a huge art set on clearance at Target for $5. I picked up it and stashed it in my closet, knowing that my nephew’s 4th birthday was in a few months. About a week before his birthday I saw the exact same art set at a different store for the full price of $18! I was pretty happy with my find, and my nephew was happy with his gift (and naturally I’d peeled off the clearance sticker before wrapping it so his parents had no idea I’d bought it so cheaply).

This strategy works if you’re more of the do-it-yourself gifter, as well. Scrapbooking and other craft supplies often hit low sale prices after the holidays and after the beginning of the school year as well. Scoop ‘em up on sale, spend a couple of weeks making your gifts in your spare time, and voila! You’re done for the year! Isn’t that awesome?


Thrifty Tip: Make Your Own Gift Basket

Posted on December 22nd, 2014 by Discount Debbie

gift basket

I’m pretty sure that we’ve now officially entered the “late shopping” zone. If you are still shopping today, it’s late! But it’s not too late to come up with some frugal and personal gifts for friends and family members. I actually thought that I was done with all my shopping until just a few days ago. We decided to get together with some friends for dinner this week. It dawned on me that we should get them a little something. I racked my brain trying to think of something that would be personal, practical, and frugal for a family of six.

Then, it came to me! (And I just had to share it.)

So, here are just a few tips to making a gift basket suited to the recipients tastes and to your budget.

1. Personal does not have to be expensive.

Our friends share the desire to eat healthy but have admitted to needing a re-start and not really knowing where to start. Since eating healthy (or, mostly healthy) is so important to us, it was easy to figure out what to put in the basket once the idea finally came to me.

I went to Costco and bought the same coconut oil we have been using lately… for just $12.

coconut oil

Then, I happened to find a coupon for one of my favorite brands of raw honey. So, I got this for $6.99.

honey

We bought an extra gallon of raw milk (from our local farmers) to add to the basket. That was $7.50.

milk

2. It can be pretty and practical.

Then, I put all three items in a basket that I’ve had around (and never used) and tied some ribbon around it.

basket

3. It doesn’t have to be complicated! I actually enjoyed doing it. Those of you who are much more creative will be able to make it look so much cuter than I made mine. But, you get the idea. It works. We know they will like it because of what we know about them and we were able to make it happen fairly easily.

So, even if you’re shopping at the last minute, you don’t have to spend a ton of money or time to make a special gift for a friend.

What other gifts have you made for friends or family members?


How To NOT Stick To Your Holiday Budget

Posted on December 16th, 2014 by Discount Debbie

budget

1. Procrastinate. To be honest, sometimes procrastinating at this time of the year ends up working for you, as some of the deals right before the big day are fantastic deals. (I think of those amazing deals the day before Christmas as a reward for the trauma of dealing with all the other procrastinators in the store with you.) Procrastination will not work for you, though, when it comes to ordering and shipping gifts. Waiting until the last minute can be very expensive with expedited shipping costs. A little bit of planning can save you a lot of money.

2. Buy Expensive Wrap. Holiday wrapping paper can be very expensive. While I do appreciate some of the fancy paper, I always remind myself of how that paper will end up only minutes after the presents are taken out from under that tree. Don’t do it. If you didn’t purchase your paper after Christmas last year (which you should always plan to do), then go to the dollar store and get it there. The only one who will know the difference is you–and your wallet.

3. Don’t Plan. You know what it’s like to shop for groceries without a list, right? You ALWAYS buy more than what you intended (and usually forget something that should have been on the list)! Don’t approach holiday shopping that way. Get a plan and do your best to stick with it. If you don’t, you’re likely to be lured by all the advertisements and “great deal” labels that don’t necessarily mean a thing.

4. Treat Yourself With a Big Gift. Buy yourself a fun cup of coffee, chocolate, a pastry, or even a candy cane instead. Don’t splurge in the name of treating yourself; you and your bank account may regret it later.

What do you do to stick to your holiday budget?


Practical Gift Giving

Posted on December 9th, 2014 by Discount Debbie

practical gift giving

 

Shopping for gifts can be fun and joyful or it can be stressful and frustrating. The difference is not simply about when and where you go shopping for your gifts but in how much you actually have to spend. When funds are tight, buying gifts can feel like a heavy burden. It can become difficult to imagine buying an iPad for your teenager when you know that he or she needs gas money or new shoes. So it’s important to keep in mind that giving can still be joyful if what you’re giving is something more practical than fun.

Here are a few gift ideas that may not seem exciting but would still be a blessing to a person who could use them:

•Gas cards for the teenagers
•A grocery store gift card for a friend or relative
•Paying a relative’s cable bill
•Drugstore gift certificates for family members
•Gift certificates at a campus bookstore for students
•Car insurance payment for college students
•Pizza delivery coupons for a college student
•Household or bath essentials
•Umbrella
•Batteries or a battery charger

Stockings are also a fantastic place to stuff practical gifts. Items such as chap stick, shaving cream, razors, deodorant, and shampoo and soaps are great choices mixed with fun, but inexpensive, treats…like chocolate! 😉

The Children

Children don’t appreciate unwrapping practical gifts quite as much, however. That does not mean, though, that they need to have twenty boxes of toys to open up on Christmas morning. Opt for buying fewer but higher quality toys for younger children. They don’t know how many you wanted to buy them. Buy toys they like but give yourself a limit (either the number of toys or amount you can spend) so that things don’t get out of hand.

What other practical gifts have you given or received for Christmas?

