The Courage to be Frugal: Last Minute Holiday Shopping

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Today’s post is thoughtfully entitled, “The Courage to be Frugal” because that is what it took for me to venture out in person to stores today. The sun is out, the rain has stopped and California is in the Car! Its like the city of Los Angeles is coming out of winter hibernation after the bad weather to get those last minute Holiday gifts for either Hanukkah or Christmas. I think the rest of the world is struggling with getting out to get gifts or trying to order online. So I had to muster all my courage this am and get up early to make a last run to the discounters at the neighborhood mall for my last minute gifts & stocking items. I’m lucky, in a strip mall near my house are Marshall’s, Loehmann’s and Ross all right next to each other. Today, I was looking to get some cute little items for stocking stuffers before traveling tomorrow for 9hrs to visit my family on the East Coast. I hit the mall early for the 9:30 am opening and was rewarded with parking and a few good deals. Here’s what I found:

Loehmann’s: 25% off perfumes including Estee Lauder, Versace, Betsey Johnson & Burberrys. Delicious smelling Karen Klein “Black Currant & Fig Candles for $5.99, great Men’s & Women’s watches. There was some great discounted jewelry for dedicated bargain hunters to shuffle through. Also, they had a super comfy travel pillow/neck cushion scented with lavender for those who do alot of airline travel and want a little budget pampering.

Marshall’s/TJ Maxx: Great cosmetics sale. I found little Lancome blushes & lip glosses for about $7.99. They also had Elizabeth Arden creams and other high-end beauty products. Another item I liked for a small gift was the delicious Ghirardelli chocolate gift bags and a few other high-end treats. They were even little cinnamon sticks for dipping into hot cider or coffee nicely wrapped in little containers for $2.99.

Ross: My final stop on the budget train. They had some nice watches—Anne Klein and a few other high-end brands.

My journey ended by 11:00 am PST, just as the rest of the mall shoppers were arriving. I read this morning that over 25% of shoppers still haven’t done their holiday shopping. Obviously, alot of people have put off the joy of shopping but are also trying to dig down deep to find those last minute deals.

Remember, online shipping deals for 12.25 delivery are coming to an end today & tomorrow. So if you just can’t face the mall , the traffic & the fight to find a parking spot, here are a few tips/deals looking around online. : They truly have something for everyone. Lost of good deals & still time to point & click. I saw Body Shop products for 50% off, plus good deals on toys, books & electronics.

Urban Outfitters has a selection of men’s & women’s gifts for under $50.00. Every purchase over $100.00 will also get a free $10.00 gift card. The last day for their shipping to arrive by Christmas is tomorrow, 12.22, order by 10:00 am EST. See their website for details.

Kohl’s: 40% Off selected toys with code: EXTRASAVING
12/21 (TODAY) Deal: 20-40% Entire Stock Fragrance Sets Gifts under $50.00

Macy’s: They are having a good sale in store & online.

H&M: Lots of reasonably priced gifts for everyone , women, men, teenagers & kids. No online shopping though. If you can brave the lines at an H&M (at least mine is crowded), you’ll definitely find some good stuff!

Target: Last minute in store deals. Check their online ads for this week.

Walmart: Norma Kamali collection & other deals.

Gap: Holiday sale.

So good luck to all of you out there shopping today. I hope you find the magic Recessionista formula: Quality + Price + Fashionista = Recessionista!


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.


  1. Anonymous

    December 22, 2008 at 3:52 am

    OK–did everyone wait for last minute sales, or just put OFF shopping until the last minute?
    Shopping today was just exhausting, at least at my local Target where lines were really LONG.

  2. Shopping cart

    December 24, 2008 at 12:45 pm


    There are so many people shopping at holiday only because they are full free on that day.