It is not yet too late to make your Dada, Papa or Hero happy this coming Father’s Day. Daddy will surely treasure these innovative gift ideas from Country Living. Start being creative. 25 Last-Minute Father’s Day DIY Gift… Read More >
20 Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas
It’s just a couple of days before Mother’s Day, and in the hectic whirl of kids-work-chores, you forgot to get a gift! No time to shop around or do some DIY crafts? No worries! Check out this list… Read More >
16 Ideas for Wrapping Presents Without Wrapping Paper
It’s 10PM on Christmas Eve and halfway through gift wrapping, you run out of wrapping paper. Sound the alarm bells! What do you do? People get pretty creative when they’re racing against the clock, and not everyone has… Read More >
Save Money on Gifts With a White Elephant Exchange
The holidays are a time of giving, being with family, and having fun. A favorite holiday tradition in my family is to buy cheap items from the clearance aisles or dollar stores. We would then wrap them up… Read More >
Black Friday vs Cyber Monday: Which Has the Best Deals?
The holidays are coming, and with them, the hottest sale of the year, Black Friday, which falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving. As online shopping has become a more feasible option, e-retailers have joined in with their own… Read More >
How Discounted Gift Cards Can Help Save Your Budget
Gift cards are quite popular during the holidays, weddings, graduations or birthdays. They are a convenient way to show you care, allow the receiver freedom of choice, and are more memorable than a wad of plain cash. Instead of buying gift cards from… Read More >
How to make a DIY Dream Catcher
Dreamcatchers are a great looking decoration for your home. Its structure and appearance reminds everyone of Native American cultures. Centuries ago, dreamcatchers were used, literally, to catch the dreams of sleeping children. It filters the dreams and allow only good ones… Read More >
Tutorial: Wrapped Soap Gift Idea – Expensive-Looking but Super Cheap to Create
For those who are on a tight budget or trying to save every extra dollar they can, a gift-giving occasion can almost be painful. Sure, you want to give your loved one a fantastic gift that they will… Read More >
Festive, Frugal and Almost Free Christmas Gift Ideas
Still need more gifts? Feeling low on funds? No worries! The Budget Diet Girl is your Christmas gift-giving angel with 6 festive, frugal and almost free Christmas gift ideas. Even better…no shopping required! Write a Poem – If… Read More >
Festive and Frugal Gift Idea – DIY Fort Kit
Remember the joy of building a fort in your living room? Maybe you used a card table and sheets, or maybe you created a fort with a giant box and markers. Those forts could be castles high in… Read More >
Cheap and Cheerful Graduation Gifts
Is this one of those years that you have lots of graduation gifts to buy? Your niece, your neighbor, your son, his friends…the list is growing! Are graduation announcements arriving in your mailbox daily? Is your wallet… Read More >
Mother’s Day Gift Ideas
Mother’s Day is May 11…don’t let it sneak up on you! If you wait until the last minute, you’ll rarely get a good deal or have time to put a lot of thought into the gift. Get started… Read More >
Hostess Gifts: They Don’t Have to Break the Bank!
You know that you should “never show up empty handed” to a party. At the same time, buying a hostess gift every time you are invited somewhere can get really expensive – so expensive that some people honestly… Read More >
Festive and Frugal Gift Ideas – Less Than $10
Still need a few gifts? Wallet feeling stretched? Let this collection of festive and frugal gift ideas inspire you…everything costs less than $10 and many will cost next to nothing! If it’s a homemade gift, don’t panic –… Read More >
Secrets of a Savvy Shopper – 6 Ways to Save Money on Christmas Shopping
The countdown to Christmas is on!
Let the shopping begin!
This year, you will save money on Christmas shopping when you use my 6 savvy shopping secrets!
You’ll learn how to buy a dress at J.C. Penny that is normally $60 for only $27.20, and that’s not just because it’s on sale! Read on and learn the secrets of a savvy shopper!
Plan Ahead, Make Lists
- Planning ahead gives you TIME, and time is required to shop for bargains!
- I love lists because they are one of the best tools for planning ahead and saving money.
- Lists will keep you organized – don’t you hate spending a day of shopping, coming home & realizing you forgot something? Lists will prevent that!
- Lists will help you feel in control especially when you check them off!
- Important lists: gift list, Christmas card list and meal/party planning lists.
- Be prepared, don’t shop without a list!
Preview the Black Friday 2011 Ads
- You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving Day to look at the Black Friday ads…catch a sneak peek by visiting TheBlackFriday.com. Some ads are already posted!
