The debut column of "Pinching Pennies" by Amanda Hopkins, just in time for the holidays.
With the holidays swiftly approaching, there’s shopping to be done, whether it be selecting gifts for the family, purchasing new trimmings for the tree, or picking up the fixings for your holiday meal. Luckily, if you live in Atlantic or Cape May County, you don’t have to go far to cash in on some deals. There are great shopping venues from Smithville to Cape May where you can find everything you need to make your holiday special, and you can do it without breaking your budget.
Finding the perfect gift for that special someone on your list can be a hassle, but don’t let holiday gift giving stress you out. Use our store suggestions to find one-of-a kind treasures for your loved ones.
Shops at Historic Smithville — If you are looking for something unique for that hard–to-please person, the shops at Historic Smithville is the place to go. With 71 shops on site, there is much to choose from. A few of our favorites: The Christmas Shoppe is the perfect place if you need an ornament for the annual ornament exchange. With thousands of ornaments and other holiday treasures, you are sure to find something special for the tree. For the foodie on your list, The Cook’s Corner features a wide array of kitchen gadgets and unique food items, including hot sauce, marinades, and coffees. Celebrity Collectables stocks old-time music and movie memorabilia, such as “I Love Lucy,” “Marilyn Monroe,” “Elvis” and “The Three Stooges,” for those craving childhood nostalgia. Trendie Treasures has a wide array of jewelry and accessories for the fashionista on your list, including Pandora and Chamilia-compatible beads. And let’s not forget Tomasello Winery and Gifts, for wine glasses, bottle openers, and specialty wines, for the wine-o on your list.
Lenox Outlet in Egg Harbor Township — Shop brand name without paying the hefty price tag. The Lenox Outlet sells various Lenox products, including fine china, ornaments, and glassware for up to 70 percent less than the department stores. Shoppers can’t go wrong with Lenox, a household name and good quality merchandise. And the best part? The recipient will think you spent a lot more than you actually did.
“The Walk” - Tanger Outlets in Atlantic City — The Tanger Outlets are the place to go when shopping for the brand-loyal guru on your list, whether you want to pick out something special or surprise your loved one with a gift card to his or her favorite store. Because the stores are outlets, store prices are lower, and coupons are often available. Some of the stores include Coach, Nine West, Guess, Aeropostale, Old Navy, Ralph Lauren, and Forever21. There are more than 120 stores in the strip, so it’s really a one-stop shop.
Washington Street Mall in Cape May — Make a day of it and go shopping in the Old Dickens village. Several quaint shops and boutiques line the streets. Try the Fudge Shop, which specializes in whipped cream fudge, premium chocolates and macaroons, to satisfy a sweet tooth and pick up some stocking stuffers, or stroll over to the Popcorn Factory for a salty addition to a gift basket. The Popcorn Factory offers traditional flavors, such as Kettle Corn and Caramel, as well as exotic flavors like Candy Caramel Apple and Jalapeño. Before you leave town, pick up a few bars of homemade soap and bath bombs at A Place on Earth to give a special recipient on your list the gift of relaxation.
Shopping is a science. It’s all about where and how you shop. If you know the proper methods, you can save money while you spend! First, look at your finances and make a budget. Then, make a list and check it twice: compose a list of who you need to shop for and jot down gift ideas for each person.
Check for sales at the stores you frequent most often. Some stores offer “Family and Friends” or similar promotional events, where customers can save up to 25 percent. Also, clipping coupons for your favorite products and stores can save you money. When shopping, don’t hesitate to shop clearance (your recipient will have no idea you paid just a few bucks).
For super savings, combine deals. Shop during a sale event and use your coupons!
With these tips, you can spend less time stressing and spend more time with the ones you love.
For Holiday Meals:
Purchasing all the ingredients of a holiday meal can rack up a hefty bill, especially if you serving close to a dozen. Take a deep breath—you won’t have to call bankruptcy on your holiday meal this year. If you shop at the three stores listed below, your grocery bill lower than ever. (You can thank us later!)
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