Whether you think re-gifting is rude or not, it’s still practiced by millions of people. A survey from American Express found that 79 percent of consumers believe re-gifting is socially acceptable during the holidays. The remaining 21 percent say the practice is “never” acceptable. Assuming you’re well-versed in the cardinal rules of re-gifting (i.e. Not giving a present back to the person who gave it to you, giving only new items and updating the gift wrap), you may want to re-gift one of these presents.
No other time of year has such an extensive soundtrack as the Christmas season. Just about every recording artist has created a holiday album, but the good news is you don’t have to spend money to enjoy these lovely songs. Download some free tunes, turn the speakers up and have a holly jolly Christmas.
Try to remember what you got for Christmas in 2006. If you’re like most people you probably can’t recall. And sorry to say but most of the gifts you give, cherished as they may be, wind up becoming a distant memory. Want to give a gift that is truly unforgettable, but affordable at the same time? Here are some suggestions.
The truth is e-cards may never fully replace old fashioned paper ones, but for those who are trying to be more green—or those who don’t want to deal with the post office—there are plenty of great digital options. According to Hallmark, there are nearly 300 million e-cards sent annually, and many of those probably arrive in inboxes this time of year.
This year an estimated $50.84 billion will be spent on pets in the US including $3.65 billion on grooming and boarding. Many pet owners heading out of town for the holidays are forced to find alternative options for their pets. Boarding your cat or dog adds a large expense to already expensive holiday travel plans so you may want to consider these money-saving ideas.
Next to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Free Shipping Day may be one of the most anticipated events of the holiday season. Created in 2008, Free Shipping Day now offers shoppers thousands of opportunities to save money. Last year Free Shipping Day earned a spot as the third heaviest day of online shopping in history. Even though shoppers are spending billions, you can still save a ton.
Just like eggnog and mistletoe, it’s tough to imagine the holidays without Christmas cookies. A batch of fresh treats can also make a kind gift for neighbors, teachers and co-workers. Celebrate the season with this sweet gift, but choose budget-friendly recipes to ensure that you aren’t spending too much dough on Christmas cookies.
If you're looking around and marveling at the abundance you have in your life and wondering how you can pay it forward, we've got an idea for you. One of our favorite bloggers, Modg, has a give-what-you-can program going on (pardon the language! >_<). Basically, if you're in need, post it in the comments - don't be shy, there are people just waiting to help! If you have anything you can give, be it time, a skill, a job lead, toys, or clothing, respond to someone in need!
Before you pull out that tacky Christmas sweater for another round of holiday get-togethers, why not try a fresh and creative party theme? There are many affordable ways to generate yuletide joy without spending a sleigh-full of cash.
Christmas card deliveries have been dropping slightly over the past couple of years, but there are still about 1.5 billion showing up in mailboxes across America this holiday season. Hallmark says that more than 20 paper cards are sent for every one e-card. But we wanted to know whether you think holiday cards are a fading tradition. Some of you love the thought, but don’t have the time while others are committed to sending them year after year.
This year Hanukkah begins at sunset on December 20 and runs until sunset on December 28. There are more than 13 million Jews in the world and more than five million in the US, many of whom will be pulling out their menorahs for the Festival of Lights. Get ready for this eight night celebration with affordable Hanukkah decorations.
The holiday party is back in a big way this Christmas season. According to a Career Builder survey, 58% of employers are planning a holiday party for their workers this year, up from 52% in 2010. And more than a third of employees say they plan to attend their office party this time around. Now the big question is—what will you wear? Consider these affordable ways to look great at holiday parties.
Half of US homes will have a fake tree this year. But for those who opt for a real tree, there’s nothing quite like the scent and beauty of a fresh pine, spruce or fir. According to Census numbers, Oregon contributes the most, harvesting nearly seven million Christmas trees annually. If you opt for the real deal, review these tips for keeping your tree perfect through the entire holiday season.
Having trouble remembering your grandma’s shoe size and which cousin is allergic to wool? Keep all of that straight and feel confident you’re getting the best gift at the best possible price all with the help of your trusty Smartphone.
Letter carriers’ loads are about to get a whole lot bigger. The US Postal Service says they’ll deliver a whopping 16.5 billion cards, letters and packages between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Shipping dates sneak up quickly so if you’ve got gifts to mail keep reading for key dates and advice that will ensure your packages arrive on time and in perfect condition.
We expect our life to look like a Norman Rockwell painting and when it doesn’t, it’s common to feel down. Those unmet expectations coupled with financial pressures and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) create what’s also known as the winter blues. Combat this bout of sadness without giving yourself more money worries.
December 1 is a day set aside each year to bring attention to a disease that’s only been in the US for 30 years. While great strides have been made in the fight against HIV and AIDS, it’s still a reality for 1.1 million Americans. Celebrate World AIDS Day online and in your community to reduce stigma and improve awareness about this devastating epidemic.
Download a free poster at facing.aids.gov, print it out and write why you are Facing AIDS. Snap a photo of yourself holding the sign and then share it on the online gallery.
Test Your Knowledge of HIV/AIDS
Avert AIDS invites Facebook fans to play an interactive game that tests your HIV and AIDS knowledge. Avert is a UK-based charity working on prevention and care of those infected with HIV and AIDS. Ask your friends to play the Avert AID Challenge and see who can get the highest score.
