I know I know, its not even Halloween and I'm talking about Christmas! I LOOOOVE Christmas more then any holiday, and if I had it my way I'd have a tree up all year round! My SIL emailed the other day asking who was having Xmas and since we hadn't had it for a couple of years we offered to have it. So I was thinking, I might as well list some savings idea for hosting Christmas as well as how I buy the Christmas presents on a budget. With my husbands family we do Christmas on Xmas Eve with them and then we are with my family on Christmas day, its worked out well for the past 5 years, and we get the best of both worlds/families!
Christmas presents on a budget
We save all year so we have one less stressor while buying presents. As if its not bad enough to not know what to get the teenagers and everyone else, I seriously don't need to worry about how I'm going to pay for it all! We each put $40 a month away ($960 a year), and then some here and there. Even if I have to spend more then $960, at least its not going to be a whole lot more. I think last year we had about $40 or $50 left over, so that just rolls over into this years budget. This year my lovely parents are taking us (me, hubby, son, brother, sister) on a family vacation for Xmas, and we're going Dec 13th - 20th. So I will have to make sure all my stuff is bought and basically wrapped before we go! I've been doing pretty good, I've already got a few of my nephews pretty much done, and I've gotten a lot of stuff for our son already. We have 3 teenagers to buy for, and I think they might be at the age where giftcards are just the best bet, so I might take the easy way out and do that (even though I hate that). So how have I already started to get presents you may ask? CLEARANCE!!
A few months ago Target and Kmart had a great clearance toy sale. I was able to get our son a couple of Leapster games and LeapFrog books, I got my two nephews a couple of things and I got my niece a couple of clothing things from Kohls. It may not be a lot already, but its a start! I have ideas of at least what to get the little ones so that makes it a bit easier too. I have a feeling there will start to be some good sales coming this month on things, so I want to try and see if I can get some lists from the rest of my family.
Cooking Christmas on a Budget
Well luckily there are always good food sales on Christmas cooking items so I'm not too worried, but I would like to sit down in the next month and just figure out what we're going to have so I know what to look out for for a good sale and again, its one less stressor for me. The one year we hosted it here for my hubbys side, we had made a sort of Italian dinner. We did stuffed shells and I can't remember what else, but it was not the traditional dinner you hear of, and boy it was good! We also bake a lot around the holidays and I have already stocked up on most of that stuff (.99 flour was an awesome deal!), but I just need to go to Costco and get a big bag of Chocolate chips and I need some more cocoa.
Moral of this long winded post....Plan early and stock up! What are your favorite Christmas saving tips?