Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge: Days 2-4

While Black Friday has come and gone, it doesn't mean all the good shopping deals are over. These days, the early bird doesn't only get the worm!

For all you last-minute shoppers out there, this Friday, Dec. 17th is Free Shipping Day. Check out freeshippingday.com for a list of participating stores, including Harry & David, Ann Taylor Loft, Zappos, and Victoria's Secret. Oo la la!

Another site with great deals is WantNot.net. I did a Google Analytics project for this site while I was at UGA, and WantNot has greatly improved its look and feel. The founder, a mother of two, updates the site daily with coupon codes and sales at relevant retailers, including Amazon, Old Navy, Land's End, Eddie Bauer, and Target this week. It's definitely worth checking out!

And finally, before you finish your holiday shopping, check RetailMeNot.com or MyBargainBuddy.com to find promotions and deals for a wide variety of store favorites, ranging from Best Buy and Pottery Barn to Gap. Or if you're willing to wait on buying yourself {okay or someone else} the perfect gift, register it at ShoppingNotes.com, and they’ll email you when it goes on sale. Perfecto!

Christmas 2007-my first real pearls. Kyle gave them to me, a necklace and matching earrings set, but I think it was the letter he wrote to go with them that sent it into "best gift" status. Kyle wrote about how pearls are formed, and then went on to say that I was his pearl, his rare and prized possession. It was a beautiful letter, and I just can't resist a man who is good with words! Good thing he's my husband now. :)

First and foremost, you should never pay for gift tags again! There are so many free gift tag printables out there, in a variety of designs and aesthetics, there is just no reason to fork out any money for them at the store. You can find them at Gift-WrapIt, Eat, Drink, Chic, Creature Comforts, You + Me Lifestylists, Twig & Thistle, the list goes on and on! Once you find some you like, just print them out on some card stock, cut, and attach. VoilĂ ! You've got yourself the cutest gift tags under the tree.

Next, hit up the dollar store for your gift wrap! The dollar store has lots of cute gift wrap, usually each a dollar per roll. The same amount of gift wrap could easily be $4.99 at a place like Micheal's, and you just have to think about how it will immediately go in the trash once your presents are opened.

Make a Christmas budget and stick to it! Kyle and I allotted a specific amount of money for decorations, Christmas cards, and gifts, and anything leftover will be put in savings toward our anniversary trip. It's been fun to be creative & thrifty with our gifts to see how much we can save!

And finally, along the lines of making a budget, one thing that helps to save is planning ahead and taking advantage of holiday sales. We bought our Christmas stockings from Pottery Barn on Cyber Monday, and got free monogramming and shipping! They are probably my favorite decoration we've bought this year. We also got our Christmas cards for FREE from Shutterfly, so just be a savvy shopper and monitor what's going on out there with promotions, starting as early as September/October.

Photos: 1. The Pioneer Woman 2. Style Me Pretty 3. The Resurgence

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