What I did to Save Money
This year I did something completely different while shopping for Christmas. I’m pretty pleased with myself for getting all of my kids shopping done before December even started! It’s probably alittle late in sharing this but I really didn’t think about it until I watched a video on You Tube from Fun, Cheap or Free! I just love watching Jordan and Bubba, they are my #relationshipgoals inspiration more than anything! But they do have some really awesome tips as well!
My budgeting does not align with theirs so I don’t really follow it at all, maybe I will in the future, but it inspired me to share how I shopped for my kids this year, completely thought up on my own!
So Simple Anyone Can Coupon Like This
This year I got more into couponing than ever before so I could save more money! I have my likes and dislikes about it but one thing I love and used to my full advantage was couponing at Kohls.com
Kohls has the best couponing ever and I have been doing it for 3 years but this year I upped my game and literally got a lot of almost free Christmas presents.
Forget Black Friday
Every year my Black Friday shopping mostly consists of buying electronics or household items for myself. I don’t buy other people small appliances and bath or bedroom items and I’ve found that the best Black Friday deals are of those items. I’ve also discovered that the electronics I’ve bought just aren’t really great quality so I swore to for-go shopping this year and basically completed it all before Black Friday! But then came the day and I ended up at Wal-Mart anyway but I only added one toy for each child of mine and then spent alittle to donate to the Salvation Armys Angel Tree because I was seriously that much under my budget!
What you put out into the universe will for sure come back to you!
It felt so good to finally be able to give back, I’ve always wanted to but never made it a priority because I’ve always gone way over my planned budget! But not this year, my year of couponing has really changed the way I shop! And I specifically planned to give back as I’ve been in a giving mood this while year thanks to The Minimalist and Dave Ramsey! And to teach my baby to have a giving heart, which he clearly already does.
The day I was writing this post I got a call from my local CBOC, Veterans Clinic. They asked me to come in to pick up some things for Christmas. Totally confused I stopped by and was handed 3 little bags of baby boy items. I was amazed and so grateful to receive such an unexpected blessing!
What’s My Secret
My secret for spending over 250 each on 3 kids. I set my limit, then shopped the sales. Most of which was at Kohls, with an extra 30% off and I rolled my Kohls cash to do so which actually lowered my out of pocket even more!
I made my lists based on the things my children wanted or what I wanted for my toddler by taking them to the store for a day of play to see what excited them, which is also what Jordan did. This way you know exactly what they want. I do this every year but typically I buy on sale and continue to 200 if I can. In turn they get more for my money but I also downsized so with that in mind I wanted to do less, have less clutter but more amazing useful things so I set the budget, counted the regular retail price up to 250 then spent the least amount possible! They are still getting over $250 worth of gifts!
My Planner List
I downloaded this free printable from Simple Stories, oh what fun for Christmas Planning!
M is my 17 month old. He lives with me, I didn’t really plan on a huge budget for him so his total retail was $169.92 but I spent less than $91.13.
Sounds like a major win to me!
D, my 11 year old, is the least impressed by this. He seen his wrapped gifts and said that don’t look like $250 dollars mom. Hmm, he must of forgot he asked for the XBOX live gold yearly membership, so his limit went down $60 automatically. His retail total came to $242.92. I ended up spending less than $126.97! Bam, no wonder he thinks it don’t look like it adds up, mom did things way different this year!
And then there’s A, my 14 year old. I had to fix her computer so I didn’t really want to go over $175 with her. Total retail was $170.99 plus the $75. This girl never tells you want she wants or its super expensive like an iPhone so she is hard to buy for and mostly got things she needed. I don’t like her list at all. But I can’t forget that huge unwanted expense I had to pay for a couple months ago. Total actually spent less than $162.95!
I also bought a collective gift for them all because I did come into some unexpected money right before Christmas. I actually paid $202 for a Trampoline at Wal-Mart but the regular price was about $350.
Pro Tip: Buy trampolines in the fall!!
And I spent $60 each on tickets to Disney on Ice in January but that’s not really for Christmas, like I said these are extra from the blessing I received.
Again my practicing of giving behavior graciously paid off this year!
Rolling that Free Store Credit Money
And when I say I spent less than its because most of the items I bought at Kohls so the total after coupons was even less than the sale price. So the drone I bought on sale for $29.99 was actually $20.99 for example ( retail was 69.99) and then on top of that I used Kohls cash over and over like 4 or 5 times. I started with $60 Kohls Cash at the beginning of Christmas shopping and I got that from shopping their sales to replace my household items with way better items that I normally do on Black Friday! Read about that here.
Total including the Trampoline and including coupons and Kohls cash $442.38 instead of $750 for 250 per child. So I was under budget by $300.00!!! And basically that was spent on the things I bought for my household and our winter clothing.
On friends and family I barely spent any money because I mostly gifted things I have already owned like from my Mary Kay and Origami Owl stash or from items I regifted, basically what I decluttered but kept for future gifts. I would like to build a better gifting stockpile in the future but I’ll somehow have to budget a small amount each month to do so. I’m wondering if a lot of cute gifting items will be marked down after Christmas, if so I’ll go shopping for sure and begin preparing for 2018 giving! What tips would you add for next year, leave a comment below as I’d love to learn more!
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