Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year...Still

I'll admit it, I'm sick of seeing Christmas items in the stores. It all started in October and yet here we are, almost February, and they've managed to stick around. By the time the last product is sold, they'll be breaking out the new ones for next year. But since everything seems to be 90% off right now, I know it is worth my time, and I will be happy I did it when late November rolls around. Between Target, Michael's, and Rite Aid I have pre-purchased all of our cards, invitations, decorations, lights, wrapping paper and most of our kids' stocking stuffers for next year-and saved a bunch!

You would be surprised at what stores include in their clearance Christmas section--items that are seasonal and have nothing to do with the holidays. For example, today I found a box of 60 tea bags, originally $12, and I paid $0.80!

For us, part of saving money has been making purchases at the end of season when prices are at their lowest. I do this for holiday decorations, clothing and even food I will stock up on if it's something that only goes on sale once a year.

On my way home today, I saw a yard sale with lots of outdoor toys for young children (something we've been looking for). But it's not the season for yard sales and I just wanted to stay in my car all warm and cozy sipping coffee. I willed myself to pull over and brave the cold, and in the end it paid off. Since there had been very few customers, the seller wanted to pack up and head inside so she offered everything to me as a "lot" and gave me a very good deal. Not only did we make friends with a nice family near our home, but we also ended up with a trailer-full of outdoor toys, a play house, a power wheels motorcycle, wooden chairs, a wooden table, and several indoor toys--all for $75. Our kids haven't been playing outside very much this winter, but come spring I will be thrilled to have a backyard full of entertainment for the kids while I work on our garden.

Coming home with Christmas items and outdoor toys in the middle of January was a strange feeling, but one I'm starting to get used to as my mindset is changing towards saving money. So if you can stomach looking at seasonal items for just a little longer, I promise you will appreciate all of your hard work next Christmas when you can get straight to the cookie-baking!

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