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!

 

Awesome Jeans

“Honey, do these jeans make me look fat?” The dreaded question. Unfortunately for many husbands and boyfriends out there, one that pops up at the worst time. And for you women asking, please don’t take the uncomfortable silence that inevitably follows to heart. It’s not that you do, necessarily. It’s just that our poor men are ill equipped to deal with our insecurities. After all, either we’re fishing for a compliment or, more likely, we had our own doubts before we asked. This article shares five top stylist shopping tips that’ll help you feel great about your jeans purchase and your partner happy that you’re happy.

1. Never shop when you need them. Don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry. Well, the same goes with jeans. Frantically trying on half a dozen pair, each falling short of that awesome feeling of finding ‘the ones’ is stressful and can lead to a less than great purchase decision. Jeans aren’t an article to settle for — that’s for socks. Take your time. Plan a few hours just to look and try.

2. Plan your shopping outfit. Wear your most flattering jeans when you shop for new ones. How else will you compare? Why bother buy new ones if they don’t look better than the ones you already have? Don’t forget to wear similar shoes that you’ll want to wear with the new ones.

3. Which styles? While every body is different, and nothing beats actually seeing how a pair fit, keep a few general rules in mind. Color: Darker denim is more slimming than lighter washes. A slightly lighter vertical wash on the thigh can also make them look thinner. Stretch: While generally the curvy girl’s friend, avoid if you want to deemphasize a slightly irregular shape. Stiffer denim helps to keep everything in…except if you’ll be doing a lot of sitting in your jeans — that’ll stretch stiff denim out in the butt (making it look saggy). Leg cut: Boot cut or even slightly flare jeans help to balance out curvy shapes. And honestly, stay away from skinny jeans unless you have long legs.

4. Try, try again. So many styles, so little time. While there are tons of styles available, many of them are more fashion conscious than figure flattering. Try on lots of different styles and designs, not to mention sizes. Go to several stores. Keep trying since you aren’t in a rush (see tip 1). Finding a hundred pair that don’t look good is just as important as finding the ones that do. Just don’t buy until you do.

5. Shop with a trusted friend. An extra set of eyes is very helpful especially when you’re comparing many styles. But make sure she/he knows what you’re looking for and that she/he can be trusted with an unbiased opinion. A good friend will probably think you look good in anything. But that isn’t the question. “Which ones look better, these or those?” will be a lot more helpful to you in your quest. Related to this is asking opinions on your current jeans from trusted friends. Find out whether you can ‘really’ trust your own judgement.

There you have it. Five stylist shopping tips to find those awesome jeans.

Mac lover, photobook designer, photoshop geek, photography enthusiast, marketing strategist, investment advisor, spreadsheet junkie, fitness instructor, lifestyle coach and kettlebell convert – not to mention mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend and jean obsessed Canadian expat, living in Dubai. In a nutshell, that’s me, fighting the battles between right and left brains, obsessive compulsion and attention deficit.

 

The Best Clothes Shopping Tips

In reality these days, people are getting better and better when it comes to clothes shopping. Why pay the full amount, when you can use a few little strategies and get the same clothes for 10, 20, and 50 percent or more off the retail price? So what should we do? I am going to give you my secrets to help you become a better shopper and save your money.

Clothes shopping tip one: Go clothes shopping toward the end of the season. I would buy my spring and summer attire, in July or August rather than in March, when the prices are highest. You are going to get most of the wear out of these new clothes the following season, it is OK when you look at the payoff.

Many of us are programmed to walk in to a store, look at a nice pair of pants on the rack priced at $80, and say, “That is the price I have to pay for those pants.” When the truth is, clothing stores are desperate, they have to move all that merchandise, and they will give you discounts, if you know how to take advantage of clothing store policies.

Clothes shopping tip two: Take a full price outfit to the checkout counter and ask if they can hold it for you until it goes on sale, in most cases they do not sell out of your size. Or buy the outfit and wait a few weeks until the clothes goes on sale, then you go to the register and ask for credit. Make sure to keep your receipt. You also have to make sure that the sale is within the stores return/exchange grace period. Make friends with a sales person at your favorite clothing store. This sales person would keep you updated on the current sales. Because it is harder to make a sale these days, most likely she or he would make the effort.