Send a #WAD2011 Tweet
Tweet about HIV and AIDS on the first of December and inform your followers about the impacts of the disease. Be sure to use the hashtag #WAD2011 to join the conversation.
One in every five people living with HIV in the US doesn’t know it, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. Government recommendations say that anyone who has had unprotected sex, shared needles or equipment with others or who has been diagnosed with hepatitis, TB or an STD should get tested. Find a testing site near you by visiting HIVtest.org.
Purchase an Umbrella
At noon on December 1, hundreds of red umbrellas will pop open to form a public art project in the shape of an AIDS ribbon in Richmond, Virginia. Join the event either in person or by purchasing a red umbrella online. Money raised will support the Fan Free Clinic which provides confidential testing to those in need.
By Alison Storm
Want to buy an umbrella to show your support for World AIDS Day? You're in luck. Kohl's sells red umbrellas and is having a sale right now! Save 20% on your entire order when you enter the coupon code CON20HH4 at checkout. Shop now, this sale end date is unknown.
We all want to buy the best Christmas gifts at the best possible price. There’s nothing worse than braving the crowds to get your holiday shopping completed only to discover stores have lowered the prices right after you put your presents under the tree. Some stores are giving shoppers a guarantee against this annoying holiday tradition. Keep reading for details on this perk and how it works.
Big box stores have Black Friday, websites have Cyber Monday and the Saturday in between is now reserved for small businesses. For the second year in a row the Saturday after Thanksgiving has been deemed Small Business Saturday. Created by American Express, organizers are hoping millions of shoppers will descend on their locally-owned stores and shop small in a big way. Navigate your local retailers and find the best deals with the help of these apps perfect for Small Business Saturday.
Millions of shoppers spending fistfuls of cash on gifts and there’s no packed parking lot to show for it? It must be Cyber Monday, celebrated annually at the start of the work week following Thanksgiving. Before you boot up and pull out your credit card you’ll want to get educated on some possible Cyber Monday scams that could threaten your holiday cheer.
Many stores are launching their Black Friday sales starting at midnight. If you plan to line up hours before the doors unlock be prepared to wait. Fortunately waiting outside a big box store doesn’t have to equal boring, freezing or starving if you have these Black Friday essentials with you.
Black Friday may need to find a new name—many stores announced they’re actually opening their doors on Thanksgiving for shoppers who want doorbuster deals. And plenty of people do. The National Retail Federation estimates 152 million will shop at some point over Black Friday weekend. That’s up 10% from last year so we wanted to know—what’s your Black Friday mission?
Last year Cyber Monday sales topped $1 billion according to comScore. That’s a 16% increase over 2009. Sure the deals are great, but there’s one little problem—for most Americans that’s a work day. Research shows nearly half of Cyber Monday money spent originates from work computers. Plenty of people are doing some on-the-job holiday shopping. That can be really risky so here are ways to avoid getting in trouble while shopping at work.
November is Adoption Awareness Month which is a great time to remember the 210 million orphans worldwide, according to UNICEF estimates. There are 86 million orphans in India alone, 44 million in Africa and 10 million in Mexico. While 35,000 children die daily from hunger and malnutrition there are low cost ways we can help these boys and girls.
Black Friday is usually the holiday season's busiest day for sales and shoppers. A whopping 200 million shoppers visited stores last year, spending $10.69 billion. They spend billions more in the following days including on Cyber Monday. Wondering what customers will be clamoring for this year? Here are some of the hot ticket items shoppers will be racing to the shelves to score.
Pulling together a Thanksgiving feast is not easy. We can’t help you set the table or stuff your bird, but we can lead you to some free Thanksgiving planning resources. And that’s something to be thankful for.
According to the 2010 US Census there are 21.8 million veterans. While it’s important to honor them all year, November 11 is Veterans Day, a time set aside annually to mark their service and contribution. There are a growing number of opportunities to honor veterans online.
For some, satisfaction comes from sitcoms. Others love anything that starts with “Real Housewives”. No matter what’s on the tube there are ways to avoid being a couch potato. Don’t let the TV suck away valuable time—instead be productive while watching television.
Printable coupons may soon be a thing of the past with more and more retailers and shoppers going mobile. According to research firm eMarketer, 9.5% of U.S. adult mobile phone users will access and redeem a mobile coupon this year which equates to 19.8 million consumers. Just in time for the holiday season a growing number of stores are sending coupons straight to your smart phone through free mobile apps. Get ready for Black Friday by downloading these free apps to your phone now.
Give your children a holiday gift they can use this Christmas and beyond—a lesson in personal finance. Kids are generous and your little ones may want to buy lavish holiday gifts for their friends, your mail carrier and their karate teacher. But their generosity may not match your budget. This can be a great opportunity to teach children valuable financial lessons by putting them in charge of their own holiday spending.
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Feeling a little under-appreciated today? Then get over to the Appreciation Sale at JCPenney and let them turn that feeling around with discounts of up to 25% on fabulous merchandise. Use coupon code MARCHON to save 15% off purchases in select departments, 20% off orders of $100 or more and 25% off those of 25% or more. Alternately, the same coupon will save 10% off watches, furniture, mattresses and custom blinds and shades. Shop till you drop through this sale's ending on 03/10/2014.
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