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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Saving Money During the Christmas Season

I know we all have a lot of extra expenses during the Christmas Season and sometimes there just isn't anyway around paying full price for an item.  But I am here to tell you that you can still save money on those purchases that you must make.  My Black Friday shopping included coupons and stocking up items.  I had 2 coupons for $5.00 off $10.00 at Hallmark stores, so I went in to check out the Black Friday sales and they were offering a Christmas cookie jar for $5.00 with any purchase.  I bought a couple of stocking stuffers for the grand girls and a couple of decorations for my home plus 2 cookie jars (the cookie jars will be used as gifts, well at least one of them, they are stinking cute) and only spent $26.00 out of my pocket.  Toys R Us had coupons before Thanksgiving for a couple of BOGO items so I got 2 large Littlest Pet Shop play sets for the price of 1.  Bath and Body works accepts any and all coupons in one transaction on Black Friday so I was able to save more than I spent there and get several gifts as well as a few items for my home.  Amazon has been doing lightening deals every day and I have gotten a few gifts at prices much less than I had planned to spend.  I had coupons to spend at Kohl's and a couple of other stores.  I had well over $100 in coupons for my Black Friday shopping and that to me is a great savings.

Now on to the grocery deals that we should all be able to take advantage of.  Hams should be on sale pretty cheap (I consider anything under $2.00/pound cheap) and I have already picked up 3.  If you buy a whole ham it is usually $0.10 a pound cheaper than a half ham and you can take it to the meat counter and have it cut however you like.  Some times I have the whole thing sliced, some times 3 half inch steaks cut out of the center and the two hams left on the ends and this year I think I will have one cut into about 3 inch thick roasts.  Also, baking items will be on sale during December, everything from flour, sugar, chocolate, pie crust and the list goes on.  The best thing is that most of these items can be frozen and used all year.  You should also be able to pick up items used for entertaining like crackers, cheese and dips.  I have frozen crackers and cheese with great results.  Be on the lookout for coupons on these items and that will make your savings even better.

This week Kroger has boneless skinless chicken breast, pork chops and hamburger on sale for less than $2.00 per pound. That's pretty good prices for all of those.

Don't forget about things like tape and wrapping supplies. And things like bows, tissue paper, wrapping paper, candy and gift sets (bath sets, perfume, nuts, etc.) the day after Christmas. 

If you need to purchase gift cards be sure to do it when stores are offering extras with the purchase.  My Kroger offers 4 times the fuel points with the purchase of a gift card.  Some restaurants are offering an extra gift card when you buy a certain dollar amount, like $5 when you buy a $25 gift card.  These $5 cards make good gifts through out the year or great stocking stuffers.  Just make sure of the expiration date because some of them are only good through February.

And I should mention one of my favorite stores for decorations and stocking stuffers is Dollar Tree.  I have found quite a few stocking stuffers there on the cheap.

I know money is tight for everyone these days and it is going to get even tighter, so if I only had money to stock up on a little bit, it would be food.  You can make do with things that you already have, but you can't go without food.  If you can only stock up on a few things make sure it's items that you will use and not just things you are buying because it's a good deal.  Money spent on something you aren't going to use is never a good deal.

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