Thoughts on Holiday Shopping

Holiday Shopping season is here. Retailers were eager for Halloween to be over to roll out everything holiday related. You may have read in the news that Amazon and Walmart are engaged in price wars with Target following close behind.

What does this mean to you? This means that this holiday shopping season it will be a buyers’ market. The deals are already aplenty, with Walmart even rolling out one-day sales this year. I only suspect that as Black Friday comes and goes these wars will get even fiercer.

While it is already a buyers market and deals are and will be plentiful, how do you keep yourself from getting carried away? I think we can all admit that it is easy to get carried away when bargain shopping. So how do you stop yourself from being an statistic: one in 13 million Americans still paying credit card bills from last year’s holiday shopping?

  1. Create a budget of how much you can spend on this year’s holiday shopping. It is important to determine how much you can afford to spend, so you stick to this amount.
  2. Make a list and stick to it. This is very important. Without a list you face the risk of overbuying for some and not buying for others. Ultimately this results in you overspending.
  3. Don’t jump on a deal because it is “such a great deal.” In other words, control yourself. Even if a deal is such a “great deal” if you don’t need the item what you have just done is waste your hard earned money.

I am just like you, I love the Holidays and I love shopping for others. While this is usually a blog for saving money on everyday items I understand that right now you are probably looking for gifts for others. I want to help you get a good deal on those too. Just like last year I am going to keep an eye out for really good deals on gifts. It would be helpful for me if you gave me an idea of what kind of things you are looking for (so, leave me a comment). I know most likely you are looking for toys, so I will start highlighting some good toy deals at brick and mortar stores as well as online. I just wanted to let you know this, so you know that I am adding these type of deals for the Holiday season and it is not because this blog has changed focus permanently.

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  • chris (baldscreen)

    Mercedes, that was a great post. I am looking for a deal on a Wii for my son.

  • Megan J

    Thanks for the great reminder, Mercedes! I’m probably one of the few readers who doesn’t buy toys at Christmastime 🙂 But I am always on the lookout for great deals on household items (high quality sheets, towels, kitchen items) as well as deals on gift cards. These things make good gifts for family members at Christmas or birthdays. Thanks!

  • Betsy

    Thank you Mercedes! – I am one of those that will buy it for the deal and think why did I do this again? Darn Target and their great deals on Wii games… did I really need 6 more games?

    What I am really looking for a deal on is a girls 20 inch bike, Thomas the train items and great items for the men in our lives…and they say we are hard to shop for… 🙂

  • Delores

    We buy a lot of books. I am pretty well stocked, but like to keep a stock since these are standard gifts for bdays and Christmas. We also give gift cards. I am always on the lookout for games (board, mostly). We really don’t need clothes… but shoes! Definitely shoe deals. We always do photo calendars for the relatives, so I am hoping for a deal on those. Also, we do a lot of food gifts — wine, cheese, chocolate, beer, coffee, etc.

    Thanks for all of your help throughout the entire year!

  • Jaclyn

    Photo Gifts or Photo prints would always make for a great gift ideas. ( Like the $15 Kodak deal- PERFECT!) Toys of course & any great filler gifts for baskets- like the glade candle deal that works out to be free. I know…..actual BASKETS! You get a lot of freebies to use in a basket, but I just do not want to spend $10+ for a basket for a present! Any ideas would GREATLY HELP! Thanks Mercedes! Hope the lil one is doing great! =)

  • Evelyn

    Am I understanding you right, “1 in 13 million are still paying for last years Christmas.” That doesn’t seem high enough. Is the amount correct?

  • Becky

    I’d love to find good deals on Legos and Geo Trax toys!

  • Andrea

    Oooh…Well, I think toys for younger preschoolers (2ish year olds) would be awesome. I know a few sweet 2 year olds that don’t deserve JUST coal this year. 😉

    But I’m also in the market for new towels and sheets if we can swing it, as well as the yearly purchase of clothing for the hubster (probably LLBean…). I’m due mid-December, so I’m sure about mid-December, I’ll be looking for nursing bras and pants that SNAP. (Oh…how I’ve missed pants that snap.)I’d really like a nice deal on some really great quality slippers for both my Mom and Dad.

    I guess I’ll stockpile goods a bit if it means I can get a screaming deal on items!

  • pennyscents

    My son would really like an X Box. He does not want the gravity one that has recently gone on sale. We still have the original playstation from the early 90’s. Unfortunately, you can’t even buy games for it anymore. I know that I can not afford to spend $300.00 on a video game system, so we’ll just have to see how good the deals get.

    All of your hard work is really appreciated!

  • pennyscents

    I’m sorry. He doesn’t want the X Box Arcade. idk where I got, “gravity” from.

  • Jordan

    Thanks for you help! I am looking for:

    knife block with knives
    mini netbook or laptop
    man gifts – two brother in laws and husband

    Many Thanks! And I am loving all the toy posts too!

  • Marissa

    Definitely Wii games (discounted!), cooking accessories, any deals…

  • Lauren

    Evelyn: What I think Mercedes was trying to say is that you don’t want to be 1 of the 13 million Americans who are trying to pay off credit card bills from last Christmas. Hope that helps.
    Mercedes: Thanks for everything you do!! My family and I love you and appreciate all the money you’ve helped us save!!

  • Betty

    To Jaclyn’s response above. Check out the craft stores around you. Last year I found fall baskets at Michaels marked 50% off and actually rang up at 90% off!! They were different sizes, some were big enough for laundry baskets. The baskets were brown/black with a white striped cotton liner. Really awesome deal! Stuffed them full of things for my kids for christmas.

    My kids are all grown and live far away, so I am looking for any deals on gift cards like gas, grocery, clothing stores, Target, etc.

  • Emma K

    Thanks for all you do! I’m looking for great deals on books and movies. We draw names for extended family and my husband and I ended up drawing the guys names which are always harder to buy for!

  • Emma K

    Thanks for all you do! Besides toys and clothing for the kids…
    I am looking for great deals on books, movies, and video games. We draw names at Christmas for extended family and between my husband and I we have 3 guys to buy for and they are the harder ones to get and all love video games. I just hate to say here’s one video game and we’ve spend the limit set. 🙂

  • Heather

    Thanks for the post and your blog!

  • Nancy

    Mercedes, those monogrammed towels last year from Nieman Marcus were a WONDERFUL present. All the kids (big and small) loved having a towel with their name on it. Please let us know if you find this deal again this year!

    Thanks for looking out for us!

  • Sunflowerfla

    Great site- I love all the wonderful and helpful information. I have a son and would love some Tonka coupons/deals. The new talking truck is what he wants- can you help me find a great deal!!

    Thanks again!

  • Wende

    We are looking for new bikes for all 3 of our kids as well as scooters.

    I really want a wheat grinder if I can find a “good”one under $200.