What I saved money on
I do many crafts so I cut up old sweaters and sweatshirts and made mittens for everyone. I also purchased Christmas clothing at Goodwill stores and made Christimas stockings for the entire family. Next, I purchased discount material and made aprons for all the girls which I handpainted for each of them.
My daughter and I researched the items we wanted to purchase and made a game plan for Black Friday. We found many of the items we wanted and our savings were $395.00. Our total purchases were $180.00. It took a few weeks of watching ads and making a plan to only purchase the items we wanted.
How I saved money this year
I put a huge emphasis on planning ahead. Last minute shopping is stressful and has always caused me to panick and go overboard. We started planning months beforehand on what we wanted to purchase with backup items in the event we couldn't find something. We paid attention to what someone may need or want. Then, by watching sales and doing a little research we were able to find items on sale or with rebates.
We found many holiday tableclothes, clothing, etc. at secondhand stores to make the decorative stockings. I found a Winnie the Pooh baby blanket to make stockings for the new grandchildren. They were easily transfered to Christmas decor with some handpainted glitter on Winnie to add a Santa hat. The colorful sweaters made unique and personized mittens for each person. The aprons were also handpainted with each girl's name and specifically per her own individual personality.
Many people have a tendency to purchase the beautifuly displayed holiday decorations. Dollar Store white Christmas balls decorated with black felt made holiday penguins for our tree. We also used felt to cut out tiny pairs of mittens adorned with the leftover scraps of holiday material and glitter to hang on the tree.
Many of the larger stores offered small appliances and gaming items on sale for Black Friday with rebates which were used for gift cards for the receipient. Some stores offered holiday gifts to the early bird shoppers such as adorable Mickey Mouse snow globes which we used for stocking stuffers.
We lost a dear family member last year. Old photos were sorted and divided to make a scrapbook of memories for each person.
Combing gifts with others is helpful to us also. A new toolbox from one person was filled with some tools from others. A new downfilled coat from one person was accompanied by matching hat, scarf and mittens or boots from another. A new kitchenaid mixer from the husband is accompanied by useful attachments from someone else.
To save the most money I find making plans and sharing gift ideas with other family members really works well. For us, it is fun and gives reduces the guesswork on finding something useful so your dollars are well spent.
Tips and Tricks
- Plan ahead and do research. Black Friday and other holiday deals can be found weeks ahead but don't be tempted by other "deals" you really don't need. E-mail, newspaper and in-store ads list items on sale so you can make a plan and stick to it.
- Ask other family members what items are needed/wanted so you are able to research for those specific items.
- Be creative and go light on spending on decorations. You can have fun and save money at the same time by making your own.
- Use the store rebates for the gift receipient so they can purchase additional items you may have overlooked.
- Make use of coupon