You may already know that stores have sales cycles that change every month or so. Often they stock up on certain items (often ones related to the holidays or seasons) that then need to be removed from the shelves once the appropriate time has passed. When those stores are looking to move items from their shelves is the best time to buy those particular items.
Let’s move from the abstract to the concrete as we look at what items are discounted this month.
1. Baking Supplies. The best thing about baking supplies going on sale is that they are easy to store. If you use baking cups regularly, be on the look out for discounts. Also, if you don’t mind the holiday decorations on them, you will be able to get those at half price or better on the day after Christmas. You’ll also find flour, spices (I just bought organic spices at 50% off last week!), chocolate chips (which store very easily in the freezer or the pantry), condensed milk, and pumpkin puree (who says you can’t have pumpkin pie in January!) discounted this month.
2. Thrift Store Merchandise. This is not as much about a discount as it is about availability and selection. A lot of people are trying to get last minute donations in before the end of the year for tax purposes. So, thrift stores like Goodwill and other organizations (with the tax-exempt status) will have plenty to choose from by the end of the month.
3. Gift Cards. Right now there are lots of promotions offering “bonus cash” if you buy a gift card. So, if it’s a store or restaurant you frequent regularly and you have the cash (after you’re done with all your shopping), then it’s a great way to maximize your money.
What else do you buy in December?
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?
If you’re planning on buying a gift card for a loved one this Christmas, you now have even more reason to do the same for family and friends this season. Many companies are offering “bonus” cards with a gift card purchase. That is, if you buy a card, they’ll give you another card or credit for yourself. It’s a great way to give a gift, if you ask me. 😉 Check out the list below!
Barnes and Noble
Buy $75 in gift cards or eGift cards, receive a $10 eGift card free
Get a $20 gift card when you spend $100 to $299. Use promo code HARVEST
Get a $10 Promotional Card when you buy $50 worth of gift cards
Get $10 in e-Bonus Bucks for every $50 in gift cards that your purchase
Buy $100 worth of gift cards, get a $20 bonus card
Receive a $5 bonus card when you buy a $25 gift card
Get a $20 bonus offer for every $100 gift card purchase
Buca di Beppo
Receive a $10 Reward Card for every $50 in gift cards that you buy
California Pizza Kitchen
Purchase $100 in gift cards, and get a $20 Promotional Card
Purchase $100 in gift cards, get a $20 bonus card
Get a $10 coupon when you make a $40 gift card purchase
Get a $10 bonus card when you buy $50 in gift cards
Receive a $10 Reward Card for every $50 in gift cards that you buy
Get a free Value Basket for every $25 in gift cards purchased
Buy a $25 gift card, get a $25 gift certificate
Fleming’s Steak House
Get a free $20 gift card for every $100 gift card that you buy
Receive $5 in Bonus Bucks for every $25 in gift card purchases
Half Price Books
Get a $5 bonus card when you buy a $25 gift card
Joe’s Crab Shack
Receive $30 in coupons for every $25 spent on gift cards
Receive a $20 bonus card for every $100 in gift cards
Earn a $5 Grazie card for every $25 gift card purchased
Maggiano’s Little Italy
Spend $100 on gift cards, get a Bonus card for up to $20 off a $50 food and drink purchase, plus a subscription to Food & Wine Magazine
Max and Erma’s
Get a $5 Bonus Card with a $25 gift card purchase
Buy a $250 gift card and receive a $50 Reward Card
Snag a $5 reward card when you buy a $25 gift card
Get a $10 bonus offer when you purchase $50 or more in gift cards
Get a $20 bonus card for every $100 in gift cards purchased
Receive a $10 bonus card when you purchase $50 in gift cards
Purchase $100 in gift cards, get a $20 Bonus Card
Purchase a $25 gift card online, get a $5 bonus coupon
Get a Free Movie Ticket when you buy a $25 limited edition gift card
Buy $25 in gift cards get a $5 bonus card. Buy $50 in gift cards, get a $15 bonus coupon. Includes free shipping, too
Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes
Earn a free meal pass for every $50 in gift cards purchased
Steak and Shake
Buy $20 in gift cards, get a $5 certificate
Spend $30 or more on gift cards, get a $5 eGift Card
Get a Bonus Bites card for every $25 that you spend on gift cards
Get $15 in RomaBucks for every $50 in gift cards purchased
It’s true that it’s better to give than to receive. But you have to admit that it’s fun to receive a little something while you’re giving! 😉
Will you be purchasing any gift cards this season?
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 getting to that time of year when we’re gearing up for Christmas and shopping the best deals online. While online shopping is super convenient, getting deliveries isn’t always as convenient. Want help with that? Sign up for FedEx Delivery Manager! (It’s Free!)