Anyone find any great deals after Black Friday?
Sometimes, restaurants give a free $25.00 gift card with $100.00 in purchases.
Also intersted in knowing about websites like techbargains.com
Wait till after Christmas.
On the other hand, ...
... if you just must celebrate Christmas, with a mound of presents under the old tree ...
how about changing your religion to Eastern (Russian or Greek) Orthodox?
Then you will celebrate Christmas on January 6.
Which means that you can enjoy "saving" all that money while buying that load of stuff in the after-Christmas sales ...
... and still enjoy Christmas.
Actually, we could "enjoy"?, "celebrate"? Christmas ...
... with a lot less stuff.
A by-product of that experience?
**Really** saving the costs of Christmas!!!
P.S. Yeah - I know that the second name was unnecessary.
So's a lot of the stuff that the advertisers have conned us into beieving that we need to buy in order to celebrate Christmas fittingly.
Try dealcatcher.com and saavydeals.com
Along Ed's line. My mom used to do something for us kids called "Little Christmas" on January 6. We'd get more presents because that's when the wisemen brought their gifts. Our gifts were bought in the after Christmas sale. My kids still think most of their presents come from Santa. If they were older, I'd be tempted to give them gift cards at Christmas and then shop the after Christmas bargains.
I always buy my wrapping paper a year ahead of time, I get it the day or two after christmas and put it in a plastic trash bag in the attic. Same for Christmas cards.
I also get ribbons, bows, tinsel, decorations, etc the day after.
I didn't go out for any of the BF specials. Frankly there was only a couple of things that were interesting but not true bargains and definitely not worth fighting the crowds to get the stuff. The shopping I did, I did over the internet. No crowds, no hobbling around, no standing in lines and I don't even have to carry them home! Mr. Postman brought one item so far and UPS & FedEx will be doing the rest of the grunt work. All things considered it was a deal. Half the stuff had free shipping. No gas money driving around. Plus I found some things I can't find in the stores. Actually I even got a better deal on some stuff that I couldn't match around here, so I guess I did better than I thought!
As Ed alluded to, most of us really don't need the mound of presents, most of which will probably just sit in a closet anyway or will cause us to stand in line to return it or get given away to someone else or whatever. What a wasteful society. Most of us have too much junk and clutter anyway. My sister and I have made a pact that only if we know for sure that the other person really wants that item will we get a material thing as a gift. Otherwise, we do things like take each other out to eat on birthdays and the like and exchange homemade specialties like cookies, or maybe a bottle of wine, or something like that. Things like that are far more special and don't contribute to the clutter.. Did the same type of thing with my Dad. Consumables are great.
I used to really enjoy Christmas. I stayed alert all year for hints of what people *needed* or truly *wanted* and would aim for the great present. I was very successful at it. But that's also a lot of headaches. Our whole family agreed to cut down on the gift giving. Instead of the aunts, uncles, cousins etc, we all decided to save the money and not be offended. The one rare exception is a young 'un who would enjoy something. And there, consumables are usually a great way to go.
A gift isn't something you run around frantically grabbing something and checking off names. A gift can be giving of yourself. How about helping clean the house of someone who's not a great housekeeper? How about cooking a meal for someone who has to cook for themself, especially if they can't cook well? Other things like hire a snowplow for a season. Every time it snows they'll have another gift. Lawn service is another option. Internet service is a great gift. It can even be something as simple as doing their grocery shopping or the like.
A couple of times we had trees planted in Israel in honor of a Jewish friend. The expression on his face was priceless. Even a donation in the name of the person to a charity or church of their choice.
Too many people think they saved money on a trinket that nobody can use or want while the reality is that it's a waste of money and a burden on the recipient. Wouldn't it be better if, for instance they had a credit at their veterinarian for the next set of shots for their pet?
This week I'm taking a good friend out for lunch as their present. They pick the place and get whatever they want of course. Plus we have the chance to get together and shoot the bull during the hectic season. Far better than giving a pen & pencil set (and for some reason those pens seldom work unless you pay $50 for a pen...).
