Monday, November 16, 2009

A Calendar Watch and Awareness to Boost Your Shopping Skills

As November comes into view get a tighter grip on your shopping skills as well as your shopping lists. Many retailers look forward to the day after Thanksgiving, because it hails as the biggest shopping day of the year. It competes stiffly with the day after Christmas, because in many ways it formally ushers in the Christmas shopping season. At least it used to, now many Christmas holiday promotions appeared on the shelves along with the Halloween ghosts and goblins, some even before. Most of us by this time will be well aware of the pressures of holiday buying. Therefore, this Calendar Watch and Awareness for November is to encourage you to intensify conscientious shopping skills, and of course enjoy doing so!

Holiday hype will continue to escalate in all areas. The word sale will appear more often with greater intensity and inferred urgency. Many stores and outlets will be capitalizing on the fact that a lot of us are experiencing difficult economic times. Ads will proclaim that the prices are truly lower and the bargains better now than they have been in a long time. A few may be, but I would suggest that most probably won’t be. Price awareness is an absolute must if your budget matters!

So that a “Scrooge” attitude does not mar your holiday happiness and shopping pleasure, plan in detail the amounts you can spend and in what category! Happily stick to your plan.
As the ads and media blitzes try to convince you that you may not be properly keeping up with what “they” say or show as the “only” way to have a perfect holiday, remember this key thought – ADVERTISING IS USUALLY NOT REALITY – even though you are expected to perceive it as such. Of course, all of our last names are not Jones or Smith (Apologies to all the legitimate Jones and Smiths) nor Prunewitz. A rule of thumb is to plan enthusiasm and fun into whatever amount that you do have. Zip? Give your time and caring as gift coupons and still count the blessing you do have. This is not an ethereal sermon – “been there, done that and wore out the T-shirt”.

A Bonus for Your Budget – Turkey!
Here is a bonus to the article and you can count it as a bonus for your budget.

As November and December are here we are once again going to see and hear the phrase, “It’s Turkey Time”. Whether you like it or not, commercially turkey has become totally integrated with the promotion of Thanksgiving and the holidays. But if you are a wise consumer, turkey can and should be a boon to the budget. As the seasonal sales progress a few pointers may help you recognize even greater bargains.

The nutrition in a C grade turkey is not much different than the one with extra fancy wrappings and self timer. But it’s almost a sure thing there will be a difference in price. The A grading on poultry simply indicates the bird has all of its parts and there are no observable flaws. Whereas a B grade may be just as delicious, but have a broken wing tip. If you personally prefer the kind with the self timer, it still is usually a bargain when compared with the price of other meats. Turkeys freeze well.

Generally you pay less per pound for larger turkeys; a 20 pound tom being cheaper than a ten pounder. You get more meat per proportion to carcass on the big ones. If a 20 pound turkey would be too large for you, ask someone in the meat department to cut it into halves and/or quarters. Wrap the pieces individually and freeze them. That way you will be able to take advantage of the savings. Keep in mind turkey and turkey sales are available year round now, with the most noticeable promotions at this time of year. Turkey parts are usually economical and create good tasting budget meals. Even the carcass of the turkey is a bargain when used for good old-fashioned turkey and noodle soup.

Have fun watching for the sales and finding the bargains. Remember the motto; the thrill is in the hunt.