Monday, July 28, 2008

This week's coupon giveaway

So, for this week, I am calling it Christmas in July. I want to know what you do to cut down your Christmas spending. Some of my favorite tricks are shopping for little things at Dollar Tree, using catalogs like ABC Distributing or LTD or hunting the clearance aisle. Right now I am taking advantage of the Borders deal. I have found that if I start too early I just overspend, so that is not an option for me!
So, what do you do?
I will pick a winner at random on Saturday morning for the new envelope of coupons. Remember I am including some great wyb coupons in this one too!
Good luck!

76 comments:

pam said...

Hi, I just found your blog thru google reader and am glad to see you are from KY too.

Candace said...

I keep a tote or two for Christmas and gifts. I actually do some of my shopping the day after Christmas for the next year. I have been able to go to Macy's and get nice (Melissa and Doug) toys for 75% off the regular price.

I bought my son's big gift for this year - last year after Christmas. It's a huge Lego ship and planes -he'll love it and I got it for a fraction of the regular price!

It has saved me a lot in shopping for my little nephews and I can give NICE things - not just little junky Dollar Store toys.

I look when things go on clearance. I picked up a really nice name brand sweater at Macy's for a Brother-in -law at about 85% off. I try to find nice things that I would not be able to afford at the regular price and put them away.

By the time Christmas comes I'm pretty much done shopping and the best part is we have NO credit card bill to pay off in January!

My biggest suggestion is to shop ahead and then do not go shopping in December - bake, decorate, make things for others - keep out of the mall so you do not over spend!

sphinx63 said...

One of my tricks to cut down on Christmas spending is to earn gift certs online by taking surveys. Then when they arrive I put them away for Christmas! Thanks!

Sara L said...

We draw names between siblings so each sibling only buys 1 gift instead of 5. Definitely helps cut down on all the shopping. We also draw names between cousins.


charles and sara at hotmail dot com

Rose Atwater said...

I shop ahead (clearance items, etc.) almost all year long - and I also used rewards and earned gift cards from taking surveys online to 'buy' gifts.

Elizabeth M. said...

I try to make lists and ask family for their wishes early in November, so that if I see something on a good price I can get it. I also try to pick things up throughout the year if possible.

I also save up rebates, credit card points, and earned gift certificates and use them all at Christmas so that we have some extra money to make things special.

Anonymous said...

To cut down on Christmas costs in several ways. First, I buy alot of things on clearance right after Christmas. Second, I buy throughout the year and store my finds in a "christmas storage bin." I am always looking through clearance items with Christmas in mind. Next, I have a Christmas Club which I contribute to twice a month that way when November rolls around I have a stash of money that I can spend just on my kids and husband since most of my shopping is done by then for other family members.

SPETTY from TN

Cindy said...

I shop all year round, and pick up stuff when I find it on clearance. I can usually think of someone who can use the item I'm getting. I have a big tote in my closet where these gifts go. I also use them for birthday gifts and housewarming gifts as well.

intime0 said...

I also shop clearance and put it up for a year. I have a gift closet with tons of gifts for all kinds of occasions.

This year I'm making presents for everyone on my list. I found a wonderful book and it has all kinds of ideas that dont require much expense or work. One gift that I"m really excited about is herbed cheese...and no, I dont have to make the cheese, but I think I'm gonna try.

Daria - Mom of Four said...

A way I save for Christmas is to earn points by using my debit card for purchases, and then redeeming them for gift cards to the stores I buy at frequently. This definitely comes in handy and I save a lot of money this way!

April and Dawn said...

I like to watch Toys R US sales because I have found some great buys with B1G1 Free. I'm trying to shop year round and save them for Christmas. I also head straight for the clearance items FIRST. You never know what your will find. We put a cap on the amount per gift. It's straight across the board. If we find something for less that's even better!

April

Sheila said...

First I limit the number of gifts we give the kids to 3 each. That really cuts down on spending. Also, I buy things for my kids throughout the year while they're on sale as opposed to waiting for the Christmas rush (and they're sold out!)

Rachel said...

I have a set budget for Christmas and do not go over that! Since I have my budget set of how much I am spending per person I am able to shop throughout the year when I find bargains or come across that gift that I know that person will love. Then I write down how much I spent on that gift and once I reach the budgeted amount for that person I stop spending even if it is a "great deal!" This really helps me to keep track of my spending, not spend to much, and avoid holiday stress and overspending because of the stress!

Melanie said...

I usually start early which I've already have started and that way I don't spend too much. Plus, if I have a coupon I will definitely use it.

melkay21@hotmail.com

Kristy said...

