It’s Time to Start Shopping for Christmas. Seriously! At Least if You Like to Give

I agree that there should be some sort of rule that prohibits stores from putting up trees and playing carols before Remembrance Day. However, I’ve already started part of the shopping I do before each Christmas and I encourage you to do the same. This shopping, though, is all about giving.

Big Bargains on Every Day Items in the Lead Up to Thanksgiving and the Back to School Frenzy

Many of the grocery stores and department stores in my area put household staples on sale in September and October. They’re often offering good loss-leaders to get customers in the stores. For example, this week one department store has 16 double rolls of toilet paper on for $5.27, regularly $12.98. (An acceptable regular “sale” price is 50 cents per roll, by the way.)

And each year, we donate a trunk-full-sized “hamper” to a local family who isn’t having an easy year.

So for $10.54 (before tax) I can get 32 double rolls of tp for that hamper and still save money. That’s the kind of shopping I’m doing these days.

My kids, who agree it’s a good idea but still manage to send several eye rolls a week in its direction, always look a little oddly at the mountain of stuff that builds from now till December in a corner of the living room. It’s hardly a pile of iPods after all. But they get that Christmas is about giving and if you can give more by shopping the sales, then it’s even better.

So already toothpaste, shampoo, soap, tissues and Ziploc bags are neatly stacked, all at a significant discount. And this week, many of the traditional food items that go into a Thanksgiving or a Christmas dinner will also be added as they too come on at deep discounts. Think: rice, cranberry sauce, foil roasting pans, cans of fruit and vegetables, and home baking ingredients.

Giving to Charity is Great: Giving More for the Same (or Lower) Price is Even Better

So if you participate in charitable giving “in kind” consider picking up stuff ahead of time on sale. You could easily give twice as many canned goods, for example, to a Hallowe’en for Hunger food drive if you buy them when they are loss leaders.

[And yes, because someone always asks, the hampers do not go only to Christian families. In fact, most of the families do not belong to any faith group.]

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