Xmas Thrifty

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    This is going to be the first xmas in a while that I've made it under the 500.00 mark. Which is saying alot as the family is growing, not getting smaller.:tongue: And there were presents to buy for K, her husband, and Kayla, Alex, and Evan too.

    husband has been telling me for the past 6 + months that I've been holding onto money so tight I've got the Presidents screaming for mercy. :rofl: Yup. That's what I've been doing.

    Oh, and it doesn't help that I have Darrin's birthday added into the mix for december either.

    I'm just about done shopping. I've only got Nichole, husband, and mother in law to buy for. And to pick up the gift card and xmas card to send it in for K and her husband.

    I'm rather proud of myself. I found the bulk of the grands presents on sale. The family went in together for easy child's gift since it's so expensive. Travis actually told me something to buy him, and heeded the 20.00 limit I set on him. So he got what he wanted. sister in law got a truck hitch for 20 bucks. (still can't believe that's what he really wanted lol) And Nichole has picked 3 things within the 20 dollar range for me and easy child to pick from.

    Oh, and the topper........This includes the 90.00 it cost me to send the presents to missouri. Thanks to the kids all pitching in 20.00 a piece to help with the cost.

    And still, everyone has gotten something they really wanted.

    So how did you all do??
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I did much better this year than in years past with my spending. I cut way back on the amount I laid out for the nieces and nephews when I got shot down on my bid to lump the highschool graduates with the adults (there are THREE in college now, I mean, COME ON, they're ADULTS already!) when we drew names for the gift exchange.

    And I warned my kids in advance that money was much tighter this year so we wouldn't be spending as much. Of course, easy child pipes up that it's okay because Santa will make up the difference! And when husband bought his two TVs this summer, I turned to him and said "Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, and Merry Christmas dear!"
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I just try to purchase very inexpensive items. Too afraid to keep track. husband will let me know when I go too far overboard. That little silver credit card makes my life easier.

    difficult child is getting Rock Band for Wii, bed sheets, sled, and a bread maker if I can get out to get one in time.

    easy child is getting prescription sunglasses, bed sheets, and towels.

    I purchased the Sunday School gifts (60 gifts). About 1/2 were 50 cents (2 for $1.00) at the Dollar Tree. The rest were $1.00.

    We purchased $1.00 gifts for the 7 other students in difficult child's classroom (nutcrackers for the boys, stuffed monkeys for 4th grade girls, and a dog statue for the 6th grade girl).

    Spent about $7.00 each on the other 3 boys in difficult child's class for a swim party Tuesday night.

    I was a secret Santa at work so total of about $15 on that.

    Bought husband two dress shirts and a pair of dress pants.

    I got my dad a DVD of Newhart shows and a left handed calendar for mom.

    Purchased several items for brother in law and sister in law - they are so hard to buy for but I think we did o.k. this year. easy child needs to order a new book for brother in law that has pictures of all the cover pages of the TIMES magazine. Cheaper if we do it online and then can be shipped to them. (easy child learned about the book from Martha Stewart show. She says Martha is very helpful - she also learned about air pressure in her jeep - if the pressure is right, it saves gas mileage and easy child is all for that.)

    I think I am doing very well thrifty wise this year.
  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Too broke to shop but I did find some really great deals at the local Izod shop. So, ze child has two really cute hoodies, a great pair of jeans which I'm almost done "glitzing up" (painted butterflies and glittering them up), some much-needed socks for work and an adorable blouse. Grand total was $85.00, plus an additional $5.00 for a pair of thrift shop jeans to practice on.

    I'm baking cookies for friends and clients on Tuesday, delivering on Wednesday. For some very special friends, I'm knitting some booties.

    So, I'd say I got away pretty cheap, especially for me.
  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    A lot of what Wynter wanted was at Hot Topic, of course. They weren't too expensive, but I spent the most money there...$110.00, I think. I got her a pair of Converse shoes from there - the ones she wanted originally that caused that whole Converse shoe ordering fiasco. She found another pair at Converse.com, but they were $15.00 more plus shipping. The ones I got are a pair she liked, so I think she'll be happy. She had emailed links to two of the other things from Hot Topic and I picked out the shoes and something else.

    I ordered some stuff for her from Amazon. Only one is going to make it here by Christmas. That's ok. The other 2 things can be a surprise.

    I haven't bought for Devon yet. I got him a gift card that he wanted so he could pick out his own CD rack, but I want him to have something to open. I hate just getting him gift cards. That's what we'll finish up on Monday.

