It’s hard to believe that November is just around the corner. And it may still seem a bit early to plan for Christmas or Hanukkah, but the key to not going over-budget through the holidays is to plan ahead. Here are some simple steps to help.

1)     Make a list of the people for whom you need or want to buy a gift.

2)     Make a list of gift ideas for each person, including the dollar amount you plan to spend on them.

3)     Start researching prices on these items.  Perhaps you don’t intend to shop yet, but by knowing the prices now, you can determine if the sales are really a good deal or not.

4)     If necessary, consider placing items on layaway, or buying a couple of items with each paycheck to lessen the impact on finance.

5)     Consider giving gifts from the heart – baked goods, homemade crafts, etc.

I realize many of you like to wait until Black Friday to get the great deals, but knowing the prices of items on your list ahead of time will help and can save you time, money, and aggravation! You might find better deals online and many online retailers offer free shipping.

Also, consider opening a Christmas Club bank account. Many banks offer these savings accounts where you can put in small amounts all year long and then they send you a check near the holidays. It’s a great way to plan ahead so finances don’t become problem during the holidays.  The two online banks that come to mind are INGDirect and SmartyPig. I’ve personally used ING for years. Both are free, no minimum balances and are FDIC Insured.

The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time. Don’t ruin the joy by overspending!

Now on to some other good stuff:

All You Magazine November 2011 Coupon List – Simply CVS has been kind enough to provide a list of coupons that will be in Walmart’s All You Magazine for November.  You can check it out here to see if you want to stop by and pick up a copy. I believe it retails for $2.49 per issue if you buy it at Walmart, but you can get a subscription for $1.66 per issue here.  However, I will tell you that sometimes the subscription version has fewer coupons than the newsstand version.

Walmart Deals – If you’re a Walmart shopper, I highly recommend checking out Iheartthemart.comfor the best deals.

For local calendar events:

For Delray Beach, click here.

For Boynton Beach, click here.

For Boca Raton, click here.

Now, on to the deals this week!

Know the Lingo BOGO – Buy one, get one free SS – Smart Source (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers) RP – Red Plum (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers) PG – Proctor & Gamble (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers) GM – General Mills (occasional coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers) Blinkie – coupon dispensers in stores Peelie – coupons found on products that you peel off Hangtag – coupons found hanging on bottles All You – Magazine sold at Walmart or via subscription

Whole Foods:  Click here for their coupons. If you prefer to shop at Publix, they should accept these as competitor coupons.

Publix Greenwise:  Click here for their weekly ads.

Many thanks to IHeartPublix for their great tips on shopping at Publix!

For Publix “super deals” for 10/27-11/2/2011, please click here.

For Publix full sale list with coupon match-ups 10/27-11/2/2011 please click here.

For Publix ongoing sale list, please click here.

For Publix Advantage Buy Flyer sales, please click here.

Renita's Favorite Money-Saving Sites

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Renita is a resident of Palm Beach County, and author of “Wow! You Saved How Much?” For more information, visit her website at

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