Shopping in Stores
If you must venture to the mall or other retailer, here are some tips to keep in mind.
* Start Early. Start your Christmas shopping now. Scout out sales and clearance deals. You probably know about the upcoming Target toy clearance by now, but watch for clearance at other stores as well. My mom mentioned she wants some new summer dishes. I'm going to save a lot of money looking for those on an end of the season clearance versus trying to buy summer dishes in December.
* Shop with your list in mind. Having a few generic gifts on hand is a good idea, but don't just buy things because they are a good deal. Knowing who the receipent will be before you buy will save you money and save you the stress of having a closet full of gifts but nothing to give anyone on your list.
* Never pay full price. Ever. Everything goes on sale at some point.
* Look online for printable coupons before you head out to shop. Google the name of the store + printable coupon and see what you can find.
* Shop on off hours and alone. At all costs, avoid the mall on Saturday afternoons with your kids in tow. No sale is worth that torture.
* Keep track of what you are buying and what you are spending. STOP shopping when you have reached your budget or crossed everyone off your list. Check out the downloadable spreadsheets over at Queen Bee Coupons to help you stay on track.