Shop the back-to-school sales for craft items. You can also find great deals on educational items, such as preschool workbooks. They are fun and will keep them busy on cold, snowy days that make it impossible to get outside.

mama2a&b said...

We really limit the # of gifts we buy for our own children under 3 -- they receive so much else from grandparents, and aunts and uncles at that time of year that we pretty much skip Christmas gifts for them! Maybe a few stocking stuffers or a sentimental keepsake ornament but that's all.

Leah said...

I buy all my gifts online for my out of town relatives - I usually get free shipping right to them, and that ends up saving me a bundle.

My husbands siblings draw names and that saves us a lot of money only having to buy two gifts instead of 6.

With my siblings (I have 6, and all but 2 are married with kids!), we buy only for the kids. I end up buying toys and clothes on sale year round and spend less than $10 per kid this way. I'm hoping my husbands fam will do this as soon as they all start having kids. It's so much cheeper!

April said...

I save a lot of the freebies I receive in the mail, and put together themed-packages. Find an interesting container (such as a shower organizer), fill it with samples and coupons for various bath items, a few handmade washcloths with fabric that I know the person would like, and there you go!

Take a Deep Breath said...

I save by buying gifts that can be used for more than one child.
I have four children and we have never bought huge amounts of gifts for them and they in return do not expect lots.
They are more happy about just everyone being together and I dont allow it to turn into just about the gifts.
They are always happy when they get a gift that can be for everyone.

Kacey said...

To cut down on Christmas spending, I try to remember all those little things that really add up, like stamps for Christmas cards, wrapping paper, gas for traveling, eating out or extra grocery expenses, higher utilities because of Christmas lights on the house or guests in and out of my home. I make sure all of these little thing are accounted for in our budget so that we're not surprised in January when we get the bills! I go as cheaply as I can with these extra items to save money for gifts and usually it works very well.

The Maggio Family said...

For children, you must limit their gifts to 1 or 2 things; truthfully, more than that has spoiled them anyway. Christmas is not about all the gifts, so I find thats where we tend to over-indulge. As for friends & family, I am all about the Dollar Tree & Dollar General. Also, some crafts sales go on the month of December in my area.

Tickled Pink Housewife said...

I keep a list with me at all times of my family's sizes and interests. (extended family included.) When I see major sales, whether after Christmas, July 4th, etc I hit up the sales. I have a budget of 300 for our entire family, including stocking stuffers and birthday gifts. In over 2 years, I haven't went over!

Mason said...

I buy gifts throughout the year when I see them on sale! Saves me a ton come December!

FinleyTwinMom said...

This is going to sound horrible, but when my kids or I get gifts that we already have or I know we don't really need or want, I save them and re-gift them. The trouble is keeping up with who gave them to us.

Katie said...

I make a chart using Excel for everyone we buy gifts for - Christmas or otherwise - and will write down ideas as I think of them, enter the gift and how much it cost if I buy one, and I also look to freebies on occasion as there are sometimes pretty spectacular ones! For Christmas, I decide on a budget per person and then keep a running tally of how much I spend. I buy throughout the year so we're not hit all at once and keeping track of my spending keeps me from going over my budget!

Diana said...

I save up for Christmas through out the year. We put aside a set amount each month. I also spend a set amount on each kid and adult in the family. I shop throughout the year, looking at clearance racks and what is on sale.

Alesha said...

I buy a lot of gifts from the clearance isle, also we do family gifts...But I do tend to overspend no matter how hard I try. Hopefully this year I can do better.

The Seaman Family said...

Hi there, I know the whole buying early dosen't work for you. But I swear by it. I had a hard time at first keeping track of what I have bought, and I too over spent a ton. But what I do know is shop Targets great clearance isles and bring everything home and put it in marked boxes and know whats in them and I use them all year round. Easter, Christmas, Birthdays etc. I even use them as b-day gifts for others. I love it and save a ton. thanks

Marin said...

This year my family may be coming down to join us for Christmas. I am starting to put aside things I get free from CVSing for stocking stuffers. (The Olay Regenerist Cleansing Cloths, for example). Free, and good gifts to boot!

Anonymous said...

Last year, I joined Children's Book of the month club. I recvd 7 free books and had to buy 4 more. I bought the cheapest ones because they all count toward your commitment then I cancelled my subscrption. I ended up having 11 Christmas gifts for under $45.00 w/ shipping. My kid relatives loved the books that RETAILED for 15.00 or more each. I bought Olivia's Christmas and the Polar Express just to name a few!. UNER $5.00 each not bad...Heidi blaketrosclair@bellsouth.net

Walt and Sarah. said...

