holiday shopping http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8272/all en-US Deferred Interest Credit Cards: Don't Fall For This Trick Over The Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/deferred-interest-credit-cards-dont-fall-for-this-trick-over-the-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/deferred-interest-credit-cards-dont-fall-for-this-trick-over-the-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping_with_card.jpg" alt="Shopping With Card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>&quot;Would you like to apply for a store credit card today? You can get [insert number here] months free financing.&quot;</em></p> <p>We've all heard it before when checking out at a retail store. Chances are, you'll be hearing it a lot more over the holidays as you ramp up your holiday shopping.</p> <p>It can be tempting &mdash; you can make a large purchase today, and pay it off over time interest-free. Some companies will even throw in a gift card or a discount if you apply for their credit card. But before you say &quot;yes&quot; to the cashier, there's one hidden trick that these companies often use. If you're not aware of it, your &quot;free financing&quot; might end up backfiring in a big way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-sign-up-for-that-store-credit-card?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Should You Sign Up for That Store Credit Card?</a>)</p> <h2>What is a &quot;deferred interest&quot; credit card?</h2> <p>There are two types of credit cards that offer free financing: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases?ref=internal" target="_blank">0% Intro APR cards</a>, and deferred interest cards.</p> <p>You see ads for 0% APR cards all the time &mdash; you get 0% APR for a limited time. After that, the standard interest rate goes into effect. When stores offer a &quot;deferred interest credit card&quot; you might reasonably assume they work the same way. But they are very different.</p> <p>With a deferred interest card, you must pay off the charge <em>in full </em>before the promotional free financing period is over. If you don't, you'll have to pay the <em>full amount of interest charges</em>, as if that interest rate was in effect the whole time. All that &quot;deferred&quot; interest comes rolling back the moment the promotional period is over, not just on the balance you have left, but on the entire purchase amount.</p> <p>And it'll be a heck of a bill too: the interest rates on these types of credit cards are often sky-high, running upward of 25% APR. As a comparison, the current average interest rate for all credit cards combined is 13.08% APR, according to the Federal Reserve.</p> <p>Let's look at an example of how much a deferred interest credit card might cost you. A store credit card offers 12 months deferred interest financing, with a standard 27.99% APR. If you make a $1,500 purchase and only make the minimum payments during those 12 months (about $45), you'll owe a walloping $321.63 in interest at the end of it &mdash; and still owe over $950 on your purchase.</p> <h2>How do you spot a deferred interest credit card?</h2> <p>Your first clue is <em>who</em> is offering the card. Most deferred interest credit cards are offered by retail stores. If a store employee is trying to get you to sign up for the card, ask them: &quot;what happens if I don't have the purchase paid off by the end of the financing period?&quot;</p> <p>But the <em>best</em> way to find out if the card you're interested in really is a deferred interest card or not is to simply look at the Terms and Conditions disclosure. Here's a snippet from a store credit card's disclosure to give you an idea of what the language will look like:</p> <p><em>&quot;If the balance is not paid in full by the end of the promotional period, interest charges will be imposed from the purchase date at the purchase rate on your account which is 26.24%.&quot;</em></p> <p>See how the charges are imposed &quot;from the purchase date?&quot; Other words to look for are &quot;deferred&quot; or &quot;financing&quot; or &quot;no interest if paid off in X months&quot; which is different from just 0% APR during the promotional time. A credit card that offers 0% APR for 12 months mean that there are no interest charges on your balance for 12 months, then at the end of the 12 months, the standard APR will start, and will only be applied to the <em>current</em> <em>balance</em>, not the entire purchase. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/same-as-cash-store-offers-vs-0-intro-apr-credit-cards-which-is-right-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Same-As-Cash Store Offers vs. 0% Intro APR Credit Cards &mdash; Which Is Right for You?</a>)</p> <h2>Come up with a game plan to tackle your debt</h2> <p>Despite all of this, deferred interest cards aren't necessarily something you always need to avoid. In fact, they can really help you out &mdash; <em>as long as you have a game plan to deal with them</em>.</p> <p>Setting up a plan is simple. All you have to do is take the amount of your purchase and divide it by however many months you have to pay off the charge. If you want to play it on the safe side, you can even subtract a month or two to give yourself some space if something comes up. That way, you'll have it paid off with plenty of time to spare.</p> <p>Here's an example. Say your child's old computer died, and you want to buy them a new $1,100 computer for Christmas. Luckily, your local electronic store chain offers a 12-month deferred interest credit card, which you use to purchase your new computer.</p> <p>If you want to have it paid off early, divide the purchase price ($1,100) by 11 months, to give you a monthly payment of $100. You can further boost your chances of having it paid off by setting up that payment on autopay, so then you don't even have to worry at all about making payments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/store-credit-cards-that-dont-suck?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Best Store Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>When you should choose a store credit card over a 0% APR card</h2> <p>A 0% APR credit card will give you the safety net in case you don't actually pay off the entire balance within the promotional time frame. Even if you leave a $10 balance on a store credit card, you'll get charged <em>all the interest from the purchase date</em>. It's pretty brutal.</p> <p>It can also be of use to you even after the promotional period. Perhaps it's a very good <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards credit card</a> that can fund your next vacation.</p> <p>But there are times you might end up choosing the store credit card instead.</p> <h3>You have bad credit</h3> <p>I won't remind you that if you're in this position, you should be considering ways to build back your credit which doesn't include adding more debt. But assuming you've already thought this through, getting approved for a 0% APR card might not be in your cards. So if you really need this buffer to pay off the purchase, and you are committed to the payoff goal, then go ahead and sign up for the card. Store cards generally have a lower threshold for approving customers, because their regular APR is so high, and their credit limits usually low.</p> <h3>You will benefit from the rewards</h3> <p>Stores can be generous to their credit card holders, offering big rewards and discounts that will save you loads of money. If you're a frequent shopper there, and the store card can offer you much better deals and rewards than you'd get from a typical <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back card</a>, for example, then it can be worth it to be a loyal card holder. Just don't ever leave a balance because the APR will always destroy any savings or rewards the card would have offered.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lindsay-vansomeren">Lindsay VanSomeren</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deferred-interest-credit-cards-dont-fall-for-this-trick-over-the-holidays">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-6-credit-card-moves-now-to-prepare-for-holiday-shopping">Make These 6 Credit Card Moves Now to Prepare for Holiday Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-pitfalls-when-chasing-travel-rewards">6 Pitfalls When Chasing Travel Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-your-credit-card-can-help-you-manage-your-finances">5 Ways Your Credit Card Can Help You Manage Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/read-this-to-maximize-your-rewards-and-cash-back-this-holiday-season">Read This to Maximize Your Rewards and Cash Back This Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">Top 7 Reasons Why I Use My Credit Card for Everything</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards credit card tips credit cards deferred interest credit cards holiday shopping Holidays Spending Money Wed, 22 Nov 2017 09:30:10 +0000 Lindsay VanSomeren 2058216 at http://www.wisebread.com Gift Giving Etiquette to Get You Through the Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/gift-giving-etiquette-to-get-you-through-the-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/gift-giving-etiquette-to-get-you-through-the-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_presenting_gifts_each_other_in_bedroom.jpg" alt="Friends presenting gifts each other in bedroom" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The most wonderful time of the year is approaching. And with it come numerous gift exchanges. Who do you get gifts for? Do you include receipts? Is it ever OK to regift something that you really don't need? Oh, the pressure!</p> <p>Well, fear not. If you are going into the holiday season with trepidation, here's a gift-giving etiquette guide to get you through it unscathed.</p> <h2>1. Regift with extreme caution</h2> <p>Regifting can be a tough minefield to navigate. You don't want to be sitting around opening presents and hear a ticked-off aunt or uncle shout &quot;Hey, didn't I give you this last year?!&quot;</p> <p>However, regifting is a good option if the item itself has never been opened, doesn't have a sell-by date, and will benefit someone else far more than it benefits you. Ideally, a regift should go to someone who doesn't know the person who gave it to you, and vice versa.</p> <p>If you're attending a white elephant gift exchange, that can be the perfect place to unload an item you don't want, or to pick up an item you can then give to a friend or loved one. Regifting will always be tricky, but if you exercise caution, you should come out fine. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-totally-regift-and-7-things-you-shouldnt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Things You Can Totally Regift &mdash; And 7 Things You Shouldn't</a>)</p> <h2>2. Don't get guilted into giving expensive gifts</h2> <p>We all have those friends, coworkers, or family members that just love to go overboard this time of year. When you combine that with someone who has a lot of disposable income, you can find yourself on the receiving end of some lavish gifts.</p> <p>Then the guilt sets in. The gift you got for that person is pretty small in comparison. Should you go out and get something bigger, and blow your holiday budget? Honestly, no you shouldn't.</p> <p>Giving a gift is not about seeing who can spend the most, or get the biggest reaction. The real joy of gift-giving is finding something you think the other person will truly like and appreciate, regardless of the dollar amount behind it.</p> <p>If you received a top of the line coffee maker from a friend, you should never feel the need to rush out and buy something of similar value. If you give a gift and someone feels like they were shortchanged, then that person doesn't really understand the spirit of the season at all. And remember, homemade gifts are some of the most well-received, and they can't really have a value placed upon them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-easy-delicious-and-homemade-holiday-gifts?ref=seealso" target="_blank">16 Easy, Delicious and Homemade Holiday Gifts</a>)</p> <h2>3. Consider a gift pool</h2> <p>Big families come across this problem all the time. Getting gifts for all the aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, sisters, brothers, nephews, and nieces can become a financial strain, and a logistical nightmare. In this situation, a gift pool is an excellent solution.</p> <p>Simply put all the names into a hat, much like you would with a gift exchange at the office, and divide up the gift duties into a much more manageable amount. For example, this year, John gets gifts for Jack and Susie, and that's it. You can even turn it into a Secret Santa, so nobody knows which gifts came from which people. And if you want a little more help, a site like <a href="https://www.elfster.com/" target="_blank">Elfster</a> can take all the hard work out of the process.</p> <h2>4. Be careful about giving donation cards</h2> <p>Donating to charity during the season of giving is wonderful. However, if you decide that you're going to give a donation to a worthy cause in the gift recipient's name, make sure you know that person <em>very </em>well. It can be considered presumptuous, and even insulting, to give someone's gift to someone else, even if that someone else is a charity. What's more, the charity you donate to may not be something the recipient agrees with.</p> <p>Remember <em>Seinfeld's</em> classic Festivus episode, and George's &quot;Human Fund&quot; scam? It may have been comedy, but the reactions tell a story. &quot;I got you a gift&hellip;you gave mine away,&quot; is a common complaint. But if you find a charity that someone will be passionate about, and you are confident they will react well, go ahead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Charities You Can Trust With Your Holiday Donations</a>)</p> <h2>5. Leave some people off your list</h2> <p>You have only so much money to go around, and not everyone is going to get something. How do you decide who to treat, and who to skip this year?