Halloween Just Ended and Holiday Shopping for Grandchildren Has Arrived: The 2014 Best Tips from Start to Finish to SAVINGS for a Wonderful Holiday Season

Halloween Just Ended and Holiday Shopping for Grandchildren Has ArrivedRight before Halloween, this Grandma was in the mall and next to Halloween paraphernalia were holiday trimmings already.   I plan for the holidays in October, so it did not surprise me. It seems that now all grandmas need to think early when it comes for holiday shopping to save the most money and have the most successful holiday shopping.

Here are Grandma’s best holiday shopping organization tips.

  1. Make holiday lists with the grandchildren in October and early November. Collect catalogs to go through with grandchildren and the parents of the grandchildren. Amazon now has a holiday toy list, new categories for “mom picks” or ‘classic brands” to go through with grandchildren. Toys R Us has a new gift finder by age and price, lists new and hot products.
  2. Go on toy portfolio to check out the award winning toys, books and videos.   This website and the Oppenheimer toy award winners are truly the best. They are tested on children and the grandchildren play with these the longest. Next, for books, go to the New York Times Best seller lists for children’s books of all ages.
  3. Make a wish list on Amazon to organize the list and have a good comparison of price for bargain shopping. Amazon is competitive and with Amazon Prime affords free shipping.  Use Amazon prices as a base line and see if you can do better.
  4. Speak to the parents of the grandchildren. Add what they “want” and “need” for the child. A baby is expensive. For a baby, consider buying the largest box of diapers in the next size up, the largest bottle of the favorite organic products, pajamas in the next size, and other staples. There may be a special outfit that is too expensive or a special outing that costs too much. Treat the whole family with a special holiday gift that they could not enjoy otherwise. I love giving a coupon book of special treats throughout the year so grandma can keep on giving, for example, a toy a month coupon book from the list or a blank coupon for some months so the grandchild can pick a new toy in the summer that may not yet be available.
  5. Remember children think (and adults too) that when there is a registry or list, that the gift is already theirs. Help them to prioritize their lists, just in case.

Now that the lists are made, grandma must figure out a budget for gifts for each person. Do not discard what is extra on the lists that you are not going to buy, share and send the other item lists off to the other grandma, aunts and uncles, and close family and friends. It saves them thinking of a gift to give. Better yet, now use the shopping tips and tell them where to buy the items at the best price. Save some items for birthdays or other special occasions during the year. Save some of the less expensive items for “visit’ presents.

Of course, you want the best price. The best price used to be “Black Friday,” after Thanksgiving, or “Cyber Monday,” after Black Friday. No more.

Here are Grandma’s best successful holiday shopping and SAVINGS tips:

  1. With an early list, you can take advantage of the “Friends and Family” sales that are offered. Sign up on line in October and early November at all retailers that sell the list products.   This automatically gives you a discount and provides for you to get notifications of special sales. This Grandma is sitting with at least three advance sale brochures at the lowest prices I have seen on products for sale the first two weeks in November.
  2. Free shipping is now a holiday perk being offered by Target, Sears and others. Look for it. Most stores do not carry the stock they used to and it is easier to find variety and what you are seeking on line.
  3. Free returns are also being offered. Save receipts for exchange for a lower price that comes available before holiday wrapping begins.
  4. If it is a “hot toy,” consider buying this item first. Apparently, retailers are thinking anything from Frozen is going to sell out this year. You can sign up on to get email notifications when a sold out toy becomes available on line. It tracks many retailers. www.toyinsider.com lists toy discounts.
  5. For older grandchildren, buy some empty boxes. Put different denominations of money or Apple or I Tunes gift cards in each and wrap them. Tell the grandchildren they will be getting money and you will be a hero—and give them an opportunity to get different denominations as the surprise. Try this also for the parents of the grandchildren, and for everyone to buy what they want (not “hot “ items that will be gone) to buy at after holiday sales to get more gifts for the same money or that they can select themselves.
  6. NEVER hit the “order” button without checking for coupon or promo codes on retailmenot.com for more discounts.
  7. This Grandma hates the idea that there are going to be salespersons working on Thanksgiving. However, if you are one who likes the crowds and excitement of such shopping, consider having Thanksgiving lunch for the whole family instead of Thanksgiving Dinner. On Thanksgiving Day, Sears, Macy’s and Kohl’s are going to open at 6 PM with sales. Kmart is going to open at 6 am and stay open for 42 straight hours. Those stores that are going to stay closed include Nordstrom and Costco.


Now that you are ready for the holiday shopping, consider AFTER holiday shopping. This Grandma has all the holiday wrapping paper she needs for this year and probably next year. This Grandma already has holiday cards to send out. I bought them all at 50% to 70% off at after holiday sales last year. Remember that for this year’s after holiday sales.


I know. Doing it early seems to take the joy out of the last minute hunt. However, was the last minute hunt really joyful? Retailers are discounting greater earlier. The early bird catches the worm. . . .or something like that.








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