The holiday season is upon us and that means millions of people will be shopping for gifts. I myself have over 25 family members and friends to buy for. My family and I really enjoy the giving part of the holiday season. I put a lot of time and effort into our gifting. In order to be able to make each and every gift amazing I have to be careful how I spend our money. I always make it work out no matter what the budget thanks to coupons, sales, and a few tried and true tips. Here are five awesome tips that I personally use to help with my shopping this holiday season.
1) If at all possible avoid credit cards. Set aside cash because it's never a good idea to go into debt. If you only carry cash then you cannot over spend. Remember that you do not have to be super Santa! If you do need to use a credit card then find one with great rewards.
2) Have a budget set for each gift you plan to purchase. Get a small notebook out that you can keep in the car and write down some personalized gift ideas and your approximate budget. Make sure you have a firm dollar amount before you shop. Think practical and look for items that your recipient will actually use.
3) Look up coupons and pay attention to sales all year round, do your research online. Sign up for newsletters for the stores you want to shop, sometimes they will send out coupons via email. It pays to check out the after holiday clearance for next year's gifts. Post holiday sales can save you a lot of money.
4) Shop with stores that offer a rewards type program. Sears has their Shop Your Way Rewards program. You can earn rewards for making qualified purchases, this gives you more for your dollar and best of all it's free. If you use a Sears card your rewards potential is even greater.
5) If your family is close and do not mind sharing then ask everyone to give you their favorite colors, style and size of pant, shoe or shirt. If you have a full list of their sizes then when you are shopping you won't have to guestimate. It saves time for everyone, keeps them out of the return lines and helps you personalize your gift giving.
Do you have someone that is the "outdoorsy type" in your life? Are they kind of difficult to shop for? My husband is one of those people. He loves to camp, toss a football, hunt, work on our cars, do odd jobs around the house and spend time out in the garage. I had written down on my shopping list that he loves orange and black, needs a new power driver set, and wants something to keep him warm while he is outside.
I went to my local Sears to check out their large selection of items. They carry everything from tools, camping gear, clothing and all the latest 2013 Fall fashion trends. I found five gift items and stayed under my budget. I love that anyone can get the look for less at Sears. I used my Shop Your Way Rewards card to redeem some earned reward cash on this purchase and I follow Sears on Twitter and Instagram for style help @searsStyle.
First item that I chose was a men's orange fleece pullover from NordicTrack Dri in the Big & Tall size. There were several colors to choose from. I went with orange since he likes to hunt and I figured the more orange he wears the better. I chose the pullover because the fleece was super soft and I knew it would keep him warm out there. The sleeves had a good amount of give so that he could even wear it while shoveling snow in the driveway. The stripes of grey on the sides gave a slimming illusion. I liked the zipper pull and the little fold-over of fleece at the top so the zipper won't irritate the neck. He is going to look so sharp.
The second item I chose was a velvety soft gray long sleeve cotton shirt made by Outdoor Life in their Big & Tall sizes. A sticker on the shirt said that it had been "sueded for softness". The material is thick and will provide my outdoorsy man with an added layer of comfort and warmth. There was no tag in the neck to be itchy and the color gray matched the fleece pullover. He can wear this shirt under a button up shirt or sweater, maybe even under another tee for a layered look. I can't wait to snuggle into him while he is wearing that one.
My guy already has some great gloves but he does need a new hat. Sears had like 25 different styles of hats in the men section and they were all really handsome looking. I decided to go for the most practical option. I chose a fleece 4-in-1 hood made by NordicTrack. My husband will get a lot of use out of the hood. On the back it said that it could be a hat, neck gator, hood and face mask. I also saw a NordicTrack fleece head band that was a dark gray color. I thought that he could sport the head band for some extra ear warmth when he wears and hood as a neck gator.
The last thing on my list was a new power driver set. Sears carries Craftsman tools and I know that my husband loves the quality of those. I found a 54 piece speed-lock power driver set made by Craftsman that looked perfect. I chose the set because it had so many pieces plus it came with it's own case. If I hadn't found the tool set for him then I would have bought a really neat multi-tool with flashlight that I saw in the men's clothing area. I might be going back to get that for his birthday in January. I can't wait to see the look on my husband's face when he opens his gift! He is going to look so handsome in his new warm fleece and all of this for around $50!
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