Thursday, March 22, 2012

6 Things You Can Do Now To Save Money Next Christmas

1. Shop the back to school sales. I know, telling a homeschooler to shop the back to school sales is like telling you to breath. But while you are drooling over those piles of fresh white notepaper, new crayons, and gluesticks, try to imagine a home where every closet is not packed with colored paper, markers, and paintboxes. Yes, such places do exist. And in homes such as those, a box full of art supplies will be welcomed with shrieks of joy. The recipients will be amazed at your generosity, since such items cost a great deal more in December, never suspecting that you were clever enough to stock up when prices were ridiculously low. Don’t forget those homes with preschoolers. Preschoolers LOVE a new box of crayons.

2. Visit the dollar stores. There are two reasons you should be shopping now. First, you will find a lot nicer merchandise than you will at Christmas. Second, the crowds are smaller. Be sure to look for some coloring books to go with those crayons.

3. Yard sales, Goodwill, and other second hand or discount stores are a great place for Christmas shopping. Baskets and jars can be purchased cheeply for creative packaging. Also look for craft supplies and get statred making a few gifts. Toys can often be found in very good condition. Even if you don’t feel comfortable giving a second hand gift to someone else, your own children probably won’t mind. My children enjoy buying affordable gifts for each other.

4. Hit the clearance racks on November 1. Halloween clearance items make great gifts. Also, look for clearance candy that you can use in your holiday baking. Put it in the freezer to keep it fresh.

5. Take advantage of the bounty of nature. Keep an eye out for plants and flowers you can dry which would make nice additions to your holiday decore.

6. FOR NEXT YEAR: Stock up on Christmas clearance items for next year. If you don’t want to store things that long, at least look for stuff you can use for other holidays. Red for Valentines and Fourth of July, green for Easter and Saint Patrick's Day.

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