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Sale in window

Sale (Photo credit: Gerard Stolk (vers la Pentecôte))

If you are one who likes to take advantage of Memorial Day Sales, you need to be prepared. There are thousands of stores getting ready for your appearance this weekend. Their hope is that you spend as much money as possible at their store. My goal is to help you be an informed consumer. Here are a few things to do and not to do:

Things You Should Do This Memorial Day

1. Make a list of things you need/want – This way you know exactly what you need to get before you head to the store.

2. Map out all the places to shop ahead of time
– This is the best way to save money on gas and eliminates going to the same area twice.

3. Make a budget for what you will buyLook at your budget for the month and figure out how much money you have to work with. If it is $200, then take $200 out of the ATM and when it is gone, stop shopping.

4. Shop around online first – Sometimes you can find a better deal online than you could ever find going to a sale in a retail store. Go to sites like Ebay.com and Amazon.com first, to see if you can find the item cheaper.

5. Make a list of events coming up – Do you know someone with a birthday or anniversary in June? Now might be a good time to get their present on sale.

Things You Should Avoid This Memorial Day

1.  Don’t buy things not on your list – The impulse buys can be so tempting but a lot of times they can also break the bank. Your best bet is to stick to what is on the list. If you do have money left over, after you got everything you needed, then it would be OK to get a couple other items as long as you stay under budget.

2. Don’t buy just because it is on sale – Sometimes items on sale are not really that good of a deal. I remember looking at a sale item that was listed for $29.99 with 30% off which was still more expensive than another retailer that had an everyday price of $12.99. Be careful not to buy just because the store says “sale.” Shop around on local stores websites first.

3. Don’t think that this is the best deal you will ever find – There will always be deals to be found. Whether it is at that store or another one. Be patient and again, resist the impulse buy.

4. Dont leave the house without your coupons – This can seem obvious but it can happen. Before you lock the door to your house, make sure that you have your coupons with you.

5. Don’t spend the whole weekend shopping – Life is too short to spend it buying stuff. I like finding good deals but I love my family and friends more. Make sure you spend sometime with them this weekend.

Lastly on this Memorial Day, be sure to remember those who lost their lives defending our freedom. Also, if you are reading this and have served in some way to protect our nation, THANK YOU! We are blessed to live in the United States of America and to have people like you to keep us safe.

Are there any good deals this weekend you know about? Feel free to share in the comment section above.