we just had the holidays... its the middle of june... its only 6 months til the holidays come back... I'm just a bit panicked about the whole thing??
I use the yard sale season to buy for the holidays. This year I've been pretty darn lucky, and have gotten most people's presents for birthdays and holidays. I've gotten a pretty good start on my children's birthdays and Christmas as well. I know some people aren't comfortable with the idea of giving second hand gifts to people, but I find nice things that are in excellent condition, often times still even nip...but honestly if it's missing the package I don't think most people are going to be upset about that, at least not in my circle.
There are a few people on my list that will be getting gift certificates, and that can be a bit tougher. I'm hoping we will be having a family yardsale and the funds from that will be going towards gcs for the holidays, plus any other gifts that still need bought/events we'd like to attend.
I've also been lucking out and have recieved quite a few of those 10 off of 10 coupons from kohls. I look around for ways to fill my gift closet for nearly free with those.
But yeah, preparing for Christmas is an all year event for me, and I especially emphasize buying things during yard sale season.
I find that if you stay on top of the stores clearance cycles you can start preparing for the holidays during the year. For instance, Target always mark down their toys the 2nd or 3rd Thursday in January. They will mark it down to 50-75% off. Also in the months from April-July Kmart will randomly mark their items down (50% or more!). I normally don't wait til the holiday season because believe or not the prices are slight higher. If you can figure out when stores have their "slow" traffic, that is when they will mark down stuff.
bumping this because xmas is a little over 3 months away! What is everyone doing to budget? I am seriously having issues on gift ideas for everyone! My list is getting long...too. So far I have 1 person done the new baby in the family, but everyone else is game! I had been trying to save my pt job money which is 20$ a week, but somehow keep spending it on things. I have a wedding I need to buy for and the shower in october. My bday is in 12 days and i having a small party so will need about 30 or 40$ for that too. We did our family drawing last night, i don't get in it but the 2 kids do and that eats up a lot of my xmas budget. Sister and I are barely speaking but will be getting her kids something little at least..Honestly i don't know what to get my own kids, i will get them a few toys, maybe some clothes too but otherwise i am drawing a blank for a 'big' item for each of them. Maybe a dollhouse for dd?
It might not be the most responsible thing, but for Christmas I usually skip a month putting anything in savings and/or stick to minimum debt payments and use the money that frees up for gifts. DH's commission went down due to a restructuring of the pay scale so things might be tight, I have handmade things in mind and may or may not add much storebought gifts to that. I did buy that yarn and started knitting for my kids' stuff and will knit ornaments too, and have scrap wood for some toys. I also want to do a bunch of cheap pretty fun things handmade for my in laws, because they shower us with so many random things they find to buy. Some I'll buy supplies in bulk so I can give the same to others. Mini chalkboard clips, frosted votives with LED candles, candies, soaps, body butter or lotion, hopefully apple butter and other canned goods.
Welll my family was in town last week, I sent the presents for my new niece home w my mom. (cost me under $30 for 5 outfits/jammies and some clearance books). I might crochet her another blanket. I also sent crochets ruffle scarves for the 'girls' (sister, mom and sis - sis in laws).
I have 2 bithdays in November. My sister will get the annual 'entertainment book' $30 and Idk what to get my father - nothing is what i should get him. Maybe ill just send him an entertainment book as well.
I dont know what to get DS, we just had his b'day and that was a struggle to get creatie. He is 13 and still loves books and lego's. le sigh. Money is very tight ... ummmm non existent so this should be interesting.
halloween, thankgiving, 2 birthdays, and xmas... OMG...
I've already started Xmas shopping. Just a few items so far. Lists are almost complete... for everyone. I have never started this early. DH job always slows in the winter months and my DD's b-day is a few days after Xmas. Need to plan and start shopping for that too. We made it work last year, but it was tough. Waiting until the last few weeks of December is not a good idea, not for us. So, I am taking a different approach this year by starting really early. Don't want to get stuck if extra income is minimal or non-existent. We are a cash only family, btw. My goal is to not buy anything full price. The few things I bought so far were on sale, one thing was 50% off. Knowing now what's on the list will help me when watching sales. My next purchase is currently on sale, and I will be getting later this week. I'm enjoying the challenge of finding things on sale!