</p> <p>Well, it doesn't have to be an issue full of headaches and heartache. Talk to some of your family and friends about gifts this year, and casually bring up the fact that you don't need to exchange gifts. &quot;How about we swap cookies, or cakes?&quot; Something like that can instantly take the pressure off both parties, because that's also one less person they need to go shopping for as well.</p> <p>Some of the more extended family members shouldn't really be getting gifts, either. You don't need to be buying gifts for the uncle of your partner or spouse, or the best friends of family members. All in all, the adults can step back and let the kids get the most out of this time of year. It's way more magical for them, just as it was for us when we were their age.</p> <h2>6. Give gift cards sparingly</h2> <p>The gift card section in stores keeps getting bigger and bigger, and they are very handy as last-minute gifts. The problem is, they really don't show a lot of thought, and they also have a specific value attached. &quot;Here, I spent $25 on you. What did you get me?&quot; And as several comedians have pointed out over the years, for that $25 you can only spend at one store, you could have given them 25 actual dollars they could spend anywhere. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-ways-to-wrap-the-gift-of-cash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Fun Ways to Give the Gift of Cash</a>)</p> <p>Gift cards should be given when you want someone to spend money on something very specific. For example, a bookstore card for a college kid, or a grocery store card for an elderly relative who really needs that help. When you just throw gift cards at everyone, it can send the message that you didn't put much thought or effort into the gift, and that's not something you want people to associate with you.</p> <h2>7. Don't reciprocate for every unexpected gift</h2> <p>It's the last day of work before the holiday, and a coworker pops into your office and says, &quot;Hey, I got you this. Happy Holidays!&quot; and you don't quite know how to say, &quot;Arghhhhh, I didn't get you anything!&quot; in response.</p> <p>It can be tempting to drop everything and do a frantic run to the nearest store, but honestly, you don't have to. If you say, &quot;I have something great for you, I'll bring it over tomorrow,&quot; you're actually kind of stealing their thunder. And if you make an excuse for not having one for them, you are going to make them feel awkward. Instead, be very thankful for the gift, and let them know just how much it is appreciated. You can find ways to make them feel special later, even if it's buying them lunch one day.</p> <h2>8. Include a receipt</h2> <p>Gift receipts are great because they don't list the sale price of the gift. But you can't always get one.</p> <p>A lot of people don't know what to do in that case. They may think it's fine to provide a regular receipt at a kid's birthday party, but consider it a little tacky or even haughty for close friends and family.. &quot;Hey, here's how much I spent on you this year.&quot;</p> <p>Actually, people don't look at receipts that way. What it really says is that you tried your hardest to find something you think they would like, but you may not have nailed it. And now you have made it very easy for that person to exchange the gift for something they would much rather have.</p> <p>They will still think of you when they get it, and you come across as helpful, thoughtful, and mindful of how awkward it can be to ask for a receipt, or take something back without one. If you're worried about the receipt just being out there for all to see, pop it in a little envelope or fold it and tape it shut. That way, they will only see the price if they really want to take the item back.</p> <h2>9. Forgo the thank-you card</h2> <p>After a big, personal event like a wedding, anniversary party, or a birthday, it is customary to send out thank-you notes to the people who gave gifts. However, at this time of year, that act is optional, and usually unnecessary. Everyone is swapping gifts. The sheer volume of cards and letters that would be going back and forth in the mail would cripple the post office if everyone did it.</p> <p>If someone goes above and beyond with a gift and you feel the need to show your appreciation, then by all means send a thank you. But for the most part, you can simply send an email, give them a call, or say thank you in person when you get the gift or the next time you see them.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fgift-giving-etiquette-to-get-you-through-the-holidays&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FGift%2520Giving%2520Etiquette%2520to%2520Get%2520You%2520Through%2520the%2520Holidays.jpg&amp;description=Gift%20Giving%20Etiquette%20to%20Get%20You%20Through%20the%20Holidays"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Gift%20Giving%20Etiquette%20to%20Get%20You%20Through%20the%20Holidays.jpg" alt="Gift Giving Etiquette to Get You Through the Holidays" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gift-giving-etiquette-to-get-you-through-the-holidays">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-6-credit-card-moves-now-to-prepare-for-holiday-shopping">Make These 6 Credit Card Moves Now to Prepare for Holiday Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-can-do-right-now-for-a-frugal-holiday-season">9 Things You Can Do Right Now for a Frugal Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items">Cheat Sheet: Retail Markup on Common Items</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-skills-you-need-to-survive-black-friday">8 Frugal Skills You Need to Survive Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money">25 Gifts That Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping christmas shopping etiquette guide etiquette tips gift tips holiday season holiday shopping regift regifting shopping tips Mon, 20 Nov 2017 10:00:06 +0000 Paul Michael 2056046 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Ways to Prepare for Your Best Black Friday http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-prepare-for-your-best-black-friday <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-ways-to-prepare-for-your-best-black-friday" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_asian_woman_with_shopping_bags.jpg" alt="Happy asian woman with shopping bags" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Don't let the success of Cyber Monday fool you: Black Friday is still a massive holiday spending day. According to the National Retail Federation, over 154 million consumers shopped over Black Friday weekend in 2016 &mdash; up from 151 million the year before.</p> <p>Chances are, you're going to be one of those many consumers shopping on Black Friday this year. But you don't have to totally blow your budget in the process. There are ways you can soften the blow to your bank account with advance preparation. Here's how.</p> <h2>1. Put your common indulgences on hold</h2> <p>I like to have my hair cut every two weeks. But when I'm trying to save, I push the cut out to every three weeks. My haircuts cost $17 including tip, and if I adhered to this schedule on a regular basis, I'd save a whopping $148 a year. You may have an indulgence like this that you can honor less frequently or stop altogether while you try to budget more strictly during the holidays. These indulgences usually aren't cheap, and forgoing them will provide a sizable amount of extra dough for you to use for gift shopping.</p> <h2>2. Focus on paying off any existing credit card debt</h2> <p>Before you start swiping your cards left and right, it's important to tackle any existing credit card debt, especially if you've only been making minimum payments up to this point. Concentrate on the highest-interest cards first; you'll save more in the long run by paying those down or off as soon as possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Pay Off High Interest Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>3. Pause or change your media subscriptions</h2> <p>The holidays are busy. Shopping, parties, pageants &mdash; you know the drill. All that running around probably leaves you with little time to use the subscription services for which you're paying a premium. So don't.</p> <p>&quot;Consider pausing subscriptions for a few months, or temporarily changing services to a lower-priced tier,&quot; advises Lindsay Sakraida, director of content marketing with DealNews. &quot;For example, if you pay extra for Hulu without ads, premium Netflix, or extra data cell service, you might want to adjust all of them for a month or two to save some cash for Black Friday and the holidays.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Pick up short-term gigs and odd jobs for quick cash</h2> <p>I participate in several &quot;gig&quot; services throughout the year, but this side work really picks up around the holidays &mdash; and that helps my disposable income swell. Pet sit via Rover.com, pick up passengers using Lyft, host guests in your home through Airbnb, and deliver groceries with the help of Instacart. I do it all, and I highly recommend looking into any one of these opportunities for quick cash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-seasonal-side-hustles-thatll-cover-your-holiday-spending?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Seasonal Side Hustles That'll Cover Your Holiday Spending</a>)</p> <h2>5. Make a gift list and establish a firm maximum budget</h2> <p>Make your list, check it twice, and decide how much you want to spend on each recipient. Once that budget is set, stick to it. Better yet, make it your goal to come in under the amounts you've established for each person so you can treat yourself to a little something special when all is said and done. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</a>)</p> <h2>6. Research the Black Friday deals ahead of time</h2> <p>News of many Black Friday offers will be released well in advance &mdash; several retailers, like Walmart, Costco, Kohl's, and JCPenny have already whetted consumers' appetites with &quot;leaked&quot; deals &mdash; which allows you plenty of time to research the best of the best. There are entire sites, such as <a href="https://bestblackfriday.com/" target="_blank">Best of Black Friday</a>, dedicated to compiling the deals in one place.</p> <h2>7. Start shopping early to spread out your spending</h2> <p>Why wait until Black Friday if you recognize a great deal when you see one? Just because the day after Thanksgiving receives heavy promotion doesn't mean there aren't other great deals before the stampedes begin.</p> <p>&quot;Make it a point to get a jump-start on planning and shopping early so you have a few months to purchase gifts instead of waiting until the holiday season,&quot; suggests Natasha Rachel Smith, personal finance expert at TopCashback.com. &quot;Also, don't forget about deals on Thanksgiving. Every year Black Friday has crept up earlier and earlier. In fact, in recent years, some deals sell out before Black Friday.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-black-friday-deal-without-leaving-home?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways to Score a Black Friday Deal Without Leaving Home</a>)</p> <h2>8. Have a game plan before stepping foot in the store</h2> <p>Similar to never going to the supermarket on an empty stomach, don't head into the holiday season without a game plan.</p> <p>&quot;Most major retailers will release their deals for Black Friday the week before to give consumers time to plan and get excited about what they want to purchase,&quot; Smith says. &quot;Use this time wisely to see what is going to be on sale and compare deals at each retailer. By creating a game plan, you can prioritize any items that sell fast or are at the best-discounted price. Not only will you save time but you'll save money too by planning what to get, when, and where.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-skills-you-need-to-survive-black-friday?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Frugal Skills You Need to Survive Black Friday</a>)</p> <h2>9. Consult your cash back apps before heading out</h2> <p>I've been killing it in the cash back game lately, thanks to apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51. The trick is to consult these apps before you go shopping so you know what's available and opt in if required. With Ibotta, for instance, many times it requires you to make purchases through its app &mdash; it will launch the retailers' sites for you, like Under Armour, as an example &mdash; so it can track your purchase and deposit the cash back you've earned. Every penny returned to you helps. Trust me &mdash; you will be thankful for this at holiday time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a>)</p> <h2>10. Consider your method of payment for maximum savings</h2> <p>You might think that cash in hand is the best way to shop on Black Friday (it certainly can help avoid overspending if you're disciplined), but you could be disqualifying yourself for deals available through other methods of payment. Capitalize on your Black Friday spending by deciding how you're going to buy things &mdash; cash, debit, or credit card &mdash; to reap the best benefits.</p> <p>Scope out all your payment options and use the bonuses and rewards in your favor. If you do the research and find that you want to apply for a specific card, do so a couple weeks in advance to ensure you receive it in time to use it. Using the shopping season to get <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-bonus-cash-for-sign-up?ref=internal" target="_blank">bonus cash back</a> that has a spending requirement can give you help ease the holiday costs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/read-this-to-maximize-your-rewards-and-cash-back-this-holiday-season?