From all of us at Ebates we wish you a very Happy New Year! Thanks for making 2010 so amazing and we can't wait to share 2011 with you.
See you in 2011!
What You Need: In order to stockpile you need a location to store your gifts. My husband built a huge window seat where I house my gift giving stockpile. In addition to this, I have two rubber maid containers for overflow; you never know when a great sale or clearance will come along!
Stockpile Toys: I do a lot of my Christmas shopping at Kohls. Not only does Kohls have great toy sales throughout the year, but Kohls card holders can save up to an additional 30% during special sale events. Of course I love to shop online through Ebates and earn cash back. I also purchase a lot of toys at Kmart during their clearance sale in July. This is a great time to stockpile for birthday's too!
Another great store to shop for clearance items is Target. I have picked up several toys at 90% off! My best toy deal was the Tag learning system that I picked up for $13.99 after clearance and coupon. It is regularly $49.99! I also found tag books for as low as .98 cents! Always check for clearance items when you are shopping at Target.
Stockpile Stockingstuffers: By shopping at Walgreens I'm able to sign up for freebies and samples online, which make perfect stocking stuffers.
A Few More Tips: 1. My best advice is start shopping on December 26th for next year, however late January is also a great time to find those deep discounts. 2. Purchase gifts with your earned Kohls cash to bring down out of pocket expense. 3. Shop for toys in July when they go on clearance.
If you change the way you shop, Christmas will become a more enjoyable experience. Instead of rushing around last minute, shop smart year round and take a breather in December! For more tips visit me at StockpilingMoms.com.
Today's guest blogger is from VivaFashion. Read on for how to look like a star, while shopping like a pro.
You can never go wrong with a LBD for holiday parties, but make that a sequined LBD and you are sure to stand out from the crowd. Kim Kardashian looked fab in this Alice and Olivia Sequined Dress with some black peep-toe pumps and chandelier earrings. We recreated her look for just under $120! Here's where you can steal her look for less:
For more steal her looks you can check out my blog at VivaFashion.
1. Make sure you have enough wine! You don't want to break the cardinal rule, which is to never run out of wine. Generally, you want to have a half-bottle per person on hand - that's about two full glasses per guest. If wine is the primary beverage and you're serving little else, or if the party is set to run more than 4 hours, I up that ratio to a full bottle - or at least 3/4 a bottle - per person. Just make sure you have enough of something to keep everyone happy.
2. Be diverse! Just because you're on a budget doesn't mean you have to be boring. It doesn't have to be complicated, but offer some choice in your wine - go for a sparkling wine, two white choices and two reds. Maybe choose a rich Australian Viognier and a crisp South African Chenin Blanc for your whites, and a spicy Rhone blend and a dense and jammy Zinfandel for your red selection. At Wine.com we sort our wines by flavor profile, among other things, so it's easy to pick out something light & crisp and something rich and creamy to offset it.
3. Screw it! When you are serving a lot of wine, the last thing you want to do is be stuck behind the bar with a corkscrew, hastily opening bottles. Screw caps aren't for bottom shelf wines anymore - top quality vino is bottled under screw cap these days, and there is nothing easier than opening one when you're rushing around a party. For cork closures, make sure you pre-open a few bottles to stay ahead of consumption.
4. Keep those white wines chilled! If you've got quite a few bottles you need to keep chilled, there is no better ice bucket than a bathtub. Throw a few bags of ice in there, mix with a bit of water and voila! instant (and large) ice bucket. Just be careful if the bathtub is also the restroom for the guests!
5. Name those glasses! If you are using actual glassware, use wine charms or tags to help people remember which glass is theirs. Saves people from losing their glasses and you from having to provide more! If you're using plastic cups, nothing like some white labels and a Sharpie! Again, cuts down on waste and half-drunk cups everywhere. You can actually use easy-stick labels and a sharpie for regular glasses as well.
6. Clean glassware in the morning! This goes against my "stay ahead of the mess" rule, but to preserve more stems and break less bowls, wait till you have a clear head and lots of patience and room to wash those glasses. Feel free to rinse them that evening, but when it comes to a good wash, save it for morning. I promise you less casualties.
Though procrastination is all-too-popular during the holidays, we hope these tips help you prepare the beverage side of your party and avoid some chaos. Cheers, Cin-Cin & Sante!