Monday, November 9, 2009

Cheapo's Discount Christmas: Thinking Ahead

Do you realize how close we are to Christmas? I mean...really?
From today, we are 46 days out. That means there are only SIX shopping weekends left.

SIX, I tell you! Not a lot of time.

I hope you aren't one of those people who leaves all of their gift buying until the very, last, hustle, bustle minute...because that's not a good thing. For one, spending a whole chunk of money in one shopping trip is MUCH harder on the wallet than spreading it out over many weeks. And two, that's just plain stressful.

Now is the time to start thinking ahead and looking for those early bird discounts. The first place, way before Black Friday, is to start searching the internet. Typically, I don't like my inbox being stuffed with store sales, flyers and newsletters all year long. Though, at the beginning of the holiday season, I like to start subscribing with the places I shop at the most. You can always cancel your email subscription after the holidays - but, for now, take advantage of the coupons and codes they are willing to share with you. Also, don't forget to "fan" your favorite places through Facebook. Sometimes there are special discounts that you can ONLY find there.

Sale specials can be "store only" or "online only" and sometimes both. Pay special attention to the fine print so you don't get to the register and feel so embarassed that you end up paying full price for something. That is a big NO, NO. If that DOES happen, swallow your pride, cancel your transaction and order at home, WITH the discount.

As we speak, the holiday specials are beginning!

Have you seen this one from Freebies 4 Mom? 50 4X8 or 5X7 FREE Christmas Photo Cards w/ envelopes, shipped FREE! How can you beat that? The promo code is good until Nov. 30, 2009. Save yourself some money on photos and Christmas cards this year.

What about this one found at Money Saving Mom? Sign up at Kodak Gallery and they will immediately email you a gift code that is worth $15.00. Since their prints are only $.09 each, you can stock up on photos or put it towards a photo gift for Christmas!

Do you (or someone you know) receive the Martha Stewart Living magazine? In the December issue (that came yesterday) there is a tear out coupon for Hallmark Gold Crown Stores - $5.00 off any purchase. I'm SURE I could find something in there for FREE with that!

Do you ever shop at Bath & Body Works? When you sign up for their email, they will immediately send you a printable coupon for any trial sized item with any purchase. Also, they are VERY generous with their mailer coupons (as from my experience with them last year.) Already this season, I have received a coupon for $10/$30 purchase and a FREE full sized signature item with any purchase. These single items are great for stocking stuffers, tie- ons or gift exchanges.

Another store that is generous with mailer and online coupons is JC Penny. Over the course of the year, they often send out $10 on any purchase coupons. It's very easy to find something that is clearanced or marked down for $10.00 there. They also offer a rewards program that you can sign up for (free.) Last year, right before Christmas, with every purchase they threw in a $10 gift card that was good for the month of January. We ended up with 3 or 4 of those to use for after Christmas sales!
Have you already signed up with Kohl's? Lots of free money to be had here during the holidays! Last year, they did a promo where you received a $10 gift card for every $50 spent. If you plan on shopping there anyway, why not get some of that hard earned cash back?

I like to get Old Navy's emails all year long - cute and affordable clothing for us all. If you sign up with them, they will email you a special discount right away! Plus, they offer LOTS of online specials and codes all year round.

Last, but not least, never pay shipping when you order online. Before you start your actual shopping, shop for free shipping codes first. There are many collaborative sites out there, such as or to help get you started. If you can't find what you are looking for there, start doing searches. You may surprised at the OTHER discounts you will find as well. Some stores even allow you to "stack" coupon codes - such as free shipping AND a percentage off!

Whichever way you do it, just be sure you are SAVING MONEY!

What is your favorite place to save money at the holidays? Leave a comment and share!

Happy Discount Christmas!

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