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  • 5 Top Trending gifts for Christmas 2018!

    Christmas is just around the corner. Finding the perfect gifts for everyone on your list can be a momentous task, especially for the person who has everything. If you want to keep up with the seasonal trends, then here are five hot ticket items for 2018:

    1. LOL Surprise Dolls

    If you have an 8-12-year-old girl to buy for this year, then you must know everything about LOL Surprise Dolls. The surprise is you have no clue what you are getting until it’s unwrapped. The ultra-cool dollies and animals are all the rage. They went to market before the Christmas season in 2017, but they were undetected until recently. Still, store shelves can barely keep these dolls in stock. A recent poll showed that most preteen girls have about 45 dolls and pets in their collection. At about $10 for each egg, they are an affordable present idea. Of course, they have larger and costlier sets for the avid collector too.

    2. Nintendo Switch

    The Nintendo Switch came out last year. However, it was at the top of the price point for video games and unaffordable to many. Yet, jumping back on for an adventure with Mario and Luigi has many people putting this game system on their wish list. The price is more affordable, and since Nintendo is releasing a new version in 2019, they are eager to sell off the older model. With a better cost and more hype, the super portable gaming unit is flying off shelves.

    3. Amazon Echo

    If you have Siri for your cell phone, then you need an Echo for your home. When Amazon put the Echo Dot on sale for $20 over Black Friday weekend, they were filling orders as fast as they could. What’s so special about this little box? Well, it can tell you the weather, play a song for you, answer internet related questions, and do 100 other things too. People have finally embraced these devices, and their new, lower price point, makes them a hot Christmas gift idea for the 2018 season.


    4. Amazon Fire Stick

    More people are ditching cable and opting for an internet-based service. With the Amazon Firestick, the choices are endless. Giving this gift allows people to watch all the shows and movies they could want without paying a dime. Since they start at around $39.99, the price point is on target for budget-conscious shoppers. All that is needed is a good internet connection, which most households have.

    5. Little Live Pets

    Children are enthralled with pets that chirp, bark, wag their tail and appear lifelike. Parents love them because while they are animated, they don’t come with the high cost and responsibilities of a real pet. This years’ new hot animated items are the Little Live Pets. Select from birds, turtles, puppies, and even a unicorn. Since it’s gender friendly, both boys and girls will appreciate these interactive marvels.

    Selecting the right gifts this holiday season can be difficult. However, if trends tell you anything, the electronic gadgets and gizmos are still the hottest sellers!

    Readers share your feedback below on past gift ideas that have worked for you teens, moms, dads and kids!
  • 10 Best Items To Buy In December!

    Tis the holiday season and everyone is out shopping for that perfect gift. While gift giving is what this time of year is all about, don’t forget to stock up on some low-cost household essentials. Did you know in the month of December there are fantastic prices on things you need year-round? Here are the ten things that you should only buy at year’s end.

    1. Televisions

    On Black Friday, television prices were so low, and you could buy two or three for the price of one regularly priced set. One retailer had a 65-inch smart tv with 4K technology for only $400. While you may not be one of the lucky ones to cash in on this offer, you could nab a 60 inch for around $598 too.

    2. Washers and Dryers

    It’s not much of a Christmas gift, but you can score a front loader set with large capacity and pedestals for around $1,500. The average cost of these items would be approximately $2,200-$2,500. Talk about a savings!

    3. New Cars and Trucks

    Yes, even the car industry wants to get in on the sales action. Even if you don’t have the budget to give a car as a gift, the new family van may be at a price you can afford. Watch the sales closely in December, because you may want to upgrade now and save.

    4. Summer Items

    Do you want a new patio set or grill for your porch? Well, anything left over from the summer must go. Ask your local store if they have any items in the back. They are trying to move this stuff so that they can get the Christmas goodies out. You can score a nice swingset for a backyard for about one fourth to one half of the original cost.

    5. Video Game Systems

    Video games are always a hot ticket gift item. However, when the old version from the previous year is about to be replaced, you can get a steal on the model currently out. For instance, Nintendo is replacing their Switch with an upgraded version in the later part of 2019. So they have reduced the prices on the consoles out in stores now. It’s a win-win for all.

    6. Clothes

    Whether you want designer duds from the big names or you prefer to go to a department store like Nordstrom Rack for your threads, chances are you can get a good deal. There are plenty of coupons and discounts that are floating around to take advantage of. Why not stock up on your summer wardrobe when things are reduced?

    7. Air Conditioners

    If you live in a hot climate, you may have thrown out old window units that lost their refrigerant. Since these items are not in demand, it’s the perfect time to replace them. Expect to save around 50 percent off the retail cost by purchasing at the end of the year.


    8. Airline Tickets

    Thinking ahead is always a good thing when it comes to the airline industry. You can book your flight for up to a year in advance when you purchase your ticket during the holidays. Can’t think of a gift for your parents or spouse? Why not give them a round-trip flight to the destination of their dreams?

    9. Cruises

    Even the cruise industry wants a piece of the holiday pie. You can get fabulous vacation destinations to help you get over the winter blues. Make sure to be flexible on your dates, and the duration of the cruise, to obtain superior savings.

    10. Jewelry

    Whether you are proposing, replacing a ring, or want to buy something special, then you should take advantage of holiday sales. Plus, if you can wait till after the big day, then prices will be even more affordable.

    The best time to shop for Christmas related items is on December 26th. While stores have great sales to lure you in for holiday shopping, they won’t compare to cost the items on clearance after the crowds have gone.

