Monthly Archives: December 2016

Shopping Season, Saving Season

During winter, shopping becomes the sport of champions. Hard-core consumers compete with one another to get the best bargains in stores after Christmas, and they line up overnight to experience the joy of saving. They need another hobby during the cold weather like knitting or gaming, but for the meantime, these are the experts. Such women and men know where the deals are both in brick-and-mortar stores and probably over the internet too. More and more often, consumers are learning that the internet is where many of the best bargains can be had. They also find out ways to take advantage of costlier consumables for less.

Decorating and Celebrating

holiday-partyWhen an important day rolls around like Christmas or New Year, family and friends gather. There are parties for adults, parties for kids, and parties for mixed groups. Each set needs a different collection of accessories, but decorating is a necessity. No party is complete without some kind of decorative theme. Patterns, colors, or symbolic items mark the occasion.

Children love it if the house is fully decorated with lots of color and even pictures of beloved cartoon characters or movie heroes. Adults are usually more restrained in this department, though not always. When all ages are together, there has to be compromise: a few streamers, some lights, but perhaps spread out over a wider space than just the kitchen or living room where girls or boys would have their small Christmas, birthday, or other party crammed with movie princesses and superheroes.

When serving food, is your first consideration the cutlery and plates or should you buy those based on what you plan to serve? How much work are you planning to do? Is this a bonfire night? If so, purchase festive paper plates to put on the bonfire when everyone is finished with the real food. Kids don’t need plates for roasted marshmallows. Plan to dish out finger food that does not require cutlery and which doesn’t look tacky on a paper dish, or try a food basket. A site I found, – featured coupons offers great options. There, you just saved some money. Paper napkins can go up in flames too and save the washing involved in using linens if you even had enough cloth serviettes in the house.

Order food from an online portal during a rushed day at the office since you are already desk-bound, or even from your phone using an app while riding the train, bus, or subway. A call would be impossible — too noisy. Apps are magnificent that way. If you plan ahead, numerous suppliers ship hampers of party-style food such as elegant crackers and smoked cheese plus chocolate and attractive cookies or bars. In a pinch, a house full of teens is probably happiest with large pizzas and big bottles of soft drinks anyway. Save glamour for a staff party where you invite the boss to loosen his tie.

Set up music and games, all the kinds that bring people together; classic R&B or Rock and Roll. Music that makes people want to dance will have everyone on their feet, holding hands, and swinging around like teenagers. They can’t help singing along, and self-consciousness simply dissolves since everyone knows the words or possibly even the moves.

If you don’t have classic games, borrow some. If no one has games to lend or it seems as though householders would play these games all year anyway, buy them from a toy store or an online vendor. When getting intelligent grown-ups together, select mind-bending, unusual games that work the brain.

Where to Buy the Pieces

Try to buy some items in person to keep the local economy going. Stick with the smaller things that can’t be purchased with big online orders anyway. They would cost a lot of money to ship, and that would not be worthwhile. Also, buy fruit and veg in person so you can check its quality by smelling, feeling, and examining the color.

Everything else is available online, even wine. Order pizza without speaking to a real human being until he arrives at the door looking for money. Shop for party favors, streamers, balloons, paper plates, and napkins using an internet retailer who sells thematically linked bundles and also offers big sales on large orders. Ensure invited guests RSVP so you can estimate numbers of items you will need. Someone always shows up last minute who thought she couldn’t make it and people drop out due to sickness or they double-book themselves. Usually, the numbers are still manageable but order a few extras to be safe.

Compare prices between gourmet food companies and determine who’s got either the most interesting or the best-priced baskets of gourmet goodies. While this isn’t cost-effective compared with shopping in person, and probably if you’re going to take this route to save shopping, at least find ways of saving money while you do it. There could be some online coupons to redeem as well. Sites like – Save Huge discounts, offer a wide variety of savings.

That goes for games too. Browse online and in-store prices. You could find that the street-level shop offers a better deal than anyone or that coupons are posted online for use in real stores. Redeem these to save 20% on games the family or your friends will love, and that will cause much laughter. You’re making memories here, not just killing time.


Alcohol is an additional, not a necessity, but if you’re serving it, take the most economical route you can. Buy tasty, reliable brands of beer and wine, but select them from low-cost vendors. Online shopping could lead you to an in-person vendor you never heard of just because search engine results for your city point these places out.