Gas gift cards are a great gift for people who drive a lot. Well, there's a lot of things out there that are great alternatives. And after the power outage this past summer I was shocked to see how many people are so totally unprepared for such an event. Not even having a working flashlight in the house? You've *got* to be kidding! So I know some great gifts there that will be used. And I've been stocking up on batteries when they're on sale and rebate for next to nothing so they go with it. Simple little things that they can use and throw in some home made goodies and it really becomes a better gift IMO.
Merry and uncluttered Chistmas to all and to all a frugal night!
I'm with you. I went out for one gift, the rest I got via the internet. Most of those weren't coming down in price. My DD and I always go out after Christmas and shop till we drop for some really great bargains.
Always expect a number of good ideas when cynic comes online.
I don't send out many cards - especially in these days when so many have email.
Or give many gifts.
I've told a number of former recipients that I've been giving more to various charities, instead ... but haven't offered to send receipts to them, so they can deduct on income tax.
There's huge need in New Orleans.
And among the millions who were hard up in the first place, but who lost not only their homes but almost all of their possessions in that devastating earthquake in Pakistan - and it's on the edge of heavy duty winter, there, now.
Help to dig wells in Africa, so that village women don't have to walk a couple of hours to get a few gallons of dirty water. Takes up most of their day - if they could have clean water, near home, they could use their time and talents for more productive ends.
Help for the homeless in our communities.
I've heard that about half of the bankruptcies in the U.S. are caused by heavy medical costs.
And I read the other day that a Harvard specialist says that the U.S. spends more on subsidized health care for the poor than the single-pay Canadian system costs, all told.
We need more medical research funding - and independent, so that the univs. get the patents and can add their profits to further research, rather than lining the pockets of the execs and shareholders of the fat cat drug cos.
There are many needs - and too few helping meet them.
Dad used to say, "The mills of God grind slowly - but they grind exceeding small".
If we who are so fortunate neglect to help those less fortunate ...
... we'll lose it.
Good wishes for a glorious Christmas season - if Christmas is important to you.
If not - good wishes for health, peace, happiness and good friendships to you and yours.
Our extended family (over 40 adults and about 17 children I think) started a different gift exchange about 5 years ago. We had tried the picking names and going in together for the parents, but it still always involved too much money for things no on really wanted. Now everyone brings a $10. or less gift for either a male or female. We throw them in a pile and play a game that involves playing cards. There is alot of stealing gifts from each other and a lot of guessing what is in the packages. Garage sale and thrift store finds are fine. It works for us. We have a fun night and no one spends much money.
Cynic, thanks for the suggestion to buy gas gift cards. I never thought of that before. My sister and her husband do a lot of mailing, so I've never gone wrong giving them packages of stamps.
I had a cousin who was a nun. I obviously couldn't buy her perfume or clothing, but she liked a particular kind of bath soap. I would give her soap and stamps. For older relatives, a gift certificate to a local grocery chain is a good gift. My mom's store even delivers.
Lowe's had their spring bulbs marked 75% off so I bought myself several bags at $1. I will plant them along my new picket fence my husband made for our 25th anniversary. I shop all year long and start the day after Chrismtas. This year my husband & I made some presents that we're proud of. I made napkins and matching placemats & table runner. Whenever I am in Walmart I check out the marked down fabric. Happy shopping & Merry Christmas.
This year the dept stores had me going crazy. Coupons for ten percent off, fifteen percent off,twenty percent off, one day sales, two day sales,sales from seven am to noon, $5 off any purchase, $10 off a purchase of $75 or more. It got me nuts. I used a fifteen percent coupon and got $32 worth of socks for DH for under $25 including tax. I had to be satisfied with that. I probably could have done better if I waited for a better sale. But I couldn't be sure they would have those cotton argyle sox he likes so much. Call me Mrs. Santa.
My husband and I decided last year to wait until after Christmas to buy gifts for each other. We go to the outlets and help each other pick out things. It saves us money, and takes the pressure/hassle off of buying before Christmas.
My husband and I decide on a gift to share and save up for it.
last year we really wanted a new TV so we saved alot of the year and cut off cable to save even more. Then for Christmas we just put fun little gifts (socks, candies, little games) in our stockings. Then we waited until we saw what we wanted on sale and bought it for ourselves. I think we bought it in late January.
