Shopping Smart, Holiday Shopping Challenge, and a $250 GIVEAWAY

by | Nov 25, 2011 | Sponsored | 99 comments

“In this economy” are all-too-familiar words these days.

No doubt that “in this economy” each of us have discovered ways to deal with a tighter budget and the fact that Christmas comes at the same time every year…

piggy bank

How do you manage your holiday purchases? Do you have a strategy that has helped you manage your gift buying and general holiday spending? For my family, I have done a few simple things to help us be prepared for financial impact the holidays bring.

  • I stash away money in a “Christmas” envelope throughout the year and try not to steal from it.
  • I make lists.
  • We set a dollar amount for gifts.
  • And I keep my eye out for holiday sales and deals.

I don’t go crazy with planning, nor do I obsess about coupons and deals… I don’t go all “Black Friday” either. For us they real key is to have a plan. It’s confounding… those times I do not set a budget or create a plan. I feel like I’ve spent and spent and spent yet feel like I have little to show for it. Wasteful.

One way to NOT feel wasteful with holiday spending is using that plan to support local business…

Have you heard of Small Business Saturday? Small Business Saturday is THIS Saturday, November 26th. American Express supports small business… and they are working hard to encourage holiday spenders to support local small business. Visit their Facebook page to find out more and learn about incentives to help the consumer support small business – here.

Do you shop local? Do you support small business?

I live in a wonderful small community. Our downtown area is filled with locally owned bakeries, coffee shops and retail stores… wonderful book store, a charming children’s shop, clothing shops, housewares… a darling kitchen shop. On Saturday, I plan to grab some books for the kids at Liberty Bay Books. I also plan to mosey through a few of the other shops and find something sweet to put under the tree for my mom and mother-in-law. I can always find a gift in a pinch in downtown Poulsbo… and I love support local business!

Just keep me out of Indigo Plum. I could easy spend the Christmas budget on sweetness for my own self. Must. Focus…

Another smart way to shop is to utilize membership programs like the American Express Rewards Program… programs where the shopper can redeem points earned from spending… points that can be used to purchase items, gift cards, even airline tickets.

I have been spending some time looking through the American Express Rewards program and good golly I had no idea! From jewelry to gift cards retailers like Old Navy to eleectronics (DSi!!!). There are literally thousands of redemption options with American Express. American Express reward points do not expire. Redeeming points are a great way to check things off the list without having to dip into that money in the Christmas envelope!

Speaking of not having to dip into the Christmas envelope…

I am excited to offer you, thanks to American Express, the opportunity to win a $250 gift card of your choice! To enter, simply leave a comment sharing your favorite tip for how you stay in your holiday budget. Contest runs November 25 to midnight December 2, 2011 (PST)

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