Never TOO Early!!!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    in my opinion this is the PERFECT time to start picking up gifts for the birthdays and other holidays and even next Christmas.

    This year we took a travel cosmetic organizer that could be hung from anything a clothes hanger could. We filled the pockets wtih fine point permanent markers, two kinds of tape, bows and curling ribbon and left space for her scissors as she is picky about them. We gave this to her about 10 days before xmas and she was THRILLED.

    She used it a LOT and the upper pocket area was mesh instead of plastic so she cut one thread for each color of ribbon and fed them through the holes so they didn't have to be taken out of the bag to be used.

    ALL of that stuff is MEGA cheap right now, so you can go and stock up and then keep an eye open for the organizer because they come on sale now and then.

    I also got some things from the Daily Deals, 1 Sale A Day flash site where they have quite a few things and today they are all $1 and zero shipping. They have earbuds that are reasonable quality for kids and/or those who break a lot of them, cool flashlights that are the size of a credit card but have a lightbulb pop out to turn on the light. in my opinion those are super cool and I have not seen them for under $5 or so if you include shipping. They have straw eyeglasses (drinking straw) like we used go get now and then as kids, plus a funny to us anyway mini rubber plunger to use to hold up your cell phone!!

    to see the "flash" deals you have to register, but I haven't had any problems and have shopped from them for a couple years. I don't think that you enter financial info unless you order, mostly because I have hated sites that watn your $$ info before they show what they are selling and wouldn't have shopped from them if they had asked for that info.

    Another cool and shockingly CHEAP item comes from BigLots. In the area where they have pens, pencils, etc.... they have a bad with 6 pens in it for $1.25. Our Biglots says they are always in stock. most are pretty normal but fatter than a bic type pen would be and are retractable.

    But there is also a "pen" that has post-it type flags with a plastic cover at one end and the other has two small pens you can pull out - one is red, the other black or blue. The pens are decent enough quality with the way my husband and kids lose them, but they do write. My mother went gaga over the postit pen set and my dad was jealous of it - why i dont' know because he rarely writes at all, does everything on the computer!

    Anyway, just thought I would pass these on as it is a lot less stressful to get stuff organized ahead as much as possible, Know what I mean?? It is also helpful to shop the sales now for the Jan-Feb-March bdays!!
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Great minds must think alike. I've already bought Brandon's birthday gift. (his isn't until feb) A rather awesome truck I know he'll go bonkers over.

    Grabbed 6 in candles and taper candles on clearance too. What do I care if they're red and green? I just mostly want them for if I lose power. lol And at half price they were a steal. (if I tried to wait until 75% off they'd be gone and I'd get none)

    My kids used to make fun of me because I tuck back all my xmas wrapping supplies and store them in the closet. They'd laugh cuz I have paper I've been using for years, literally, not to mention ribbon and bows. (gives me more selection) I pick up new supplies each year when they go on sale really super cheap. So it's basically a never ending cycle and I don't pay hardly anything for wrapping supplies.

    Now, my girls both do it. So I don't get laughed at anymore. Now the running joke is how long my huge Rudolf gift bag is gonna last. It's been re-used for 8 years running, and I've folded it up for next year. lol We never toss gift bags. We might swap them, but we never throw them out.
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I got 90% off mini boxes of hazelnut chocolates at the grocery store today... regular 3.49, but I paid 0.35 each. I bought a boatload and will use them in Duckie's birthday party treat bags!
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Lisa, 8 years is NUTTIN to us. My mom and one aunt finally retired a single piece of wrapping paper after 25 years! I was 5 when it started and it has gone back and forth since then. It is a little heavier than paper was then (MUCH more than it is now) and it just got a teeny bit smaller and smaller until it only wrapped a little tiny box!

    Jess and I both came up with some awesome, cool new ornaments with-o spending much if anything. She got some of teh craft foam that is glittery on one side. She had it in red, green and silver. She cut 2 large stars and one smaller one and them strung them with a bead on the top of the stack (stacked flat on top of each other like book pages, not end to end), then she just curled the edges up. Sounds odd because I am not explaining it well, but they look super cool.

    I have cut up a TON of our old clothes to make dishcloths, gift bags, etc... and often had long thin strips where I cut off a seam. Those pieces, or just long strips the same width (1/4 to 1 inch wide - just the same width for all the strips you are using for the ornament) got rolled up into a flat coil using a bit of fabric glue. I just added on another strip with-o overlapping when/if I needed to in order to get the right size coil. Once that dried, I used those squeeze bottle dimensional paints to put trees, snowflakes, whatever on the flat part. I was super suprised because they look really really nice.