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Read This to Maximize Your Rewards and Cash Back This Holiday Season</a>)</p> <h2>11. Renew your commitment to financial freedom</h2> <p>It's easy to go overboard during the holidays, whether it's on gifts or social activities. Don't let yourself off the hook on your financial goals just because it's the holidays. Stay committed to them and use the holidays to focus on gratitude rather than the mad dash to grab discounts.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F11-ways-to-prepare-for-your-best-black-friday&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F11%2520Ways%2520to%2520Prepare%2520for%2520Your%2520Best%2520Black%2520Friday.jpg&amp;description=11%20Ways%20to%20Prepare%20for%20Your%20Best%20Black%20Friday"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/11%20Ways%20to%20Prepare%20for%20Your%20Best%20Black%20Friday.jpg" alt="11 Ways to Prepare for Your Best Black Friday" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-prepare-for-your-best-black-friday">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-skills-you-need-to-survive-black-friday">8 Frugal Skills You Need to Survive Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-black-friday-deal-without-leaving-home">6 Ways to Score a Black Friday Deal Without Leaving Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts">9 Ways to Use Miles and Points for Holiday Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/money-a-mess-try-this-personal-finance-starter-kit">Money a Mess? Try This Personal Finance Starter Kit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-excuses-we-need-to-stop-making-about-overspending">5 Excuses We Need to Stop Making About Overspending</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Shopping black friday budgeting cash back credit deals gifts holiday shopping money moves retail rewards sales Thanksgiving Thu, 09 Nov 2017 09:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 2050495 at http://www.wisebread.com Make These 6 Credit Card Moves Now to Prepare for Holiday Shopping http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-6-credit-card-moves-now-to-prepare-for-holiday-shopping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-these-6-credit-card-moves-now-to-prepare-for-holiday-shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_makes_christmas_shopping_online_with_laptop.jpg" alt="Woman makes Christmas shopping online with laptop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Traditionalists may debate the merits of putting up Christmas decorations well before Thanksgiving, as many retailers do these days. But the November displays are actually a good cue to start preparing your finances for holiday shopping. This includes considering your credit card options to earn the most possible rewards from your credit cards, and get the best benefits from your holiday purchases.</p> <p>Here are six things that you can do to get ready.</p> <h2>1. Sign up for a cash back card</h2> <p>Unless you're already heavily invested in a specific travel rewards program, you'll probably be better off using a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back rewards card</a>. Some of the best cards for holiday shopping offer as much as 5 percent back at select department stores and retailers such as Walmart, Amazon, and Target. In addition to cash rewards on your purchases, many credit cards offer a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-bonus-cash-for-sign-up?ref=internal" target="_blank">bonus offer to their new cardholders</a>, which can net you a few hundred dollars just for meeting their spending requirement, which is easiest to do this time of year.</p> <p>Another option is to choose a card that offers you as much as 2 percent cash back on all of your purchases. With these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-flat-rate-rewards-for-all-spending?ref=internal" target="_blank">flat-rate rewards cards</a> you avoid having to keep up with category bonuses. However, you should only use reward credit cards if you can avoid interest charges by paying your monthly statement balances in full. Otherwise, it's better to find a card with the lowest interest rate.</p> <h2>2. Be sure to activate your bonus purchase opportunities</h2> <p>If you do choose to go with a card that features rotating bonus categories, check the terms. You may need to log in and activate the bonus categories each quarter. Thankfully, even if you activate after the quarter begins, you should receive your bonus points for the qualifying purchases you've already made during the quarter. Keep in mind that these bonus categories often come with limits on how much you can earn. Keep track of your purchases and switch cards once you've reached the limit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-rotating-reward-categories?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards With Rotating Reward Categories</a>)</p> <h2>3. Learn about shopping portals</h2> <p>Many credit cards and loyalty programs offer online shopping portals that allow you to earn extra points, miles, or cash back from your purchases. They usually feature top national retailers, and can usually pad your purchase rewards by one or two points per dollar spent, but occasionally you'll find deals for as much as 30 points per dollar spent. Also, most airline and hotel loyalty programs have their own rewards portals. When you use these websites, you can also earn rewards with your credit card, in effect stacking your rewards earning potential. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-your-credit-card-will-save-you-money-while-holiday-shopping?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Ways Your Credit Card Will Save You Money While Holiday Shopping</a>)</p> <h2>4. Examine your cardholder benefits</h2> <p>One of the best things about using your credit card for holiday shopping is the cardholder benefits that can apply to your purchases. For example, many credit cards include <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-credit-cards-protect-your-purchases-from-damage-or-theft?ref=internal" target="_blank">accidental damage and theft protection</a>, as well as an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-free-extended-warranties-work-on-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">extended warranty policy</a>. Other shopping benefits may include <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-price-match-through-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">price protection</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-return-items-through-your-credit-card-if-the-store-refuses?ref=internal" target="_blank">return protection</a>. Once you know which cards offer the best benefits, you may use that as a factor in determining which new card to apply for, or which card to pull from your wallet for a particular purchase. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-use-your-credit-card-for-holiday-purchases?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Reasons to Use Your Credit Card for Holiday Purchases</a>)</p> <h2>5. Decide if it's worth getting a store credit card</h2> <p>One thing is for sure, many of the stores you visit will offer you an application for their <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/store-credit-cards-that-dont-suck?ref=internal" target="_blank">co-branded credit card</a>. But rather than trying to make a quick decision at the cash register, find out in advance if it's worth considering.</p> <p>Many retail credit cards have a high interest rate. Look at the terms and conditions for the cards from your favorite retailers, and the quality of the rewards program offered. Then you can decide if it's worth getting the store card, or if you should simply decline the offer and complete your purchase. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-sign-up-for-that-store-credit-card?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Should You Sign Up for That Store Credit Card?</a>)</p> <h2>6. Consider an interest-free promotional financing offer</h2> <p>If you are unsure whether you'll be able to pay off all of your credit card balances during the holidays, think about opening a card with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases" target="_blank">0 percent APR offer for new purchases</a>. These offers allow you to avoid interest charges on your purchases for at least six months, and often 15 months or longer.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">Balance transfer cards</a> can also help you out after you've rung up more than you can immediately pay off, but it's better to use an interest-free financing offer on new purchases now. That's because nearly all 0 percent balance transfer offers have a 3&ndash;5 percent fee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-to-wipe-out-holiday-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards to Wipe Out Holiday Debt</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fmake-these-6-credit-card-moves-now-to-prepare-for-holiday-shopping&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FMake%2520These%25206%2520Credit%2520Card%2520Moves%2520Now%2520to%2520Prepare%2520for%2520Holiday%2520Shopping.jpg&amp;description=Make%20These%206%20Credit%20Card%20Moves%20Now%20to%20Prepare%20for%20Holiday%20Shopping"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Make%20These%206%20Credit%20Card%20Moves%20Now%20to%20Prepare%20for%20Holiday%20Shopping.jpg" alt="Make These 6 Credit Card Moves Now to Prepare for Holiday Shopping" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-6-credit-card-moves-now-to-prepare-for-holiday-shopping">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gift-giving-etiquette-to-get-you-through-the-holidays">Gift Giving Etiquette to Get You Through the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts">9 Ways to Use Miles and Points for Holiday Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-prepare-for-your-best-black-friday">11 Ways to Prepare for Your Best Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items">Cheat Sheet: Retail Markup on Common Items</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-skills-you-need-to-survive-black-friday">8 Frugal Skills You Need to Survive Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Shopping christmas shopping holiday shopping Holidays money moves shopping tips Spending Money Thu, 09 Nov 2017 08:30:13 +0000 Jason Steele 2050418 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save on 12 Winter Essentials http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-12-winter-essentials <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-on-12-winter-essentials" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dreaming_young_blond_woman_with_winter_hat_and_imagination.jpg" alt="Dreaming young blond woman with winter hat and imagination" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you prepared for winter? You may think you're well stocked and ready to duke it out with Mother Nature when the temps plummet, but if this summer's wild weather is any indication, you may not be as prepared as you think you are. Run down this checklist of winter essentials (and how to save big bucks on them) to fortify your supplies and ensure a safe and comfortable season.</p> <h2>1. Cold-weather apparel</h2> <p>You'll be hard-pressed to find someone who loathes winter as much as I do, but my undying disdain for cold weather has at least forced me to dress properly for the elements. Two years ago, I remember venturing out into a blizzard for brunch and drinks with friends &mdash; we walked several miles that day, in fact &mdash; and I wasn't the slightest bit chilly at any time. I broke a sweat even. Granted, I looked like the abominable snowman, with about three layers of clothing, but I was warm. When dressing for the elements, especially if you plan to spend any length of time out in blustery wind or snow, here's what I suggest.</p> <h3>Base layer</h3> <p>Long johns or a compression top and bottom. These are abundant at discount stores like Marshalls and TJ Maxx this time of year.</p> <h3>Second layer</h3> <p>Fleece pants and a sweatshirt. You probably already have a pair of sweats in your closet. If you have to be presentable, try flannel-lined chinos and a sweater; J. Crew Factory will help you save on those items closer to the holidays.</p> <h3>Third layer</h3> <p>Snow pants and a 3-in-1 insulated jacket. Dick's Sporting Goods has a few coupons floating around right now that are ideal for these higher-priced purchases. You also can use sites like TopCashback to score deals.</p> <p>You should also invest in a pair of <a href="http://amzn.to/2ysfnLc" target="_blank">thick wool socks</a>. I also wrap my feet in plastic wrap to keep them dry. I'm sure you remember that old trick. And finally, insulated <a href="http://amzn.to/2gfakDc" target="_blank">touch-screen gloves</a>. The touch-screen technology will come in handy when you want to use your phone without taking your gloves on and off all day long. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-apps-and-extensions-find-online-deals-for-you-automatically?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These Apps and Extensions Find Online Deals for You &mdash; Automatically</a>)</p> <h2>2. Flannel sheets</h2> <p>Flannel sheets originally were fashioned from carded wool, which probably made for more than a few scratchy nights, but the fabric got a makeover early last century when it was combined with cotton to create more lightweight and comfortable bedding while also keeping the body warm. You'll find great deals on flannel sheets at Overstock.com or Target, plus a little extra if there are cash-back deals available for these retailers on the Ibotta app. