Holiday Season 2009: Let the Games Begin!

November 30, 2009 at 11:56 am (Discount Shopping, Just Because, News) (, , , , , , )

Hello Pear Shapely readers! I hope you had a joyous Thanksgiving filled with good times, food and much merriment. My holiday was fantastic until I developed a serious tooth problem which will be addressed professionally today. Until my 3pm appointment I am just trying to muffle the pain by remaining as comfortable as possible, floating on a cloud of prescription medication and looking at happy pictures of unicorns:

So knowing I am not 100% with it, today is a perfect time for me to provide a small rant about the 2009 Holiday season. Today’s topic of choice, holiday shopping.

If you are reading this posting, you have luckily survived “Black Friday.” Personally, I consider the bedlam of that shopping day for “amateurs” and should be avoided at all costs. If you are a smart consumer, you can get great discounts any time of year, no chaos required. This year the media fueled the frenzy for bargain shopping by providing “helpful tips” on how to best take advantage of the deals. One such tip was to act quickly as supplies were limited which did nothing but trigger the panic button in the masses. It was that kind of advice that led to a slew of retailer mishaps across the nation. Consumerist compiled a list of some of the messier events called “Black Friday Shopping Mayhem” which are  brief encapsulation of various shopping stampedes across the nation.

Today is known as the now infamous “Cyber Monday.” Luckily this ridiculousness can be enjoyed from the comfort of your home computer and couch. The great thing about this most holy of shopping days is that at least consumers have the luxury of comparative shopping with relative ease. However, with this fine shopping scenario, you need some tips on how to How to Shop Online Safely and Wisebread can help you with that.

But dear friends, you do not need to get sucked into this abyss at all, seriously. For those who say it is for “the children” it really is not. It is about your need to take part in the annual tradition of consumerism and bolstering the economy. Unless you are shopping for the spawn of the devil, kids are sweet and innocent and will truly appreciate a cute stuffed animal, a fun board game or most importantly, your time.

I’m just trying to talk you down the ledge of Holiday stress, that we all teetered on at one time or another. I recently wrote an article for GoBankingRates.com which provide realistic and simple tips for How to Save on Your Holiday Shopping. Plus this sage advice will help you minimize holiday stress.

Okay, the magic unicorns are now beginning to kick in the side of my face again so I must go rest and keep still until I visit the dentist. Have a great day.

 

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Holiday Shopping on a Budget

November 16, 2009 at 9:09 am (Discount Shopping) (, , , , , , , , )

No matter how hard you try to ignore it, the Holiday Season is lurking right around the corner. Even those who don’t mark the day with religious observation find themselves caught in the web of the “true” meaning of Christmas, consumerism.

My Type of Santa!

For decades, we have all heard the term “Black Friday” in relation to the first shopping day after Thanksgiving. Despite the holiday ads flooding the telly immediately after the conclusion of Halloween, this day marks the official beginning of the traditional holiday season. It also marks the day that retailers start showing profit for the year thus going from red to black ink on their records.

Because of the long rippling effects of the recession, holiday shoppers are now poised to get more for their holiday shopping budgets. If you are planning to take part of the frenzy (for better or for worse) there are some strategies you can take to not only complete your shopping list, but save some cash in the process.

Holiday Shopping Tips from Pear Shapely:

  • Make Like Santa: That simply means make a list and check it twice. Unless you have already started stowing away holiday purchases, take this time to calculate a holiday spending budget as well as confirm who has been naughty or nice on your list.
  • Get the 4-1-1-: Money is tight for everyone and just because you have exchanged gifts with friends or family in the past, does not mean that you have to this year. Have honest conversations with your posse and see if you can partake in a homemade gift exchange, cap the limit of gift value or even skip the process all together.
  • Let your fingers do the walking: Everyone knows the value of the internet when it comes to comparison shopping. Checking out discount and money advice sites like Buxr.com, Retailmenot.com and Wisebread.com can help you score savings (such as discounts and shipping codes) from your favorite shopping sites
  • Become a Groupie: If you have a Facebook page you need to know that your favorite retailers are on there. By becoming a “fan” you will be given V.I.P. treatment and promo discounts will be forthcoming. I’ve gotten great discount offers from my personal faves such Loehmann’s, Lucky Brand and LeSportsac and you can tweak your selections based on your tastes.
  • Support Hand Made: Aside from my collection of Hurricane by Jane Jewelry on Etsy, there are literally millions of gift options to choose from.  Your purchase will go to supporting a living, breathing individual, not just a corporation and is an excellent way of sharing the wealth this season.
  • Tempus Fugit: There is no time like the present to shop for presents. Regardless of their size, retailers are operating on leaner budgets this year meaning that they have less of a surplus in merchandise. Your best value and selection is right now, plus you will avoid much of the mayhem and chaos of the season.
  • Become a Pack Rat: Well, at least with your receipts. Did you know that if you purchase an item and then it goes on sale within fourteen days of purchase, chances are you can go and get the difference back from the store? Bringing your documentation and a sunny disposition are the best ways to ensure a price adjustment in your favor.

Regardless if your holiday budget is $50 or $5000 you can make every penny count!

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Friday Finds: Pear Coasters

October 30, 2009 at 8:22 am (Friday Finds) (, , , , )

Holiday shopping is a drag and with more and more retailers feeling the economic crunch, the season has already begun. Instead of contributing your hard earned cash to the big-wigs of the world, why not help the little guy this season and consider emulating Santa by shopping handmade?

If you need a great hostess guest for an upcoming celebration, then these handmade pear coasters can affordably ($16 for four) do the trick:

Pear Coasters $16, Monika Designs

They are lean, green and help support the handmade movement, the total lifeblood of the Etsy community.

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