Would love to win!

We shop clearance, clearance, clearance! Great stores like Hobby Lobby have 50% off before Christmas and that helps with Christmas giving...giving cute decorations I know they'll like.

lisa g. said...

We have a big family- drawing names for the adults early in Dec. and limiting the gift to $10-$15 has helped us a lot. Giving pictures of our boys in decorated frames (even homemade) has always been a hit! We buy small gifts for the cousins who are under the age of 10.
Hope you get some ideas that help!!

Amie said...

I make alot of my gifts, and start early, aprons for the ladies, felt food for toddlers, crayon caddies, bras, jewelry. It is fun to work on all year long and saves lots of money in the mean time!

LeeAnn said...

I use my "points" to "buy" gifts. Last year I got my cousin a subscription to the National Geographic for Kids magazine - a unique gift and it was free!

debtfreedowds said...

I start right after Christmas in early January. The sales are unbelievable! I also shop at bath and body works semi-annual sale and use my crafting skills to make a gift or two.

Michelle B said...

I have not been able to start early on the X-mas shopping yet. But my sister and I do go out shopping on the day after Thanksgiving and only buy the toys that are on sale. This has really helped me out for the last two years.

michellehanger@hotmail.com

Kimberly C said...

I shop clearance sales throughout the year and also keep running lists of ideas for everyone in a handy spot. I stock up on supplies (wrapping paper, etc) when they go on sale after Christmas!

madeline said...

I am also doing the borders deal for christmas gifts.I take surveys to win gift cards to cut down on oop spending.

shiloh said...

We set a budget for each person in our family.

Amy said...

I am always on the lookout for clearance things as gifts. This year I'm doing it for my daughter's 1st birthday and Christmas which are only 3 days apart. This year I may also make a tin of Christmas cookies to give to our family and maybe some special ones for the kids.

mei said...

we have a large family so i need to shop early to be able to afford them all. i do alot of clearance items. i also buy alot of items right after xmas. things like perfume an items that will last all year. you'll get alot at 75% off. i also use free samples as items for the stockings.also we got alot of great toys from amazon last year at reduced rates. just remember to avoid the malls or you will overspend. another way is to leave the credit/debit card at home so you don't go over you're limits. happy shopping

Heather said...

I start buying early. If there are things that I know I will be buying, I look for them to go on sale.

Heather
horam8903@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

We buy for our nieces and nephew only. Each of our sibling have kids. 20.00 limit. We also buy three items each for our kids from Santa - 1 large item two small for the three gifts the wise men brought. My kids have never complained. We do our shopping on Black Friday with several family members. We find great sales and get it done in one trip.

Jeaneane said...

I usually get lucky and score toys at Target for 75%off...I understand toys go on sale twice a year. They are great for Christmas as well as birthdays throughout the year!

tjb0902 said...

I always hit the day-after-thanksgiving sales and start shopping online for deals in september.

On Fire For Jesus said...

To me, I've learned about cutting back on Christmas and getting to the heart of it all. And because I really enjoy crafting. I find valuable, nice ideas online and spend my time making many of my gifts. I also have a budget for each of my kids and my husband.

Thanks for including me!

Jem said...

My husband and I gather Christmas presents all throughout the year. When we see them on sale/clearance (yup, like 75% off toys at Target right now), we buy them.

Since we have a big family, we give a present for each married couple instead of giving one to each person. We choose things that we think they could use in their household. That saves us!

Jem, WI
jemtanghal@yahoo.com

amattes said...

I buy gifts during the year when I see something that catches my eye. That way I don't forget what it was and where I saw it. Most of the time they are on sale, but if not, it still saves money in the long run since you already have the gift and are not running all over town trying to find the "perfect gift", which wastes both time and gas.

Andrea
amattes@aol.com

Anonymous said...

We start saving for Christmas in July. That way by the time the really great seasonal deals roll around, I'm able to take full advantage of them! It's worked really well so far. :)

leslie dot angerer at gmail dot com

pj said...

I shop for Christmas as soon as Christmas ends!

brightleigh said...

Hey, I try and buy everything on sale or with some kind of coupon--gotta love Linens n Things and Bed Bath and Beyond with those 20% off coupons. I try to buy all throughout the year and I keep a stash of "possible gifts."

Kate said...

YAY for SALES! I watch for sales, coupons, and deals through the later part of the year (usually after July). I tend to stick to flexible "themes" for each age group of kids, like games, puzzles, crafts, or the like, unless a fabulous sale directs me otherwise. That way I know what I have for each child, they are in the same price range, and I have an automatic quantity limit. This also leaves a little working room for last-minute purchases, in the case that should (and usually does) happen. With the extra money in my budget I treat my husband to something a little nicer.