Clothes shopping tip three: Buy your clothes online and you will get a much better discount, the clothing market is overflowing with merchandise that need to be unloaded. This is very good news for you because you can buy almost any designer clothing at a big discount. When you go to a store and purchase something you pay premium pricing because you are also paying for all the stores overhead costs such as rent, employees etc. So go to your favorite store, find the designer clothing you like, take notes on designer name, description and size of the clothing. Then go home and search online for the designer. If the outfit is in the stores for one or two months, you will be able to buy it online for up to 70 percent off. Do not wait to find the best discounts on clothes shopping.

 

Clothing Shopping Tips for Men From Women

If you know women at all, you should know that they love being beautiful. They spend a lot of time, money and effort to look the most beautiful not only for themselves but also for their men. They really make sure that they look beautiful in the eyes of the one that they love. For single women, they make sure that they look really beautiful to attract men. If men will pay more attention to choose the right clothes for them, it will greatly affect the way women look at them. Here are some tips for men who want to update their looks to attract women.

One of the most common differences between men and women has something to do with shopping. When it comes to shopping, here is what a man usually does. He will go inside one clothing line shop, get the shirt that they think looks decent, try it on for a couple of seconds and pay for it. For women, an ordinary trip to the shopping mall, can take at least 1 to 5 hours. Women will go from one shop to another, raiding all the aisles of the boutiques and getting all the clothes that they find cute. Then they will try on every single item in the dressing rooms and take several minutes to look at how the clothes fit and compliment them. After putting on and taking off the clothes, they still will not pay for it until they have checked the other stores.

Both situations are pretty extreme but we have to admit that women get the better result with the way they shop. Men do not have to follow exactly how women shop for clothes. Just follow some of them and practice moderation. Here are shopping tips that men can learn from women:

1. Do not hesitate to go to different stores. Most stores offer different kinds of styles and designs of clothes so if you just stick to one shop, you will end up wearing the same kind of clothes every day. You can also compare the prices of the clothes from different stores and you will see that some stores have better deals. You will be surprised at how much money they can save if they will take the time to compare prices from different stores.

2. Do not be afraid to go up a notch. If you want to update your look and attract women, you have to make them look at you twice. You can do that by being a little adventurous with style and color. You do not have to wear crazy styles and neon colors to achieve this. A lot of shops have friendly staff that can assist you with all of your questions and concerns. In fact, you can just look at the window display of the shops and see if you can sport those looks. That is the best way to avoid mixing and matching the wrong items.

Just remember, be a little bit of a woman the next time you shop for clothing items and you might just get the attention of the woman that you have been eying.

 

Back to School Shopping Tips For Parents

images (1)School is right around the corner and both parents and kids are excited about getting everything ready for the new school year. One of the most important things that you need to do is go shopping. Shopping for school supplies can be fun and you don’t have to break the budget if you follow a few simple tips.

Here are some back to school shopping tips that can help you get the best deals for less.

·        Get a complete list of the supplies required by the school. This helps to guarantee you buy only what you need and that you are not wasting money on items your child can’t use.

·        Find out what the dress code is and only buy the clothing that is acceptable. Otherwise, you are going to end up with a bunch of outfits that can only be worn on the weekends and nothing for school.

·        Set a budget and stick to it. Your kids will always find clothing and other items they want but that are not suited or necessary for school. These are better left for another shopping day. Only buy the items that can be used for school on this trip.

·        Shop smart. Compare prices and look at the quality of the product. Paying a low price for a product that doesn’t last through the beginning of the school year is not beneficial. It would be smarter to pay a little more up front and have a product that will last all year.

·        Start with the most important items first and work down to the least important. When shopping for clothing if you don’t have a lot of money to spend start with a few outfits that you can mix and match, then plan for when you can buy more.

Back to school shopping doesn’t have to be stressful and hectic. Use the tips listed above to help you get the most from your shopping trip and save money in the process. The earlier you start preparing the easier the transaction back to school will be.

Lisa Mason is a freelance writer with a specialty in Internet content and SEO articles. She has written thousands of articles, hundreds of ebooks and thousands of website pages and related content. She has also authored her own books and works as a consultant to other writers, Internet marketers and Internet businesses.

 

Smart Online Shopping Tips

Convenience and speed are among the greatest benefits the Internet has bestowed upon us and both these attributes are best demonstrated when we shop online.