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a>)</p> <h2>3. Area rugs</h2> <p>I prefer bare floors to carpet &mdash; all that shampooing to remove stains is for the birds &mdash; but on winter mornings the ice-cold surface of a bare floor is a real punch to the gut. To reduce the shock, I like to put area rugs under my bed, and I save a bundle on quality rugs by shopping the floor models at West Elm. I've bought a few rugs using this method at hundreds of dollars off. I copped one beautiful 5-foot by 8-foot gold ombre rug for my living room for around $80, down from about $600, by padding the discount with discounts and rewards I had. The braided rug in my bedroom was coming a little undone on the edge, and the store slashed the price on that as well. West Elm has a bit of a reputation for being somewhat expensive, I know, but you can definitely score major savings if you know where to look.</p> <h2>4. Electric blanket</h2> <p>Electric blankets are great for two reasons: They'll keep you warm so you can turn your heat down and save energy, and they'll keep you warm if your heat source completely conks out. Your best bet for inexpensive electric blankets is Walmart. An electric heated fleece blanket will look Saturday-afternoon couch-comfy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-electric-blankets?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Electric Blankets</a>)</p> <h2>5. Space heaters</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2gfJhrE" target="_blank">Space heaters</a> are great for when you want to turn off the money-sucking thermostat and only heat a specific area of your house, like your bedroom or office. But they very well could mean the difference between life and frostbite if your house runs on oil heat. If you run out of oil during a major winter storm and no one is available to refill your tank, you'll be thankful for the space heater. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-space-heaters?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Space Heaters</a>)</p> <h2>6. Snow tires</h2> <p>I had a beater of a car once with tires so terrible that it tried to climb a slightly slick hill during the early part of a snow event and it just slid right back down the hill. No one was hurt, but it was a scary situation considering that it was quitting time and everybody else was on the road, too.</p> <p>Pep Boys has a couple deals available and Mavis Discount Tires also is a good place to look. Compare prices at Sears and Walmart, too.</p> <h2>7. Winter survival kit</h2> <p>If there's one thing this summer's weather taught us, it's that Mother Nature is unforgiving and we need to be prepared for the absolute worst. Get a winter and snow survival backpack with food, tools, including a mini shovel, can opener, and saw, light sticks, fuel tablets, hand warmers and more. Amazon offers <a href="http://amzn.to/2yrRIe0" target="_blank">a cold-weather survival kit</a> with free shipping.</p> <h2>8. Gas-powered generator</h2> <p>If the power goes out, who knows when it'll come back on? A <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-generators?ref=internal" target="_blank">backup generator</a> will help keep your lights on, your house warm, and your fridge cool during a winter storm. If you're a military vet, you can save 10 percent on your purchase at Home Depot and Lowe's, but Lowe's sometimes has 10 percent off coupons available in the mail or circulars as well. I recommend these two hardware stores, because you really should speak with a professional who knows about generators before purchasing one so you can be sure you're getting the right type for your needs.</p> <p>Make sure you keep enough gas on hand to power it, as you may not be able to get to the gas station in an emergency situation. There are propane and natural gas powered generators, too, which may be more practical if you've already got a gas grill.</p> <h2>9. Hydrating skin care</h2> <p>My sensitive skin gets ravaged by the elements during the winter, so I need to up my skin care game as soon as Daylight Saving ends. I highly recommend <a href="http://amzn.to/2gfRg7K" target="_blank">Brickell Men's Products</a> (if you're a dude, like me). I've been using the moisturizer and other facial products for years, and I think I'm keeping the goods together very well considering my age. Brickell will even send you a <a href="https://brickellmensproducts.com/" target="_blank">free sample kit</a> ($6.95 shipping) if you buy from their site directly, so you can determine if these are the right products for you.</p> <h2>10. Snow shovel</h2> <p>You have to keep your sidewalk free and clear of snow and ice, lest you get sued by your neighbor for your negligence after they fall and break a leg on your property. The area you need to clear will determine what type of shovel you need. If you have small amount of space, you probably don't need the deluxe heavy-duty model; conversely, you may need the big guy if you've got a lot of work ahead of you. Sears or Walmart likely have you covered for the lowest cost.</p> <h2>11. Nonperishable food</h2> <p>The first thing people do when there's mention of a major weather event is rush to the supermarkets. Get there before the masses by planning ahead and stocking your pantry or basement with survival essentials, including at least one week's worth of nonperishable food. Shop sporadically when you see coupons for food you like, in-store deals, and what's available on your cash-back apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51. You'll need to stock up on several gallons of water, too. Very important for drinking, bathing, and cooking. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-you-need-in-your-emergency-pantry?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Foods You Need in Your &quot;Emergency&quot; Pantry</a>)</p> <h2>12. Toilet paper</h2> <p>Keep a six-pack of toilet paper (and paper towels) with your emergency food stash so it's on hand when you need it most. Pick up your spare package whenever it's on sale wherever you shop. Put a roll in your car, too; you never know when that'll come in handy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-toilet-papers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Toilet Papers</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-save-on-12-winter-essentials&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Save%2520on%252012%2520Winter%2520Essentials.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Save%20on%2012%20Winter%20Essentials"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Save%20on%2012%20Winter%20Essentials.jpg" alt="How to Save on 12 Winter Essentials" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-12-winter-essentials">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gift-giving-etiquette-to-get-you-through-the-holidays">Gift Giving Etiquette to Get You Through the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money">25 Gifts That Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-gifts-for-the-person-who-needs-a-nap">9 Frugal Gifts for the Person Who Needs a Nap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-stress-free-holiday-gift-giving">5 Steps to Stress-Free Holiday Gift Giving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-6-credit-card-moves-now-to-prepare-for-holiday-shopping">Make These 6 Credit Card Moves Now to Prepare for Holiday Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping cold weather heating holiday shopping warm clothing winter clothes winter essentials winter gear winter sports Wed, 11 Oct 2017 09:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 2034470 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Frugal Gifts for the Person Who Needs a Nap http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-gifts-for-the-person-who-needs-a-nap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-frugal-gifts-for-the-person-who-needs-a-nap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-535110735.jpg" alt="these are the perfect gifts for nap lovers" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Is anyone on your gift list cranky or stressed-out? Let's face it, this year has been pretty tiring. Maybe they need a nap. Heck, we all could probably use one.</p> <p>Napping can help you recharge, zap stress, and boost your mood. Who doesn't need that, especially during the holiday season? Let's encourage napping, and enjoy the benefits. Here are nine items that will make someone sleepy just by looking at them.</p> <h2>1. Cozy Blanket</h2> <p>I bought a super-soft <a href="http://amzn.to/2hM3Lq2" target="_blank">fleece throw</a> for my husband, and when I'm not stealing it, he's using it to nap. Tossing one over a chair looks homey.</p> <h2>2. Sleepy Tea</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2hM7u6X" target="_blank">Chamomile tea</a> is known for making people sleepy. According to the science, &quot;<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/" target="_blank">Sedative effects may be due to the flavonoid</a>, apigenin, that binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain.&quot; Or, it could just be the relaxing ritual of making a cup of tea that makes the eyelids heavy.</p> <h2>3. Eye Mask</h2> <p>For the light sleeper in your life, consider getting them an <a href="http://amzn.to/2gH5vET" target="_blank">eye mask</a>. The added darkness can keep that pesky sun from ruining a napping mood.</p> <h2>4. Nap-on-the-Go Accessories</h2> <p>Slightly germaphobic, I don't like using the blankets or pillows provided by the airlines. Who touched that? Ewww. So if you know a frequent traveler who feels the same way, consider this <a href="http://amzn.to/2hMbBQC" target="_blank">handy blanket and pillow combo</a>, complete with handy carrying strap.</p> <h2>5. White Noise Machine</h2> <p>We took our pediatrician's advice and did not stop doing chores while baby napped. Now the kid can sleep through <em>anything. </em>&quot;White noise&quot; is simply a combination of different sounds and frequencies. But no need to run the vacuum cleaner &mdash; just flip the switch on one of these <a href="http://amzn.to/2gzrfhk" target="_blank">white noise machines</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-a-50-year-old-gadget-may-be-the-best-cure-for-insomnia?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why a 50 Year Old Gadget May Be the Best Cure for Insomnia</a>)</p> <h2>6. Hot Water Bottle</h2> <p>To take the chill off, there is just something about a <a href="http://amzn.to/2hM4XtA" target="_blank">hot-water bottle.</a> The product, patented in 1903, is the epitome of low-tech. It's also really nice to have one of these comforting bottles around when you don't feel well. Just add hot water and snooze.</p> <h2>7. A Little Lavender</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2gH30T0" target="_blank">Lavender</a> may be just thing thing to help you rest, as it has been <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22612017" target="_blank">shown to reduce heart rate and blood pressure</a>. Spray a little spritz and see if it is sleep-inducing. If nothing else, it smells wonderful.</p> <h2>8. Fan</h2> <p>A <a href="http://amzn.to/2hMasbx" target="_blank">room fan</a> offers the combination of cooling the room &mdash; which <a href="http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/17/lets-cool-it-in-the-bedroom/?_r=0" target="_blank">signals the body that it is time to sleep</a> &mdash; plus a little white noise. I cannot sleep at night without my fan running. Any seasoned napper would love this extra snooze-boost.</p> <h2>9. Yoga Tunes</h2> <p>I'll admit that I have embarrassed myself by falling asleep in yoga class on, um, more than one occasion. Oh, well. Maybe the relaxing <a href="http://amzn.to/2hrZoUz" target="_blank">yoga music</a> will help your favorite napper, too.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-gifts-for-the-person-who-needs-a-nap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-160-gift-ideas-for-everyone-you-know">Flashback Friday: 160 Gift Ideas for Everyone You Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money">25 Gifts That Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-should-start-your-holiday-shopping-now">10 Reasons You Should Start Your Holiday Shopping Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unique-holiday-gifts-for-teachers-that-theyll-actually-like">15 Unique Holiday Gifts for Teachers That They&#039;ll Actually Like</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping Christmas gift guide gift ideas holiday shopping nap need a nap shopping hacks sleep Fri, 16 Dec 2016 11:30:08 +0000 Marla Walters 1855410 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-155441599.jpg" alt="it&#039;s okay to do your holiday shopping at the last minute" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Full disclosure here, folks: I'm a planner. Most years, I start my holiday shopping in October and have everything wrapped Martha Stewart-style by Thanksgiving. But the older I get, and the more holidays I put behind me, the more tempted I am to cross over to the other side.</p> <p>For just one year, I'd like to make October and November strictly about enjoying the changing leaves, spooking trick-or-treaters, and consuming an embarrassing amount of turkey. Why? Because procrastinating offers some strategic advantages, especially during the holidays. Here are nine reasons why it's perfectly okay to shop for the holidays at the very last minute.</p> <h2>1. More Seasonal Spirit</h2> <p>Compared to those of us who start our holiday shopping in the heat of August, last-minute buyers are far more immersed in the spirit of the season. The air is crisp, stores are decked out in full holiday cheer, carolers are caroling, and everything feels more festive. If you have trouble gearing up for the holiday, a last-minute shopping trip could be the nudge you need.</p> <h2>2. Deeper Discounts</h2> <p>Who needs Black Friday? Retailers live and die by their holiday sales volume. The closer the holiday, the more anxious they are to hit their sales goals, clear out inventory, and prepare for the next big sales season. Last-minute shoppers can take advantage of this reality and score some amazing deals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/december-deals-that-are-better-than-black-friday?ref=seealso">December Deals That Are Better Than Black Friday</a>)</p> <h2>3. Amazing Online Deals</h2> <p>Sometimes the best last-minute deals are just a click away. Online retailers promote doorbuster discounts at different times throughout the holiday season. And if you don't mind being late with a gift or two, standard shipping is often free for buyers who meet minimum purchase requirements.