Friday, November 9, 2012

Santa is Tightening His Belt This Year

As I prepare my gift list for this year's Christmas shopping, I am trying to keep our budget in mind. It's hard to stick to a certain dollar amount when you find the perfect gift that is over the limit, want to buy extras like jammies for the kids, baking ingredients for special treats and fun photo cards. It's no wonder most of us either go into debt during the holidays or dip into funds beyond our Christmas cash! Here's what I have in mind to stick to our budget this year- simplify, simplify, simplify!!
It really does make a difference when you streamline your shopping and put blinders on, avoiding potential spending on items you didn't want in the first place. For example, I was lured into the cosmetics section the other day at Kohl's because there were a TON of "buy-one, get-one" deals on items like body wash, lotion and perfume spray. The thing I failed to remember in that moment?? I didn't need those and nobody on my list was getting them so I moved on!! Here's how I'm keeping myself in check this year and maybe my tips will help you too!
- First, set a total spending limit then divide it by how many people you have to shop for...easy enough, right?? Don't be discouraged if you have a smaller budget this year. You can find some great gifts for under $10, believe it or not!! (more on that tomorrow...)
- Write down your ideas for people before you shop or you might end up in a Bermuda Triangle, circling the store and wandering aisles aimlessly..
- Keep gifts simple and useful. Also, consider a "theme". For example, if you know the women in your family or a group of girlfriends really will use bath and body products, then by all means, stock up and take advantage of the deals and give them all the same gift. Or give everyone pajamas, coffee gift cards or subscriptions to magazines.
- Instead of ordering expensive photo cards, print them yourself at Walgreen's, Target or Wal-Mart for as little as fifty cents each. Or, buy boxed cards (they even have them at the 99 Cent Store...) and let your kids decorate them.
- I'm going to forgo matching jammies for my kids this year. They have sooo many already and it's just not necessary!
- Host a clothing swap with friends and put together fun holiday outfits. There's no reason you have to buy new outfits for every Christmas party, photo session, dinner...etc.
How will you save this Christmas???

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