Here are my top holiday tips:
Get organized: Use a notebook or folder to keep up with your to-do list, receipts and, of course, coupons.
Plan your calendar ASAP: Make time for special traditions, such as special music or school programs. Designate one day for wrapping. Having to constantly pull out the paper, scissors, ribbons and bags can be a chore. Push back the furniture and invite friends over for a wrap party.
Shipping: Beware of shipping deadlines, which you can check at usps.com. If you hate to pay for shipping, wait for Dec. 18, when more than 450 merchants will offer it for free. Details at freeshippingday.com.
Packaging: Don’t waste money on packing materials. Blow up the plastic bags your newspaper arrives in. Or use old grocery bags or even popcorn.
Gift cards: When purchasing gift cards, consider buying them at Bi-Lo, which rewards customers with gas discounts. Find discounted gift cards at websites cardpool.com and PlasticJungle.com. Be sure to read the fine print to ensure you receive what you’re paying for.
Natural decorations: Use pine cones or greenery around the yard to decorate your home.
Reuse: Don’t throw away small pieces of wrapping paper. Put them in a shredder and use the results in gift bags or packaging.
Freeze it: Responsible for putting on a big meal? Put things on the menu that you can prepare ahead of time and freeze.
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