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Christmas Stockpiling- Making your money stretch for ALL holidays!

Written By Amanda on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 | 12:14 AM

Are you one of those people that stress around the Holidays, running around trying to find the perfect gifts, trying to not go TOO much over budget, and getting everything done in time? 

If we could instead shop throughout the year and get presents when the prices are at their rock-bottom lowest, we would not be in debt and we could enjoy our family and friends in December :)

I have a shelf in my garage that I collect presents on throughout the year. It is almost as much fun for me to look through them (and remember what I have gotten and at what great prices) when certain Holidays come up and  I need to go "shopping" for  a gift in my garage.

So, here are my tips for stockpiling for Christmas (and other holidays too):

Storage Is Key
     Have a place to put it all. Whether that be a large container that blends in with other containers (get the drift), a closet, a cedar chest or under the bed, make sure you have some place to store all of your great deals! Make sure you properly mark and label what you store too! No matter how good of a deal you get, if you can't find the item when you need it, or you forget about it, you defeated the whole purpose!

Start Early
     Seriously, start shopping the day after Christmas. You can imagine how much merchandise a store purchases during the holidays. Now they need to get rid of it and the deals are awesome! You can actually take this concept and do it for any holiday.  I keep an eye out for things they may be "Christmas"  but work for other Holidays too like solid colors of ribbon, tissue, wrapping paper, vanilla/sugar cookie scented items, even baking stuff! If it's green it  could easily be used for Saint Patrick's days. Red stuff for Valentines day! Buy Valentine's Day chocolate the day after and then use it for Easter! It is all about when to get the best deal!

Don't Procrastinate
     If you see a great deal but think it will be on sale again, do not bet on it. If you have the extra money get it then!

All I bought for 75% off or more!

Daily Deal Sites
     One new way of shopping that I love are daily deal sites! They have some amazing gift cards deals. Sites like GrouponSaveology, and Living Social all have wonderful deals. They have regional and national deals. Usually the gift card deals are considered national deals so you can mail them to friends and family in other states. Of course with any deal, you will want to read all the details, make sure that it will not expire before the holidays and make sure your recipient will be able to use it at a store near them. Another thing to consider is that many of these sites will give you a credit of $3 to $10 just for signing up. You can then use that credit to get an item even cheaper! Website Deal of the Day offers are also a great way to get a deal. Walmart, Target and many other websites all have daily deals. Target even offers free shipping on all of their daily deals.

     Do I dare say it..... re-gift. If you have received a gift during the holidays, birthday etc. and it just does not speak to you, but it in your stockpile. Just remember who gave it to you :)

Go Bargain-Hunting
     Thrift Stores, Dollar Stores, and Garage Sales - Talk about a deal - all three of these locations can get you amazing gifts at great prices. I love finding an item at a thrift store and then reinventing it or making a one of a kind gift.
         Some of my favorite places to shop the clearance Christmas stuff are Walmart and Walgreens for the gift box sets. They have some great ones that they mark off 50% right after Christmas and just continue to lower the price until they all are sold. You can get awesome brand name perfumes and colognes, lotion or bath and body sets, makeup, jewelry , and even Starbucks gift sets. 
         Micheals and Joanns are great one for getting wrapping paper, ornaments, bows and ribbon. If you can wait until all their stuff is marked all the way to 90% off and then pair that with a 15% or 20% off your entire transaction- just think of how far you money can stretch.
         Lowes, Home Depot, and other home improvement stores have great clearance after the holidays on things like lights, wreaths, Christmas trees, and storage solutions. I prefer to shop online at these type of stores, and then do free local pickup to save on the shipping. 
    I'll leave you with this...If you give yourself a budget, let's say $100 to do some after holiday shopping with, If you hit all the great clearances 75% to 90%, stack that with store and manufacturer's coupons...you could potentially get around $1,000 retail value of stuff for that $100. Now who doesn't think that is worth holding onto it until next Christmas?!


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