Friday, November 2, 2012

DIY Holiday Budget Shopping Mini-Series (Part 1.)

goldglitterbackgroundThe best and only way to shop with a budget is to plan plan plan and guess what. Then you need to plan again. As the years go on, my family seems to grow and grow. Everyone is either getting married or having babies or having more babies and to be honest, it is getting majorly expensive.

In order to be on top of this holiday season I have plans to provide you all with helpful holiday shopping tips, tricks, and plans every Saturday this month! That is November, 3d, 10th, 17th and 24th! I will address a few categories and hopefully we, together can dominate this holiday seasons shopping like the Pro's we know we can be! 

Each weekend I will provide detailed hints and tips to be the best Holiday Shopper! 

1. Making the list. This is always so hard for me, because I want to give everyone the perfect gift. I want their eyes to light up and feel their joy. I mean don't we all? Making a list is crucial in finding that perfect gift. When I am making a list I am extremely detailed. Not only to I jot down ideas for each person but I jot down personality types and what they do with their free time. For instance, my little sister I do not see often but I know that she likes clothes but doesn't get to go shopping a ton. I also know that she likes to go hiking on days she does not have her son, so I might start looking for clothing sales and or sales that involve outdoorsy things. Shopping for children is always so hard, so I will try to get into the moms head. For instance, my nephew is into cars, movies, and digging right now so I might want to buy a dump truck and a new movie for him. It is going to be way easier to shop for people you know really well, but don't be afraid to ask questions if you don't know them so much. Like my husbands boss. I may not know a thing about him, but asking my hubby the right questions will help my shopping search. 

2. Make a Budget. We all end up having a budget, whether it is one hundred dollars or a thousand. Knowing what you can afford is crucial  When I budget I divide the amount of people I am shopping for. I also budget for wrapping supplies and shipping costs for out of towners and for 2 white elephant gifts and for neighborhood baked good holiday treats and personal home decor. I know that once I have a budget set, I can allocate money to each category of shopping.

People to shop for 13 this year, 4 are children {example budget: $500}
White elephant gifts 2 {example budget: $40}
Homemade edible gifts for neighbors and co-workers 8 {example budget: $35}
Holiday Wrapping {example budget: $20}
Holiday Shipping {example budget: $15.00}

3. Know your Dates. Making a calendar of all the helpful dates and deadlines will keep you on top of sales. Knowing when to buy is crucial. It is amazing how people can predict and figure out the "Sales Trends" to be a budget friendly shopper.

Key Dates to Remember:
Cyber Monday is November 26th. Start your shopping at Midnight on the 25th and 6am for the best deals and choices (like colors etc.) 
Black Friday is November 23rd. Be sure you are ready! Are you working that day? Are you and a buddy going to team up? do you have a babysitter? Is this date set in your calendar? Are you wearing steal toe shoes, have a water and a snack ready? Have you amped yourself up to get in, get out and hit budget?

Here is a page with a list of shipping deadlines 

The Best Time to Buy:

Clothes: Thursday Evenings and 6-8 weeks after the items arrive in store. So, as soon as new product arrives, hit the stores to Pre-shop with out any credit cards, cash or debit cards so you are not tempted to buy right then. Leave the money at home and you will reap the rewards later. 

The Why: Retailors are motivated to sell all the clothes they have ordered and when it gets closer to the weekends getting new product in front of a larger crowd is an aim for managers. If they can get the sale stuff out, they know they have a greater chance at selling high priced items on weekends! 

Also if you are a brand lover and stick to specific brands, be sure that you are on their mailing list so you are on top of all of their sales. 

Also check out amazing online stores like,, and for extreamly discounted prices on name brand clothes, home decor, for you the kids and the hubby! I have shopped with all of these websites almost religiously. To shop smart on these sites, you will need to know that the sales last anywhere from 3-7 days long and that once an item sells out it is gone., does 3-5 day shipping, but and and beyond the does take about 3 weeks to arrive at your home, so shopping ahead of time is crucial. The deals are too good to beat though and I am always shopping on these websites! 

Christmas Decor: The day after Christmas. I like to budget for decor and wrapping supplies starting the day after Christmas because everything is usually 60% off or more! Also be sure to check out pinterest for DIY Holiday decor which can usually cost a forth of the normal price you would find in stores. 

Toys: This is a bit more complex, but planning is best. I have begun by grabbing all the adds and letting my child flip through them and make notes on things she pointed at or said "wow" too. I also know that playing dress up is one of her favorites, so I am buying costumes at extreme discount this weekend (right after Halloween).The best best is to play the Pre-shop, Pre-shop, Pre-shop "card" to find the best deals on specific toys. Do not forget to check out and amazon for stellar toys and deals. 

Gift Cards: I know a lot of people who love to give gift cards for every event, but I bet you didn't know that you can save money buying them! actually sells gift cards at discount rate because people need the money not the gift card. I would recommend buying only from people with 100% rates and have sold stuff before because you need to be careful on ebay like always. Another option is to check out and if you find one near by, meet that person at the mall or somewhere crowded so you are safe and call the gift card's customer service phone number to be sure there is the balance agreed upon.  

For an even bigger list of when the best time to buy is, click

I hope to offer even more helpful tips and ticks and "know-hows" of holiday shopping you can be the smartest shopper out there this Holiday!

Check out the Holiday Gift buying guide for A-list Etsy sellers!

No comments:

Post a Comment