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I am pretty sure by now everyone is beginning to check things off their December to-do list. Whether it be Christmas shopping, party preparations or stocking up on specifics, December is an expensive month. As with every other month, there are things to buy this month, and things to hold off on. Let me share with you some of my favorite deals to save you some cold, hard cash.

Gift cards: This is the month to buy gift cards. Many stores will run specials on cards, giving you a percentage off or a larger card than the price you actually pay. Many restaurants give a $5 coupon to go along with the gift card, or give a discount on multiple gift cards purchased. Think of others and yourself when buying gift cards. If you will use them in the future, buy them now to save ahead of time.

TVs, iPhones and video games: You would think that Black Friday was the best time to grab up any electronics, but there are still many sales going on. Stores want to get rid of the extra stock they ordered for Black Friday, so they are happy to continue to run sales. If buying a TV, look for a better price on a bigger screen size. Game bundles may include games or gift cards. And iPhones will be priced lower as well.

Jewelry: Jewelry stores are out to get your business this month. You will find great deals and discounts going on now. Keep in mind that Valentine’s Day is in February, and the sales running now will give you the best prices. So if you can buy ahead and stash it away, you could easily save hundreds and be prepared for Valentine’s Day ahead of time this year.

Things to hold off on:

Cars: Wait until the end of the month to purchase any new cars. Any time you can hold off until the end of the month, or end of the quarter, you will receive a much bigger discount, especially on new leftovers or used vehicles.

Christmas decorations: Dec. 26 is the day to head out and grab all of that wrapping paper, Christmas lights and tissue paper. Discounts will grow up to 75 percent a week after the holiday. Store items away for next year. Think ahead for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, etc. You can easily use plain red or green bags and tissue paper for these dates. Think outside the box.

In my monthly class at The Post-Star, I go into detail about using coupons, saving money, finding monthly deals and how it will benefit your family. We are in the process of planning the class’s upcoming dates. Feel free to call 518-742-3309 or go to poststar.com/couponclass for more information.

Head over to my blog at Making Cent$ About Extreme Couponing to find some great deals around the region this week. These will point you in the right direction to saving more money. Post your questions, comments and deals in the comments section. Let’s start saving money together.

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Kimberly Butler is a mom, wife and child care provider located in Queensbury and writes a weekly column for The Post-Star. Write to her at kimberlybutlerthepoststar@gmail.com or visit her Making Cent$ About Extreme Couponing Blog at poststar.com/blogs/making_cents.

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