Eee gads, a post filled with consumerism. I apologize in advance. I'm plugging away against my Christmas giving, wrapping and cards budget, determined to come in less than my original budget by $200. Some strategies I've used so far include deferring the use of the free Target gift cards given when a certain number of certain products are bought. Again, I have to be careful not to count the savings twice. I don't count until I use the gift card for a new purchase,. My total sits at $30. I've bundled Kohl's cash and Reward points, layering with a birthday promo, and percent off spending coupons. Kohl's cash/Reward bucks are also at $30. I shouldn't count this, but I will since it's money back to me. I finally returned wrong size t-shirts for DH and DS form last year, and was credited back $27 on my Kohl's card and received $20 in Kohl's cash (what I must have used towards part of cost last year.)
Sunday I took advantage of the 10% of gift cards at Target, and bought a $100 one for $90. Tonight I will use with a $10 of $50 clothing purchase and get a pair of jeans and shirt for DS. The balance I'll use towards donation shopping and Oreo's on sale and in cartwheel, for making truffle candies.I have another $10 off $50 purchases, but hope to bundle with some freebie bonuses and items for donation (a separate budget, but want those to stretch as well.). When done, I will have spent $90 for $120 in purchases, a 25% savings before any other coupon is applied. Yes, another $30 towards the budget.
Clothing gift certificates at a small business boutique for my girls were a Black Friday week special, so $50, bought $60 for each, for another $20. The remaining $53 in budget reduction I'm working towards though pure deal shopping through price comparison and using store sales. Options like finding Goodie hair items 2 for $1 at the dollar store, using 30% off book coupon on a book for my daughter, and using my other daughters help with her employee discount on a gift.
I found the ham I was hoping to buy at $3.99 per pound, a little over 7 pounds. This will be one of three meats for Christmas eve so should be more than enough, and hope even some leftovers. I might have been able to hold out longer, and found cheaper, but it's in my freezer, and included in my $400 grocery challenge, and that is done. I'm still on the look out for cheap crescent roll dough, but all other baking items were bought Sunday at rock bottom prices with the exception of Oreo;s and cream cheese, on sale at Target. I'm not sure yet what my Christmas day contributions are beyond a couple Stromboli type appetizers, wine, punch ingredients, and treats, but I'm reserving $50 of the budget to prepare, leaving me with an ample $46.33 per week for regular groceries, plus the use of a fairly stocked pantry, fridge, and freezer. The holiday shouldn't be about how much I spent or how cheap I got things, but I'm sharing to maybe give an idea or two to others on how they can stretch their own budgets. It also is a reminder to myself that I can orchestrate a Christmas focused on bringing joy to others without resorting to over spending.