Easy Holiday Shopping Tips

This article is the second in a series about taking the pain out of the traditional Christmas shopping extravaganza using easy holiday shopping tips. In the first article, I suggested getting an early start with your shopping by planning three months of gift gathering or more, depending on your budget.

You may need six months if you have a larger list or more expensive gifts. But if you plan well and start early, you can be finished before the holiday season begins and then, you’ll get to enjoy it. Imagine actually noticing everything this year, spending more time with your family and less time at the mall.

Here’s how to do it…

First Month

During this first month, you should create your gift list and perhaps take a poll of your friends and family so no one is screaming silently because they got socks!

Once you have your list made, you can begin to look for the best price and most convenient way to purchase the gifts. You might consider shopping online to avoid going from place to place to place, but make sure you do not end up paying a lot more due to shipping or inflated pricing.

Divide up the list so that you are paying the same amount each month, and if you wrap the gifts as you bring them home, you will avoid that late-night misery where it is just you and the twinkling lights wrapping away as you listen to that orchestra that plays Christmas music on into the wee hours.

Second Month

Obviously, it is going to be rinse and repeat during this month but you also may want to consider revisiting the list to make sure you did not forget anyone important. I also like to buy two or three gifts that are not designated just in case someone hands me a gist unexpectedly. I hate having to say, “but I didn’t get you anything!”

If you did not wrap last month’s gifts, you can still add them in and wrap them with this month’s.

Another thing to think about: are you going to be throwing or going to any Christmas parties? If so, look for room in your paycheck for anything new you will need to buy either to wear or to bring. Clothes, holiday decorations, etc.

Third Month

This month should be the home stretch of your holiday shopping! Purchase the remaining third of the items on your gift list and wrap them and make sure you haven’t left anything out.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Get more tips for making the entire process stress-free by going to holiday shopping tips.

There you will find a link for a free holiday shopping guide from the gift therapist, videos with holiday gift advice for shopping on a budget, and lots of other christmas gift advice.

Jeanine Byers Hoag is a certified holistic health practitioner, a design consultant, a tea enthusiast and a homeschooling mom determined to get Christmas shopping done early this year!


Shopping Tips For Cat’s Pet Doors

Pet Doors For Cats Shopping Tips

There are several important points that you need to take note while shopping for a pet cat door for your beloved cat. This is to ensure that the door purchased is suitable for your cat and your home.

The Pet Door Size

The size of the animal door has to be a suitable size for your cat. If your kitten is still young, you have to check the size of your full grown pet cat. This is to allow your pet cat to move freely without any blockage in the future when it is an adult cat.

If you plan to have additional pets in the future and you have a desired breed in mind, check the body size and ensure that they are able to pass through the door too.

Installation Costs

The installation for your new pet doors for cat should be easy and straightforward. And if possible, ensure that it is easy to install to avoid incurring additional costs.

And checked that as easy it is to install the door, make sure that removing the door is as easy as well. You do not want to remove one chunk of your door just to remove the cat’s door.

Durability of Pet Doors for Cats

Check the material of the door. You want a door for your beloved cats that can withstand the scratching of it paws. As well as withstanding the wet autumn rain and the humidity of summer.

Door’s Design

The design of the to-be installed door should match your house. You do not wish to have your pet’s door that has a different look with the your home’s design and ruin the 50k that you spent on renovation.

The design of the pet doors for cats should have smooth edges to ensure that your beloved kitten is not injured while passing through the door flap. Your cat should not have to exert a lot of pressure to push itself through the door. Check that you are able to adjust the pressure to push through the door.

There are various design for cat’s pet doors. The common ones will include simple swinging flaps with locks, wall mount cat door and tunnel-ling pet cat door.

Great Shopping Tips for Pet doors for cats

Check out the brand of the door before you pay for you purchase. Go to eBay or amazon to check for the product’s review. The buyers will usually leave comments on the item they purchased and from the comments left, you will be able to know if the pet fencing you are going to buy is a great buy!

Do not limit yourself to buy from one location, spend some time on different on-line shops to purchase your pet door for your cat. Visit the physical shop if you need to have a feel and look at the product.


Practical HDTV Shopping Tips

In recent years, there has been a decline in the cost of LCD TVs. But, before you splurge all your hard earned cash on the wrong HDTV, you should take a look at some of the practical HDTV shopping tips.

Look at the Screen

When it comes to TVs, screen is everything. In the case of HDTVs, these can either come in the form of rear or front projection. Rear projection TVs have been around since the 70’s, but since it couldn’t match the sharpness of CRT’s, it didn’t become popular to the consumers. Recently, the designs was greatly improved and Rear projection TVs became sharper and lighter than their predecessors.

Front projection TVs on the other hand are a different story. This type of TV is said to be closest that you will get to a theatre experience at home. This is simply because a projector is used to project the video onto a suitably prepared wall for viewing. Unlike conventional TVs, the projector is separate from the screen in this type of TV.

At present, flat panel HDTVs have emerged as the most popular. Not only is the picture attractive in flat panel TVs, the price is noticeably much cheaper today. In fact, it is at an average of 20 percent cheaper as compared past years.

