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Michelle Fern Michelle Fern
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Have you started your Christmas shopping?

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For many, the question of whether you've started your Christmas shopping has an obvious answer. If you're like me, the thought of Christmas hasn't even entered your mind yet. However, I'm going to start early this year, as the winding down of summer tends to be the best time of the year to get started.

Sales on summer clothing and shoes are popping up, and many stores are having fabulous back to school sales where you can get crayons, markers, pens, fancy binders, backpacks and more for next to nothing. Even if you don't have kids, these items can double as office necessities and it's a great time to stock up or give as gifts - maybe you can get a family member or friend a new backpack for hiking, or an assortment of pens and mechanical pencils for dad's office.

According to the National Retail Federation, August can be the cheapest time to buy college furniture or accessories - my son graduates high school next year, so I'm going to stock up now and surprise him during Christmas. August and September is also a great time to land some bargains on summer sports apparel, summer sports equipment, swimwear, lawn mowers and portable air-conditioning units.

Let's not forget yard sales. They are a great way to find affordable Christmas items, even decorations. You can find an almost endless amount of weekend yard sales during the summer, as people clear out their attics and basements during the warmer months. And you can sometimes find some real Christmas gems in these sales, especially if you're looking for the oversized snowmen, reindeer and Santa figures for your yard, bins and bins of decorations and lights and even fancy porcelain figurines, houses and Christmas themed china, platters and cookie jars. You can often pick these things up for next to nothing, as folks just want to unload them.

Another great way to start your Christmas shopping is to rebate your way to free stuff. Sending away for rebate offers is a great approach to get free Christmas gifts. Take advantage of the deals below and you'll have them in plenty of time for the holidays.

Shopping for Christmas in the dead of summer can save you hundreds. Once you have accumulated all your Christmas items this summer, just store them somewhere safe and think about how nice and inexpensive this Christmas will turn out.

And as of Wednesday, Aug. 24, you only have 122 days until Christmas.

Phineas and Ferb pencil case

Purchase any of the three products: Neosporin, Band-Aid, Listerine Smart or Listerine Agent and Reach Kids Toothbrush.

Cell phone skin

Available if you purchase two specially marked boxes of Playtex Gentle Glide Tampons.

Exercise ball

Buy five Musselman's Apple Sauce Products and get a Musselman's Exercise Ball, a durable 65 cm rubber ball designed for today's core strengthening exercises. It comes complete with an air pump.

$10 restaurant gift card

To receive your Darden gift card worth $10, purchase 20 Musselman's Apple Sauce Products.

Exercise shorts

Buy four Nasoya tofu products of your choice.

Last modified on Monday, 19 December 2011 16:48


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