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Top 10: Ten Ways to Save Over the Holidays

Monday, 1 December 2008 | Tags: , , ,

The holiday season is a time of joy, cheer, giving, and overspending. If you tend to give more than you should, keep your bank account in good spirits this year by following these tips.

1. Bargain Hunt

For the shopping-savvy family, issue a challenge that every holiday purchase must be on sale or otherwise bought at a discount. And if that means you have to wait ‘til after Christmas, then so be it! (But given the economy lately, we doubt you’ll have to.)

2. Set a Budget

Set a budget, and not just for gifts. Consider all your holiday expenses, like entertaining, that new Christmas party outfit, tips for your hairdresser, paperboy, etc., and stick to your budget.

3. Share the Wealth

Christmas dinner for the whole family can be very pricey. This year, make the celebration a pot-luck affair to cut down on costs for the hostess.

4. Imperfectly Perfect

When choosing your turkey, skip the Grade A birds and choose a “Utility” turkey instead. Grade A means the bird is physically perfect. Utility birds may have a wing missing or some torn skin, but are otherwise just as tasty as Grade A.

5. Bulk Savings

When buying wine, buy in bulk. Some wineries and retailers offer discounts as high as 20% to customers who purchase a case or more. And consider boxed wine – Australians do it best. Pour the vino into some nice decanters and no one will be the wiser.

6. Internet Bargains

Look for discounts and coupons on the Internet before you start shopping. Many stores and outlet malls offer coupons that you can find on their website. There are MANY places to find coupons online, including fatwallet.com and couponcabin.com. Some coupons are only available for purchases made online, while others can be printed and taken to the store.

7. Re-gift

No, not that old paint-by-numbers set you have in the closet, but something you know the gift recipient likes. For example, Anna has always admired a vase of mine. Maybe one day!

8. Knock-offs and Discounts

Learn to love knock-offs and discount stores. A lot of big name retailers, like H & M and TopShop, do a great job of mimicking designer styles and trends.

9. Travel Wise

If you’re traveling over the holidays, avoid weekends. They’re generally more expensive than flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays. Also, search for flights to surrounding, lesser known airports as they’re often cheaper.

10. E-greetings

Send email greetings rather than Christmas cards to save on card cost and postage. You’ll also be saving paper! If you live in the US, send postcards, which cost less in postage  than Christmas cards.

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