www.whyville.net Dec 19, 2004 Weekly Issue

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Ho, Ho, Ho! for Shopping

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The holidays are approaching fast, and this is the time of year when everyone turns out their pocket cash and becomes low on funds. Well, here are some holiday tips to help you keep some leftover cash in your pocket, for now and in the future.

1. Always Look Around

Never just go to one store and buy an item without looking at other stores, too! If you go out looking for a shirt for a teenager, don't head directly for a big designer store. There are lots of stores that you can look at that have designer brands for low prices. An example of one of those stores is Ross. They always have low prices on Roxy brand clothes.

2. Wait for Sales

Go out shopping rationally near holiday time so that you can get a good deal on presents. If you go out on December 15th shopping for Christmas presents, you aren't going to find many sales. Stores naturally lower prices nearer the holidays to get more things off of the shelves. (Editor's Note: In my experience, the Friday after Thanksgiving is often a fabulous time to shop... the sales are so incredible (and yes, the crowds are so huge) that they call it "Black Friday" here in the U.S.)

3. Online Shopping

There are many websites that can assist you greatly with your shopping needs. If you go onto Ebay, there is a good chance that you will be able to find a couple of good deals. I know of a website that is currently being heavily advertised, and also has great deals. Overstock.com is a savior to shoppers, because they sell things for dirt cheap! (Editor's Note: I can't help but also let you know about Half.com, which is a great place for used books and movies.)

4. Coupons

I know a lot of my friends don't use coupons when they go out shopping at stores. If you pick up a catalog, it takes about a minute to find a coupon that you can save a surprising amount of money on. My mother always uses coupons, and she has saved a lot more than our neighbors, since they never use them and always give their coupons to her. Coupons are your friend in the shopping world, not just a clutter in your purse! (Editor's Note: Okay, one more note -- coupons alone save us 30-40% off our grocery bills in my home! Wh00t for coupons!)

5. Gift Cards

If someone you want to buy a present for really likes a specific store, but everything is too expensive, buy a gift card! You don't have to buy a pair of jeans for $38 when you can just get them a $20 gift card and have them equally satisfied.

6. Secret Santas

If you have a lot of relatives, like I do, then you probably won't be able to afford gifts for all of them. Have a family gathering, and pull a name out of a hat! That way, everyone gets a present, and no one will feel left out. It's a big financial saver.

If you follow one or more of these rules, then you'll have plenty of money left to provide you those needed essentials! You can save a lot if you put an effort into it!



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