When compared to a brick-and-mortar experience, online shopping has numerous advantages. It helps you avoid the hassle of looking for parking; it saves you the trouble of walking down seemingly endless shopping aisles as you search for items; it helps you save time because you don’t have to travel to the mall; and it helps you skip the long queues at the checkout counter! In addition to this, online shopping gives you access to global premium brands, which may not be available locally, and often entitles you to better deals, bigger discounts and more reward points, which you can redeem for free purchases later on.

So what do you need to shop online? Just a credit card! Your credit card empowers to you to shop from anywhere 24 X 7 through online shopping. Credit card companies such as HDFC, ICICI, Kotak (and even issuers such as VIsa & MasterCard) often have special deals for online purchases. For instance HDFC currently running a program where their members get up to 5 times the points on online purchases. Such offers encourage people to do more of online shopping as there is a sense of gratification for the customer in terms of gifts he can get. However, when buying off the Internet, always ensure that your online purchases are safe. Here are some online shopping tips that will help:

o Always verify that the URL of the website is correct by checking it in the address bar of the Internet browser. This will protect you against phishing.
o Only shop from trusted, well-established and reputed websites.
o Never type sensitive information such as your credit card number, CVV etc. in pop-up windows.
o Sign up for services like ‘Verified by Visa’ or ‘Master Card Secure Code’ before shopping online with your credit card for a safer shopping experience.
o The URL of the webpage where you enter your credit card details should start with ‘https’ and not ‘http’. This indicates it is a secure website.
o Jot down relevant transaction IDs or take printouts of the purchase confirmation screen for future reference.
o Check to see that the webpage you are on has a closed padlock or a key icon on it before entering sensitive information.

As you can see, online shopping is a great way to carry out your purchases from the comfort of your own home. However, to ensure that you always have a pleasant and safe shopping experience, make sure that you keep these simple and handy tips in mind before packing those virtual shopping carts! Happy shopping!

 

Furniture Shopping Tips for Newlyweds

One of the exciting stages for newlywed is building their house and creating a beautiful home with good quality furniture out of the empty space. It’s exciting to see how two different tastes in design and style will merge in the furniture that they will choose to put in their home. That includes choosing the bed, dining table set, sofa and chairs, coffee table, night stands, etc. After the wedding, the young couple will probably be busy and concerned with finding the right furniture pieces for their home. And depending on the budget, style and design preference, the newlyweds can check the many furniture shops in the market offering a variety of bedroom, living room, dining room and kitchen furniture, for starters.

While some newlyweds may be fortunate enough not to be restricted with budget for their furniture requirements, many young couples do not share the same luck. Their limited financial capability may also restrict their choices of furniture. If they seek furniture shopping tips from their families and friends, they will probably be advised to start with used or second-hand furniture. Used furniture definitely costs half of what can be spent in brand new furniture. Second-hand stores and estate sales are two places where quality yet affordable furniture may be bought. But newlyweds should have enough patience to look through many second-hand stores and estate or moving sales.

Home furnishing is a continuous process. Furniture pieces are replaced every now and then to suit both the functional and design needs of the young couple’s home. If they started with used furniture, they may eventually upgrade to brand new pieces later on. The couple can also check some useful furniture shopping tips from online sites on how they can trade in their old furniture for new ones as a practical way to dispose of the old but still usable furniture. That way, they don’t have to spend as much as they would if they don’t trade in the old piece.

When newlyweds or young couples are financially ready to purchase their new elegant and modern furniture, some basic furniture shopping tips are in order to guide them in their buying expedition to make sure that they are buying the right furniture for their home from the right furniture shop at the right price. Canvassing and comparing the prices of furniture from 2 or 3 furniture stores will help in choosing the store with the best offer. Though price should not only be the consideration to take. Young couples should need to make due diligence to find out about the reputation of the furniture store they will be dealing with. Unless they want to end up with furniture claimed to be of quality but in reality are just pieces of cheap furniture, checking the integrity of the furniture is really important.

Shopping for furniture from store to store may be quite demanding for the newlyweds. They should try a good shopping alternative – through the internet. There are better choices of furniture available online and they are offered at significantly reduced prices. It’s the convenient way of looking for the right piece from a vast selection of furniture. When the furniture piece is selected, the newlyweds can easily make the purchase transaction after ensuring that there are security measures in place on the website to protect the financial details provided and that the purchase terms and conditions are read and understood properly.