Posts Tagged ‘Shopping’

Do you have a Christmas stash place for presents?

Sunday, November 23, 2008 3:55 2 Comments

Do you have a Christmas stash area for your presents?  How many times have you bought a Christmas present months ahead of the holiday season, only to either forget you bought it or forget where you put it?  Believe me, this happens to a lot of us!  One way to help is to keep a gift giving list, where you keep track of what you have bought for each person, regardless of whether it is February or December.

Another easy way to help keep you organized, and remembering what you have already bought, is to have a Christmas stash area where you put all your presents.  Whether it is in a specific room, such as a spare bedroom or the basement, or a specific place, such as under your bed or at the top of a hall closet, keeping all the presents together in the same location will help you remember everything you have bought when you just have to go to one place to see it all.  It is far easier than when you have presents scattered in hiding spots throughout the house.

When you have a Christmas stash place, you will know where that cute martini glass necklace is that you bought your sister back in April and it will also remind you that you bought your father-in-law a new cordless drill when you bought it in that after Christmas sale last year but promptly forgot about it.

It also means all your gifts are in one place o when you have some spare time, you can do some wrapping in batches, rather than trying to squeeze all the wrapping into a single session a couple of days before Christmas!

It is also great last minute prep work if you plan on doing a ton of Christmas shopping on Black Friday!


This was posted under category: Holidays, Saving Money Tags: , , ,

Are you haggling to get a better deal?

Friday, November 21, 2008 1:33 Comments Off on Are you haggling to get a better deal?

While some stores don’t seem to be swayed when you try to strike a deal, many surprisingly are.  Here are some tips for haggling so you can get the best deals.

Damaged/Open packaging
If you are buying something that has been previously opened, ask if you can get a deal on it.  Stores have a much harder time turning over goods with opened and damaged packaging, so you can usually save an extra 20-30% off the retail price.  You can even ask them to open the packaging while you are in the store so you can check and make sure all the pieces are still in the opened package… if anything is missing, you can usually get an extra discount… and if it is just a manual, you can often download a copy of it online or request one from the manufacturer.  You can also ask the cashier to mark on the receipt that you purchased an open product if it is something that might have been returned because it didn’t work.

Dated product
If the product is nearing its expiration date (and you know you will use it before that date) ask for a discount. This is especially true for perishables, such as dairy products.  Sometimes if the date is close enough (expires within a day or so) they might even gift it to you for free, especially if you alredy have a cart full of other groceries you are buying, since the section manager might view it as a good will gesture, knowing you are purchasing a significant amount of other groceries too.

Already Reduced
If something has already been reduced (whether it is perishable, or something that is out of season, such as a pair of shorts in December) ask if they can discount it any further.  And it doesn’t hurt to do a price check… if it is clothing, it could have been hiding on a rack when a service person went through with their price gun to show further price reductions, which is a frequent problem in chain department stores.

Meat department deals
Many grocery stores will go and reduce meat that is nearing the best before date.  So become familiar with your grocery store policies, such as if they discount them 2 days before the best before date.  Shopping first thing in the morning you will have a better selection for the meat, then just ask the meat manager to put the discount stickers on them before you go to pay.  It is a great deal, as long as you remember to eat them or freeze them before the best before date.

Price adjustments
Many stores, particularly for clothing, have a policy where you can being your receipt back for a price adjustment if it goes in sale within the next X number of days, usually 14 or 30 days.  Just remember to take your receipt back for the price adjustment!  Most stores offer this simply because most people do not get around to returning for the price adjustment, and if they do, chances are pretty good they will end up buying something else when they come back too!  So be sure to ask if there is a policy, and then watch the sale flyers to see if it goes on sale, then make a point of going back and getting your receipt adjusted.  If you want to skip out on the holiday crowds, plan your trip either as soon as the store opens or closer to the closing time.

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This was posted under category: Grocery shopping, Holidays, Shopping Tags: , , ,

Grocery Challenge: Buy “No Name” Generic Brands

Monday, October 20, 2008 0:39 1 Comment

Monday Morning Grocery Challenge: No Name Brands

Grocery Shopping Challenge
Your task for this week when you grocery shop is this… when you have completed shopping, look at anything in your cart and pick out five items that you could get the no name brand instead of the brand name.  Whether it is cereal, frozen vegetables, Hamburger Helper, the pizza you picked up for a treat or even your supply of Crystal Light, pick five items and go and exchange them for the (usually less expensive) generic brand.

Here is a handy shopping list printable, the Buy Generic Shopping List Printable, which includes handy checkboxes to remind you which items you were planning to buy the cheaper generic version for… and this is handy as a shopping list reminder even when you aren’t doing the challenge, too!

Always double check your coupons… you might find that it is cheaper to buy the branded one with the coupon.  If this happens, pick another item in your cart for the generic item.

Think you have a tough sell when it comes to convincing your family that generic is just as good as the branded version?  You could always switch out the contents and put it in a box or packaging that the branded one came, because that can fool many, especially if you decide to try a different flavor or style.  If your family always eats Rice Krispies for example, switch it up with the generic version of cornflakes for a few weeks, then substitute in the generic rice krispies a few weeks later when it won’t be as obvious.  Or if you still have half a box left, combine the two to make it a gradual change.

Don’t forget to sign up for the RSS so you can get our weekly grocery shopping challenge.  Feel free to spread the word ~ if you post our challenge on your blog and include how much you saved, we will include it in our Grocery Challenge Hall of Fame so you can have awesome bragging rights, and a cool little award to put on your blog too!  Want our Grocery Challenge image for your blog?  Here it is!

Helpful Hints for this Grocery Shopping Challenge:

Smart Tips for Buying Generic Brand Groceries
List of Groceries You Should Always Buy Generic
More grocery shopping printables!


This was posted under category: Grocery Shopping Challenge Tags: , , , , ,