Lindsay said...

What a great post! I loved reading all of the comments :)

To save on gifts I do a bunch of things:

1) Limit the number of gifts you give. (Obviously, but seriously it helps).

2) "Plan" gifts ahead of time. The more last minute I get, the more money I end up spending because I don't have time to look for a deal!!

3) Stockpile gifts that can be given to almost anyone.(Nice bath or gift sets, Mugs that can be paired with hot chocolate or coffee and biscotti, nice candles). And yes, I admit I'm a big re-gifter. (But usually as an addition to other gifts, like if I recieve a box of chocolates I'll add them to whatever I was already giving someone.)

4) 2 words: Gift Baskets!!! Who doesn't love them? Make up themes for items you can get inexpensively or on clearance. My favorite - I give HBA stuff in their favorite brands. :)

Hope this helps and isn't too repetitive. And thanks again!

Jennifer said...

I do my shopping throughout the year, starting with the day after Christmas. There are certain people I know I will be purchasing gifts for, like my mom, my niece and nephew, etc. They each have a little designated area in my closet for their gifts. I set a budget and will purchase things when they are on clearance throughout the year. I keep the receipts in an envelope that stays with their gifts. Once I reach my budget, I know I no longer need to shop for that person. So far, I have my neice and nephew completed for this year's Christmas. My budget was $30 for each. Since I was shopping clearance items only, they each are receiving around $60 worth of gifts each, and I only paid $30 each...that's a 50% savings.

Melissa said...

I do the whole shop ahead type of thing, I actually start shopping as soon as Christmas is over, when they start clearancing. Every time I find a good deal, I buy it, and keep them organized in storage totes in the garage. Also, I sell Avon part time, so throughout the year, when I see a big sale, I buy things that I can use as gifts, and then set them back, that way I get a good deal, and I'm boosting my business. Another idea I use, my bank offers me reward points for my purchases... I cash those in for items & gift cards, and I use some of them as gifts... they don't cost me anything!

MrsAdams06 said...

I start early so I have plenty of time to shop clearance racks and sales. And we sometimes make gifts.

morgan said...

I just per shop. And when I buy someone a gift they get marked off the list that way I dont buy to much for one person.

Stacy said...

I use to set a per person limit. For example, I will not spend more than $50 per person. That became super stressful if you spent $50 on one person, but only $20 on another. I would then worry about the person who received the $20 gift being offended.

So, I have started all year long just looking for gifts that I know a certain person would like. If it's a $40 sweater or a $15 prayer journal. I buy it and that person is done. I have placed more emphasis on the gift being something that person will enjoy, instead of how much I did or did not spend on them.

Sarah said...

I don't do hardly any shopping in the stores! I do alot of mail order, like you mentioned: LTD, also for kids, I love the educational cataloges like Rainbow Resource Center. I usually buy my boys each one bid gift, and then a few smaller items... We usually need something a little sturdier than dollar store things, or they will be in the trash the next day! Also for nephews & nieces, we draw names, like there are 10 grandkids on my husbands side, I have 4 kids so we would draw 4 names (out of a bowl or something, if we get our own we draw again). Then we set a limit like $20.

ArkieRN said...

In our family we either draw names or have a "Dirty Santa" so each person only has to buy one gift.

Anonymous said...

I have three kids and each child get's three gifts for christmas, plus a small stocking. They get three because the wise men brought baby Jesus three gifts. It works well because they don't expect a lot of gift's and it teaches them about Jesus.
mandy
mandyandsons@yahoo.com

isaacsjuarez said...

I started the week after Christmas picking up markdown items & do this all year long for birthdays as well as Christmas. But our family has gotten sooooooooo big, I just can't buy for everyone. Even if I set a $10 limit per person, my budget would be over $1000 & that wouldn't include the husband, the children and the parents. So now, I only buy gifts for the husband, the children(3) and the parents. If I find really good deals throughout the year, then I'll buy for my nieces & nephews that are 18 & younger. (I've found a lot of good deals so far this year - $20 Bratz & Barbies for $4; $20 earring gift sets for 50 cents; Brand new Scholastic books @ Goodwill for 5cents each; & tons of holiday items for 95% off.)

For everyone else, we usually have a Christmas party on Christmas Eve. It can be as elaborate or as low key as the mood your in.

