This year I did not set a Christmas budget. Yes, you read that correctly. I did not set a budget for Christmas. First time in forever, I assure you, but this year I just didn't want to. So I didn't. Instead I decided to buy each month what I could easily afford and although I have no idea what I truly spent, I do know it wasn't outlandish.
I didn't go into debt or overspend and I wasn't stressed or worried either. It worked out really well because the strategy I employed this year was to spend as little as possible on each gift. Not that I was a tightwad and bought cheap gifts. Quite the contrary. The gifts were really nice. I just wanted to make sure I paid the lowest price possible for each purchase I made.
As usual I made a lot of the gifts I gave. I used a lot of things I already had on hand and bought other supplies as needed. Using coupons and taking advantage of sales at JoAnn's Fabrics helped me a ton. I managed to get all of my sewing and crafting supplies very inexpensively.
I made a set of reversible placemats with coordinating napkins. I'll be writing a post to show you how I did that and getting it up next month.
I made my girls flannel pajama shorts using a pattern I already had. I added T-shirts bought on sale at JoAnn's. They like to sleep in oversized T-shirts.
I made pillow forms for the girls from muslin and polyfil I had leftover from previous projects. I bought pillow covers on sale at Amazon for $2.68 each! With free shipping, of course. Made for a perfect extra gift to tuck under the tree.
I bought my oldest a slow cooker for $9.99 at an after Christmas sale in January. It was my very first gift purchase.
I found stocking stuffers and smaller gifts on clearance in January too. I picked up gloves and socks to put in their stockings for mere pennies.
My oldest wanted a new cell phone in the worst way and was saving up to buy one after Christmas. I found the one she wanted on sale at ShopKo for $29.99. Since she has a tendency to drop her phone I added on a two year warranty for $5.
My youngest wanted a Kindle, but never imagined she would get one because she knows they are expensive. I bought hers from Amazon's Black Friday sale for $33.33! Again with free shipping.
On my birthday ShopKo gave me a $10 OFF a $10 purchase coupon. I used it to buy two little ceramic baking dishes with lids for the girls. They were $4.99 each on sale and with the coupon they were FREE!
|Aren't these cute? I bought the red and blue ones for the girls.|
For some of my friends and co-workers I raided the gift shelf in my closet and pretty much cleared it out. I made hanging dish towels and paired them with leftover hand soap I had bought on sale at Bath & Body Works a couple years ago. The fabric I used was from my scrap bag and the towels were leftover from a bunch of dish towels I had made for my Etsy shop.
This year we didn't buy any new Christmas décor, not even lights. We managed to fix a string of tree lights so we didn't need to replace any. I made a couple votives and some quilted table and candle mattes using things I already had. We did buy two new sets of cookie cutters on sale at Winco for $1.58 each.
I used a bunch of Christmas cards my oldest had given me that she had leftover from last Christmas. I had plenty of cards to send to our friends and family. I printed our annual Christmas letter out on stationery a friend gave us when she cleaned out her home office. I ran a few stamps short so I did buy a new book of postage stamps. Now I have plenty of stamps left for next Christmas.
Using items we already had in our pantry and freezer we baked cookies and desserts, entertained guests, prepared our holiday meals and enjoyed our lovely annual tradition - Horse Doover Nite. No mad dashes to the store for missing ingredients. We managed to make do with what we had and it all worked out perfectly.
Our Christmas was the best one to date. They seem to get better and better each year too. I sure do hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family.