It’s the holiday season and Christmas Day will be here soon. 

For more than a year now, I’ve been writing a newsletter offering readers 10 money tips every week. 

Christmas Tree Sacramento 2022The response has been very positive. I scour a variety of websites to look for the latest information to help consumers make wise financial decisions.  

I thought I’d post a copy of this week’s newsletter because it has several tips for the holidays that could be helpful to my blog readers.

You can subscribe to my newsletter at There’s no charge.

Happy holidays.

Rita R. Robison Newsletter 

Many thanks you to those who sent me a donation through PayPal to help keep this newsletter a free consumer resource. If you don’t like to use PayPal, a donation can be sent to the address below. Happy holidays and may 2023 be a great year for you and all of your consumer endeavors. 

Now, here are your weekly money tips:

1. Be aware sluggish holiday sales could bring huge last-minute discounts. Keep comparing prices and check local stores for deals that may not be online.

2. Look for bargains for your holiday meal at Walmart, Target, and Kroger. For everyday shopping, one survey found Aldi and Walmart have the best prices. However, the researcher said sales at Kroger and Meijer can often beat the lowest prices at Aldi or Walmart.

3. Check out these ideas for white elephant gifts for the holidays including a paint-by-number van Gough, bandages that look like pickles, a wine holder for the shower, and magnets with air plants.

4. Be aware several retailers – especially Fashion retailers – are charging for returns. H&M plans to start testing a return fee, Zara recently added a fee of $3.95, JCPenney is charging a flat $8 shipping fee but has a more lenient in-store return policy, Abercrombie & Fitch charges a $7 fee, and J.Crew deducts $7.50 from the return value. 

5. Look for quality clothing that will last longer to save money. Fast fashions, clothes that are made and sold cheaply so that people can buy new clothes often, don’t last as long.  

6. Pay off as much as you can on your student loans while no interest is being charged if your loan exceeds the maximum allowed under the Biden plan for possible loan forgiveness. Don’t invest the money you aren’t paying on your student loan. The risk is too high for loss.

7. Be aware that in 2023 Airbnb will be changing two policies that customers are complaining about: fees that can cause rental prices to balloon from the figures initially shown in search results and unreasonable tasks for checkout that weren’t clear before booking.

8. Check out these tips for saving money on a trip to Disney World including finding cheaper tickets in the late summer, consider sticking to one park a day, and buying your Disney gear and souvenirs elsewhere.

9. Take a look at this list of the best free cloud storage options for 2023, which is topped by Google One, Media Fire, pCloud.

10. Consider sleeping in the living room and other flexible space ideas to better utilize the rooms in your home. 

Thanks for subscribing to my newsletter. Tell your friends and co-workers about it so they can make savvy money choices, too. Here’s the sign-up: And, for a big bonus, they’ll also get my free e-book on how to optimize their personal finance decisions.

December 22, 2022

Originally Published on

Rita Robison Consumer & Personal Finance Journalist

For more than two decades, Rita R. Robison has been a consumer and personal finance journalist making her living by finding the best bargains, calling out the crooks, and advocating for regular people just like you and me. In that time, Robison has talked to so many people who feel like their money just isn’t getting them what they want, where they want to be, or the life they thought it would.

The purpose of her blog is to help you get what you want from your money. Robison covers financial goals, budgets, debt reduction, saving, smart choices for buying goods and services, and retirement planning. You’ll also find articles on safety, such as avoiding scams, looking out for rip off companies, and getting informed on the latest recalls.

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