How to shop & decorate for the holidays!

If someone hasn’t figured this out yet, I love decorating and enjoying the holidays. I love to have fun and celebrate with my family. I enjoy keeping a home that is a little more festive that can change in appearance from month to month. However, what I don’t like doing is spending a ton of money doing what I enjoy.

So how can I do what I love without doing what I hate? Easy… I shop sales. I use coupons.  I’m not afraid to buy used items from a yard sale or a thrift store. I even have fun making somethings myself. In fact, by doing all of that I can really make and enjoy a unique cozy home that is filled with happy memories and fun times.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERASo how can you do this too? Easy. Here are some of my tips! You don’t need to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on special holiday things to make a great home. Look for what you already have and can re-purpose.

I have a decent stash of decorations for a number of holidays. That is because I’ve usually added at least one thing each year to my collection because I bought it on clearance or found it at a yard sale or thrift store. Toss in a few years of doing that and you’ll be amazed how big a collection can get!

  1. 1939980_850785644954823_8728865423831577294_nCoupons & other offers

Do you see all of this Halloween stuff here my girls helped me set up for a picture? I got All this for free?? Tagged ~30 dollars! if it were all purchased at regular price. How did I do that? click the link and I explained it in detail there. But in short I shopped store sales and stacked them with other sales/offers!

Most stores will mark down their holiday items in order to sell them after the big day is over. It really doesn’t hurt to take a peak and buy an item or two to use the following year. I do this all the time. Often times these items are just thrown away if they do not sell; but sometimes, companies or managers may donate them to local charity groups.

2. Just be sure to pick out items that will actually last and be useful for year after year use.

This really helps the environment and really makes the deal that much better. For example dollar general had Valentines merchandise 50% off ! What did I pick out besides craft supplies? A heart shaped baking pan (can be used not only year after year but to also have fun with all year long!), pot holders, dish clothes, etc. Stuff that can with proper care last a long time.

3. Don’t buy it all because its a “bargain”; only purchase it because you can and will actually use it.  

10464210_893578820675505_7547333898685530097_nFor example when the local Grocery Store Clearance! sale for Christmas had snowman cookie cutters marked down to 5 cents a piece.. it was really tempting to buy them all. I mean they could make great decorations on presents the next year for people. But after thinking about it, would I really use them all? would the recipients really make use of it? Most likely not. So I just bought two one for each of my daughters to use for crafts and baking.

4. Buy items that fill more than one purpose. 

Its easy to do a Nightmare Before Christmas Party with candy and items purchased on clearance after Halloween! There are a lot of things that can be used for more than one holiday or purpose if one is creative in how they look at the item. Solid colored Christmas wrap bought at 10 cents (90% off a dollar) can easily be used for someone’s birthday gift or just a fun surprise gift to cheer up someone on a rainy day. .

5. Be mindful of “clearance” and sales! 

Just because a store has something pulled out on an end cap or is highlighting it as a great deal, that doesn’t mean it actually is. Some stores have picked up on the trend that people look for these “special” displays as a way to save money and shop. So what do stores do? put regular price merchandise there!

So pay attention to what things averagely cost in your area. For example is this deal really great at walmart? Look at the was price 2.68 compared to the new “rollback” price 2.98? Only at Walmart does a “rollback” equal an increase in price! So this wasn’t a sale!

6. Make sure the receipt price matches the shelf/advertised price! 

Price differences seem to happen a lot on holiday items. Its when signs are put up to advertise and move a product to get people to buy it, but for whatever reason the computer doesn’t register the price changes. So people end up paying more for items because they don’t actually get them at the clearance/ sale price.  So Check your receipts! Clearances are great if they actually honor their signs !!

Don’t be afraid to respectfully mention it to the cashier that they are listed as other prices on the shelf. It might take a minute or two for someone to run back and verify. These errors are easy to fix when caught if you notice it before you leave the store!!!

7. Check expiration dates on food items!!!

A lot of items like cake mixes and hard candy have pretty long shelf life. I’m not talking about buying a Christmas cake mix to use it next Christmas. But you can buy a Christmas cake mix and use it on the next rainy day or when you are itching for something really sweet!

1666829522_13717838808. Don’t forget it after you bought it! 

Be sure to keep your holiday stuff in one general area. I pack and store my holiday stuff together. I have Christmas boxes labeled Christmas, Halloween, Easter, and so on. For smaller multi purpose items I keep a party drawer. What  exactly is that? Its my answer to Could you throw a party without leaving your home today?!!

 

Other articles for tips on savings, shopping, or holidays!

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