</p> <h2>4. More Planning Time</h2> <p>Choosing to delay your holiday shopping doesn't have to mean you're operating in complete chaos. Procrastination gives you more time to plan and more time to see what other gifts have already been exchanged &mdash; two distinct advantages if you want find just the perfect item and avoid giving a duplicate gift.</p> <h2>5. Smaller Crowds</h2> <p>As the holidays draw near, most people focus less on shopping and more on decorating their homes, cooking, preparing for visitors, or traveling. That means malls and other retail outlets can be almost serene for eleventh-hour shoppers.</p> <h2>6. No Spoiled Surprises</h2> <p>No matter how expert your skills of concealment, kids have an uncanny ability to sniff out their gifts. But last-minute shoppers have nothing to worry about. They only need to hide their gifts for a few days &mdash; heck, sometimes just a few short hours! That means half-pint hunters have less time to explore and less chance of spoiling their surprise on Christmas morning.</p> <h2>7. Fewer Wish List Changes</h2> <p>Some children's holiday wish lists could generously be described as &quot;fluid.&quot; New products, changing tastes, and evolving interests all mean that what you bought in early November could be passé by late December. Here, last-minute shoppers have a distinct advantage: They can dash out the door on December 23rd with relative certainty that they have the latest and greatest wish list in-hand.</p> <h2>8. More Time to Save</h2> <p>In theory, the longer you wait to shop, the more time you'll have to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-do-now-to-get-your-finances-in-order-for-the-holidays">prep your finances for the holidays</a> and sock away some green. Last-minute shoppers who've been disciplined budgeters can pay cash for every item on their holiday list &mdash; that means not having to rely on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=internal">credit cards and avoiding interest charges</a>. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!</p> <h2>9. Bigger Challenge</h2> <p>Are you one of those amazing people who work best under pressure? Then December 22&ndash;24 is your time to shine. Slam a double espresso, hit the malls, check out your favorite neighborhood shops, and start wrapping. You got this.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-160-gift-ideas-for-everyone-you-know">Flashback Friday: 160 Gift Ideas for Everyone You Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays">10 Ways to Tidy Up Your Finances Before the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Gifts and Make Money Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-30-brilliant-ways-to-survive-black-friday-madness">Flashback Friday: 30 Brilliant Ways to Survive Black Friday Madness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-secrets-to-a-debt-free-holiday-season">8 Secrets to a Debt-Free Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping Christmas gifts holiday shopping holiday shopping hacks Holidays shopping shopping hacks Mon, 12 Dec 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 1851184 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 160 Gift Ideas for Everyone You Know http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-160-gift-ideas-for-everyone-you-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-160-gift-ideas-for-everyone-you-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_christmas_gifts_486887902.jpg" alt="Woman finding gift ideas for everyone she knows" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's now officially Go Time for Christmas shoppers. You've got your list of people to buy gifts for, and you're still trying to figure out what to get, and meanwhile, the days are slipping away fast. Should you spend hours digging through their social media profiles to find some gift inspiration? Or is it just easier to throw your hands up and buy them all the same scented candle? The good news is that you don't have to do either, because we've found the perfect gift for just about everyone.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_holding_gift_000052221060.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-unique-gift-ideas-for-women?ref=fbf">47 Unique Gift Ideas for Women</a> &mdash; Need a gift for the woman in your life? She's probably not that hard to shop for. Any of these 47 items will put a big smile on her face.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-great-frugal-gifts-for-booklovers?ref=fbf">11 Great Frugal Gifts for Booklovers</a> &mdash; It's no secret that bookworms love books. But they also love book-related gifts! The best part is that most of them don't cost much money, so pick any of these and your budget will remain intact.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/christmas-treats-gift-509805851-small.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-easy-delicious-and-homemade-holiday-gifts?ref=fbf">16 Easy, Delicious and Homemade Holiday Gifts</a> &mdash; Homemade gifts are personal, frugal, and often extremely delicious! If you're looking to save some Christmas coinage, give these a go for your favorite sweet tooth.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-experiences-that-make-great-gifts?ref=fbf">21 Experiences That Make Great Gifts</a> &mdash; You know what lasts longer than a thing? A happy memory. So if you have someone who needs their day brightened (and who doesn't?) give them a lasting memory through a fun event or amazing experience.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/man_holding_gift_000054369890.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-unique-gift-ideas-for-men?ref=fbf">50+ Unique Gift Ideas for Men</a> &mdash; What do you get for the guy who has everything? And what do you get for the guy who only has some things? Men are notoriously hard to shop for, but this list will take away the guesswork so you can get your favorite fellas things they'll adore.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-gifts-for-office-secret-santa?ref=fbf">15 Genius Gifts for Office Secret Santa</a> &mdash; Don't forget about your coworkers this holiday season! Many offices do a Secret Santa gift exchange, and when you don't know your coworkers very well, it feels impossible to shop for them. But even if you only know one detail about them, these gift ideas will help you narrow down your gift search.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-160-gift-ideas-for-everyone-you-know">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-30-brilliant-ways-to-survive-black-friday-madness">Flashback Friday: 30 Brilliant Ways to Survive Black Friday Madness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-44-sneaky-shopping-traps-to-avoid">Flashback Friday: 44 Sneaky Shopping Traps to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-47-best-back-to-school-shopping-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: 47 Best Back-to-School Shopping Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-49-smartest-amazon-hacks-that-will-save-you-big">Flashback Friday: 49 Smartest Amazon Hacks That Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping Christmas christmas shopping fbf flashback friday frugal living gift guides gift ideas holiday shopping sales shopping shopping hacks Fri, 09 Dec 2016 11:00:09 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1850498 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Use Miles and Points for Holiday Gifts http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-use-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_christmas_shopping_621576836.jpg" alt="Woman using miles and points for holiday gifts" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Although shopping isn't always the best way to get value out of your credit card or other loyalty rewards &mdash; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tricks-to-making-the-most-of-your-reward-miles?ref=internal">international flights and upgrades</a> typically get more punch for the point &mdash; there are lots of good reasons to consider spending some points on holiday gifts.</p> <p>If you're short on cash, tapping your miles and points is an easy way to come through for loved ones without racking up debt. It's a sneaky way to treat a spouse who shares your checking and credit accounts without having a bill for the &quot;gift&quot; arrive in January. Shopping can also be an expedient way to use up small caches of points that might otherwise expire, which should be part of your year-end financial cleanup anyway.</p> <p>Check out some of these easy ways to turn points into presents under the tree. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-ways-to-save-money-but-still-get-what-you-want-during-holiday-shopping?ref=seealso">25+ Ways to Save Money But Still Get What You Want During Holiday Shoppin</a>)</p> <h2>1. Shop Amazon With Points</h2> <p>This is so easy that even I, usually a die hard &quot;save points for travel&quot; girl, bought my kids some toys using this method this year. Some credit cards allow you to link your Amazon account directly to easily use points for purchases. Amazon is also a popular vendor in shopping portals. Check your credit card issuer to see if they have a members-only shopping portal that allows you to use points (or earn bonus ones) when you shop with their partners.</p> <h2>2. Buy Gift Cards With Points</h2> <p>Many rewards programs offer gift cards as a redemption option. You can usually exchange your points at a $0.01 rate, so if you have 500 points, you can usually get a $5 gift card to a popular store, like Starbucks, Home Depot, or Banana Republic. Make sure to check whether your gift cards will arrive by mail or email, and if by mail, when they will be shipped.</p> <h2>3. Give the Gift of Travel</h2> <p>If you have a lot of points, you can always use them where you get the best value: airline flights. This is a great gift idea for a loved one you'd like to visit you. Simply use your points to book a ticket in his name. Southwest is a good candidate for this kind of gift, since your recipient can change the flight itinerary at no charge if your proposed travel dates don't work. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-southwest-airlines-is-the-best-domestic-airline-for-families?ref=seealso">Why Southweest Is the Best Domestic Airline for Families</a>)</p> <h2>4. Give Subscriptions</h2> <p>If you have a few points close to expiration, you may have received an offer in the mail to trade points for magazine and newspaper subscriptions. This is a good way to squeeze some value out of miles for an airline you're unlikely to fly, or points from any program where you don't expect to accumulate enough to redeem anything big.</p> <p>For instance, while 3,200 miles is not enough for even a short flight on American Airlines, it can get you a yearlong subscription to The Wall Street Journal, a $278 value. Through <a href="https://www2.magsformiles.com/index.html?utm_source=expired&amp;utm_medium=10024767">Mags for Miles</a>, you can redeem United, Spirit, and a number of other types of miles for People, Sports Illustrated, or many other titles. This is a particularly good idea for Spirit miles, since they expire quickly.</p> <h2>5. Redeem Points for Merchandise</h2> <p>This usually ends up giving you the <em>worst </em>value for your points, but if it prevents you from actually spending your cash, it can still be worthwhile. Look at your options for points redemption, and you'll usually find a &quot;merchandise&quot; option, which lists gadgets and gifts you can get with your points. If the gift you really want to get is there, or you really wouldn't be able to use the points in a better way, why not?</p> <h2>6. Give Exclusive Experiences</h2> <p>Sometimes Broadway shows, sporting events, and other experience vendors offer exclusive opportunities to cardholders. Members might get offered pre-sale tickets for popular shows or access a VIP experience at a special event. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards?ref=seealso">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I've Earned with Credit Card Rewards</a>)</p> <h2>7. Redeem Points for Cash</h2> <p>Even if your credit card isn't labeled a &quot;cash back&quot; credit card, you may still be able to redeem your points for cash or a statement credit. Sometimes they don't advertise this option, so dig a little into their rewards center to see whether it's an option.&nbsp;</p> <h2>8. Make a Donation</h2> <p>If your giftee is the type of person who would appreciate a charitable donation in their name, many issuers will allow you to donate your points to charities. Check your rewards center for options and availability.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-prepare-for-your-best-black-friday">11 Ways to Prepare for Your Best Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-6-credit-card-moves-now-to-prepare-for-holiday-shopping">Make These 6 Credit Card Moves Now to Prepare for Holiday Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter">9 Gifts That Won&#039;t Become Clutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-skills-you-need-to-survive-black-friday">8 Frugal Skills You Need to Survive Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Shopping Amazon cash back charities christmas shopping gifts holiday shopping miles rewards subscriptions Fri, 09 Dec 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1850499 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Unique Holiday Gifts for Teachers That They'll Actually Like http://www.wisebread.com/15-unique-holiday-gifts-for-teachers-that-theyll-actually-like <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-unique-holiday-gifts-for-teachers-that-theyll-actually-like" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-483199046.jpg" alt="teachers will love these gifts" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The holiday season is upon us, and I've been starting my gift shopping in the hopes of finishing early so I can relax. On the list this year are my daughter's preschool teachers (three of them!) who have been tremendously helpful, nurturing, and caring.