I'm going to put together some good strategies for reducing the cost of the holidays and stress~can't we all use a little LESS for our money and our stress?
When just *thinking* about gift giving during the holidays, many of us find that our wallets just don't measure up! But we can still be generous and giving without this holiday tradition breaking us and our banks!
1. Make up your gift giving list. LOOK at it really hard...is everyone on it who should be and are there others who you'd like to give to, but who totally understand if you don't OR really it's okay not to?? Adjust your list...
2. Decide and consider what you would like to give. What will make your littles delighted on Christmas morning? What about teachers, co workers, friends and extended family? FIGURE IT OUT before you hit the stores...make some notes...Did something bring a lot of delight for one recipient but bombed on another? Make notes, you will be GLAD YOU DID b/c having a solid list can keep us from overbuying and impulse spending...
3. Begin getting prices on the items you will give. Look for the best prices possible. Be sure to calculate not just the item cost., but also if there are other fees such as shipping/handling or other hidden costs that may not be as readily to see at the register.
4. Gather up sale dates on the items you hope to obtain...Black Friday and others are coming up...Are there other incentives that will make going to a huge sale beneficial? This weekend our local dollar store is doing a grand opening and as a lure to get me in the store, they're giving away $10 store gift cards...OKAY~this is only for the first 50 in the door and let me tell ya~SisterT is heading out b/c I purchase certain items routinely from this store...woot! WHAT A BOOST! I know $10 isn't all that much, but it can really be a saver for the items I use every day! OH YES! Soo what sales/incentives can you gather up? Can you make some extra effort in order to get the best price??
5. Consider the gift that ALWAYS is right~money. For a couple of years since our kids became teenagers, we've given cash...I know it sounds like a cold hard reality, but it's FUN pinning up $1 bills all over the tree OR having them go on a Scavenger Hunt in order to find their 'gifts'! One thing for sure, my kids can get WHAT they want ANND THEY SAVE b/c shopping after Christmas is shopper savvy and makes their money gooo all that much further...and hey, what's WRONG with that?
6. Consider MAKING some of your gifts...RIGHT NOW, today...we have about 6 weeks to go...and if you are handy or creative you can give a gift of time and talent and share an item with your ppl you love...hey, I'm going with some handmade things this year, and soon I will add a post or two of ideas~Happy Crafting!
7. Shop in our own STASH...Do you have new items just lying around WAITING for a new home? Does someone on your list absolutely LOVE something in your home that you can bare to part with and they'd be thrilled to have? WEED OUT and SHARE~it's okay if all your gifts are straight from the mall with a big price tage! HEY, we ALWAYS CUT TAGS OFF, remember?? LOL..but also remember to remove the tale tell signs of RECYCLE by cleaning/dusting and refurbishing a gift...a box is a box for a like new item but if the box is all ratty...well...and maybe this shouldn't matter...aren't our loved ones HAPPY when we don't overburden ourselves with increasing debt just to share Christmas joy?
Okay, what IDEAS and STRATEGIES do you employ this time of year?
I shop all year long and make all year long...do you???