Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Christmas Is Coming - Making the Most of Clearance Series Part One

      I know, I know, many of you do not want to hear the ugly word in the middle of summer, but part of surviving this economy is planning ahead and taking care of certain expenses in the least expensive way possible.  This will be the first part of my three part series discussing End of Season Clearance sales.  I promise it will be done by the weekend...just in time for you to shop!
     One our greatest, one-time expenses is Christmas and now is the time to start planning!  I detest the heat, to the point of tears some days (not an exaggeration, ask my family), but there is one thing I love about July, even here in Phoenix.  CLEARANCE!  Not just one little clearance, but lots of clearance in all stores!  Now that the 4th of July is over, as far as the retail world is considered, so is summer.  Stores will now begin receiving their Fall merchandise and have to make room, so piles of merchandise begins to go on clearance and just keeps getting lower and lower and lower!
     Over the past two and a half years, you know I have been living on an extremely tight budget, $30,000 just does not go very far for a family of five.  However, my budget does not change the fact that I have three quickly, growing kids.  Christmas and 12 birthdays between now and December 21st (all in my house and immediate family) do not wait for my wallet to grow.  So, I have started every year in July, sitting down and making a list of all the birthdays and Christmas presents I have to buy and start picking things up as I see them.
     Last year, I bought all the Christmas presents and 4 birthday presents for the 4 children in my life for about $140 and no, they did not each get a lollipop!  They received toys and clothes and fun stuff!  These end of season clearance sales make this season of gift giving in my life a whole lot less stressful!  Now listen, I do not pick up junky, little meaningless things, I try to look for things I know each of my family members will like, or things that make me think of them.  Gift giving on a budget should still be thoughtful and loving, but can be done on a budget any size!  I truly dislike presents that are not thought about, I feel like when you give someone a present it is a way to honor them and if you do not think about them and what they like or need, why bother!  So take a minute today and make your list, won't it feel good to get some of those presents out of the way...and with big savings?!

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