    It's just the kids this year. I don't have the money to buy for anyone else.
  6. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I was doing OK until I started buying baby things for the grandchild that won't even be here till next May! I just couldn't stop myself! Before we knew he was a boy, I started buying up little baby things in neutral colors, just little things like socks, onesies, little t-shirts, etc. Then when she found out he was a boy, I bought several tiny little blue outfits to add to the mix. I wrapped each item in pink or blue tissue and put them all in one big box and gift wrapped that. So they'll have a lot of fun opening each little item. I probably spent a little less on daughter and sister in law than in the past but I only got them things I know they'll like. It cost me $41 to mail all three heavy boxes .... so Daisy, I can only imagine how much you had it yours cost $90 to send!

    My son is always the problem because he'll never give me any ideas. My daughter is sending him several movies that he wanted. I got him several things, mostly clothes, but I'll be giving him money too because he needs that worse right now than more 'stuff'. The plant where he works has closed down, supposedly just for two weeks, but right now he's not sure if he'll have a job after the holidays or not. I probably will spend a little more on him than daughter and sister in law, but they get tons of stuff from sister in law's family too. Still, all in all, I don't think I've spent as much this year as I have in previous years.

    And one things I'm really proud of - I managed to bring little gifts for 20 co-workers and didn't spend even $10 total! We always bring little things and pass them out - seems like there's more and more people every year! So this year, instead of little calendars or whatever, I made everybody little individually wrapped pound cakes with bows on them and they loved them! I bought the little foil loaf pans - 5 for $1.25, 5 boxes of store-brand pound cake mix (each one made four little cakes) for $1.25 each, and 20 little wire-on bows from the Dollar Store! I baked till I was soooo sick of looking at that stuff! I sprinkled the top of each one with red & green sugar, wrapped them in plastic wrap, stuck on a bright red bow and .... little gifts for 20 people for less than $10!
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  7. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    My father threatened to disown us if we bought him a gift this year ~ "I don't need anything & if I do I go out & buy it". Well, okay, dad.

    There was no gift exchange this year; a cookie exchange, a day filled with games & a surprise visit from my niece who currently lives in Sweden with her boyfriend. (That celebration was yesterday.)

    I got off easily for both kt & wm for which I'm truly grateful this year. At the most I spent $75 a piece.

    I guess I'm sitting on the money this year...it's been important to have something to fall back on- just a little.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    gvc - once a kid reaches 18 here, they're an adult whether anyone likes it or not. Thankfully though, we're in agreement on it.

    Adrianne - sounds like you did really well. Had to LOL over PCs thriftiness. And what is a left handed calender?? Never heard of it.

    MB - Sounds like you did awesome. And I'm going to keep in mind that "designing" the jeans thing for next year for Kayla. She'd love it. :)

    Heather - I was lucky to usually find good deals at Hot Topic for Nichole. She never minded the clearance rack. ;)

    donna - I had to LOL when you mentioned the baby boy clothes. I'm only holding off on buying for the new grandchild because PCs babyshower is coming up in a few weeks, but I do need to start looking. I was hoping to save alot with after xmas sales. Same with Evan's birthday which also falls in Jan. If you got away with 41.00 you did an awesome job. :D I nearly passed out when mine was totalled. But at least the kids pitched in and helped. The boxes I sent were not only so heavy that sister in law had to go with me to send them......they were huge too. I think the grands will be very happy.

    Linda - If you got away with only 75 a piece for the tweedles you did fabulous!
  9. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I always begin shopping on December 26 for the next year; it saves a lot. I had a gift exchange at Red Hats and I took a box of Christmas ornaments (a high heeled shoe, a lipstick tube, red sunglasses, etc.) that I got at Hobby Lobby last year for 80% off and it was the hit of the party. I also bought beautiful reindeer Christmas decorations at Kohl's for two cousings; regular $40 and I got them for about $10. I had bought a $24 game and an $18 tea set for my granddaughter last year also and paid about $10 for the two of them together. I don't splurge for the little kids because they are more interested in having lots of presents than a few expensive onew so that helps. difficult child 2 is in jail and can't have much but I did get him a couple of jig saw puzzles. difficult child 1 has gotten stuff all year so for Christmas I made him a scrapbook of the last trip we took together. It was one of those projects I'd been putting off but I finally got it done and I think he wll be pleased and it didn't cost me anything except a new print cartridge. I bought my two daughters-in-law/significant others toasty warm pajamas at Gordman's: regular $50 each on sale there for $25. That is my favorite store. I've been buying small things all year so I didn't have to put out a lot at the last minute.
    I plan to go shopping on December 26 and start stocking up for next year.
  10. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I went out the day after thanksgiving, and got some good buys. I also spent more on husband than I usually do, but it is easier to buy for him now that he is on medications and I like him more. lol. He has been doing so much, and I don't know how he does it when he deals with the pain that he does. He is snow blowing my grandfather's driveway currently, and then will probably do grandfather's neighbor and then our's.

