5 Tips to Save Big on Holiday Shopping by Julie D. Andrews

Internet shoppers score mega-deals. If you haven't already, take the plunge.... “It's simple!” says Hoxmeier, a 34-year-old mother who founded in 1999. “Finding online deals is easier than clipping grocery-store coupons. And you'll save much more!” On her site, simply click on a store name to see a list of active coupons and their expiration dates.

To find the real steals and hottest toys likely to sell out, getting to Black Friday early is key. Shoppers on this day start waiting in line as early as 4:00 a.m. That's because they want to get in on the doorbusters — outstanding deals available only for the first few hours of sale day. At the blitz, says Hoxmeier, “identify what you want before you go, and stick with that. If it's a Bratz doll, just get that — and walk out. That sale item is the carrot stores dangle to get you in the door. Grab it and turn around.”

“Try not to let the kids fall for the marketing hype,” says Hoxmeier. “Remember Furbys? Your grandchildren don't either. This year's hot toys will end up in next year's giveaway pile.” Hoxmeier suggests that grandparents buy personalized gifts for grandchildren ages 10-18.

If your granddaughter likes horses or ballerinas, why not buy her a porcelain figurine to place on her shelf? She'll look at it years from now and remember when Grandma and Grandpa gave it to her as a little girl.

Check out the selection at San Francisco Music Box, suggests Hoxmeier, where you can find music boxes and figurines for as low as — hold your breath — $10. “With your grandchildren, sentimental value outweighs the monetary value. Trendy gifts are unwrapped with a big bang, but personalized gifts won't later be tossed away.”