  • Use Credit Cards not Cash for Your Holiday Shopping Season- Here's Why:

    The time to do holiday shopping for your friends and family members is now. Using a credit card instead of cash is more beneficial to you for a lot of reasons. The following are five reasons that using your credit card for your holiday shopping could be positive for you:

    1. It's Safer for You

    The biggest benefit of using a credit card to do holiday purchases is that it is safer for you than other methods are. If you use your card, you don't have to walk around with large wads of money in your pocket. You lower the risk of robbery and personal injury that way. You'll then be able to enjoy your time while Holiday browsing at Target, Kohls, Walmart or other public stores without extra worries.

    2. You Can Repay in Small Increments

    Another excellent reason to do your seasonal shopping with credit cards is that you have the option to pay back the debt slowly. You don't have to give away your entire paycheck. You can just borrow the money by using your credit card and then pay it back each month over time. You can pay for the goods until the next year when it's time to catch the Christmas blowout at Toys "R" Us for your kids.

    3. You Get Cashback Bonuses

    If you have a credit card that gives cash back bonuses, then you have yet another reason to do all of your shopping with your credit card. Cashback cards give you a certain percent back on your purchases. Depending on the card you have, you may be able to use your cash back to pay your monthly card bill.

    4. There's Online Shopping Convenience

    You can also do your seasonal shopping online if you use your credit cards. Nothing beats the convenience and the privacy of being able to just shop online for whatever you want. When you're ready to do your rounds of holiday buying, you can visit the website of a popular retail location and take your time. You won't be burdened by long lines, privacy breaches or any other inconveniences. You can take as much time as you need to ensure that you get everything that you want for the closest people to you.

    5. It'll Improve Your Credit Score

    Finally, it's good to use your credit card for important purchases such as the ones you buy during the holidays. Every time you use your credit card and then make payments on the balance, you improve your credit score. Ultimately, you want to have a credit score that's positive and high enough to whereas you can get the things in life that you desire. Card usage is important, but you also have to remember not to use too much of your credit so that you appear irresponsible. Use your card in moderation, and everything will be just fine. You'll have a happy and stress-free experience during the most family-oriented times of the year.

    Now you know why it's beneficial to use your credit card. It's time to start your holiday shopping right now.

  • 5 Ways Black Friday is Different than Cyber Monday

    Everyone knows that Cyber Monday is when you can shop online for deals, and Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving which kicks off the mad rush for holiday shopping. Shoppers line up outside of big box stores for hours to get the best deals, and often camp out to do so. As you could expect, Black Friday is a very different experience from Cyber Monday.

    1. People have prepared in advance
    There are many places where shoppers can go online to find ads before Friday. Retailers deliberately leak their ads to get more people in the door for the holiday. Retailers love the long lines because that means more foot traffic and more money spent. Even if you don't have the store's ad in front of you, all of the big box retailers typically have one in store by the time you arrive.

    2. Pre Sales
    Retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart etc. run pre-sales in advance of the first day to give consumers a taste of what to expect. These pre-sales serve as bait for the main event, giving people a small sample of the deals that they can come to expect. Pre sales can often be as lucrative as the actual sales on Friday.

    3. More Likely To Run Out
    Products are much more likely to run out on the day after Thanksgiving. Retail stores can only carry a set amount of inventory, so hot items tend to sell out in a few minutes. People have even been known to fight over the items that are in the most demand. Televisions seem to be the most popular items that sell out the fastest as the best deals can be found then.

    4. Cyber Monday Has Best Deals on Fashion
    If you're purchasing fashion items, your best bet is waiting to buy online on Monday. That's when shoes and clothes tend to be heavily discounted, and you also get to take advantage of the convenience of shopping from home instead of dealing with crowds of people. If you know your sizes, then it's best to skip the crowds and buy your favorite items on Monday morning instead.


    5. Cyber Monday Also Great Time To Buy Travel Deals
    The Monday after is also one of the best times to get deals on your travel packages. If you're looking for a good deal, then Monday is your best bet for grabbing a deal on the package that you have been excited about.
  • How to host the ultimate Affordable Thanksgiving dinner!

    Thanksgiving has a reputation for being a stressful holiday, but it doesn't need to be that way. It's possible to have an awesome day with friends and family without totally blowing your budget. Here's a guide to having the ultimate affordable Thanksgiving.

    Keep it Simple

    Pinterest can be a great source for recipes, but don't hold yourself to an impossible standard or you'll likely end up miserable. Instead, stick to what you either know how to make or can reasonably attempt. Most basic recipes are also very affordable: think mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans. If you have a friend that knows how to make fancy dishes, consider enlisting them to supply the showstoppers. To make it even cheaper, you can make it "potluck style" where all the guest bring something to share.

    Shop Carefully

    Start now to compare prices on your Turkey Day essentials. Most stores publish flyers that are available online or in your local newspaper. You probably won't be able to find everything you need at one store, so keep that in mind while you do your research.

    Make Side Dishes the CenterSide dishes can be a penny saver and a key ingredient in hosting the ultimate affordable Thanksgiving. Think cinnamon baked apples, maple sweet potatoes with apples and bacon, or even sliced spiced carrots.

    Skip Roasting a Whole Bird
    Contrary to common belief, you don’t actually need to roast a whole bird for Turkey Day. Consider roasting some pre-cut pieces of turkey or skip the turkey altogether and purchase a rotisserie chicken from the store.

    Have Your Turkey Day Game Plan on Point
    One of the biggest steps towards having a cheap Turkey Day? Plan ahead. Make sure you have all the right tools on hand. If you don’t have a roasting pan, relax: there are other ways to cook your turkey. Roasting pans can be expensive to buy since they only get used once or twice a year.

    Consider making and freezing most of the essentials ahead of time. It could save some sanity on the big day to know that all you have to do is pop the mashed potatoes and dinner rolls in the oven after you’ve cooked the turkey.

    With these tips you’ll be ready to conquer Turkey Day like a champ. It’s easy to impress your guests and stick to a budget at the same time.

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