Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Have you started to think about Christmas???

OK, I know school just started, but now is the time...with the kids back to school and Labor day just around the corner you need to start thinking about your Christmas budget. I like to have it mostly done by the end of October. First, make a list of everyone you HAVE to buy for. Then figure out how much money you are going to need to spend on each person. Add it up, and that is approximately how much you will need. Looks like alot? Well, that is why we plan now. You have a few months to plan and not get stuck the week of Christmas buying some over priced junk that the kids will forget about the week after Christmas. Also, Decide now that using the credit card is NOT AN OPTION!!!

I have been doing Shoppers Hotline and Swagbucks to earn gift cards to spent while shopping. I have $55.00 to spend with those gift cards and I will try to get a few more yet. I also have been saving My Points and have a gift card coming from that. I did some after Christmas Shopping last year and I have those things put away ( which covers about 6 family members gifts). Also, each time Menards had their Crayola Stuff on rebate I bought some. These items makes great kids gifts!!

For teachers I do the same gift every year (so don't read this if you are my kids teacher!), since they get so much apple stuff and nic nak stuff, I refuse to gift that. Instead, I buy a dollar store basket and fill it with clearanced back to school supplies. I spend about $20.00 on each teacher, but I get so much because I buy it after school has started and the supplies have been clearanced. This year, Menards had there Dry Erase Markers on rebate and the teachers loves those! I picked them up cheap. Pens, free from Walgreens. Highlighters, free from Walgreens. Crayons, 24 cents a box from Walmart sale. The teacher then have supplies on hand when they need them!! I have done this the last 3 years and the teachers are always very grateful and thankful!!

For co workers, we bring in food and snacks to their work stations or break room. Then everyone gets a little bit and I am not buying a ton of gifts.

For Friends, We keep it simple. We have done things like, "Free babysitting for the kids for one night" coupons. Which is a great gift. They get a night of free babysitting, we spend nothing out of pocket and my kids have a play night! We have also done other coupons, like making meals, etc.

I will shop at Walmart on Black Friday, which I always do, because they accept competitors ads and my Walmart is in a small town so it is rarely busy. I refuse to go to busy stores with crazy people on Black Friday due to the fact that I have learned MOST sale items are either sold out, or they put them on sale again closer to Christmas.

What ideas do you have for Christmas? Are you even thinking about it? Have you decided on a list of who you are buying for? Post a comment and let me know!


cm said...

I also start early - we started in August this year, and that was late for us. I buy clothes for our nephews during BTS (much better deals), I made gifts for my employees during a slow season when things were on sale, and I will pick up things between now and then that are on sale. I am saving rebates (new cell phone, etc) to use on Black Friday. A lot of stores do Black Friday prices on Thanksgiving on their websites and then offer free shipping. We also make the list of who to buy for and how much to spend. I saved up all of the freebie stuff I have gotten (candles mostly) and I will give those as hostess gifts.

Frugalmommie said...

CM, great ideas! Doesn't it feel great when you aren't scrambling at the last minute for gifts?

Stay Frugal!! Angie

Frugalmommie as been on WITI FoxNews6 Television Milwaukee, WTMJ620 Radio, Several local newspapers, The Wisconsin State Journal, and is in a feature article in All You Magazine in the April 2009 edition.