CHRISTMAS SHOPPING ADVICE FROM SHARON MILLS
Cut Christmas Shopping Expenses
Reduce your Christmas budget.
Complete strategy for lowering holiday costs while still enjoying the yuletide season. Get best quality gifts at discounts, avoid credit card hangover, plan for gift giving, stock up on after-Christmas sales.
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6.0 SHARON MILLS; CUT AND REDUCE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING EXPENSES.
6.0.1 MAKE YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS CLUB
By Sharon Mills
When I was a kid, all of my aunts used to join a Christmas Club at the bank every year. Starting in January, they'd deposit two, three, or (the high rollers) five dollars a week, make a tiny bit of interest, withdraw the lump sum two weeks before Christmas and rush around doing their shopping. I find it cheaper and more fun to buy a little bit every week.
Several of the chain drug stores in our area have sale bins near the cash registers. Here you can find a little of everything from discounted candy to flip flops. Last summer I found a Revlon Wet-Dry travel size shaver for $12.00 and a 1875 watt Conair hair dryer with diffuser for $9.99 mixed in with the 79 cent tubes of toothpaste and sunscreen. This is also a good place to find nice baskets after Easter and during the year gradually fill them with bath sponges, soaps, lotions and scented candles.
These drug stores put the week's sales flyers in the Sunday papers. Last summer one flyer had an ad for a 4 pack of 24 exposure Fujifilm for $9.99. Next to the ad was a "buy one, get one free or save $9.99" store coupon for the same packs of film. When I got to the store, I found the packs were marked $7.99 and each had a stick-on coupon for $2.00 off. The cashier accepted all three coupons, and so I paid $1.99 for EIGHT rolls of film! It will keep in the refrigerator until Christmas.
== Yard Sales and Bag Sales
I keep my Christmas list in the back of my mind when I go to yard sales, too. My husband Rick restores British sports cars and in July, went to a yard sale which advertised a "72 MG with extra tops, engines, wheels, radiators, wheels, gear boxes, etc. When Rick saw that the man was selling practically everything he owned, he came home and got me. He bought the MG (with his money), and I bought 10-12 pieces of furniture (several of which are antiques), an Oriental type rug, and lots of odds and ends for under $400. I spent less than $5.00 on several gift type items: 4 cut glass and silver coasters, a cut glass relish tray, a silver bowl and a couple of silver spoons.
Last February, my favorite thrift shop held a bag sale to clear out the winter clothes. All items had already been marked down during the previous few weeks. If I had bought each article separately at half price, I would have paid $16.85, but I stuffed the following into one bag: a wool hat, a long batik scarf, a L.L. Bean sweater, an orlon sweater, a denim dress, a 2 piece Leo Chevalier dress, a pair of shorts, some suede slacks, Izod cord slacks, Dockers slacks, and Wrangler jeans, a child's sweatshirt, a turtleneck jersey, and 3 pairs of flannel boxer shorts (which my kids wear to bed) for THREE DOLLARS.