Wondering what that ringing in your ear could be? It’s December savings calling. For the past week, you’ve challenged yourself by trying to make Thanksgiving leftovers more interesting. Now it’s time to focus on a new mission — holiday shopping. Here are a few secrets of what you should seek and what you should avoid like those stale leftovers.
Belle of the ball
It’s party season, and what better way to dazzle than with a new ... face? Fashionistas everywhere agree that it’s smart and stylish to change your look every season. But instead of dumping hard-earned cash on a trendy and fleeting new wardrobe, express yourself with some new makeup. While department-store cosmetics are notoriously expensive, two-for-one and gift-with-purchase deals are prevalent in the month of December. To get the biggest bang for your buck, divide those freebies into separate gifts. They make great stocking stuffers.
Not only do TVs and home theater equipment top many holiday wish lists, they also happen to be priced right — right now. New tech lines are announced in January, which means retailers want to clear existing inventory from their shelves. This translates to deep discounts for discerning shoppers. And unlike that archery set your son wants or extreme skateboard on your daughter’s list, a TV and home theater system offer danger-free fun for the whole family.
The day after Christmas is the best time to stock up on all cards, wrapping paper, seasonal tablecloths and the like. Be sure not to spend a penny over 50 percent of the original sticker price. You will be very thankful you took advantage of these deals when you find yourself more than prepared for next season’s decorating.
Avoid like th plague
You may have heard that Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day are the worst times to buy jewelry, but December is just as bad, with holiday prices for jewelry at an all-year high. Save the fuzzy little box for an unexpected surprise later in the year.
Helen Malani is the chief shopping expert for Shopzilla.com, an E.W. Scripps Co. Got something to say about shopping? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.