The month from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve is a joyful time for many and especially for those who enjoy gift gifting, yet making sure that the stress of buying gifts doesn’t overshadow that enjoyment is very important. Doing some research and taking a look at some alternative gift suggestions can help to ease any stress and help consumers to save as they begin their shopping for the season.
Forbes.com recently offered many useful tips, including making a list of those who will be needing gifts and deciding exactly how much to spend on each of them. Avoiding credit cards in favor of debit cards or cash is also key to sticking to the budget and not overspending. If money is less of an issue than just finding an innovative idea, the source suggests bidding on great deals offered at local fundraising auctions, which offer both creative gifts and the opportunity to support the local community. Free gifts are another terrific option and can feel much more personal than another package from the store. Special gift certificates offering help with housework, handcrafted holiday cards that can be designed together between parents and children, and homemade calendars featuring photos of the family are just a few ideas.
Parenting.com has free gifts of its own to suggest, such as the offer of tennis lessons, babysitting, or even helping out at a local assisted living facility. New traditions can be developed instead of simply exchanging presents, such as apple picking or other family activities. If gifts are chosen as the way to go, more money can be put toward them if energy-efficient holiday lights are used to cut costs elsewhere. Those with children will also find that December is a great time of year for sales on toys, cribs and other items of the like.
The Wall Street Journal notes that planning which gifts to buy and then looking at different outlets to compare prices is an excellent strategy for saving during the season, especially if the consumer already knows that some of those gifts are going to be mandatory. In addition, many stores announce which items are on sale and which are currently in stock via their shopping apps, so consulting a smart phone is useful for making well-informed decisions. Planning the right day or time to shop, making sure to take advantage of lunch hour or weekend sales, and using online coupons and codes for even greater discounts on those sales are other factors to consider.
As you enter the holiday shopping season, we at Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty wish you successful savings and a wonderful end of 2012.