Palmetto Parent 2010 December Issue : Page 23

Make the most of your holiday dollars Looking to save some money when buying gifts? Jenny Martin, a Columbia resident who operates, and Barry Boone, who operates, offer these tips: n n n n n Use a coupon if one is available. Shop online if you have trouble avoiding impulse buys in a store. If you find an item online that is sold in a brick-and-mortar store near you, call the store to compare prices. Often, the same retailer will have different prices in stores and on line. Be aware that high shipping and handling fees can negate lower online prices. On Dec. 17 — often the last day to order for Christmas delivery — many online retailers will offer free shipping. Double check the final order screen before placing an online order to make sure all prices are cor-rect. part is that there are Groupons for online companies.” Martin also encourages shoppers to search for printable coupons for toys and big-ticket items and to consolidate shop-ping trips to save time and money. “Remember that big stores like Target and Walmart will price match,” she said. “It’s a massive time saver.” And even if stores don’t advertise a price-matching policy, Martin said some will do it. “It never hurts to ask,” she said. Sometimes, gifts can be added to a regu-lar grocery list. Martin said body washes, nail polish, lipsticks and other personal-care items are often available at no charge when a sale is combined with a coupon. Those items can then be made into gift baskets or donated to charities. Surf the Web Barry Boone has a deal for all sorts of on-line shopping. His site, www.currentcodes. com, lists coupons and promotional codes for a wide variety of online retailers includ-ing eBay, and some stores that allow for online ordering and in-store pick up. The savings are easy and can be signifi-cant. “You know how you get to the end of the shopping cart and there’s a place for a coupon code,” said Boone, who is based in Texas. “If you don’t have one, you’re missing out.” Boone’s site is free and gives visitors the option of searching by item or by merchant. Soon, the site will allow visitors to enter an item and search for the lowest price. “We’re hoping they can come to us and find a code in the database to save some breaking your family’s bank. Shop the sales Jenny Martin’s website,, has garnered a large and loyal following in the Southeast, offering print-able shopping lists and coupon links for grocery stores and drug stores, as well as a host of other bargains. Martin, a Columbia resident and the mother of three girls ages 5 and younger, does the legwork for shoppers who want to find the best deals. “If there’s a deal out there, we’re doing our best to highlight it,” Martin said. Though Martin’s site primarily focuses on grocery savings, she does offer informa-tion about online deals and gifts ideas that can be had in local stores for a song. For Christmas gifts, Martin said there are plenty of bargains to be found. “There are tons of great photo deals,” she said. Martin often lists online and drug store photo-book specials, some of which require only the cost of shipping. “It’s a great present for a grandmother or grandfather,” she said. Groupons — group coupons from www. — are new to the Upstate but are now available in Greenville. “They come up with a deal locally,” Mar-tin said. “They are at least 50 percent off. The deal only happens if enough people buy it and you aren’t charged if the deal doesn’t happen.” Groupon purchases are for gift certifi-cates that Martin said generally expire one year after purchase. “When you refer people to Groupon, you earn free credits,” Martin said. “The fun December 2010 Historic Holidays with Family Day: Historic Holidays DECEMBER 11 • 10 A.M. -NOON Experience Choir Showcase and Free Tours DECEMBER • NOON -P.M. Candlelight and Carriage Tours DECEMBER 16 • 5:30 -8:30 P.M. DECEMBER 18 • 8:30 -11:00 A.M. Breakfast with Santa Tiny Tot Tuesday: Santa ’ s Little Helpers DECEMBER 21 • 11:00 A.M. -NOON SPECIAL PROGRAMS FOR GROUPS, SCHOOLS AND DAYCARES. CALL FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. . . EXT. VISIT HISTORICCOLUMBIA.ORG FOR COMPLETE SCHEDULE. 2472 Palmetto Parent 23

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