This past Christmas, we had about 50+/- people filter through our house from 6:00pm 'til 9:00pm. This gives everyone time to visit & those with small children time to get them home & in bed before Santa comes. The food was buffet style with close family & friends bringing a covered dish, finger foods or whatever they had on hand to bring. I didn't have to be out extra money for decorations b'cus the house was already decorated for the holidays. By having a Christmas get together, I only spent about $300 whereas if I had to buy 50 people a gift it would have been $500!

Another good thing about this is that there will always be someone in the bunch that's fallen on hard times, short on cash, out of a job, etc. & this way they won't fell obligated to buy you a gift to reciprocate your gift giving. Everyone gets to eat, hang out & enjoy the season without going broke!

Another thing we do to cut down on holiday spending is to go to the town green to see the Christmas lights displays. It's open 24/7 & FREE.

isaacsjuarez[at]bellsouth[dot]net

Maren said...

Homemade gifts!

music_is_life52@yahoo.com

mustbekarmah said...

A good way not spend too much: Make a list now. Write down the name of every person you will be giving to. Then beside the name, set a dollar limit. Underneath that write in what the person likes, ideas on gifts, etc.

When you buy something for that person, check your list. Does the item fit the list? Is it over the set dollar limit? If it fits and it's under the dollar limit, purchase it. If it is not or exceeds the dollar amount, skip it. Something else will turn up between now and then.

Once you have either purchased the item on their list or hit the dollar amount, cross that person off the list, they are now finished. That way even though you see that you found something cute for so-and-so or something was a "bargain" you notice that "Timmy" is done and you don't need to purchase anything else for them. Save that money for the next person on the list, etc.

~Penny said...

I admit, I've always waited til the first of December to start my Christmas shopping. I'm trying not to do that this year because I work in the construction industry and it's just "off" this year.

So I'm starting now. When I transfer prescriptions and receive free gift cards, I'm putting those towards Christmas. Sure it's not a lot but I can stuff stockings with a $30 Rite Aid gift card.

Other than that I'm shopping clearance, Dollar Stores, thrift, anything I can find. I have a budget number in mind for all around Christmas shopping. The more I can buy on sale or cheap, the more my family/kids will get.

Deeanna said...

Not much savings but every little bit counts. I wrap all gifts Christmas or other in brown mailing paper I buy in bulk. then I decorate with recycled ribbon from a previous year or items around the house.

Jackie said...

We have 9 nieces an nephews we buy for and each year I make them movie baskets. I watch for $5 movies thru the year and then I add a box of the .88 movie candy, a bag of popcorn and a drink. I have been doing this for several years and they always look forward to them. The cost is less than $7 per bag. jackiesnews64@yahoo.com

tiffanie said...

found your blog through http://sawyertestblog.blogspot.com/ and I will definitely be back.

I start shopping for xmas early...like, now. :) that way i'm not spending hundreds of dollars all at once!

amyl said...

Hi, I just found your blog through centsablesaywer and am glad there are more fugal sahm like myself.

I will say a prayer for your dad.

LQMom said...

the 6 nieces and nephews, all children, draw each other's names and get one gift. the adults all draw each other's names and we have a themed cocktail gift (last year was cocktails from the 50s).
for immediate family, i just got both my boys new wardrobes each (like 6 shirts and 4 pants) for a total of $30 at dillards clearance center (where last season's apparel goes to die). on major holidays they take 40% off the 40%. it's crazy!
then they each will get one big toy, which i will pay for with gift card from doing a mom focus group!

Carol said...

I hate to admit it, but I am an end of the year Christmas shopper. I just don't think to do it during the year.

brittany, steve, and gabe said...

my husband and i buy fun, local things for distant family and friends, or i bake them goodies instead of buying gifts. then, we can concentrate most of our christmas money on close family and friends. i rarely buy things on sale. also, lots of things can be bought online at christmas time and shipped for free!

The Frugal Homemaker said...

Interestingly enough, I have found that CVS has some great gifts for family and friends. Take for instance the Kodak books that they had free after ECBs this month. I like to make thoughtful gifts like that.

homemakersresource at gmail dot com

sprightcat said...

Hi, I save money by shoping for christmas gifts at my local flea market. I have found so many nice things and I always double check tobe sure everything is in great shape. I come across alot of people like myself that just want to get rid of gifts that they received and just didn't want. everything i buy is new and unsed.

Proverbs30one said...

We buy nearly all of our Christmas and birthday gifts at yard sales all summer. I have my secret hiding places for all the loot. Most of it is in new condition with packaging!

Katrine said...

I also buy things from clearance. I also look for DVD's at WalMart. They have a lot of great movies for around $5.