5 Holiday Shopping Tips

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Christmas is just around the corner and before we know it, we are already running around to do our shopping to complete our Christmas shopping list.

But before you hit the stores and check out online sites, here are a few tips that you can take note when you do your Holiday Shopping:

1. Make a list. Before you start shopping, make a list first of all the people that you plan to give gifts to. You can also include in the list some probable gifts that you can give each person. By doing this, you will not overspend and will not buy unnecessary things.
2. Set a budget. You will surely see a lot of nice things to buy as gifts for your friends and relatives but you must always remember to stick to the budget that you set so you will not end up broke after the holiday season.
3. Shop ahead of schedule. This is a wise choice as it will be stressful to shop during the Christmas shopping rush. Also, popular items get sold out fast so better shop ahead so you will be sure to find the best items that you can give to the special persons in your life.
4. Watch out for Sale. Stores usually have Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale after Thanksgiving which is the perfect time to do your holiday shopping.
5. Use your Coupon Codes and Vouchers. If you have coupon codes and vouchers, this is also the best time to use it as you will need all the discounts that you can get as Christmas is the most expensive season.

Happy Shopping!

Author’s Bio: The author of this article is a free lance writer for You Love Coupons, a new discount shopping site for products like weightwatchers and ediets. Her latest article is about weightwatchers coupons and ediets promo codes.

Prepping for Black Friday: Avoid Huge Crowds and Get Great Deals

Friday, October 21, 2011

Black Friday holds mystical opportunities for consumerism and self-indulgence that comes but once a year. The deals and steals available on the Friday after Thanksgiving are enough to make a used car salesman blush. Whether you’re starting off the Christmas shopping season by trolling for the best swag for others or just racking up top quality, cheap stuff for yourself, Black Friday is an opportunity-ridden, pedestrian shopping nightmare. What a lot of shoppers don’t realize is that you can easily avoid all the mad chaos by investing in a little prep time and shopping online on the big day. Cyber Monday does not hold the monopoly on online sales time. Follow these tips to save money while staying out of the heavily trafficked stores.

Scout Ahead

In the weeks before Black Friday, retailers and news agencies will start to spread rumors and tips about what might be going on sale and for how much. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to pick a handful of your favorite retailers and track their sale news. By choosing your retailers ahead of time, you decrease the chances of being caught unawares by surprise sales. Also, you limit the chances of expensive impulse buys; by choosing to track certain retailers, you are choosing which types of products you most want to buy, and focusing on those will keep you from making random purchases just because the sale is great. Troll the interwebs to see what different sources are saying about your retailers.

Subscribe to Newsletters and Emails

Retailers sometimes reward their loyal followers by leaving tips, giving insider information, or in some cases even providing promo codes enclosed in newsletters and emails. Subscribe to as much as you can, and you might not even have to go searching for Black Friday deals; retailer might send them right to your inbox!

Like and Follow

As with newsletter and email subscriptions, engaging with your favorite brands via social media can be a phenomenal way to gain exclusive access to insider information and upcoming promotion deals. Like the Facebook pages of particular brands and Follow their Twitter feeds. Make sure to engage with the official pages and feeds. If you have trouble finding the verified accounts, go to the brand’s official website and look for their social media links; these will lead you to the official social media pages for that brand.

Pick Your Battles and Get Comfy

The trick with beating the Black Friday crowds is not to face them at all. Stay at home, make sure you’re Internet connection is up and running, and shop as much as you can from home. Don’t spend hours out in the cold waiting to be trampled by hoards of testy shoppers. Wrap up in a Snuggie and log on to your favorite retailers’ websites to see what sales are available. Complete all your shopping from the comfort of your own home. Since quite a few other people will be doing this same thing, be patient if the sites are a bit slow because of all the traffic. But a lagging connection is a small price to pay for not having to fight with the crowd.

Author: Analise Marcus can think of no better way to walk off a Thanksgiving turkey dinner than with a Black Friday shopping spree. She is always on the lookout for Black Friday deals from all kinds of retailers both in stores and online.

The Birth of Sweet Royals: Our Candy/Dessert Station

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I am so excited for the business that my cousins, siblings and I are embarking.

My niece just celebrated her 1st birthday last October 2 and my sister-in-law created this special Candy Buffet Station with the help of her brother, for her daughter’s special day:

I did not know of this and when I saw it at the party, I thought that it was ordered from a supplier as it was professionally done. Did you notice the alternating color of the Choco Balls? The brother of my sister-in-law painstakingly arranged the choco balls one by one so it will look really nice.

So we figured, this could be a good business venture as there are not much suppliers who offer this service. And that is how Sweet Royals were born. That Saturday after the party, we had a meeting at our place to conceptualize the name of our business, the packages that we will offer and how to strategize to market our business.

We are all excited. I am already preparing my digital camera and my olympus camera batteries for our next event so I can capture more pictures so we will have lots to upload to the website/blog that we plan to put up to promote this business.

