Surviving the Holidays: Saving Money and Stress-Free Shopping

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If you’ve been to any of the big box stores recently, you’ll see the holiday aisles. I’m not just referring to Fall and Halloween, but Thanksgiving, Chanukah and Christmas decor are out, too!

It seems they move the holidays in on us earlier each year! I’ve barely just made it back into the swing of the Back to School routines. Phew! Anyway, I’ve been thinking about how to do better with spending this year. I have a large family and it makes me crazy to start thinking about them when it comes to gift giving.

Hopefully, some of these tips will save you some stress and money. I know for me, there’s nothing worse than the lines and craziness of holiday shopping at the mall. 

Here are some of the things I’ve come up with to minimize the dent in my wallet (and my sanity) this holiday season:

Shop on-line!

This will minimize impulse purchases that the stores like to have on display. Use camelcamelcamel for price tracking on big ticket items through Amazon. This service will send an alert to you when a price has lowered on a specific item you’re looking to purchase. You can also use order ahead services like site to store or order pick-ups. Many of the big stores offer this now (Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, and Old Navy are just a few).

Talk to family about spending limits.

Set a dollar amount that is within reason for everyone’s budgetMy sisters and I discussed doing experience gifts rather than toys (yes!). Some examples we came up with are:

      • Zoo passes
      • Movie tickets – I know I’ll be making a trip to see “Frozen 2” this holiday season 
      • Memberships for local museums
      • Indoor Playspace gift cards 

Don’t procrastinate! Plan ahead.

In keeping with your budget, make a list. Keep track of who you’ve purchased for. My husband and I keep a Google sheet going year to year, to see previous year’s purchases for each family member. 

Give back!

Find ways to volunteer, and help others through this holiday season. Here are some ways to do so in Fairfield County

If I missed something, feel free to share in the comments section. 

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Clara is a part-time working mom that lives in Trumbull, CT. She and her husband, Joe, were high school sweethearts that began their journey in Upstate NY (think capital region part of NY). Together, they moved to Fairfield County in 2006, after college graduations. Clara will forever hold the magic of Disney in her heart, as she and her husband got engaged in Epcot Center in 2010. She married Joe on a cruise ship in 2011, with 60 close family and friends in attendance. Clara is the proud mommy to two girls Abby {Sept 2013} and Sofia {May 2017}. In addition to being "Mommy," Clara is an Early Childhood Consultant. Outside of her two jobs, you may find her on a cruise, or traveling to New York to visit family.

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