Coupon clipping

Happy Thanksgiving! It is hard to believe that this Friday is the start for holiday shopping with big-ticket items on sale for Black Friday. The stores are having great discounts on electronics, kitchen appliances, clothing items and toys. Once you have finished eating Thanksgiving dinner, you might as well start finalizing your shopping strategies and guzzle your coffee.

Make sure you get your sale ads from The Daily Times and prepare for major researching. Compare prices with all the stores to see who has the best items on sale. Pull together your final phase of your shopping list and write down all of the names of those who will receive a gift. Next, determine which price range you will spend on each person. Total your shopping list and see if you need to make any adjustments.

A number of stores are opening on Thanksgiving Day. You may want to visit the ones you’re interested in the day before Thanksgiving to get an idea of the stores’ layout. Previewing the sale items in the store will assist in saving time. Remember with Black Friday, timing is everything in guaranteeing the completion of your shopping list.

I am a major shopper on Black Friday weekend, and learned the hard way not to bring a fancy purse and wear heavy winter clothing.

You want to keep your arms free for shopping. Plan on the basics for your shopping gear such as a fanny pack, shopping bag, gloves and a scarf. It will be cold outside while you are waiting for the store doors to open. In your fanny pack, keep your store receipts, coupons, candy, shopping list, pen and method of payment.

Remember, it is first come, first serve on the early bird sales and door busters. Strategize for the second half of your shopping trip for items that have excellent sale prices. Usually within the first two hours, the door busters are gone and you still need to finish your shopping.

Additionally, make sure you have your store rewards money and store rewards cards. Now is the best time to use your store rewards towards your purchases. This will keep your overall Holiday expenses down.

If possible, have a shopping partner that is going to different stores than you. Sharing the list will will cut your shopping time in half. Keep your shopping list flexible. Keep in mind many stores have limits on deep discount items. Using different shopping strategies will keep you on track to receive many discount items.

This is one of the best times to shop at CVS and Walgreens. Both stores will offer numerous items that when purchased, earn the customer a store reward. To keep your out-of-pocket expense low, remember to make multiple transactions. Once you purchase an item, roll the store reward onto another item that offers a reward.

Both stores offer several free items with the use of store rewards that have limits one per card. Make sure you get a gift receipt and check the return policy on purchases.

When possible use store layaways. This is twofold.

This will provide a chance for you to locate possible coupons and research further on prices. Besides, the layaway keeps loved ones at bay until Santa has arrived.

Remember, as you save money with couponing, make sure you take advantage of your savings with the 52-week money saving plan. This is the 47th week of the year, concurrently; you would place $47 into your savings program. This would leave a new savings balance of $1,128 toward your year-end goal of $1,378.

HILDRED LEWIS is a bargainhunter and purchaser. Visit heronline at

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