LCD TV deals and gift-buying tips for the holiday season

If you're trying to s-t-r-e-t-c-h your holiday shopping bucks, start by doing what Santa does. Make a list. Obviously, gifts for loved ones and friends are at the top. Remember to check it twice to include items for gift exchanges for work, school and clubs.

How much can you afford to spend? Based on that amount, decide how much you will spend per person. Jot down that number beside the person's name. Keep your credit cards at home, so you aren't tempted to buy more gifts or more expensive gifts than your budget allows. If you have set aside $15 for a gift exchange, stick to that. Resist the urge to throw a $20 item in the shopping cart and say, ?Close enough.? If you spend $5 more than you planned on each gift, you will quickly go over your budget.

Black Friday LCD TV deals

Black Friday is a great day to shop for bargains. Watch the circulars and websites for your favorite stores to find the best prices for the items on your list. If you find the best LCD TV deals at one store, go to that store first. Electronics and technology items, such as an Ultrabook, are on everyone's list. They sell out quickly. Make sure you store the TV and all other packages in the trunk of your car or cover them with a blanket if you have an SUV so that no one will break into your vehicle to do their holiday shopping. Remember to look for LCD TV deals online, too. Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, is quickly becoming one of the best days to shop online. Sometimes if you spend a certain amount, a store will give you a coupon for a percentage off a future purchase or shopping bucks you can only spend in that store. If so, that's where you should purchase the LCD TV. Deal after deal can be had if you play your cards right, because you can use that coupon or those shopping bucks to purchase other items on your list. Or, take some of that money you saved to buy something for yourself.

Think outside your list

You can find a number of items packaged in twos and threes. Let's say you have to purchase three items for gift exchanges. If you find a set of three candles on sale for $15, wrap each one individually. You'll only be spending $5 per gift. And feel free to regift. If you get a set of towels in pink and your bathroom is blue, wrap the pink towels and pass them on to someone else. If you want to give to charities, look for buy one get one free bargains. If you buy a blanket for your Mom, donate the free one to the homeless shelter. The same goes for shopping at the grocery store. When you purchase a BOGO item, keep one for you and donate the free one to the local soup kitchen. If an item on your list is on sale for $12 and you've allotted $20, don't feel you have to spend that last $8. If you save a dollar or more on each item, you will have saved enough to go shopping again on Christmas Eve or December 26 to snatch up even more bargains.

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