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Frugality

5 Tips For Making the Most of Black Friday

Deal lovers everywhere love Black Friday. They wake up while it is still dark and wait hours outside of their favorite stores for rock bottom prices on electronics, DVDs and many other great holiday gifts. If you want to save some money this holiday season you can use Black Friday as your secret weapon.

However, if you don’t have a plan, Black Friday can end up being a nightmare rather than a money saving opportunity.

Watch Out for Retailer’s Tricks

Retailers are looking to make big money on Black Friday. While there are some great deals, you need to focus on savings rather than getting caught up in the bargains. A great deal is only a great deal if you can afford it.

As you make your purchases, watch for tricks and don’t buy anything that you can’t afford. The stores will be filled with impulse purchases and you need to be careful not to fall prey to these.

Take a List

It is a good idea to take a list with you to keep you on track and on budget when shopping at Black Friday. Make a list of everyone who you need holiday gifts for. Next to each name include a budget. For example your list might say something like, “Molly- $10-$15.” When you find a perfect gift for Molly, make sure that it is within your price range or less. If it isn’t, keep looking.Once you make a purchase, cross the name off the list. Don’t buy gifts for people that aren’t on your list.

Also, decide how much you are willing to spend on yourself and stop spending once you hit your limit even if you see a great DVD that you need for your collection.

Be Careful with Cash and Purchases

Black Friday is known for being a little bit crazy and hectic. This means an ideal situation for those looking to steal money and holiday gifts. Be careful with your cash, wallets and purses. It can be so easy to misplace money or have it stolen in all of the chaos. Don’t walk out of stores carrying cash in your hands; always put it away before leaving the register.

It is a good idea to leave your purse at home and instead carry your cash, cards and ID closer to your body. When leaving purchases in the car, always leave them in the trunk and make sure that expensive items aren’t visible through the windows. Park in a well lit area close to other cars.

Read the Ads

It is also important to read the various ads for your favorite retailers to find the best deals this Black Friday. Most items are first come first served, so if you want the best deals, you might need to make certain stores your first stop. Some retailers even give away small promotional gifts or gift cards to the first 100 customers or so.

Remember that lines build up quickly, so you might have to be willing to spend a few hours, or even a night, in the cold if you want to be one of the first customers in line.

Eat Breakfast and Get Enough Sleep

We make our best decisions when we are well rested, not hungry and not in a hurry. If you plan on getting up early for Black Friday, make sure you get to bed early. In the morning grab a quick and nutritious breakfast before you head out.

Don’t be afraid to take your time and analyze purchases. While the sales might only be a few hours, it is better to think carefully than to regret purchases later. Always save your receipts just in case you need to return anything. If you take your time and are rested and full you will make better decisions in the stores.

Black Friday can be a great way to get some excellent deals, however you need to keep your budget in mind as you make purchases. Don’t get caught up in the crazy spending atmosphere or you might find yourself regretting that early morning shopping trip.

What tips do you have for surviving Black Friday?

Frugality Videos

Quick Tip: Don’t Always Get The Cheapest Gas

Just wanted to give you a quick tip today about running around for gas.  Some people will literally not go to a gas station because it is 5 cents more a gallon than somewhere else 5 miles away.  This is really not a good way to save money on gas.  The average tank holds between 15-18 gallons.  This means that you will save less than a dollar total.  It’s not really worth the hassle.  If you pass a cheaper gas station on your way home, go for it.  But, if you are going out of your way to save 5 cents a gallon or less than a dollar total for the fill up, it really isn’t worth it.  You will save a lot more money just by sucking it up and paying that extra 5 cents.  That is my quick tip for the day.  Don’t run around to find cheaper gas since it really won’t save you any money.

