Tips on Saving Money on Christmas Gifts

It was after yesterday’s mass when we were reminded that Advent season starts next week. My son was particularly excited because aside from the fact that Christmas is just a couple of winks away, the start of Advent season means we will soon be attending the Simbang Gabi (also called ‘Night Mass’ or Misa de Gallo, which is a series of nine-day dawn masses that would usher in Christmas). Aside from attending mass with us every day, he also looks forward to the different activities that our church has lined up for the community. We have, as a family, been going to these novena masses for years now and this year will not be any different. We plan to complete the nine-day novena masses just like the previous years. And since we cannot attend the dawn masses (which are normally celebrated at 4:00a.m), we would attend the anticipated mass which is every 9:30 in the evening.

Speaking of Christmas, have you started with your Christmas shopping yet? If you haven’t, I suggest you begin planning now. Things can get pretty hectic as Christmas approaches and when one is pressed for time, it is most likely that he will make some ‘costly’ mistakes when it comes to buying gifts.

If you are, however, still waiting for your Christmas bonus or 13th month pay, then you can begin buy making a list. Yup, be like Santa – make a list and check it twice! If you want to make sure that you don’t forget anybody and that you will be able to give the right gifts for them, then you should make list of what you need to buy. Your list will give you an idea of how much you need to aside. Creating a budget is important (you most definitely do not want to overspend since there are other things that you need to spend on during the holidays).

There are various affordable but unique gift items such as planners, character shirts, personal care products including bath oils, simpson shave brush and body scrubs that are available both from your favorite local stores and from online shops. You can also choose to create your own personalized gifts. Don’t forget to look for coupon/discount codes online. Subscribe to newsletters of popular online stores so that you’ll receive updates on when their products and services will be offered on much lower rates. You’ll be surprised by how much you’ll save if you keep these tips in mind.

Creating a Safe and Enjoyable Online Shopping Experience

Nowadays, more and more consumers prefer to shop online. With the many benefits that online shopping offer, the number of online shoppers continue to grow each year. One major benefit would be convenience. Customers do not have to rush to the nearby mall just to be able to make it before their favorite store closes for the day. They can shop whenever they want even during odd hours at night where most brick-and-mortar stores are already closed. They can shop at multiple stores with just a simple click on their computer. They can even shop for gifts and have them delivered straight to their loved ones or friends.


There are, however, risks involved in making online purchases. This is why it is important that the customer make sure that transactions should be made only with legitimate and reputable online retailers. The store’s terms and conditions as well as the return policy should also be read and understood by the customer. Research is also important. If you are a first time online shopper, you should take the time to research about the online retailer where you intend to make your purchases. Read reviews and customer feedback. This will help you learn about the quality of products that these online shops offer as well as the quality of customer service that they have. Browse through the store’s website so that you’ll see the range of products and services that they offer. If you have any questions about, let’s say, the availability of a product such as the pro tools hd that is used for audio recording and mixing, then you should be able to easily see at their website how you can contact their customer service department. How these stores respond to customer queries and concerns should be an indicator of how much they value their customers. You should keep this mind when choosing among the hundreds of online stores that offer the products that you want to buy.

Once you know the steps you need to take to protect yourself from the risks that go with making purchases online, then you’ll be able among the growing numbers of consumers who are continuously experiencing the many benefits that online shopping offers.

*Image source: Stuart Miles at

Smart Online Shopping

Online shopping is one of the fastest thriving industries today. If you are part of the growing percentage of customers that choose make of their purchase online, then you should know that apart from the many distinct benefits that online shopping offers, there are a number of ways for you to actually get huge savings every time you shop.

Below are some tips on how you can wisely spend your money when shopping online:

1.) Compare prices. The convenience that online shopping offers is one of the main reasons why customers choose to shop online. With just a few simple clicks, they are able to buy most of the products that their favorite retailer offers. You can make the most out of it by visiting multiple online stores and comparing prices before making the final decision on where to buy.

2.)  Look out for special offers. Online retailers want to establish strong connections to their loyal customers and create new ones with prospective customers and they do that by through social media. They use their websites and social media accounts to post discount offers, coupons and giveaways to keep their followers interested. You can also subscribe to their newsletters to stay updated on their latest and future offerings. Retailers also give away vouchers and discount codes from time to time so you have to be on the lookout for that as well. Free Shipping also gives you additional savings so find a retailer that provides such service.

3.) Check the reviews. Review websites are easily accessible and can provide you with valuable information on the different products that are out on the market today as well as the retailers that offer them. Find the time to read customer feedback and reviews made by industry experts so that you will know which stores to frequent and which stores to avoid.

4.) Check out the store’s policies. Find out what their policies are especially when it comes to returning defective items. A store which has an efficient customer service department should be one of your major considerations when choosing an online retailer.

Once you have done your homework and have made sure that you have all necessary safeguards in place then you’ll continue to have a safe and enjoyable experience every time you shop online.

*Image courtesy of sixninepixels at