The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

New York & Company Widget

New York & Company recently launched a widget, "NY Style Notebook," with fashion advice from Carson Kressley, videos, style tips, and updated offers. I added it to my iGoogle hompage and it's pretty cute, has a nifty Christmas countdown clock, holiday gift ideas and a daily deal from NY & Co. Check it out (above) or download it for yourself here:

Tips for Holiday Shopping at Target

Target is such a happy, fun place to shop, which makes it one of my favorite places to pick up gifts for everyone on my list. I love grabbing a cart, a cup of coffee, and just weaving in and out of the aisles, picking up stuff from every department (especially clearance goodies at the end of the aisles). Of course, this sort of blissful, unconscious shopping could get me into big trouble. Fortunately, over the years, I've come up with a few tricks that help me keep my spending in check—and that is a reward in and of itself. Here's what works for me:

Set a strict time limit. Target, bless their souls, has strategically set up their store to keep customers shopping for as long as possible. You can easily lose track of time, so decide how much time you have to shop before you step inside, then leave when your time is up. This may sound funny, but I actually tell my boyfriend to call me after, say, 1 or 2 hours to remind me, "Time's up!"

Decide how much you want to spend. Seriously, this sounds simple enough, yet how many times have you checked-out and then gasped at the sight of your receipt? Avoid the guilt and the bills and just set a spending cap before you start loading that cart.

Hone in on those fancy designer brands in each department. These products often have cute packaging and holiday specials that make them great for gift-giving. Knowing your favorites helps narrow down your choices and saves time, too. Here are some of my favorites at the moment:

Wait a week. Just about everything goes on sale if you're patient and willing to wait a couple days. And if you don't remember to go back and get it, chances are you didn't need it in the first place.

How do you shop (and save) at Tar-zhay?