</p> <p>Out of respect for allergies in the classroom (as well as New Year's diet resolutions), I'm planning to give nonfood gifts this year. As a former teacher myself, I accumulated a good amount of impractical tchotchkes, so I assembled this list of practical gifts that teachers will actually like and use.</p> <h2>1. Personalized Tote Bag</h2> <p>As a former teacher, I spent many days lugging assignments back and forth in reusable shopping bags. Why not help a teacher out by giving him/her a sturdy, personalized tote bag? You can make it yourself by printing an iron-on transfer and decorating a plain canvas tote bag from the craft store, monogram a bag with fabric paint, or you can purchase one ready-made on Etsy. Either way, it's sure to send a message that an educator's hard work is appreciated.</p> <h2>2. Water Bottle</h2> <p>Coffee mugs are so 2003. Hydration is where it's at these days! Help your teacher stay healthy by providing them with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-aluminum-and-stainless-steel-water-bottles">sturdy reusable water bottle</a> that can be sipped from all day. Bottles from Camelbak and Contigo are always well-received, but less expensive options can be found at big box stores if you're on a budget.</p> <h2>3. Lunchbox Accessories</h2> <p>Like your kids, teachers usually pack a lunch to eat at school. Make your teacher feel a little more pampered at lunch time by giving them a fancy insulated lunch bag, a Thermos, and/or a few ice packs and reusable containers (at the rate I lose them, you can never have too many). A cookbook full of lunch ideas is also a great idea.</p> <h2>4. Gift Cards</h2> <p>While not the most personal gift, gift cards are certainly practical and are more likely to be used than any other gift. Starbucks, iTunes, and Amazon <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">gift cards are always useful</a> and appreciated. Gift cards to local restaurants are also a great way to help a teacher relax. Many teachers spend their own money on school supplies for students, so a gift card to Target, Walmart, Staples, or a craft store can help them keep costs down. Pair it with a thoughtful note and your teacher will be a happy camper.</p> <h2>5. Organization Tools</h2> <p>When it comes to gifts, teachers may have tchotchkes a-plenty, but nary a place to store them. Give the gift of organization with a set of sturdy baskets, boxes, and drawer organizers. Alternatively, a gift card to The Container Store might do the trick.</p> <h2>6. Personalized Office Supplies and Stationery</h2> <p>Put a smile on a teacher's face every time they open their desk drawer by providing a set of personalized office supplies. A monogrammed notepad, a personalized stamp, fancy scissors and staplers, and cute paper clips can brighten a teacher's day while remaining super practical.</p> <h2>7. Travel Accessories</h2> <p>Gift-giving occasions for teachers often happen before the winter or summer holidays, and your teacher might be taking a much-needed vacation. Why not make traveling a little easier by gifting some travel accessories? An attractive travel pouch with small toiletry bottles, mesh suitcase organizers, or a tote with a beach towel and sunscreen, can all be used by a jet-setting teacher.</p> <h2>8. Quality Bath Products</h2> <p>I always feel a little ambiguous about giving bath products, because as a teacher, I received my fair share of cheap, dollar-store bubble baths and lotions. However, I was always happy to receive quality bath products from brands like Bath and Body Works, The Body Shop, or Philosophy. De-stressing in a hot bath with some aromatherapy bath salts really did wonders to lift my mood after a hard day.</p> <h2>9. Low-Maintenance Plants</h2> <p>The great thing about giving plants is that the teacher can leave them in the classroom to brighten up their work day, or take them home if they desire. And if they die, they can be thrown away and won't clutter up a junk drawer for years. Easy care plants such as succulents and air plants are good choices, or a pretty flower like an orchid or bromeliad that blooms for a long time.</p> <h2>10. Movie Night In</h2> <p>Give a teacher a relaxing night in by packing a basket with a cozy throw blanket, a gift card for an online movie rental (such as iTunes, Amazon, or Google Play), and a box of microwave popcorn. (Okay. Technically, this is a food gift, but popcorn makes every movie better!)</p> <h2>11. Classroom Supplies</h2> <p>If you're a teacher, you'll know that students are constantly asking to borrow pens, and somehow those pens rarely find themselves back onto your desk. Keep your child's teacher's costs down by giving him/her a jar full of pens that can be kept on their desk. Other useful items that teachers often buy themselves include highlighters, bandages, stickers, sticky notes, and sanitizing wipes.</p> <h2>12. Books for the Classroom</h2> <p>Most teachers get plenty of trinkets from students every year, but classroom supplies remain neglected. Age-appropriate books are great for kindergarten and lower-grade classrooms which may reuse the same small selection of books all year. You may want to ask the teacher what books are needed, or simply give them a gift card to a bookstore so they can make the best choice.</p> <h2>13. Activity Books</h2> <p>Adult coloring books are all the rage these days, and for good reason. They are incredibly relaxing. A coloring book with a set of nice colored pencils could be a thoughtful gift for a teacher, especially for someone who likes crafting. A sudoku or crossword puzzle book could be similarly fun to do when the teacher gets a little spare time.</p> <h2>14. Hobby Supplies</h2> <p>Have your child ask the teacher what hobbies they enjoy, and give them hobby supplies. Some ideas include: scrapbooking supplies, gardening supplies, baking tools and mixes, or a gift certificate to a hobby store.</p> <h2>15. Handmade Gifts</h2> <p>Nothing is as memorable or personal as a gift that was lovingly handmade by your child. Whether that's a personalized T-shirt or baseball cap, a classroom scrapbook, a planter, ornament, or picture frame, it's sure to send the message that you and your child appreciate the teacher's hard work and dedication to their job.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unique-holiday-gifts-for-teachers-that-theyll-actually-like">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-gifts-for-the-person-who-needs-a-nap">9 Frugal Gifts for the Person Who Needs a Nap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-prepare-for-your-best-black-friday">11 Ways to Prepare for Your Best Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-6-credit-card-moves-now-to-prepare-for-holiday-shopping">Make These 6 Credit Card Moves Now to Prepare for Holiday Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money">25 Gifts That Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Shopping budgeting gift guide gift ideas gifts for teachers holiday shopping Holidays nonfood gifts teachers Thu, 01 Dec 2016 12:00:13 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1844263 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 30 Brilliant Ways to Survive Black Friday Madness http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-30-brilliant-ways-to-survive-black-friday-madness <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-30-brilliant-ways-to-survive-black-friday-madness" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_holiday_shopping_590041514.jpg" alt="Couple finding ways to survive the Black Friday madness" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Black Friday shopping isn't always fun. In fact, most of the time, it's the opposite of fun. But even though there are crowds everywhere, the weather is most likely extremely cold, and you're still working off the food coma from yesterday, the Black Friday hustle is worth it for the amazing deals you can score. Here are 30 brilliant ways to survive the madness of Black Friday.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/women_holiday_shopping_000052946922.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-black-friday-craziness-is-worth-it?ref=fbf">5 Reasons Black Friday Craziness Is Worth It</a> &mdash; It's not all bad. You can finish up your gift shopping in one day, there's the thrill of the chase, and getting big discounts on all your purchases is so much fun. Even though you're cranky and tired, there are several upsides to this annual shopping celebration.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-people-go-crazy-on-black-friday?ref=fbf">Why People Go Crazy on Black Friday</a> &mdash; In order to fully assess what you're dealing with on Black Friday, it's important to know why so many people get sucked into it. Hint: it's all based in strategy and psychology. Incredibly fascinating!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_shopping_tablet_000071622233.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-black-friday-deal-without-leaving-home?ref=fbf">6 Ways to Score a Black Friday Deal Without Leaving Home</a> &mdash; The best way to shop Black Friday deals is to do it without wearing pants. And the only way to do that (without getting arrested) is to do all your Black Friday shopping at home. Just pull up your computer and fill up that cart!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/women_shopping_bags_78628943.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-skills-you-need-to-survive-black-friday?ref=fbf">8 Frugal Skills You Need to Survive Black Friday</a> &mdash; The real winners of Black Friday? The frugal folks. Many frugal living skills you use in your everyday life and financial planning goals can be applied to Black Friday as well. And these are skills you need just to get through Black Friday without destroying your budget.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-spend-black-friday-at-home?ref=fbf">6 Ways to Spend Black Friday at Home</a> &mdash; Believe it or not, people will head out on Black Friday even if they aren't interested in shopping. It's a holiday weekend, so people will head out to eat, to the movies, and everywhere else. So if you're looking to do the opposite of that and relax at home, here are some low-key ways to celebrate sans crowds.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-30-brilliant-ways-to-survive-black-friday-madness">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-160-gift-ideas-for-everyone-you-know">Flashback Friday: 160 Gift Ideas for Everyone You Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-44-sneaky-shopping-traps-to-avoid">Flashback Friday: 44 Sneaky Shopping Traps to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-47-best-back-to-school-shopping-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: 47 Best Back-to-School Shopping Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-49-smartest-amazon-hacks-that-will-save-you-big">Flashback Friday: 49 Smartest Amazon Hacks That Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn">9 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Autumn</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping black friday black friday tips fbf flashback friday frugal living holiday shopping sales shopping shopping hacks Fri, 25 Nov 2016 12:00:16 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1839704 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Frugal Skills You Need to Survive Black Friday http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-skills-you-need-to-survive-black-friday <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-frugal-skills-you-need-to-survive-black-friday" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_shopping_bags_78628943.jpg" alt="Women learning frugal living skills to survive Black Friday" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Black Friday: It's a day some of us look forward to, and others dread. It's the one day of the year when stores seemingly lose all sense of reality and offer products at prices that are insanely low.</p> <p>Of course, anyone who really knows what's going on behind the scenes is well aware that the stores have not gone mad. Most are employing clever tactics, like loss leaders and limited doorbusters, to lure you in and get you spending. But if you arm yourself with the following frugal skills, you'll come out on top.</p> <h2>1. Iron-Clad Willpower</h2> <p>Temptation is everywhere on Black Friday. Even if you think you know every deal that's coming, you will be surprised by bargains you never dreamed of. This is the time to remain frugal, and hold firm to what you came there to get. A good way to think of it is this: If you didn't want it, no matter <em>how</em> cheap it was, it wasn't a bargain.</p> <p>Grabbing handfuls of DVDs and Blu-Rays priced at $1.99 each may feel like you're ripping the place off, but if you're never going to watch them, what's the point? This goes for everything you see that day. Hold firm. What do you need, and what do you want? You should only be buying what you need on Black Friday, because otherwise, you can get swept away by the hysteria and spend more than you planned.</p> <h2>2. A Healthy Dose of Skepticism</h2> <p>Do not, for one second, think that the deals being presented on Black Friday are the most incredible money-saving bargains around. Sure, the doorbusters will be great opportunities to save, but they are always available in very limited quantities (in some cases, only a handful per store). And unless you're planning to spend hours, or even days, waiting in line, you aren't going to get them.