    For the adults at christmas I make calendars with pics of the kids or different family events. I should put in bdays and such, but have never gotten organized enough for that one.
  11. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I have saved a lot of money---but I've been very, very bad!!!
  12. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I did better this year than last. I can't say it was anything magical, but I did better. My problem is that I prefer to get it all done BEFORE December 22nd and hate prefers to WAIT until after December 22nd...so I rush out and get everything leaving him with hardly nothing to buy for anyone. Then he lectures me about spending all my money every year.

    I cut back, but I could have done better.
  13. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    A left handed calendar is for left handers (like my mom). You open it from right to left (backwards) and the pages you write the most on are on the left side of the page (closer to the left hand).

    I found it at one of the stores that were selling tons of calendars.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    WEhave spent very little this year. We finally got the amazon gift cards that were a bonus from husband's company (after I went to the CEO's office) and so were able to order items that should come on the 23rd. Got pretty much all we need for under $150. husband did take gifts in for his 4 team members - each was a much with the Cake Mix in a Mug ready to add oil and water and egg and nuke. I wrote the recipe for the mix on the back of the recipe card - on coworker has 4 young sons and said they will problem spend all day making batches of it, jsut to watch it in the microwave! Those cost almost nothing, and I used Xmas mugs I already had (and needed to weed out!).

    For thank you's teacher I did a cookie mix that costs less than $1 to make (homemade mix) and put it in a mason jar that I got, with new lids, for free. I wrapped it up pretty and she loved it.

    Mom and I did 22 buckets with toppers for thank you's class - free buckets from a restaurant, then mom sewed the toppers and I put the drawstrings on and laced the to the bucket (drilled holes in the bucket to lace through).

    It took time and $2.50 worth of pearl cotton to lace. My mom already had the xmas material (when we want fabric we don't go to JoAnns or Hancock - we go to Gramma's - she has as much fabric as our Hobby Lobby, literally a shed full of it!) That ended up being a fun project.

    I am still working on the Xstitch ornaments. My job this week is to finish them in various ways - they will be gifts to many people. With as many hours as each one takes, they are gifts in their own right!

    I think we are still under $200, even including the thrift shop things I stocked up on through the year.
  15. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I spent less this year, but spent the same amount on the kids in my life. Duckie asked for items that don't often go on sale: an American Girl Samantha doll and a Nintendo DS. I did get shipping deals and a bundle deal on the DS, but that's it. husband and I spent little on each and have decided to embrace a simpler holiday this year.

    As for the nieces and nephews, I supported our locally owned and operated toy store. They have great toys, wonderful service and are competing against the discounters.
  16. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Sounds like every one did pretty well overall. :) Nichole got her Ugh knock off boots. Found them at the mall on sale for under 20.00. All day of walking and found only 1 of the 3 gifts I have left. lol
  17. ML

    ML Guest

    I think I'm the only one here who wasn't frugal (the pres will like me best lol). I didn't exactly go crazy but I spent what I usually do. Manster wanted to give a gift to his other 2 teachers which I wasn't expecting and a few of his friends.... so I went back for more loot here and there.

    I had to laugh at your easy child, gvc, manster (10) said the same thing when I told him there won't be as much as last year. I said "manster, you *know* there isn't a Santa! He sort of twinkled his eyes and said "yeah, I know" and we agreed to open gifts with step brothers (26 and 27) Christmas even and he will wake up to the "Santa" Surprises in the morning. Neither one of us is ready to give that up yet.

    I resolve to do a better job with spending and tightening the pursestrings this year. No choice, it's scarey time.

    I am enjoying the cards so much. They have been the bright spot in my days.
  18. ML

    ML Guest

    PS I need to approach friends at work to stop doing the gift thing next year. That will help a lot! They give so much and then you feel like you have to match what they give and that's just not the spirit of Christmas. On the plus side i have a few nice friends I work with :)
  19. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    We put a radio in Miss KT's car in October, so that was her main present. Got three small things for her to open...one from Buddy, one from Cadence (the rat), and one from the kitties.

    For our moms, we stayed practical, getting stuff we knew they would use. We have money set aside for the boys, and Family Guy shot glasses...they both have shot glass collections.

    Hubby got me black fuzzy boots (faux Uggs) and a red jacket, and something in a shipping box that I'm not allowed to touch until Christmas.