Commentary: It's bargain hunting season for '08 holidays

This editorial appeared in The Tri-City Herald.

It's hard to deny – the holiday season is upon us, and with its arrival many folks are feeling the pinch of our wobbling economy.

Even those who haven't felt any effect are taking a step back and thinking twice before opening their wallets.

The news is grim, with some retailers closing up shop or cutting the number of outlets in a chain. People are losing their jobs or having their hours and benefits cut.

We can thank our lucky stars the Mid-Columbia economy is more stable than most as Christmas approaches, but the financial turmoil hammering our nation still is impossible to ignore.

If you've been out shopping lately, you've seen a lot of people in the aisles, but it appears they're looking for bargains. Profits at Nordstrom were off 57 percent in the third quarter but up nearly 10 percent at Wal-Mart for the same time period, for example.

Retailers are doing all they can to get you to spend at their stores. If you've checked your mailbox, your e-mail inbox or the inserts in the newspaper lately, sales, coupons and special offers abound.

You shouldn't be paying full price for anything, from cars to sweaters to television sets.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Tri-City Herald.