Be sure to take advantage of pre- and post-holiday sales -- you can save a bundle on Christmas cards, decorations, and more!
Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla: Am I the only one old enough to remember going shopping with Mom the day after Christmas and buying half-price Christmas cards? Even five or six years ago, I would go to Jo-Ann's Fabrics after a holiday and stock up for the next year when everything was on sale. I noticed that stores were starting to display holidays earlier and earlier. That meant that often, in addition to the holiday right around the corner, there would be a big display for the next holiday.
Then, one year, the unthinkable happened. Halloween costumes went on sale BEFORE Halloween. The same with Christmas decorations! I was going to have to adjust my whole holiday shopping schedule. Now after the holiday, the percentage off might be greater, but often, there was little to nothing left. I noticed the same thing happening with clothes. In July, my 4-year-old was in desperate need of a couple of pairs of shorts. They were all on clearance on Target.com. If I see that my kids are going to need winter stuff for the next year, I buy it in February, when it goes on sale. Make sure to look online, though, because stores are usually clearing space for the next season's stuff.
A former state deputy attorney general and current stay-at-home mom, Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla has three kids and ten years of experience stretching one salary to cover the necessities and more. She's all about saving money whenever you can, so you have it to spend on whatever you want!