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Bargain Shopping for December Trip

October 5th, 2008 at 11:18 pm

Well, I'm back in CA and it is a beautiful, clear autumn day although it was raining yesterday when I arrived. But, I still have not had to turn on the heat!

Now that I am retired, I have time to begin my Christmas shopping earlier than usual. This year, we will be in El Salvador for Christmas, so I have additional family members to shop for and I have decided to begin with this challenging group. I say challenging because, although these are all my first cousins and their families, I really do not know some of them well. The exception is one cousin with whom I am very close and my aunt and uncle who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

After an hour of searching super-clearance racks at three major department stores at the mall, I spent $20.62, saving $143.68 from the original retail price. Here is what I bought:

- Ladies black short-sleeved blazer, linen-cotton blend... lined and machine washable (original price $49)
- Red blouse, short-sleeve, classic style... polyester micro-fiber that feels like silk (original price $38)
- 2 short-sleeve, classic v-neck tee-shirts, one black and one white in 100% pima cotton (original price $22 each)
- Henley-style short sleeve, woven top, 100% cotton in dusty rose (original price $24)

My perseverance paid off! I got 70% off of the clearance prices at one store and 40% off at another. All items were already drastically reduced, so it seems the retailers are really pushing to clear their summer inventory. The items I bought are good quality, from well-known manufacturers (e.g., Liz & Co., Joneswear, Alfred Dunner), and machine-washable. I like to buy timeless, classic styles in basic colors. The tee shirts are size 4-6, so they will be gifts for some petite family members and the black blazer was on my cousin's "wish list" so I know she will love it. And, since El Salvador is in the tropics, the summer-type fashions are perfect.

Now, I only have 18 more people to shop for, and I have to stay within the baggage limit (the suitcase with gifts must weigh less than 50#s total). I have budgeted $500 (not including DA and DU) and so far, I am well under budget. I will be looking for small, light-weight, good-quality, practical gifts. Any ideas for gifts that have to be packed and carted to another country?

3 Responses to “Bargain Shopping for December Trip”

  1. mom-sense Says:

    Sounds like you scored some great deals!

  2. sillyoleme Says:

    Nice... I love clearance racks.

    A couple of years ago, I got my mom a personalized picture frame for Christmas. I had it engraved with 5 names in personalized font, two horse-head emblems (she loves riding horses) and a cross in the corner, and I think it was $15. But, they have sent me numerous coupons via email since then, and they have a deal if you buy multiple at one time. That might be a thought for hard-to-shop-for people, and wouldn't take up too much space in the suitcase. Just a thought!

  3. Analise Says:

    @sillyoleme - I like your idea. A unique frame might just be the thing... and they're also practical. Would you mind sharing the website? Thanks!

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