    I haven't done much shopping yet because I had some kind of bug, but hopefully will get out tomorrow.
  5. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    They started to put Christmas items on sale just before Christmas around here, so I started stocking up on next year's Christmas wrap and cards since I used up most of my leftover stock from previous years. We will likely start the gift shopping in late January when all the clearance and liquidation sales generally begin. We have a lull in family birthdays until May, so we have a bit of breathing room before we have to start again in earnest.

    husband and I have a large metal storage cabinet in the basement (like the ones in most offices used to store office supplies) where we keep all the Christmas and birthday presents. Whenever we spot something we buy it and put it in the cabinet. We keep a running excel spreadsheet over the year to keep track of what was bought for whom, so that we can make sure everyone is covered.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If I was a quarter that organized, maybe I'd have a hope of doing stuff ahead.
    But... I'm not, and never will be.
    The one time I tried tracking stuff on a spreadsheet? I forgot where I stored the spreadsheet. Literally.
    And no, I'm not technologically challenged (I'm a code-writer!)
  7. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Yup, I shopped the Christmas sales. Next Christmas I don't have to buy cards, paper, or bows. I don't save wrapping paper any more but I remember my grandmother used to spend a day trimming the edges and then ironing it out and rolling it up so it would be in good shape. I don't even iron clothes so I'm sure not doing wrapping paper. LOL
    I bought quite a few gifts and, yes, I do a spreadsheet too. I'd say my actual shopping is about 50% done and I shop all year; when I see something I think somebody would like, I get it and add it to my gift closet (and the spreadsheet). And I plan to start a couple of afghans soon go give next year too.
    It's not so much that I'm organized; it's just that I've always been poor and this is a great way to save money and also not to have to come up with a big wad when Christmas rolls around. Paying a little at a time is do-able where buying them all at the last minute often isn't.
  8. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    As Muttmeister said, the shopping-year-round thing is more about cash flow than about being organized. Little bits throughout the year are much easier to fit into the budget than a great whack of spending in December.

    Add to that, my background is in process engineering, information design and project management AND I'm on the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) spectrum. I would think that it would be weird if I didn't keep a christmas present spreadsheet. (Sadly, I also do a work breakdown structure to organize dinner parties, but that's a whole other level of crazy)

  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    No, no.
    You don't get it.

    I'm a certified IT professional, too.
    Flow-charts, DFDs, documentation coming out of my ears.
    At work! where... somebody else does the structure for storage of files...
    It also works at home... for things like trip planning... major research, full set of bookings, tickets, etc., all into ONE "to go" bag (we use the same one every year)... maps, trip books, ideas, side trips...

    But... shopping?
    I buy a second bag of carrots because they are on sale... then, use the last carrot from the first bag, and put carrots on the list again... and then 2 months later run into this bag of rotton carrots.
    I buy a present for husband for his summer birthday, forget what I got him, and end up getting him two identicals. Or three. Or four.
    I buy school supplies, and they get mis-filed.
    I buy canned goods and the same thing happens, except... there's enough time to still use them up.
    I either have 6 boxes of tea in storage... or none.

    I get the whole "buy ahead and save" thing... but... other than clothes, I'm not winning.
    (when your kid is growing by two inches a month... its not hard to be shopping ahead for clothes!)

    Maybe its because I'm ADHD instead of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)?
  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    IC, I totally understand.

    There are many areas where processes and flow charts and all that nonsense doesn't work for me either. Grocery shopping is one of them (which is why we have not one but two gigantic deep freezes. Keeps all of the -- do we need any? well lets get some just in case, you can never have too much... -- from rotting and spoiling. Although we still do find mysterious objects in the back of the fridge on a regular basis.

    But for some reason, Christmas is a highly organized and marshalled affair for me. Bins of Christmas stuff catalogued and labelled, stored on a special shelf in the garage, presents neatly stacked in the Christmas cupboard (the spreadsheet is on the home server, so husband and I can both get to it). I know...we need a life, but there you have it.
  11. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    After laughing my face off-I love all the ideas. I have had to learn to be a major bargon hunter for the last few years (Residential Treatment Center (RTC) was killing our pockets). It is truelly fun and smart. I think we have eaten better, had better gifts etc. The organizing because we are stockpiling isnt happenening here! I have a box or two for gifts. I don't stock pile food too much-goes bad if not used or freezer burned and I just forget what we have.

    I did get a few deals at T.J. Max. We also have a Tuesday Morning that does some smart sales-just have to be willing to wade through the stuff.
    My favorite is when I get the 20% off at Big Lots-haven't got one lately, wonder whats up?

    Another money saver-A few years ago I joined a fruit and vegetable coop. Its called Bountiful Baskets around here. Pay 15 bucks a week(when we want to have veggies, dont have to buy every week) and get large amounts of fruits and veggies. No choices, have to take what they have, but my family eats most of anything-guinea pig(at school) cleans up the rest. This saves a ton of money. Nice produce, local or near local, and saves me money. Apparently a trend across the nation.
  12. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I've always been not-rich too. I'm also not-organized. I live on the Mr Micawber principle ("something will turn up"). It usually does...
  13. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    If you need winter clothing, get out there now because they're moving it out fast! We'd forgot that my teen had outgrown her winter coat so went out shopping this weekend. We did find something she likes, but what was out there was really picked over because of Christmas. I went back out today for something else and winter gear is flying off the shelves.