 


Black Friday Shopping Tips

Posted on November 27th, 2013 by Discount Debbie

 

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Thanksgiving! At our house, the turkey is brining (is that a word?) and sweet potatoes are baking in the oven. Yummy :)

But, I know that some of you are doing more than preparing for tomorrow night’s meal; you are preparing for Black Friday. If you plan to shop on Black Friday, you need to prepare. So, here are just a few tips to help you out through the madness that is Black Friday…or Grey Thursday…whichever!

1. Do Your Homework. If you are going Thursday night, you will need to do this either today or tomorrow before dinner. Go through the ads or websites where the Black Friday deals are posted to find the deals you want. Make sure you comparison shop beforehand. Get online or use one of the many apps out there to help you figure out what the best deal really is. You can get great deals on Black Friday. But, you can also just be paying regular price on some items. You won’t know unless you do the research.

2. Prioritize. Doing your homework means more than just circling or writing down what you want to buy. It means prioritizing. It will be crazy out there; you know that. So, what do you want most. Go for that item first.

3. Shop With Friends. Shopping with friends could make for a more enjoyable experience. But, it can also help you get more deals. If two or three items are high on your priority list in one particular store, you can split up and, therefore, have a better chance of not missing out on your deal. It’s like being in more than one place at once 😉

4. Bring Ads With You. Just in case there is any discrepancy at the register, the ad will be your (and the cashier’s) friend. It will make things less confusing for everyone.

5. Gift Receipts. If you are buying gifts, make sure you ask for gift receipts. It makes the return process so much easier for everybody.

And, beyond all that, have fun! Pick up some coffee, bundle up, make friends, tell funny stores and make it a memory! Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

How will you prepare for Black Friday?


It’s Back! 5 Dr. Seuss Books $5.95 + Free Backpack & Audio Book

Posted on March 8th, 2013 by Discount Debbie

Great Deal for only $5.95! Includes: – The Cat in the Hat, Mr. Brown Can Moo, Ten Apples On Top, Go Dog Go! & The Tooth Book – Free colorful Cat in the Hat Backpack to carry all your books in. – Free shipping. – Free Dr. Seuss & His Friends Audiobook read by Jason Alexander, David Hyde Pierce or Kelsey Grammer.

HURRY – This deal ends Wednesday, March 13th.

Why join Dr. Seuss & His Friends book club?

Receive 3 new books each month.
Create lasting memories with the same classic stories you loved as a child.
Wacky and wonderful characters will engage and entertain your child.

Conveniently control your membership online.
– Adjust your shipping interval
– View account history

Preview upcoming packages Risk free. Cancel anytime.
• No purchase commitment
• High quality, hard covered editions.
• Convenience of home delivery for less than $5 per book.
• 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

Want to cancel your membership? Call 1-800-353-3140 or login to your account online: https://www.earlymoments.com/Login/


Happy Dr. Seuss Day! 5 Dr. Seuss Books $5.95 + Free Backpack & Audio Book

Posted on March 1st, 2013 by Discount Debbie

Dr. Seuss’s Birthday is March 2nd! No American writer has had as great an impact on children’s literature as Dr. Seuss. His imaginative characters, vivid illustrations, and catchy rhymes are instantly recognizable to anyone who grew up reading his stories. Create a personal library of children’s books by joining Dr. Seuss & His Friends book club.

Great Deal for only $5.95! Includes: – The Cat in the Hat, Mr. Brown Can Moo, Ten Apples On Top, Go Dog Go! & The Tooth Book – Free colorful Cat in the Hat Backpack to carry all your books in. – Free shipping. – Free Dr. Seuss & His Friends Audiobook read by Jason Alexander, David Hyde Pierce or Kelsey Grammer.

HURRY – This deal ends midnight Sunday March 3rd.

Why join Dr. Seuss & His Friends book club?

Receive 3 new books each month.
Create lasting memories with the same classic stories you loved as a child.
Wacky and wonderful characters will engage and entertain your child.

Conveniently control your membership online.
– Adjust your shipping interval
– View account history

Preview upcoming packages Risk free. Cancel anytime.
• No purchase commitment
• High quality, hard covered editions.
• Convenience of home delivery for less than $5 per book.
• 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

Want to cancel your membership? Call 1-800-353-3140 or login to your account online: https://www.earlymoments.com/Login/


Thrifty Tip: Make Your Own Tutu

Posted on February 20th, 2013 by Discount Debbie

My little ballerina-princess-baby girl just turned 4 years old yesterday. She loves dancing and loves her tutus. The only problem is the that her favorite tutu is too small for her. I had to hide it in order for her to stop wearing it. The whole thing made me decide to make her a tutu for her 4th birthday.

Thanks to the internet, it was very easy to find out how to do it. So, I got right to it. First, I went to Hobby Lobby and let the birthday girl pick her colors. Thankfully, they had tulle in rolls that were 50% off. So, I got one roll of each color and a roll of headband elastic (thanks to the Hobby Lobby employee for the tip), which was also half off.

Once I had everything, the first thing I did was measure the elastic and sew it together into the waistband. I encourage you to make it slightly smaller than you normally would because it will stretch a little bit.

Then, cut your strips. The great thing about the rolls is that I only had to worry about length because they width was perfect. I measured from my daughter’s waist to her knees to figure out how long I needed to cut the strips. I measured 11 inches. So, I cut the strips at 22 inches (doubled).

Once the strips in both colors were cut, it was time to tie them onto the waistband. As you can see in the picture below, I just tied them pretty close together on the waistband, alternating with the two colors I had.

 

Just keep doing that until you get the waistband covered! And, ta-da! I did it! And, she loves it!

 

What DIY project have you taken on recently?

 


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