</p> <p>Many of the other deals you'll see on Black Friday have often been available on that price, <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10000872396390443615804578042700772445448">or even lower,</a> on other days of the year. And as always, take that RRP (recommended retail price) with a huge grain of salt. This is the price you see as &quot;before,&quot; and the sale price as &quot;after&quot; &mdash; but chances are, the store never priced the item at that RRP.</p> <h2>3. The Patience of a Saint</h2> <p>Things are going to get tough, both mentally and physically, on Black Friday. There will be pushing and shoving, shouting and screaming, and sadly, injuries. The chaos can easily take hold of you, and before you know it you're right in there, grabbing at bargains, pushing people out of the way, and getting caught up in a world of trouble.</p> <p>Take a step back. Breathe. Be patient. Remember, this is all just stuff. It may be stuff you'd like to have, or give as a gift, but it is not worth your health or sanity. What's more, by giving into your more animalistic emotions, you can find yourself spending more money than you wanted to. The competitive spirit can cloud your judgment, spurring you to buy more than you ever wanted. Have patience. If you can't get what you want on the day, don't worry. There will be other days.</p> <h2>4. Complete Preparation</h2> <p>One of the keys to surviving Black Friday is knowing exactly what you want to buy before you ever leave the house. And not only what you want to buy, but how much you're willing to pay for it.</p> <p>On the day in question, your senses will be bombarded. Deals galore will hit you square in the face as you rush into each and every store, and it is very easy to become sidetracked. Before you know it, your cart is filled with everything but the items you actually wanted. So, stick to your guns, and stick to your list. The stores will all put out circulars well in advance of Black Friday. There are sites dedicated to Black Friday deals. Create a shopping list based on which stores you want to visit, what you want to get, and the top price you are going to pay. Follow it to the letter, and you'll stick to your budget and get the deals and items you really want.</p> <h2>5. A Good Memory</h2> <p>Most Black Friday deals are repeats of previous years. In fact, many of the <a href="https://d1l9zs272jkxri.cloudfront.net/blog/uploads/2016/09/20123212/Target-Black-Friday-Ad-2013p14-2014p14-2015p22_edited-1.jpg">deals are nearly identical</a>, down to the same brand, price, and stores offering them. Black Friday, for most companies, follows a specific formula. This is calculated. They know what people are shopping for, what will sell, and most importantly, what the healthy profit margins are. That's why you will continually see circulars offering huge discounts on luggage, pots and pans, boots, food processors, cheap DVDs, and even air mattresses.</p> <p>You won't, however, see huge discounts on the big video game systems, iPads, or other &quot;in demand&quot; tech. You will buy those regardless of the price, and stores are not going to miss out on those guaranteed dollars.</p> <h2>6. Knowing How to Compare and Save</h2> <p>Whatever your go-to way of price comparison shopping is, you need to have it locked down before the big day. Some people like apps such as <a href="http://shopsavvy.com/">ShopSavvy</a> or <a href="http://redlaser.com/application/">RedLaser</a>. Others simply pop the product into Google and see what prices show up. However you go about it, you need to have a strategy in place on the day. Don't buy anything without researching it first. If you're worried that the item will be scooped up by someone, hold onto it while you look it up. Is the deal on offer in that store the best one around? Is another store offering a mail-in rebate, or bundling it with other items for free? Your smartphone can save you hundreds of dollars on the day.</p> <h2>7. An Eye for Details</h2> <p>Frugal shoppers like to read the small print. They look at the little asterisks that are innocently slapped next to a price tag. They know that the devil is in the details, and in some stores, that devil can cost you quite a lot of money. So, get ready to look over every deal with the analytical mind of Sherlock Holmes. Is it really only $200, or are there strings attached? Do you have to buy two items together to get the price? Do you have to purchase the three-year extended warranty for the lower price? Is the steal of the day limited to only two stores in the whole state? Look closely, and make sure you are not being stung by small print.</p> <h2>8. Realizing Every Single Dollar Counts</h2> <p>Most of us are loss averse. We would much rather avoid losing $10 than find $10 in the street. On Black Friday, loss aversion can quickly crumble in the minds of shoppers. And the stores know just how to take advantage of it.</p> <p>For instance, after you buy a $450 laptop, what's another $25 on a laptop case, or a flash drive? The thing is, on any other day of the week, you would scrutinize those purchases and look around for better deals. But on Black Friday, you are shelling out so much money that the smaller purchases slip under your usually frugal radar. Remember, every dollar counts. Examine every deal, even the small ones. If they're not worth it on any other day of the week, they're not worth it on Black Friday.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-skills-you-need-to-survive-black-friday">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-prepare-for-your-best-black-friday">11 Ways to Prepare for Your Best Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-black-friday-deal-without-leaving-home">6 Ways to Score a Black Friday Deal Without Leaving Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-discount-shopping-days-of-the-year">7 Best Discount Shopping Days of the Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-people-go-crazy-on-black-friday">Why People Go Crazy on Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts">9 Ways to Use Miles and Points for Holiday Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping black friday christmas shopping deals doorbusters gifts holiday shopping price comparisons retail sales strategies willpower Wed, 16 Nov 2016 09:00:07 +0000 Paul Michael 1833770 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Reasons You Should Start Your Holiday Shopping Now http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-should-start-your-holiday-shopping-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-reasons-you-should-start-your-holiday-shopping-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_45623996_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="you should start your holiday shopping now" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's hard to believe that the holidays are fast approaching. But ask anyone if they have started <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-ways-to-save-money-but-still-get-what-you-want-during-holiday-shopping">shopping for the holidays</a> yet, and you'll most likely get a quizzical look in return. &quot;Holidays? I haven't even shopped for Thanksgiving yet!&quot; However, there are many reasons to start shopping for the big event right now, rather than waiting for another month. And by starting now, you will save money &mdash; in some cases a <em>lot </em>of money &mdash; and have a less stressful festive season.</p> <h2>1. Better Deals May Take a Long Time to Ship</h2> <p>Right now, time is on your side, and you should take full advantage of it. With eBay, and hundreds of other sites offering great gifts from all around the world, it can be expensive to ship things quickly. And in some cases, that may not even be an option. You could have to wait 6-8 weeks for that special delivery, and if you start shopping in early December, you just won't have enough time to get it before the big day. What's more, some items offered abroad are significantly cheaper than the same items being sold from U.S. merchants. Start your shopping online now, and you could save a lot of money getting cool and authentic goods from every corner of the globe.</p> <h2>2. It's Not Crazy Shopping Season Yet</h2> <p>You know what the malls are like when December rolls around. And in the last few weeks, it's all out war in some stores. Finding a parking spot can take half an hour, and even then, it's a long walk to the entrance. Lines to the registers are stretching to the back of the store, everyone is in a bad mood, and chaos reigns. Skip it. Do it now, while the vast majority of people are still thinking about the Thanksgiving menu. You may be waiting to start because you believe the best deals will come on Black Friday &mdash; the ultimate battle for a better deal &mdash; but that's not necessarily true. Many doorbuster deals go in minutes, and are in limited supply. The rest of the low prices offered are usually very close to the prices being charged online anyway. In some cases, those items were cheaper on other sale days throughout the year. Don't believe the Black Friday hype. Smart, frugal shoppers armed with discount codes and coupons will always find good deals.</p> <h2>3. The Price Hikes Haven't Happened Yet</h2> <p>They're known as &quot;seasonal markups.&quot; You could call it taking advantage of the holidays, or even price gouging, but it is what it is, and we all know it. However, those seasonal markups are not going to happen for a few more weeks at least, so get in there before the &quot;late shopping tax&quot; is added onto everything from toys and clothing, to perfume and jewelry.</p> <h2>4. You Could Miss Out on the Things You Really Want</h2> <p>As we get closer to the holidays, supplies of popular items start getting depleted. This, in particular, applies to the hot toy of the moment. Every year, a certain toy becomes a must-have, and if you wait too long, you risk disappointing the kid who's been waiting for it all year. But it's not just toys. You will find that popular clothing sizes sell out fast, and all you can get hold of is an XS or a XXXL. Certain colors or styles will go more quickly than others. And all of this can be avoided by getting to the stores now while everything is plentiful.</p> <h2>5. You Have Enough Time to Make Something</h2> <p>They say the best gifts are the ones made just for you, and that really does ring true. Knowing that someone has spent their own time and creativity making you something feels great. If you posses a certain set of skills, whether it's crocheting, cooking, woodworking, painting, or sculpture, you have the time to put those skills to good use. You can make some awesome gifts that will really make the recipient feel special, and you'll save a lot of money in the process. Leaving this kind of gift until the last minute only adds extra stress to your life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-now-you-can-make-these-23-delicious-holiday-gifts?ref=seealso">Start Now: You Can Make These 23 DIY Gifts</a>)</p> <h2>6. You Can Get Gifts to Loved Ones on Time</h2> <p>The postal system comes under heavy strain in the weeks before a major holiday. We all see it firsthand when we pop to the post office and see a line stretching to Canada. If you want to make sure your packages arrive on time, without having to pay expensive priority fees, or use couriers, then start your shopping right now. You can use some of the free shipping options on sites like Amazon and eBay and still get gifts to people in plenty of time. Otherwise you'll be risking delayed packages while paying a lot for the service.</p> <h2>7. Bad Weather Can Upset Your Plans</h2> <p>In many parts of the country, the holiday season comes with heavy snow and horrible weather. That can have a huge impact on the shopping season. Bad snow can leave the roads in chaos, and you may not even be able to leave the house. Even if you do get out there, you could be spending hours in traffic, risk getting into serious accidents, and will be dealing with people who are stressed beyond belief. Get out there now, before mother nature decides to dump a nasty surprise on you&hellip; right on the day you planned to get all your shopping done.</p> <h2>8. You Can Spread Out the Financial Burden</h2> <p>We all know that the holiday season is the most expensive time of the year for most families. Aside from all the gifts, there is the food, the drinks, the parties, and the travel. It can really eat into your weekly budget. But when you leave everything until the last minute, that can put your bank accounts under more strain than usual. Instead, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-use-your-credit-card-for-holiday-purchases">spread out those expenses</a> into more manageable chunks, and start early. Get a few gifts now, a few next week, and so on. Stock up on non-perishables over the next few months. By doing it in smaller bursts, you won't feel so financially crippled.</p> <h2>9. You Can Set Price Alerts for Online Shopping</h2> <p>If you leave shopping until the last minute, or the last few weeks of the holiday season, you will have to accept the price on offer, or risk not getting that item at all. Start shopping online right now, and set up price alerts for the things on your lists. You can receive an email alert that tells you when something you really want has dropped below a price you feel is a deal. If it doesn't happen by the time the holidays are closing in, well, you bite the bullet. But this way, you have a much better chance of getting great deals on the things you really want.</p> <h2>10. It's Better for Your Health (and Sanity)</h2> <p>Most of us experience stress around the holiday season, and with good reason. There's an awful lot to coordinate, and we're spending money like it's going out of style. We all want to make sure everyone is happy, the gifts are bought and wrapped, and the food is prepped. One way to alleviate some of that stress is to give yourself plenty of breathing room. By starting your shopping now, you're giving yourself that most precious gift: time. You have the time to sit down, plan ahead, and get things organized. You have time to get things shipped. You have time to take things back to the stores, if they aren't what you were expecting. You have time to wrap gifts at your own pace, instead if doing that marathon session the night before. It all adds up to a much easier festive season, meaning less stress and strain on your body and your mind.