FYI: There are fewer than 100 days until the holidays.
I hope you have been following my advice and buying presents throughout the year, when the items you wanted were on sales.
I have already wrapped and boxed all my presents, so they are ready to mail in the next month.
If you haven’t been checking off your gift list, now is the time to start. The last thing you want is to use your credit card to buy all your gifts at the last moment.
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Here are some suggestions: Make a list of everyone you bought for last year along with any others that need to be added. Make your budget. Put a dollar amount next to each person’s name, so you have a limit of what you can spend.
If you aren’t a budgeting person and remember that last year you went crazy buying presents and going way over your budget, why don’t you try layaway? With layaway, you can put all your presents aside at various stores and make payments throughout the months, so when the holiday time comes around, you will have them paid off and ready to pick up.
Many stores have great deals now to entice you to use their layaway.
▪ Become a Shop Your Way member at Kmart to get $10 off any layaway purchase of $50 or more. Check out Kmart’s layaway policy online before you start your order.
▪ For toys the kids might want, go to Toys R Us or Babies R Us for your layaway purchase. You can make the purchase at the store and then make payments online until you make the final payment to pick up your purchase. Always check out the layaway rules for each store.
▪ Walmart doesn’t charge you anything for starting a layaway. Down payment is 10 percent or $10, whatever is greater. Check out Walmart’s store layaway policy online.
There are rules you need to follow, and some stores have cancellation fees, but this is a great way to budget your purchases and not overspend during the holidays. Now is the time to start.
▪ Free flu shots will be given from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 20 at Consolidated Baptist Church’s Andrew Center, 1625 Russell Cave Road, and Southland Christian Church, 2349 Richmond Road. The health department is prepared to give as many as 2,000 free shots that day. For additional information, email Kevin Hall at KevinS.Hall@ky.gov
▪ If your child has shown an interest in playing hockey, check out Try Hockey for Free Day at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 1 at Lexington Ice Center, 560 Eureka Drive. All equipment is provided, including skates. For additional info, email THFF@centralkentucky.com
▪ A Sled Hockey Clinic will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 2 at Lexington Ice Center, 560 Eureka Drive. Sled hockey is hockey for the disabled. Open to public, allowing them to experience trying sled hockey or just coming out to see what it is. For more information, email Cindy Jacobelli at Easter Seals Cardinal Hill at Cindy.Jacobelli@cardinalhill.org
▪ The grand opening of Wilderness Trail Distillery will be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 24. Self-guided tours of the grounds and building are available. Wilderness Trail Distillery is at 4095 Lebanon Road, Danville.
▪ Get free cheese sticks with your next Pizza Hut online order when you sign up for their free eclub, Hut Lovers.
▪ Domino is offering buy one get one free pizza at regular menu price through Sept. 25. This deal is valid for online carryout orders only. No coupon is required.
▪ Looking for a fun and free activity for the kids? At Toys R Us from noon to 2 p.m. Sept., 24 kids ages 6 and older can build and take home a free Lego Disney Princess Lumiere.
▪ Get a free Old Orchard Juice Product Coupon by registering for an Old Orchard Fan Club account. Then take a survey to receive 2,000 points (1,000 for registering, 1,000 for the survey). The Old Orchard frozen juice concentrate product coupon is 1,900, points and the bottle of juice is 2,000. This offer is valid for new rewards members only. Allow four weeks for delivery.
▪ Get a free Go Veggie Cheese Product by printing out a coupon; its value is as much as $6.29. These products are sold at select Walmarts and Whole Foods.
▪ Walgreens is offering a free 8 by 10 photo gift ($3.99 value) with a $10 Dove product purchase. After your purchase, you’ll receive a catalina coupon at checkout with a unique code valid for the free gift. This code can be redeemed on online, at a photo department kiosk and on the mobile app. It’s valid through Oct. 1.
▪ Starbucks is offering a free $5 Starbucks eGift card when you buy three qualifying Starbucks products in a single transaction at participating grocery stores. Complete the form and upload your receipt. Check out the list of participating products. This offer is valid through Jan. 9, 2017.
▪ Register your child for the Build a free Fire Truck Workshop at Home Depot. The event is 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 1.
▪ Starbucks is offering a free $10 bonus with a $10 eGift card purchase. Simply download the app and create an account. Load $10 or more to the Starbucks app using VISA checkout. You’ll receive your $10 bonus within 5 days.
▪ Chipotle is offering a free fountain drink with an entree purchase for students in September. You’ll have to present your student ID. Limit one free drink per customer. Spread the word to any students you know.
▪ Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day is Sept. 24. Get two free tickets to participating museums. In Lexington, get free admission to the International Museum of the Horse at the Horse Park. Admission doesn’t include any other part of Horse Park nor the $5 parking. In Louisville, visit the Louisville Slugger Museum for free.
▪ A fire-prevention festival takes place from 2 to 6 p.m. Oct. 2 at Masterson Station. There will be free vision and hearing screenings, pony rides, a petting zoo, fire truck rides, a kids combat challenge, Kasey the fire dog, bouncy houses and a bike rodeo, all for free. For information, call (859) 231-5662.
▪ Download the CVS mobile app for Android or iOS and link your ExtraCare card to receive $3 in ExtraCare bucks. Get a free 8 by 10 photo print through the app when you use the code CVS app at checkout and choose in-store pickup. You can also get 10 free 4 by 6 prints through the app with the code 10FREECVS.
Deborah Morris’ every-other-week column, The Fru-Gal, can help you get more for less. Go to her website, Fru-gal-friends.com.