- Read the fine print! If it says quantities are limited…don’t get your heart set on that deal unless you plan to be one of the first in line.
- Prioritize! You can’t be at all the stores at once, so go for the big ticket items first to maximize your savings OR get your husband to turn off the football game and run few errands!
- Use the internet to compare prices before you hit the stores. Sites like PriceGrabber.com allow you to search by product, compare prices and read reviews.
- Don’t forget your list! It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy & make impulse purchases.
Buy Discounted Gift Cards
- Do you know that you can buy discounted gift cards to hundreds of stores & restaurants? Even better, nobody will know that you didn’t pay full price!
- Here’s how – go to:
Click on “buy a gift card”, browse the available stores and restaurants and buy cards for any stores you’ll be shopping during the Christmas season.
- Right now you can get a JC Penny gift card for 15% off! I suggest using it when JC Penny is having a big sale and combine it with a coupon from their newspaper ad. Yes, this is how you can buy that $60 dress for only $27.20.
- Discounted gift card inventory changes daily, so check regularly!
- If a gift card you want is sold out, you can set up an alert, and you’ll receive an email when that gift card is available.
- If you shop online, ecodes are available for some discounted gift cards. Once you purchase these, they are immediately available for use.
- Here’s the catch…discounted gift cards take about 1 week to arrive, so order now & be ready to shop Black Friday!
Are You an Online Shopper? Learn how to earn Cash Back
- Sign up for Ebates.com (it’s free) and you’ll earn cash back on your online purchases plus you’ll discover money saving coupon codes.
- Here’s how it works…
- Let’s say I want to make a photo calendar for Christmas.
- Go to ebates.com and on the left side of the page, click on “electronics and photos” to see a list of stores, and how much cash back you’ll earn.
- I discover that Snapfish is offering 20% cash back and a coupon code for free shipping.
- Click shop now & you’ll be taken to the Snapfish site.
- Every 3 months, ebates will send you a BIG FAT CHECK!
- Whenever you’re shopping online, get in the habit of making ebates your first stop! They work with over 1200 stores, so they’ll likely have just what you need!
Learn The Outlet Mall Lingo
- Don’t assume everything’s cheaper just because it came from an outlet mall! Stores like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross & Homegoods frequently offer better deals.
- Do your homework first – you know the drill: make a list and compare prices online before you hit the outlet mall.
- Learn the lingo that you might see on the tags…
- MFO stands for Made for Outlet which means it won’t be the same quality as their regular store.
- Irregular – means slightly imperfect, so inspect carefully! Irregular items are usually a really good deal if you can live with the imperfections.
- Refurbished – these items have been inspected, tested and restored to their original condition. Refurbished items are common in electronics stores, and the prices are great! Just make sure to ask if it comes with the same warranty as a new item (most do!).
Take Advantage of Daily Deals
If you’re not already paying attention to daily deal sites like Groupon and Eversave, today is a great day to start! Groupon has recently started offering nationwide daily deals on great gifts like a personalized children’s book for half price! Check out the Groupon Gift Store today and everyday during the shopping season!
Now you know the secrets of a savvy shopper, so go forth and save money!
READY, SET, SHOP!
Care Packages – A Cheap and Cheerful Gift!
The cooler weather has arrived, and I’ve been busy baking cookies for college care packages. It’s my “go-to” high school graduation gift…I give an i.o.u. in June and send the care packages each fall. If you need a… Read More >
Free Mother’s Day Printables – Great Gift Idea!
If you’re a regular reader of The Budget Diet, you know that free printables are one of my favorite gifts…after all, they are FREE! A free printable can be printed (for free!) from your home computer, and then… Read More >
What’s on Your Mother’s Day Wish List?
Wondering what the most popular Mother’s Day gifts are this year? In a recent survey by RetailMeNot, the top gifts moms want are… Flowers – 18% hope to receive flowers Spa Day – 18% would prefer a spa… Read More >
Festive and Frugal Gift Ideas Here’s a gift giving guide with unusual gifts that you won’t find in any ads, and these gifts are sure to please! The Budget Diet girl’s gift guide includes: annual gifts, collections, semi-homemade… Read More >
Father’s Day Gifts
Father’s Day, gifts for men…always a challenge! Got gifts? Need ideas? Read on! In my opinion, men are the most difficult to shop for, so I’ve come up with a solution that’s perfect for Father’s Day, Dad’s birthday… Read More >