Plasma or LCD?

There are various HDTV shopping tips on the net but not all state the differences between Plasma and LCD.

  • Plasma. These HDTVs have sizes that range from 37 inches diagonally to a whopping 150 inch sets. Home Theatre anyone? At present, the most expensive plasma tv’s have a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080. But, to maximize the viewing experience, you have to remember that the smaller the screen size the closer you must sit to get that beautiful picture.
  • LCD. This ranges from 15-inch to 65-inch screens with built in speakers and TV tuners. One thing that you will notice about LCD’s is that it is relatively a few inches thicker than plasma’s. But, the upside is that with LCD’s you have the freedom to set it up anywhere you want.

Check the Specs

Perhaps the most outlined in any HDTV shopping tips is the need to inspect the specs. This is because you simply do not want a TV that you will regret buying in the future. Things such as Contrast ratio, Aspect ratio, and video inputs should be looked into when you decide to buy an HDTV.

HDTV shopping tips exist to guide you in buying that dream TV. Go through them carefully and apply it to your next HDTV purchase.


14 Thrifty Whole Food Shopping Tips

Isn’t It Too Expensive To Eat Naturally?

Isn’t it too expensive not to?

How much do doctor’s appointments, medications and illness cost in lost finances, time and stress?

If you are truly purchasing and eating whole, natural foods (not just healthy-sounding prepared foods, or nutritious-looking convenience foods) it can be done very reasonably. Grains and beans are incredibly cheap, and in-season fruits and vegetables are very reasonable. Foods poor in nutrition, high in processing and convenience, are pretty expensive (look at the cost per pound of sugary, nutritionally-devoid box cereals). When you start grocery shopping for wholesome eating you’ll find you are spending more time in different parts of the grocery store. You’ll be hanging out in the produce and bulk or whole food sections much longer than previously. But an even greater change than shopping in another area of the store, however, is shifting your mindset regarding the money you spend on foods. It seems we never had too much trouble springing $2.00 for a tasty convenient snack (like a box of brownies), but we might feel that a mango or cantaloupe at the same cost might be stretching the budget. This mindset shift means seeing the value in reapplying the money that would have been spent on processed, convenience foods (which are expensive to our pocket and health in their own right) to whole and natural. We can focus on buying nutrition, not just something to stuff our stomach. And, believe it or not, this does not mean suffering and deprivation! Good food tastes good! It may take a little while for your taste buds to adjust- they’ve become accustomed to some pretty unnatural foods- but we find we enjoy good food more than ever now. Thankfully, we regenerate new taste buds every two weeks, so you may be surprised how quickly your tastes change and you begin really enjoying wholesome eating! Lastly, when shopping be sure to still include some “treats” in your cart (there is such a thing as wholesome treats!)- try some exotic fruits, dried fruits, nuts, special salad toppings, fresh fruits for making smoothies, wholegrain baked goods and natural sweets.

14 Thrifty Wholesome Shopping Tips

    1. Buy produce that is in season (not just out of habit). It will not only be cheaper, but fresher and better for you!


    1. Inquire about local farmer’s markets and organic farm co-ops where you can get fresh, local, reasonably-priced produce.


    1. Consider joining a CSA (community supported agriculture) where you can buy a “share” in a farm and get a weekly supply of fresh, local, seasonal, organic produce (you can’t get much better than that!)


    1. Check out what’s offered at your local co-op and health food stores- don’t automatically assume that they will be more expensive. Especially check out their bulk sections and organic produce (you might be surprised!)


    1. Even large “buying clubs” (like B.J.’s and Costco) are carrying more organic products at very good prices. Calculate for your family if the savings will make up for the membership fee.


    1. Inquire in your area if there are some locally-operating buying coops. This is often a great way to purchase bulk quantities of non-perishables and bulk items you’d commonly find in health food store or co-op (and make some healthy-eating friends along the way!)


    1. Buy in bulk- grains, beans, nuts, seeds, etc. Stock up on bulk items as they go on sale.


    1. Stock up on non-perishables when they’re on sale- foods like canned beans, tomatoes, salsa, nut butters, olive oil, etc. store quite well.


    1. Buy spices, herbs and seasonings in the bulk sections of natural food, health food or co-op stores. These are much fresher and cheaper than those available prepackaged in little bottles. You also have the freedom to buy as little or as much as you want, so you can try small amounts of unfamiliar ones and not be stuck with a bottle of something you don’t like.


    1. Base your meals upon the week’s best buys. I don’t make a menu plan before heading to the store. I purchase whatever produce is a good buy for the week and that dictates what meals we’ll have. This encourages more seasonal eating, which is all the healthier!


    1. Retrain your shopping mindset- save money normally spent on empty or harmful foods and apply that same money to nutrient-dense foods (things like nuts, dried fruits, special fruits, special salad toppings, etc.).


    1. If juicing, locate a produce distributor that will sell organic California carrots directly to you.


    1. If you purchase non-organic produce- be certain to wash well and/or peel.


  1. If your grocery bill is still higher than you’d like, consider that you are making an investment in your health. You’re applying your money to high quality foods now instead of medical bills later!