I will be doing a setup at Bela’s school next week for the Country Fair as part of their United Nations celebration and I am so excited. Hope I will be able to pull this off.

Sweet Royals now offer different packages to suit your budget. So just leave me a message here or contact me through: 0917-5842934 so we can respond to all your inquiries.

Shopping Therapy

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I have been in shopping hiatus for as long as I can remember. Since my sideline is not doing well and we have additional expenses now that we have to pay the monthly amortization for our house, I really have no extra budget left for some retail therapy.

Next month will be the release of my Christmas bonus and if my computation is correct, I will have a little extra to treat myself. A stainless steel necklace perhaps? A new bag (but I am just looking at Cambridge bag for now as my extra money can’t afford the designer bag that I am drooling over. LOL), or maybe a new appliance for our new house like the washer and dryer or refrigerator that I want to get from S&R.

Oh well, I still have a month to think it over and who knows with Christmas coming, I might end up with 0 extra money for my shopping therapy so I just have to ask my Santa (aka hubby) to buy something for me for Christmas. LOL.

RIP: Steve Jobs

I am a late bloomer when it comes to Apple products. I only had my first Apple product a year ago when I bought my iPhone. I was choosing between a Blackberry, a Nokia Phone and iPhone and I finally decided to try Steve Jobs’ inventions and since then I became a convert.

After my iPhone, I traded my HP Netbook and got a second hand Mac Book and now I want the Mac Book Air. LOL.

I was hesitant before to try Apple’s products as their prices are really steep but after using it I realized that you got value from what you are paying for.

That is why when I learned of the news of the passing of Steve Jobs, I was really affected. He is a genius, a great man who inspired us to “Think Differently.” I may not know him personally, but his life, starting from when he was adapted, to the time when he dropped out of College and then he started Apple in his garage, then got kicked out of his own company to his battle for cancer. Steve Jobs' life is really full of stories that you can learn a lot from.

Yes, I am affected by his loss. Up to know I am saddened by his death, thus this is my wallpaper now:

My Desktop Wallpaper. Ako pa din ang affected
I also made a Guest Post in honor of him here: RIP Steve Jobs.Thanks for the inspiration, for your innovative ideas. Indeed, life is better because of Steve Jobs.

PLDT DSL - Back after 8 days

Friday, October 7, 2011

After 8 days of being offline because of a problem with our PLDT DSL connection, they were finally able to restore our connection last Tuesday.

We lost our landline and Internet connection Monday morning before Typhoon Pedring. I forgot to pay our bill and so I thought that our line was disconnected. So I paid immediately that morning hoping that our connection will be restored ASAP. I was told that processing time for reconnection is 24-48 hours, which I find really unacceptable as I know that their system is already digital so they can easily activate it after I pay, right? But I did not argue anymore so I just accepted it if that is really their SOP.

After 2 days, we still have no landline and DSL and when I reported it with PLDT, it was only then that they scheduled line testing and I was told to wait for another 24-48 hours as that is their processing time for their line check.

After 2 days, still no connection and I were informed that there was a major cable problem and they have to replace the cables. I was asking their CSR on the schedule of the visit of the technician to the site and she can’t give me an answer, as they have to coordinate it first with the concerned department. Every time I asked her a question, she will respond with “Alright Ma’am.” I asked her a question and all I get is “Alright” which I don’t think is an acceptable answer for a client who has been inconvenience for almost a week now.

I know their job is difficult, like those who have Reservations Clerk Jobs, as they deal with different clients and sometimes irate and frustrated clients like me, but what I am asking them is not rocket science so they should at least give me a convincing answer, right? There was even one CSR who answered me in a much frustrated tone than mine, when I kept on nagging him on when our connections will be restored.

And so I thought SMART’s customer service sucks. But now my husband and I are thinking to discontinue our DSL connection with PLDT and go back to SMART.

But at least our connections are back and hope that nothing like this will happen again.

Tips on Managing your Citibank Credit Cards

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Do you often use your credit card? I do. It is convenient for me as I don’t have to carry cash with me everywhere I go which is safer for me as a shopper. But if you use your citibank credit cards for almost all your purchases, you should also know how to manage them so you will not incur debt that you can’t pay.

Here are a few tips on how to manage your credit card while still maximizing its full benefits like the best credit card deals that it offers:

1. Using credit cards is very convenient that you will be tempted to swipe and swipe every time you want to purchase something. But it is important that you track your spending so you will not spend more than what you can pay for on the due date. By doing this, you will be avoiding interest that credit card companies charge to your overdue balances on your card.
2. As related to Tip # 1, you should also be paying more than minimum amount or if possible, the full balance on your credit card on the due date. This will not only give you a good credit standing, but will help you avoid paying for high interest and finance charges.
3. Try to limit your credit card. Although going through the credit card application is very easy, don’t grab every credit card that is being offered to you. Limiting your credit cards will make it easy for you to manage your finances.