Cut Your Holiday Bills in Half
by Gregory Thomas
Most of us have a certain number of holidays that we celebrate each and every year. That means quite a number of extra "gifts" will need to be purchased for family and friends.
Here's how you can get the best bargains on holiday merchandise, and how you can save quite a bit off your "gift" bills.
Here's What Happens
Every single year, about a month and a half prior to any "major" (popular) holiday, most retail and department stores offer holiday related merchandise. For example, you'll probably find:
Halloween Costumes - October
Santa related decorations - December
Autumn and turkey decor - November
Hearts/Candy assortments - February
As each holiday approaches, the majority of the general public rush to buy these high priced "holiday" gifts a few weeks or days before the celebration. Stores expect this. They love the holidays.
Simple. Hundreds and thousands of eager shoppers will come through their door and spend, spend, spend.
Key to Saving Money
The 'retailers tradition' is an incredible chance for you to save big money. What is the 'retailers tradition'?
Immediately after any given holiday, retailers clear out ALL left-over holiday related inventory in order to make room for the next. Think of it this way, how many of you NEED to buy a Halloween costume after October 31st? Not many right?
In addition, stores do not have the time, space, or manpower to pack leftover holiday merchandise and store it in a warehouse until next year. There is little or no profit in it for them.
Instead, stores advertise huge post-holiday sales with discounts generally ranging from 30%-80% off normal retail prices. They need to get rid of the merchandise, and depending on an item's popularity, are willing to sell at a very low price.
Here is your chance to stock up on gifts that you KNOW you can give to someone the following year.
If at all possible, designate a large plastic container as a "Gift Box" where you store all the gifts that you buy throughout the year. To take this idea one step further, keep a list of all the people you exchange gifts with. When you come across a gift for someone in particular, you can then cross them off your list. This will save you a ton of time and help prevent multiple gifts being bought for the same person.
To Save Even More
When you go to a 'post' holiday sale, check the prices and quantities of the items you want. Ask the store manager if the merchandise isn't sold within a week, will the price be lowered even more.
Generally, stores do not have much time to clear out inventory and if the merchandise isn't selling, they will lower it to a price that will sell.
If you have the time, check every other day to see if there are any more price reductions. Better yet, ask the manager to call you if the prices get lowered. You might find the manager offering you an additional 20% off just for inquiring about future price reductions.
When purchasing gifts throughout the year, you get to put more thought into what you are buying for someone. Your shopping will be done with ample time to spare, and you'll avoid those overcrowded mall excursions. At the same time, you'll get holiday related merchandise at 30%-80% off regular retail prices when bought immediately after the celebration.
By the time Christmas or Valentines Day comes around again, you won't find yourself spending $900+ on presents that most likely will be forgotten in a month or two. Try this shopping strategy after the next major holiday. You'll be surprised at how much $30 can buy you.
Saving money is as easy as 1...2...3! Visit www.SavingSecrets.com and find free money-saving articles, a free bi-weekly "Money Saving Tips" newsletter and even a free Ebook download titled "Coming Up With Some Xtra Cash" just for stopping by! Copyright 1998-2001 by http://www.SavingSecrets.com
Debt from my past is preventing me from saving for my future! Tell us: Yes, debt is hindering my ability to save and I could use help dealing with it! or No, debt is not a problem but I am trying to get ahead financially!
More Money Tips & Tools
- 10 places to look for $500 in savings
- 9 savvy strategies to save for a rainy-day fund
- 5 big bills you can cut fast
- Money-saving secrets of the rich and frugal
- Is debt consolidation a good idea?
- Ways to save on medically related equipment not covered by insurance
- Retirement strategies for a non-working spouse
- This week's Readers' Tips