Baby showers, weddings, birthdays, Christmas, these are all expected events. Most times, I am aware of these months in advance. To save money, I plan ahead. I start stock piling items. I also look for special sales and the best prices. Here are 8 ways to save money by planning for the expected.
Plan & Prepare for Christmas
Planning for Christmas is so important. There are so many seen and unforeseen expenses that come up at Christmas: Christmas parties, hostess gifts, Christmas dinner, family photos, Christmas gifts, stocking stuffers, ingredients for baked goods, Christmas cards & postage, work parties, dining out, larger tips for your hair stylist, etc. The list seems never-ending. Start stashing away money as soon as you can. In the months leading up to Christmas start picking up bottles of wine or other thoughtful hostess gifts. Stocking stuffers and baking ingredients can often be purchased ahead of time. Around Thanksgiving many stores will offer competitive prices/seasonal lows on baking ingredients.
For more tips check out my post, Saving for Christmas.
Review your social calendar
What events do you have coming up? Dinner with friends, birthday’s, holidays? Take a look at your calendar so you can set up your game plan. If you are going to dinner bring small bills so you can pay the bill and properly tip without having to make change with the waitress or people at the table. This also prevents awkward feelings of asking for a few bucks back.
Prepare for Parties
Dollar Tree has the best gift bags, tissue paper, cards, and holiday goods. There are so many items that are great for celebrations of all sorts. Here is a list of my favorite things to buy there. Let me give you an example of possible savings:
Birthday wrappings from the grocery store will cost you between $5 – $10+. Birthday bag ($4), card ($4) and tissue ($2). On the flip side, you could go to a dollar store and get all three things for a $1 each.
Let’s say for example you have 10 birthdays/holidays a year. Your savings would be about $70 a year.
10 events x $10= $100 – (10 events x $3 = $30) $100 – $30= $70 in yearly savings
Buy a special birthday card instead of a gift
A beautiful birthday card is a special way to wish someone Happy Birthday. Most people just want to feel special and remembered on their birthday. Sometimes special gifts are nice, sometimes a beautiful card will show you care all the same.
Use Groupon for store deals
CVS, Babies R’ US, & Target are a few of the special offers that are available by invitation through Groupon. When you sign up for Groupon you get emails alerting you of the hottest deals that you may like. This is a great way to score some bonus bucks for stores you are already going to shop at. I often get offers for $20 certificates for $10.00. It’s like getting 10 dollars of free stuff. I get more bang for my buck by pairing these with coupons and special store offers, like CVS extra bucks or Rewards R’ Us(Babies R’ Us).
Shutterfly has awesome freebies throughout the year. These are perfect personalized gifts for grandparents, kids or family members. See this email offer I received. Offers vary. One time they had a puzzle, a magnet or two 8 x 10 prints to choose for free. The item itself is free, you usually just have to cover shipping.
Signup for Rewards Programs
Always sign up for rewards programs. They pay off when you least expect it, and sometimes when you do expect it. Stores like Ulta and Sephora offer points that can be used as cash off or to purchase beauty products. Most stores offer some sort of loyalty/rewards program. Pampers rewards is one I use while I am still buying diapers. Every time I enter a coupon code I get points. The points are good to claim free items. They also send out emails for goodies, such as more Shutterfly freebies.
Sign up for Ebates
Ebates is the best. Ebates is an online coupon code center that gives you thousands of discount codes, as well as cash back for your purchases. It is seriously the best way to shop online. It has thousands of online retailers that you’re probably shopping at anyways. Sign-up and you get a $10.00 bonus. Once you see how awesome it is, you will want to refer all of your friends like I do. This will give you even more bonuses! So far since creating the account in 2015 I have earned $204.39 cash back. Christmas is when I earn the most. The Ebates Bar pops up on Retailers’ websites, making it easy to activate cash back. Sign up and start earning right away.
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