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The Boyer Blog: Christmas Penny Pinchers

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Penny Pinchers

Christmas time is a great opportunity for penny pinchers! Start now making a list of Christmas-type supplies you want to stock up on for next year, and be ready to start shopping on Dec. 26th! For example, my list includes large red Christmas tree ornaments, ornament hooks, potted artificial poinsettias (to save me buying one each year, plus great props for photo shoots... think next year's Christmas pictures!), tree skirt (making due for now...), set of 2 small artificial potted trees for my den, etc. Other things that would be great to stock up on are wrapping and tissue paper and gift bags, bows and ribbons, and any other decorations, including more generic winter motif items with snowflakes, snowmen, etc. that you can use for a little longer this season. Clear your schedule and plan to just bargain hunt for a day or two after Christmas, and hold off now on buying anything you don't really need. I wouldn't recommend planning to buy ornament/wreath storage containers... wait a little until everyone is done packing up their Christmas supplies, and then look for markdown signs!

Another idea that we did this year, which I am absolutely loving, is to set aside a certain amount from each paycheck and put it into a pouch marked "Christmas." We don't touch it until we're ready to start Christmas shopping. (Of course you could also do this through your bank's "Christmas club" program and make a little interest on it too!) This really helps relieve some of the financial burden at Christmastime. Figure out approximately how many gifts you need to buy and how much you plan to spend on each gift for the total of how much you need to save, possibly allowing extra for decorations, Christmas cards, party supplies, etc. if you like. We also keep a birthday pouch and a "random" gift pouch, for less specific things such as wedding/shower gifts, etc.

This makes it easier and guilt-free to buy an "I'm thinking of you" gift as an encouragement to someone who needs a lift. This could also be used to buy ingredients for making a meal for a new mom or family with sickness or bereavement without stretching your own food budget too much. Planning ahead always pays off!

~Kate Boyer Brown

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Blogger momof2 said...

One thing I do is purchase all needed gift wrap supplies the day after Christmas for the whole year the plain papers and plain bags work for birthday, mother's day, etc. Also I take advantage of the prepackaged soap, and smelly things gift baskets for gifts (sometimes I take them apart further for gift sometimes I give them as bought) I have already got my mom's Mother's day gift bought and par tof my daughter's. Also when the toys go on sale a couple of days after Christmas is I buy what I know my dd will like for her birthday (in March) and buy them at 50 to 75% off instead of full price. If there are any smaller items that my kids love (legos, crayons, etc) on clearance I buy those too to use for special things (Easter baskets, tooth fairy presents, etc). I keep them in a special (covered) box int he garage that I can get into but they cannot!

January 13, 2009 at 12:08 PM  

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