Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Details and Planning Could Mean Budget Stretching

The “next day” could mean savings or the ability to stretch your budget a lot. If you can stand the crowds and the hustle and bustle (kind words for a lot of pushing and sometimes aggression), you’ll find some great deals for your budget the morning after a major holiday, but only if you go with a battle plan already in place. Here are some more details to arm yourself with. You just have to know how to sort through the hype. And of course, one of the main reasons you might want to enter the foray would be to add to the preparedness portions of your pantry.

As everyone knows, as they say, the day after Christmas is one of the biggest “sale” days of the year. A lot of scheming and planning has gone on, on the marketing side of the counter to convince you that “‘tis the day for you to spend”. Many stores run fabulous sales for just one day, and sometimes for just a few hours in the morning of that one-day, to entice you into their store. They figure, and pretty accurately, that once they get you into their store, you’ll do most of your shopping while you’re there, and not just for the blowout sales items. You’ll pick up many regularly priced items at the same time, just to avoid the traffic and lines and crowds of another store.

If you are a brave soul that can tolerate the throngs of shoppers pushing and shoving for the best deals you will have the opportunity to save some serious money. The trick is to know before you go exactly what you want and not get sucked into the crowd mentality of buying everything you see, just because a thousand other people are buying it. Keep in mind, some of the product “for sale” may not be the store’s regular line “on sale.” It may be there just because of the “hype” of the “After Christmas Sale” and the incredible amount of impulse buying that will take place because of the atmosphere. Also, keep in mind that “for sale” does not necessarily mean a “bargain priced’ item. It may be an item at a regular price placed in the display as part of the mix.

This year, because of the economy and the sales tools being used to try to take advantage of every opportunity to sell, some things have been marked down before the “last buying days” for the holiday, so the discounts after the fact may be deep – or not. I was in a discount department store immediately after Halloween and watched as the clerks put the Christmas decorations on the shelves. Immediately they placed “SALE” signs on all of the shelve – in red – proclaiming 30% off. That to me indicates several things: the item are already priced too high for the market, or the “sale” sign is used to give the impression of lower prices and increase impulse sales or it could be the store really wants to sell their products. You choose.

However, especially this year, remember the Barbara Rule of price consciousness! It is essential in the “SALES ARENA”. Santa is not the only one who needs to make a list and check it twice. Make careful plans, and detailed lists and then stick to them like glue. Starting now, take the time to joy down regular – or good –prices for the items that you are particularly interested in. Then you can come out ahead … at least within your budget. Should you be thinking this is a lot of busy work, just remember it’s your budget. Consider it homework – homework that will benefit you! If you don’t need some encouragement and help, I do, write to me and tell me how you do it.

The morning after Christmas is a great time to save money, providing you’ve planned ahead so there is a little money left after Christmas shopping and activities are over. Or you can assess the other portions of your budget and do some creative juggling to allow your buying power go further.

The day after Christmas, and usually that weekend, is the time to pick up next year’s supplies: cards, wrapping paper, party goods, and decorations, even generic gifts for calendared occasions. It’s also the time to include preparedness items and staples to replace the batteries or like items that you may have used. You can usually save 50-80% on holiday clearance items, because it is cheaper for stores to sell for a fraction of the usual costs than return it to the manufacturer, pack and store it for a year, or throw it away. There is still a profit margin in it for them

Once again, you are the one that has to face the crowds, but with a battle plan in place, next to a sense of humor, the savings can be worth it.

Remember the chocolate sales! Red and green wrapped chocolates are red and green wrapped bargains. 

check out the changes cominbg on my website