I've come to the conclusion that one of the main reasons I love bloggieland is I fit in here! My OCD...ADHD seem to be "common"... Because how else can all of us get all this
This week I give you, Taming the Chaos #1...Christmas on a Budget.
1. Don't wait until Black Friday to start your shopping. I shop year round and have a "gift drawer" that in the event of an emergency, I'm okay. If you wait until the last minute, you're more than likely going to spend more than you'd have liked. This is for birthdays, christenings, and any other occasion.
2. Keep a list of what you've bought and who it was for, and how much you spent. AND THE ORIGINAL PRICE AS WELL. This way not only will you NOT forget, but you'll also not fall victim to the "well, I got it on sale, so I'll give something else in addition to..." There's an app for this too...
3. If you're into Christmas Decor...which let me tell you just how "into Christmas Decor I am"...we live in a 1,400 sq ft. condo...and I have a 9' Tree, 6' Tree, two 3' Trees, and two table top trees....and our place looks like Santa took a big dump all over the place. Needless to say...$$. But it hasn't been. WHY? HOW? I shop for Christmas Decor after (most times on the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas)... This is super convenient because (since our place is so small) we have a HUGE storage unit and that's where all of the Christmas Decor is shipped to after Santa has come and gone. So I pack the new things up and next year...and who'd-a thunk it...it's like Christmas...(Okay, so not only Christmas stuff is in the storage unit...we change clothes out seasonally...and tons of furniture too). How do I remember what I bought? Next up...#4
4. Take pictures of everything you buy before you pack it! I have a folder that has "Christmas Crap I Bought and Can't Forget About" yes that is the title. This way, if I see something in Bloggieland or in a Magazine that I'd like to create...I go to my folder and see if I have crap that I can use. This way, I'm not running to Hobby Lobby or Michael's to pick up something that I would have paid less than half for at the end of a season. Which brings me to #5
5. SHOP OUT OF SEASON!! OR AFTER SEASON (SEE #3) If you have kids, shop after summer and get a size or two too big...kids don't care if they open some really cool shorts for Christmas. If you think that's mean...give it to them for their birthday (if it's in the summer, and vice-versa). OR for back to school. I needed purple lights for my Peacock tree...I hit up the Halloween 80% OFF crap and found some. 100 lights...$2.99. Awesomeness!
6. DO NOT BUY SOMETHING FROM THE FIRST WEBSITE YOU SEE IT ON. Shop around. Spend 10-15 minutes a day price comparing and you'll be shocked how much you'll save. Google knows everything...google it! I have an iPhone...so I have a barcode scanner. I can enter a barcode manually, OR scan something and my phone tells me where it's the cheapest. FYI-Lowe's price matches. I was in Lowe's one day getting supplies for our kitchen renovation and since I'd done my homework, I knew grout (the same exact grout) was cheaper at Menard's. I scanned the item, my phone brought up all the prices and the manager at Lowe's honored the price. Walmart does this too. Don't pay more if you don't have to.
7. This may offend some of you, but someone should say it. IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT GIFT FOR SOMEONE...AND YOU CAN'T DECIDE WHAT TO GET THEM...ODDS ARE YOU SHOULDN'T GET THEM A GIFT ANYWAY. This is only the case at Christmas. How many times have you found yourself in a store and saying to yourself, "I really don't know what to get...I'm not sure they'll like it"...you know you have. Gifts should be something you WANT to give...not something that feels like a chore. Something that says, "I saw this and I thought of you"... HONESTLY, we're all adults here. If we can't live without something, we go buy it. Whether it be by saving up for it, or if it's affordable right away, we have all we NEED. My husband and I aren't exchanging gifts...not for Christmas. His birthday is today actually, and mine is the 20th of next month, so we opt to do birthdays rather than...here's your underwear, here's your socks...SERIOUSLY? I'D RATHER WATCH MY 3YR OLD (tomorrow is his 3rd b-day on 11-11-11!!!) pick his boogies and eat em...where's the fun in that?!?!? And for birthdays...we don't give ideas. If I told my husband what I wanted once and he didn't buy it...I prolly went out and either bought it myself, or don't really need it. It's like...here's my shopping list...get busy! Which brings me to #8
8. MAKE something! We're doing a homemade Christmas. Meaning...you need to make a conscious effort to create something with love to give. TRUST ME, this has saved tons of $. (We're not making our kids' gifts because well, I'm not super woman...and there aren't enough hours in the day after the 9-5 to get theirs done...so I'm buying them)...Personally, (speaking as an adult because kids would probably feel differently) the most memorable gifts are the "I saw this and thought of you, or the ones that someone has made me." THOSE are my favorite. Here's the first post on my homemade gifts...
I'll save a few more for next week's edition of Taming The Chaos #2! But there you have it. I hope it helps.