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-should-start-your-holiday-shopping-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-gifts-for-the-person-who-needs-a-nap">9 Frugal Gifts for the Person Who Needs a Nap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-can-do-right-now-for-a-frugal-holiday-season">9 Things You Can Do Right Now for a Frugal Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-160-gift-ideas-for-everyone-you-know">Flashback Friday: 160 Gift Ideas for Everyone You Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gift-giving-etiquette-to-get-you-through-the-holidays">Gift Giving Etiquette to Get You Through the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Christmas holiday season holiday shopping procrastination saving money shopping hacks Spending Money Mon, 07 Nov 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 1827217 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Autumn http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_100667959_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="you need these frugal skills to survive autumn" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The national retail federation predicted that U.S. consumers would <a href="https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/halloween-spending-reach-84-billion-highest-survey-history">spend $8.4 billion on Halloween</a> this year, with consumers spending an average of $82.93 on the holiday. (How much did you spend?) And that's just one single day of a long fall season that also includes: Thanksgiving, yard maintenance, home weatherproofing, and plenty of other opportunities to spend.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are ways to cut back on your spending <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-autumn-is-good-for-your-mind-and-body">this fall season</a>. Here are nine ways to stretch those dollars as the days get shorter and the winter holidays creep closer.</p> <h2>1. Get Out That Rake</h2> <p>You can buy leaf blowers for as little as $50 or as much as $300 or more if you want a super deluxe model. That doesn't even count the gas that you'll go through with a gas-powered blower. A rake will cost you about $15. Don't forget, either, that raking leaves is a lot quieter &mdash; your neighbors will appreciate that. It also helps you burn a few calories.</p> <h2>2. Cancel Your Gym Membership</h2> <p>Fall is a great time to cancel that gym membership. We're not advocating that you skip exercising, though. Instead, we're recommending that you get your exercise by biking, hiking, running or, yes, raking leaves. Fall weather is cool but generally not freezing. So cancel that gym membership until winter rolls around. You can renew once the icicles show up.</p> <h2>3. Weatherproof Your Home</h2> <p>Sure, you'll spend a bit of money upfront for weather-stripping to weatherproof your home's windows and doors. You might also have to shell out some money to spray extra installation in your attic and seal up any leaks in your walls. But spending this money now will save you during the coldest months of the upcoming winter season. Weatherproofing your home now will result in lower energy bills in December and January. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-seal-leaks-and-reduce-your-winter-heating-bill?ref=seealso">9 Ways to Reduce Your Heating Bill</a>)</p> <h2>4. Buy the Right Food and Cook at Home</h2> <p>You know that eating out is a huge drain on your wallet. You can save money by cooking at home. Autumn is actually a good season for this. You can whip up hearty soups, stews, and casseroles and stretch the leftovers over several days. Just make sure to buy plenty of those foods that are in season and most affordable this time of year: root vegetables, squash, and plenty of apples.</p> <h2>5. Resist the Call of the Pumpkin</h2> <p>It's important to exercise some self-control when it comes to the staple of the fall months: the pumpkin. You might have noticed that retailers aren't shy about shoving pumpkin-spiced products down your throat this time of year. It's okay to indulge a bit, of course, but be careful. It's easy to blow plenty of money on pumpkin-flavored coffees, pastries, and candies. Some of these seasonal treats might even come with higher price tags than their non-gourd cousins.</p> <h2>6. Call the Cable Company &mdash; And All Your Other Service Providers</h2> <p>This tip is viable all year, but you know you're going to be watching more TV once the weather chills. Why not pay less for it? Call your cable provider today and request a lower monthly payment. There's no guarantee that your provider will drop your monthly bill, but many will, especially if they think that you'll switch to a competitor. You can try this with everyone from your cable provider to your auto insurance company. Take a day to call your providers. You might be surprised at how many are willing to lower their monthly premium.</p> <h2>7. Start Holiday Shopping Early</h2> <p>Getting a head start on your holiday season doesn't seem like a great way to spend money, but by shopping early, you'll have more time to carefully plan out what you want to buy for your friends, family members, and co-workers. If you plan, the odds are better that you'll actually spend less. You might even have time to find clothes, toys, and electronics that are priced less because the winter holidays are still far enough away. Just make sure that you hit the stores with an actual list in hand. This will help protect you from those impulse buys that can shatter your budget.</p> <h2>8. Start an Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Financial experts recommend that you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-jars-and-8-other-clever-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund">have an emergency savings fund</a> with enough money to cover at least six months of your daily living expenses. Such a fund can protect you from an unexpected financial emergency &mdash; everything from losing your job to finding a burst water heater in your basement. Fall is a good time to start this fund. The expensive summer vacation season is over and the winter holidays are still far enough away. It's a bit easier to set aside $100 to $500 a month during the fall to build that emergency fund.</p> <h2>9. Get a Start on Your New Year's Resolution</h2> <p>Who says you have to wait until January 1 to start your New Year's resolution? If your resolution this year will involve saving money and spending less, get started today. Vow to spend only what you can afford during the holiday season, no matter how much pressure you feel to overspend.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-30-brilliant-ways-to-survive-black-friday-madness">Flashback Friday: 30 Brilliant Ways to Survive Black Friday Madness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money">6 Ways to Use Google Alerts to Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-160-gift-ideas-for-everyone-you-know">Flashback Friday: 160 Gift Ideas for Everyone You Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-44-sneaky-shopping-traps-to-avoid">Flashback Friday: 44 Sneaky Shopping Traps to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-49-smartest-amazon-hacks-that-will-save-you-big">Flashback Friday: 49 Smartest Amazon Hacks That Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping autumn fall frugal living frugal skills holiday shopping saving money shopping Wed, 02 Nov 2016 10:30:11 +0000 Dan Rafter 1825230 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Things You Can Do Right Now for a Frugal Holiday Season http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-can-do-right-now-for-a-frugal-holiday-season <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-things-you-can-do-right-now-for-a-frugal-holiday-season" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_80107991_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="make theses moves now for a frugal holiday season" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you find yourself dreading the holidays a bit more each year? Does the prospect of crowds, long lines, and packed parking lots make your eyes glaze over? Does it take until December 24th of the following year to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bounce-back-from-your-holiday-splurge">recover from your holiday splurge</a>? If so, maybe it's time to tame the holidays by getting started early. Here are nine money-saving ways to prepare for the holidays now.</p> <h2>1. Build Your Budget</h2> <p>Using last year's spending as your guide, establish limits for gift-giving this year. Flexibility is essential; don't get too caught up in the per-person dollar amount. A few dollars more or less can help you take advantage of great deals and find the perfect gift (just make sure to not exceed your total spending maximum). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls?ref=seealso">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</a>)</p> <h2>2. Stash More Cash</h2> <p>Add a few extra bucks to your holiday fund by skipping lunches out once or twice a week, or replacing your morning coffee run with a home brew. The extra cash will come in handy &mdash; and just may help you have a credit-card free Christmas.</p> <p>If you haven't set up a holiday fund yet, it's not too late. Sign up for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christmas-club-accounts-are-they-worth-it">Christmas club account</a> at your local credit union or simply make automatic deposits to an existing savings account.</p> <h2>3. Choose Your Credit</h2> <p>Plan on charging some or all your gifts? Make sure your credit limit can handle it. Pay down excessive balances now so that you can absorb new charges without putting your monthly budget at risk or incurring late-payment penalties. Also, get the most out of your seasonal swiping by using only the best&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/read-this-to-maximize-your-rewards-and-cash-back-this-holiday-season?ref=internal">credit cards that offer shopping benefits and cash back</a>.</p> <h2>4. Make Your Lists</h2> <p>Making your gift lists now reduces deadline pressure later, and helps avoid impulse purchases that wreck so many holiday budgets. When making your list, focus less on what people need right now and more on what they'll need or want when the holidays roll around &mdash; then, let the bargain-hunting begin!</p> <h2>5. Make Your Gifts!</h2> <p>If your DIY gifts are of the non-food variety, now is the perfect time to get crafting. Explore our very own fresh and frugal <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">homemade gift ideas</a>, or get inspired by the countless projects featured on Pinterest. Once your creative juices are flowing, comb your local thrift store or craft center for bargain-priced supplies.</p> <h2>6. Hunt for Great Deals Online</h2> <p>There are great deals online year-round. Start scouting for bargains now or trying to find that obscure, out-of-print, out-of-stock, or antique item. By the time the holidays arrive, you'll have the perfect gift (for the perfect price) &mdash; wrapped and ready.</p> <h2>7. Shop Strategically</h2> <p>By shopping early, you not only beat the holiday rush, but you can also take advantage of seasonal discounts and avoid the heavy hit to your finances that often makes credit card use a tempting option.</p> <p>Instead of planning all-day trips to the mall, make casual holiday shopping part of your weekly routine. Stick to the items on your gift list, pick up fun stocking stuffers, and look for a few inexpensive, non-specific gifts you can have ready for unexpected guests.</p> <h2>8. Don't Forget the Extras</h2> <p>Wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper, bows, tape, and holiday greeting cards are just a few of the extras that can eat into your holiday bottom-line. Stock up on the basics like tape and tissue paper now while demand is low. And instead of using expensive seasonal paper this year, explore some creative and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-ways-to-make-your-holiday-gifts-look-amazing">more affordable gift-wrapping ideas</a>.</p> <h2>9. Give Back</h2> <p>Holiday parties can be fun, but why not blend your celebration with a charitable activity? Start planning now. You can coordinate a group outing to serve food at a local homeless shelter, organize a <a href="http://www.toysfortots.org/default.aspx">Toys for Tots</a> toy drive where you work, or plan a book drive for <a href="http://booksthroughbars.org/">Books Through Bars</a> or the <a href="http://prisonbookprogram.org/">Prison Book Program</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-can-do-right-now-for-a-frugal-holiday-season">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gift-giving-etiquette-to-get-you-through-the-holidays">Gift Giving Etiquette to Get You Through the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-should-start-your-holiday-shopping-now">10 Reasons You Should Start Your Holiday Shopping Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/december-deals-that-are-better-than-black-friday">December Deals That Are Better Than Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-these-9-christmas-gifts-now-and-save">Buy These 9 Christmas Gifts Now and Save</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-6-credit-card-moves-now-to-prepare-for-holiday-shopping">Make These 6 Credit Card Moves Now to Prepare for Holiday Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping christmas shopping holiday season holiday shopping saving money Fri, 16 Sep 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Kentin Waits 1793853 at http://www.wisebread.com