23 days to Christmas… Shop Around!!

The countdown continues and at this time of year we are tying up a million loose ends before we can really enjoy the holidays. The kids need new books for school next year and here in Victoria we have to buy their text books. That is a killer as the books for two high school students are close to $400 and most of them are second hand. Michaela needs a new specialised calculator for maths next year and I can get a second hand one here for $194. This is crazy!!

So one of my tips for this time of year is to look around and see if you can get a better deal than the first thing you see. This applies of course too for Christmas shopping – sometimes doing a little research can go a long way. I have been looking around for Zoe’s gift but what I have seen is too pricey so I decided to wait and watch. My patience has paid off as I have found what I am looking for now and I will save $70 just on her gift. Looking on ebay or auction sites also can pay off. I can get Michaela’s calculator virtually brand new (demo model) shipped for free from the USA for $107 on ebay which saves me $87. All these little savings add up at the end of the day. If you are dubious about online shopping, don’t be. I have become quite good at it and we have never had a problem or been ripped off!! Just make sure that you are dealing with a reputable person or company before you buy, by looking at the feedback and profiles on the auction sites. Usually people will complain if they are poor traders.

Other good ideas for Christmas gifts are to look at markets as they sometimes have unusual homemade gifts that are well priced and great for teacher gifts or stocking fillers. I am at that point where I have to find a gift for Zoe’s class teacher and I am wanting something a little less predictable than chocolate, soap or flowers ( I have been a teacher before, and trust me you can only use so much soap!!). I have a great idea in mind that I plan to work on so I will post on that project in a day or so.

If you haven’t fished the tree out from the attic or basement, now is the time to get it out and check out all your decorations and lights. A little bit of festive charm in the home makes a great difference. Hang in there…. only 23 days of madness to go!!

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