Frugality Videos

Quick Tip Thursday: How To Get Cheap Magazines

I just want to give you a quick tip today about buying cheap magazine subscriptions.  I love magazines since they are filled with a lot of great and up to date information.  Here are a couple of places that I go to order my magazines.  One of them is Tanga.com.  They usually have a daily special on a magazine subscription which can result in some really deep discounts.  Another site I visit is BestDealMagazines.com.  I love this site.  It is where I get the majority of my magazine subscriptions because they have $5 subscriptions which is great.  Finally, I like to go to TradePub.com.  This site is mostly trade publications but if you search  through the site you will definitely find things that you are interested in.  I am interested in the Internet and building websites so I tend to go for those.  These magazines can be filled with a lot of great information.

Places To Visit For Cheap Magazines

Tanga.com

TradePub.com

BestDealMagazines.com

 

Frugality

3 Tips For Cheap Holiday Decorations

Now that holiday season is coming at us full force, it is time to start decorating. If you already have boxes of decorations piled in your garage, it shouldn’t cost you much at all. However, if you don’t have decorations from years past, decorating can get pretty expensive. Here are a few cost saving ideas to keep in mind while you get ready for the holidays this year.

Make Homemade Ornaments

Holiday ornaments can be really expensive especially if you are buying anything other than plain glass balls. If you don’t have as many ornaments as you would like, there are some very affordable ways to fill your tree without spending a fortune. Tinsel is very inexpensive and can quickly fill a tree with its silvery sparkle. You can also create strings of popcorn using a bag of microwave popcorn and a needle and thread. Holiday candies and cookies also make a nice touch. Consider purchasing an extra box of candy canes or baking a batch of gingerbread cookies to hang on the tree.

Affordable Decorations for the Home

If you want decorations for your home, paper snowflakes are very quick and inexpensive to make.  You can also find inexpensive holiday decorations at stores like Walmart and Target. If you have a limited budget, consider purchasing one nice decoration to add to your collection and some inexpensive items to fill the space. You can add a little each year as you can afford it and soon you will have all of the decorations that you need. Yard sales and thrift stores might also have some affordable options.

Planning for Next Year

After Christmas sales are a great time to pick up inexpensive items for next year’s decorating. If you want to buy a fake tree this year- wait. You can get them for 50-75% off if you wait until a few days after Christmas. This is also a great time to add a few new ornaments to your collection. You won’t have the same selection as you will before the holidays, but if you get to the stores the day or two after Christmas you will still find some great ornaments for a lot less. You might also want to consider picking up some LED Christmas lights during the after Christmas sales. These lights are more expensive than traditional incandescent lighting, but they do save quite a bit on your electric bills if you can get them at a good price.

As the holidays approach, make sure that you have a holiday budget in place and that you know what you are willing and able to spend this year. These decorating ideas will help you create a beautiful holiday décor without ruining your budget.

How are you saving money on this Holiday season?

Frugality

Would You Give This Cheap Christmas Gift Idea?

Every year it gets harder and harder to find a gift for someone. I just thought of a cheap gift that could both teach something and be given each year without being boring.

Coupons!!

If you know someone who doesn’t clip coupons then it’s obviously something they don’t have. I don’t think it would be viable as a surprise gift because you don’t really know what they buy.  Just ask them what items or brands they normally buy, or you can be ninja (and a little creepy) and scope out their pantry.

Then from then until Christmas, as you clip out your coupons just clip some for them. This is really only something that can be done probably a month in advance since coupons do expire, but as a bonus you can teach them how to use coupons to the max and hopefully get them to realize using coupons is a big savings, That would teach a man to fish.

It even saves you money by not having to buy anything but it is putting in some work and showing some love. In this economy, this is the gift to give. If someone took the time to do that for me I would be very grateful. It’s really the gift that can keep on giving.

Check out these great sites for coupons to get you started.

If you need help on this gift just check out my series on couponing. It’s really in-depth and can even help you in teaching the giftee how to use the gift or teach you how to give this gift.

So what do you think? Would enjoy the gift if someone did that for you?