Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Holiday Shopping Techniques

Since I have been trying to catch The 12 Weeks of Christmas at Red Writing, I figured that this week, I would actually do a post for this specific challenge.  I have either had a post that worked in the past, or I just viewed all the great ideas.  The challenge this week is to give your Shopping techniques for Christmas.  What a perfect topic for a blog about saving money!
  1. Make a List - I usually do this, and then ask my dh for his input which is not really much.  He likes to humor my lists!  I find this helps to put some of my worries aside that we are forgetting someone.
  2. Brain Storm - This is the really hard one, because we have so many people to give to and so little money to work with.  I usually have things either started or at least planned already, because I really like to give handmade gifts.  I am starting to have second thoughts about that, since this last year, my brother sold my quilted wall hanging and table runners for $.50 at my Mom's garage sale.  I bought them!
  3. Stock Up - Each week, as I am doing my regular sale and coupon shopping, I start to sneak in my purchases.  For example, last year my youngest two were really enjoying dress up, so I went the day after Halloween and bought them some great costumes for under $5 each to give for Christmas.  (By the way, those are the only presents that they still play for hours with today!)  Other ideas may be candles, shampoos, spa things, etc.  If you stock up a little at a time, Christmas doesn't seem so expensive and you can pay for it all in cash!!!
  4. Create - This is where I usually start making gifts for everyone.  I am already in my office up to my eyeballs in this year's gifts because I need to get them to my Mom by Thanksgiving, or I'll have to ship them!  Even if it is putting together a basket of spa items for the whole family, you can consider making a small item.  I already showed you the Potato print cards that we will be tying together with a ribbon for Grandma this year!  Go here to see that project.  I often ask around what people like that they recieved from others, and have quite a few friends that make gifts also.  One of my friends and her kids made homemade root beer for their school project and gave them as gifts.  She said the only bad thing about that was that they had to do it the day or two before Christmas, as it needed to be consumed right away.
  5. Black Friday - I know, this is a crazy day.  We reserve this only for our children's gifts.  We plan out the gifts on Thanksgiving evening together, and then it's our yearly date morning.  We sneak out before the kids awake (we've hired a teen sometimes to come over night) and actually try to get everything we possibly can at Walmart at a price match.  The other stores are 45 minutes from us, so most things we can get here at Walmart.  Anything that is left, by the time we get there, the crowds are down a little, and we just enjoy the day together.  If we get it, great, if not, oh well!  We have even walked into a store and decided our one item was not worth the wait, and walked out and went out for breakfast!  Even though the stores are crazy this day, we can really get the most for our money, but we stick to a budget and we stick to our pre-planned list - no more!
Well, there you have it.  My Shopping Techniques for the season!  I usually come home after our Black Friday Date and lock myself in the bedroom and wrap while my husband and kids get the lights up outside!  I'm usually done by that day completely and I can enjoy the rest of my holiday!  I can't wait to hear what everyone else does.  I am linking up to: 12 Days of Christmas - Red writing


  1. It sounds like you have a really good strategy. I can't believe your brother sold the quilted wall hanging and table runners at a garage sale! Lucky you were there to rescue them! I know that some of my relations do not appreciate the time, effort and expense involved in creating one-of a -kind gifts. These folks would be getting gift cards from me. I wouldn't spend time shopping for the perfect gift for them either. I'd rather spend my time making gifts for people that will appreciate them!

  2. Oh my. You have it all together girl. I'm impressed. Thanks for a lot of good tips.


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