Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Early Christmas Shopping...

I always have great expectations for the Christmas season. I always want to have my gifts bought and wrapped and under the tree at the beginning of December. And somehow, I always fail at this. Last year was HORRIBLE. We were scrambling at the very last minute and that makes me especially nuts. I'm not doing that again this year.

We always, always have a Christmas budget and we stick to it. I have exactly who we'll be buying for and the amount we want to spend in an Excel spreadsheet. We decided the who and the how much a few years ago, but I've updated it here and there since. I am not always great at budgeting (Eddie is rolling his eyes right now - I am NEVER great at budgeting) but this is where I actually am pretty good. I know exactly how much I'll spend long before December and I don't go over! If anything, I try to spend less than my budgeted price!

The one BIGGIE this year, of course, is James. Santa sent me a list to help him get started and I've been working my way through it. I've been diligently checking Toys 'R Us, Wal-Mart, Target, and Amazon so that I can buy when things are on sale or when I have a coupon.

I settled on a budget for James that worked in my mind. I realize that when he's older the budget will need to grow somewhat. (Poor kid hardly got anything from us last year! It was pitiful!) I have a grand total of 13 large and small items on my list and so far I've purchased all but 5. :) I'm pretty stinkin' excited about that. So far, I've saved a grand total of $40. That may not seem like much, but it's actually a significant portion of the total budget. I'm pretty sure that I won't fill up the rest of the money I save with other stuff. It'd be great if I had a good bit leftover!

Eddie has laughed a me a few times when we've looked at different items. We were at Wal-Mart a few weeks ago and I pointed out a $20 toy that's on the list. When I mentioned that we couldn't get it that day because my budget for it was $15 he laughed and laughed. This is so unlike me. I have to admit there's a little bit of a thrill there. :)

Aside from the stores mentioned above, I've been doing a LOT of my shopping online flash deal websites. I love Zulily. Click here if you've never seen this site before. They have GREAT deals on toys, clothes, and things for the home. I bought a Melissa and Doug toy half-price the other day. Another website that I like (for myself!) is One Kings Lane. Click here for that one. This week they have Erin Condren things! I bought a $50 gift card for $25 and plan to use it for some of our Christmas cards, I think. And of course, I don't want to over-do it on the Willow House talk, but I buy a good bit from myself, too! :) For friends and for our home, that's a pretty sure shopping stop for me! Click here to go to my Willow House website.

How do you budget for Christmas? Have you started your shopping? Do you think that you can get more for your money if you start early or if you shop sales after Thanksgiving?

1 comment:

Amy said...

i am basically done w/ libbi, don't have anything for laney (but she'll probably just be getting diapers and a few small things), finished with the inlaws and my parents, and clueless for jeffrey!
i LOVE christmas shopping!!! we always go the day after thanksgiving, but more for "Tradition" than for actual shopping. :) i bought the EC cards on OKL, but i can't decide how i feel about the EC cmas cards...??? i know everyone LOVES them, but....i'm still undecided.