SHOP AROUND FOR BARGAINS
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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7.2 SHOP AROUND FOR BARGAINS; CUT AND REDUCE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING EXPENSES.
By Kathy Gillikin
Grocery stores aren't the only places where you can buy food and household supplies. In North Carolina there are some small "neighborhood" discount stores like Maxway and Family Dollar that are geared towards families whose income is less than $25,000. a year. Getting ready for Christmas last year, I bought stainless steel cookie sheets and bread pans for about a dollar and a half each. These bake better than the disposable ones and are cheaper. While they don't carry as much variety as Wal Mart, their prices are much better. They carry basic clothes, such as Hanes sweat shirts and pants in all sizes for $4.99 each, "seasonal" and gift items, cleaning and household supplies, and some snack food.
For a dollar, I've bought deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, and six ounce tubes of toothpaste (assorted brand names); packages of vacuum cleaner bags, sponges and soap pads, liquid soap, laundry detergent, dusting spray, and clothes hangers. Their prices for cookies, candy, crackers and snacks are usually half of what I would pay in the grocery store. I stop in every so often to buy fig bars for a dollar a pound ($1.89 per pound for grocery store brand), and 20 ounce packages of fat free pretzels, also for a dollar.
After Christmas you can buy not only decorations, lights, wrapping paper and cards for half price, but also specialty gift items, like bath sets, perfume and jewelry. Last year I bought a huge wicker basket filled with soaps, lotions and bubble bath for about 7 dollars. Its original price was over 20. I gave it to my sister for her birthday in March. This is a good time to buy candles and potpourri too.