This year there is a new nintendo we would like to get, so we are saving for that.
I guess it is a good thing that we both like similar things!
This also saves my husband from running out last minute to buy something for me. I would always say "dont' buy me a gift" and then I would have something for him and he would see that and panic! Why is it when women say "I don't want anything!" guys don't believe them?!
About this time each year, I've noticed K-Mart will have a huge reduction in their toy section (getting ready for Christmas), and when I was there today, there were all kinds of clearance items. -Grainlady
A friend told me an interesting story about gift giving. He said that what he and his wife did was they each bought one really nice item for themselves that they really wanted and did not show it to the other one.
BUT, the surprise was that they each wrapped the 'gift to themselves' up real nice with paper and a bow. The gift was stored until Xmas and on Xmas day they opened what they bought for themselves in front of the other spouse. They each got something they really wanted and the element of surprise was still there wondering what the other one bought for themselves.
This way no one got a gift they did not want or could not use, that money was wasted on.
I thought this was rather clever.
For years I have tried to celebrate Epiphany in January rather than Xmas in December for gift giving. There are too many hoiday obligations in December and it seems so overwhelming and rushed. Getting things on sale after Xmas is a plus. :)
I worked at a place once where at Xmas we drew names and had to give a $50 dollar gift. This was back in the 80's and $50 dollars for a gift to someone you hardly knew seemed like a LOT to me. But I was forced to 'go along'. I got a sweater for the guy who's name I drew. Yeah, like he needed another sweater. I didn't know what else to get since I didn't know anything about the person's tastes or wishes. I never saw him wear it ever.
I got a silly little music box from one of the guys who drew my name. It looked pricey, but I did not need or desire an ugly, tiny music box. I gave it to my mother, who by coincidence has a little music box collection.
This sort of "office party" gift giving at holidays is stupid.
I did work at another place once where the owner decided that at the Xmas party we were to exchange gifts that HAD TO BE BOUGHTEN at a thrift shop of rummage sale for a dollar! That was the rule. One had to be really creative with this sort of limitation. Most people got the most amazing and and cute little things. One of the guys who was a Buddist, (and never let anyone forget it) received a pair of Buddah salt and pepper shakers. It brought a smile to his face. Another guy who like to wear vintage clothing items and who was Irish, received a 50's vintage, green tie with leprechauns on it. He wore it often. I received a used book of gardening poems. I garden as a hobbby and I love the book.
The presenter of each gift told a short story about WHY they selected a particular gift for the person who's name they drew.
Everyone had a nice time and was actually excited about what they received. Even if it was just a chtochke that would end up back at the thrift shop some day, these little trinkets that everyone got were meaningful, creative, thoughtful, and only cost a dollar. This was the most fun gift exchange I every attended at any job I've had.
I am so excited about what my husband and I are planning for this Christmas. Typically my mom and brother come over every Christmas day to exchange gifts, and we end up spending WAY too much money on eachother (I probably spent $500 on my mom last year - she's single and no one but my brother and I buy her what she wants). Well this year we are having a family reunion in Vegas from Dec. 15-19th - we chose this time because three of the kids that are going are college students and this was the only time they could attend. I started stressing thinking about having only 6 days after I got back to prepare/finish shopping & wrapping for Christmas. So my husband came up with a great idea: Bargain Christmas. We will still celebrate Christmas with my grandparents by going to church, having the traditional family meal at my grandmother's, etc., but not exchange gifts. Then on New Year's Eve Day (a Sunday this year),my mom and brother will come over for a gift opening and brunch.
DH came up with this idea after visiting CVS last year on Dec. 27 or 28th, and so much stuff was 90% off. Not just holiday stuff, but cookbooks, toys, home decoration, bath sets, all of that stuff. We got most of our gifts for this year at this 90% off sale, and lots that we plan on donating to local shelters, Toys for Tots, etc.
The limit is $50 on everybody and we're even thinking of leaving the price tags on so everyone can see what an amazing deal we got on their gifts!!
This will eliminate a lot of the stress around the holidays and let us really enjoy our Vegas vacation. :)