Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Budget Saving Gift Ideas

Yesterday my facebook newsfeed was all-a-twitter with folks lamenting the closeness of Christmas.

In the past, before I gained all of this shopping knowledge - when I was a "normal" consumer I too dreaded Christmas!!

Last year I was in pitiful financial shape and I don't think I gave anyone a Christmas gift besides my husband and my baby girl.

2009 is so different from last year for so many reasons.

One very important way for me is that I will be able to give gifts this year!!! (I am in worse financial shape than I was last year also!!!)

Here are some money saving tips for you for the holiday season:

*Create and maintain a "gift closet" - for some this may be a tucked away corner in the attic in a plastic tub, for others it may be the top shelf of the closet in your bedroom. For me...that is the case. I also have gifts stashed elsewhere in my bedroom but it is totally best to keep stuff together! This is where you store your goodies we will acquire below!
*Submit for all of the freebies - DVD's and such that you see posted about online. There are Geotrax dvd's you can get for free and little people princess dvds and things like that. Recently the company that makes Evolution of Smooth chapstick gave out FREE full sized products. Any freebies you personally don't want to use go in your closet :)
*Shop clearance sections year round - SO what if it is march. I found several Vtech toys on clearance at Kroger this past june. I bought the two they had because they were under $2.00!!
*Learn a craft - If you know how to knit or crochet or sew you could make CUTE Little stuffed animals to give to kids fairly inexpensively - using coupons for Joannes or Michaels!!
*Look for baskets and other unique containers on clearance or at garage sales for use in making gift baskets.
*Make gift baskets from stuff you have in your stockpile. A glade scented oil candle tin, a box of flavored tea and a box of cookies might be a nice gift for a co-worker.
*Think outside of the box - Halloween candy and costumes and such are on clearance all over town right now. Little kids love to play dress up and these might make for nice party favors at your next shindig or whatnot. ALSO as long as it isn't marked as halloween - the candy put out at Halloween is STILL FRESH at Christmas time!!!!
*Participate in swagbucks and buy most of your gifts through amazon.com!!! Swagbucks is a search engine that pays you for using it. If you sign up through my referral link you get 3 swagbucks to start you off. Then invite your friends (Invite your dog if he has opposable thumbs!!!) If you search a few times a day you will accumulate swagbucks in no time!!! Plus every time your friends get a swagbuck YOU get a swagbuck (Up to 100 per friend!!!) 45 swagbucks get you 1 $5.00 E-card at amazon.com!!!!! I have 4 ecards plus enough swagbucks to snag 2 more and i'm halfway to a third. I don't focus very much on it. I know some people who have earned thousands of dollars in a few months time through swagbucks. But this can be a nice way to defray a lot of your Christmas and birthday costs.
*Watch for deals on stuff you might want!!

Because you aren't buying anything super expensive at any point year round your budget won't be busted in December and when your son comes home and says he HAS to have the new Ipod Nano you go watch slickdeals.net until they post a deal on them and if it happens to be at amazon.com you can pop over there and use your swagbucks to soak up part of the cost!!

My daughters birthday recently passed. Here was what I gave her:

Snow White DVD & Blu Ray combination - $5.00 after Mail In Rebate plus other deals I did with it - plus i got a free baking set for Christmas with it!!!
Sleeping Beauty Purse - $7.00
Princess lunchbox - $2.99 (clearance at Disney Store)
Stuffed Doggy from Build a Bear Workshop - FREE
So I spent less than $20.00 but the retail value of what she got was:
DVD/BluRay - $21.99
Purse - $8.99
Lunchbox - $12.00
Doggy - $12.00
$54.98!!!

Her Christmas is looking similar and basically its sad but most of what I get for my kids is free or close to it!!

I hope this helps you. Please comment and let me know if this kind of thing helped you folks :) And now - i have a doctors appt soon so I must go dress 3 people and hit the door runnin!

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