I'm still reigning in the October spending, but recently I've started to think towards Christmas. However, I still have some fall birthdays to also get out of the way. I'm thinking Christmas, but also keeping by other gift giving needs in mind;DH's family still exchange birthday gifts for adults. Not just little token gifts like I do with my siblings, but real expense category gifts. It is a family culture that I won't shift, so am just riding the tide. I've had a few scores recently though, for both these birthday's and a few for Christmas. DD2 reads my blog sometimes (what a nice daughter and glutton for punishment as the English major in her probably cringes with each sentence), so I can't fully disclose all. I also have decided to take Sluggy's advice and check out the reduced price gift cards as options-sometimes a gift card and a bottle of wine is as creative as I can get, so why not save a couple bucks?
On DD2's and my wander day last Thursday, we stopped at Barnes and Noble. The smell and feel of new books is like crack for DD2, but she knows her money has to go towards her trip, so she was satisfied with a good look. I on the other hand made a bee line for the clearance table and was rewarded with two gifts for DD1 and one for her God daughter. Despite being a career girl, her budget is pretty tight and I paid $2.00 for a sweet little Disney journal/keepsake book, complete with decals, originally priced at $12.99. She won't be home the weekend of the little girls party, but will see her at Thanksgiving.
On another day, I scored the same bath and beauty item for both girls, at 70% off-a practical gift, both will get use out of. That same day I bought the last three sets of three ceramic trays, also at 70% off; one I gave DD1 already for her birthday, as I won't see her. When she went rug shopping with me last month, I bought her an early gift of of a couple t-shirts and socks, and a knit poncho using my 30% Kohls discount.The other two tray sets will go to my sister in laws for birthday gifts. If I don't find anything else to round out the gift in my price target, I'll just wrap with a gift card, and that's where Sluggy's advice comes in. For their spouses, I'm just going to go with gift cards to a sports bar like BWW or Champ's, with a few of the large bottles of craft beer that are sold for sampling. I believe I already shared my mother in laws gift, creating and ordering her photo Christmas cards. Easy, and I used a 40% discount code. Quite a while ago, I found a spiral curling wand for DD2 clearanced at less than 1/2 price, and from what I could see, the same thing as the ones still on the shelf, though different packaging.
DH and I both got $10 off $25 purchase cards at Kohls, so will use in separate transactions to get the max savings. I'm a veteran at squeezing my gift giving dollars, but not a black belt. I'll continue to watch the ads, the sales promotions, the clearance shelves, and the guidance by the champions of frugality, even more so this year as I have slashed my Christmas budget by $200 having missed my savings target. For my immediate family, cash and experiences over "stuff" will be the bulk of my gift giving, but for others my eyes are wide open. What deals have you found so far for you Christmas stashes? Do you consider yourself a novice or a veteran saver, and what "belt" would you give yourself? Happy saving!