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Money-Saving Mama: Be a smart shopper

Posted: December 11, 2012 - 5:30pm
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It is the most wonderful time of year. The time to remember family and friends, spend time with them, and relax. Well, maybe not so much relax, but you can have an easier time of Christmas if you don’t have to run around trying to find that perfect gift for everyone.

If there are still some things to purchase, make a list then check online for the best place and best price. You might still have time to order online. Check for coupon codes to reduce the price. Coupon codes can be found at www.couponcodes.com or www.ebates.com. If you have run out of time for online purchases, look for store coupons online or in the newspaper. The best time to avoid crowds is first thing in the morning. If you want to save even more money, go only to the stores you have to go to and leave after buying what is on your list. The longer you stay in the store, the more you will find to spend money on.

Make sure to stick to your budget as well. It helps to write out your budget amount on your list so that you don’t forget it.

If you want to give a thoughtful gift without breaking the bank, make a gift basket. You can put together a nice breakfast, baking, or Italian dinner basket. Pick up a basket at a thrift store or use a coupon for one of the craft stores then fill it with tissue paper purchased at the dollar store. While at the dollar store, you can pick up some cooking utensils, a measuring cup, and other items for the basket. You can even pick up some of the food for the basket unless you can get them cheaper at the grocery store by matching it with a sale and a coupon.

The other thing you can do is to give food as a gift. If you can food, now is a perfect time to wrap them with pretty paper with a pretty bow. You can bake bread, a cake or cookies. You can also Google “gifts in a jar” and make a gift from that. Anything homemade wrapped in a pretty box and bow makes a beautiful gift.

An idea for grandparents is to take a picture of the family or grandkids or a picture that is drawn by the grandchildren and frame it with a mat and picture frame. You can pick up a picture frame at a thrift store for very little money and take a mat and customize it by letting the grandchildren color it or make polka dots on it with their fingerprints.

No matter what you may have left to do, this doesn’t have to be a stressful time. Sit back and enjoy your time and have a very Merry Christmas.

KAREN GREEN CAN BE BOOKED TO TEACH COUPON CLASSES AND CAN BE REACHED AT BUDGETCOUPONS@COMCAST.NET.

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