save moneyFamily Finance and Budget By Michelle P. Sharrow, MBA -Maximize Your Savings While Shopping for Holiday Gifts with These Tips for Inexpensive Gifts.

Fall ushers in cooler temperatures, falling leaves, and lower electric bills. Whether you have a few dollars to spare saved from lower electric bills or not, now is a perfect time to start thinking about gifts for the holidays. So in the spirit of helping you find ways to continue to maximize your savings, I’ve got a few ideas for you.

Scholastic Book’s Flyers

Parents of school age kids are familiar with the Scholastic Book Flyers that come home monthly. With books as low as one dollar, this is an excellent source for gifts. You can get a head start by shopping early, and using them as stocking stuffers for your kids, gifts for kids of the family, or for your kids to exchange with others. Of course if you are purchasing items for your kids you need to get a little creative about hiding those items from them. Perhaps you can enlist the help of another parent and have her purchase and hold your books. An added advantage to ordering from the Scholastic Book Flyer is that there are no shipping costs. Gotta love that.

Five Below

Is also a good option for low cost, out of the box gifts. Targeting the preteen and teen markets you can find goods ranging from basketballs, i-pod accessories, bath and body products, books, dvds and trading cards ranging from $1 to $5 in value. Visit the company’s website to locate the store closest to you.

Dollar Tree

Of course I can’t mention Five Below without mentioning the Dollar Tree. Having been around for years, the store’s product selection has increased tremendously over the past few years while its prices have remained the same. Dollar Tree is the go to place for stocking stuffers and other small gifts. The best thing about shopping at the Dollar Tree is that you never really know what you are going to get. You can easily prepare a gift basket for someone; picking up the basket and all the fillings from this one stop shop. If you hate crowds like I do, it would be best for you to go on off days like Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays. This way, you’ll have ample time to look around and evaluate the merchandise.

Christmas Tree Shops

Lastly, there is the . Like all of the others, this store offers a huge selection of low cost items ranging from garden accessories, scrapbooking supplies, toys, home accessories and books. The only downside is that like Five Below, stores are not in all states. Visit the company’s website to locate the store nearest you.

October, November and then it’s here; the dreaded month of December. And then it’s almost too late, stores are practically oozing with impatient, grumpy and budget conscious shoppers. Rather than wait until then to purchase all of your gifts, why not get a head start now while it is still day light savings time and merchandise selection is unlimited. As the evenings get shorter and the temperature plummets, you’ll wish you had.

 

Michelle Sharrow

Michelle Sharrow

Michelle P. Sharrow, MBA is a seasoned freelance writer specializing in personal finance. Based in Waldorf, Maryland, she holds a Masters Degree with a concentration in Finance. Michelle provides a monthly column on ways to help families maintain their finances and stick to a budget titled, Budgeting and Savings for Families.

More Family Finance:

http://extension.usu.edu/utah/htm/family-finance

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/fch/healthy-families/family-finances

http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Money/Personal-Finance.shtml
Michelle Sharrow

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