To most people, and by most I mean "normal", Christmas is just a fleeting thought. Or perhaps it won't be a thought at all for at least another 2-3 months.
But thinking Christmas in the Summer will give you a jump start on your gift purchasing and stretch your budge in ways you never thought! Can you imagine having all of your gifts purchased (and even wrapped) by December 1st? What would you do with all of your free time during the holiday season? Dream about it and let it motivate you get moving!
Summer sales and end of the season clearance can help you save a small fortune if you take advantage of them now.
Stores are still filled with ridiculously cheap school supplies. If you haven't purchased a binder and supplies for your Christmas notebook, that's the first thing on your list! But before the supplies disappear, stock up on tape and/or glue sticks for wrapping. Buy an extra pair of scissors for your wrapping kit (more to come on that later). Purchase plenty of inexpensive crayons (which will triple and quadruple in price in the coming months), markers, and paints for stocking stuffers or gifts. Even a nice pen, when given with a pretty journal makes a fantastic gift for teachers and friends. Be creative!
Clearance on clothing, shoes, and toys is another advantage to early shopping. Most stores are beginning to clear out their summer inventory. While you may not feel the need to stock up on inflatable pools for the coming months, see what else is available. If you live in a warmer climate you can find jump ropes and sidewalk chalk which can be used all year. And inflatable beach balls can be fun indoor toys when you're cooped up from the cold. We are fortunate in the Southwest to be able to wear short sleeve shirts year round. If you fall into this category, stock up now. Also take advantage of sales on socks and underwear. Although not the most desirable gifts, they are necessary and getting them cheap now will save you later! Look for amazing deals on jewelry and housewares. Two things that are "season-neutral" and make lovely gifts. Don't forget to check online sales as well. Even stores like Toys R Us and The Disney Store clear out oodles of inventory to prepare for the holiday season. Yes, I said "oodles". ;-)
Also, plan on purchasing extra holiday items, 3M hangers, extension cords, candles- anything you'll need during the holidays. These things quickly add up and can be budget busters during an already expensive time of year. Plus, getting them now means they will be in stock and readily available. Beat the rush!
I hope this has gotten your brain in motion, thinking about all of the ways to take advantage of this shopping season. You'll be glad you did!