This quilt is the last of the gift wrapping for me this year!!
Ahhh, it feels pretty darn good to be done, all done, no last minute shopping, wrapping or sewing to be accomplished this year. There has even been time to do some extras just for fun. How did this miracle at Christmas happen you ask? Planning!!!!
I knew what I wanted to make for some people by January the first. Seeing as how I am SICK to death of the spending by the time December 26th rolls around I used the month of January to begin my Christmas sewing for the upcoming year. Doing a gift here and there over the winter and early spring spread out the spending and gave me time to really watch for the best sales. I did have to wait until the last month to finish up a few things as they were family gifts like the quilt above that I wanted to personalize with all the family members names. A lot can happen in a year, marriages, births and such sew waiting seemed to be the best way to go. As a matter of fact that very thing happened with two gifts I was making.
Using Cindy's 54 week envelope challenge along with our Christmas/vacation account really helped keep me on track as far as the budget went. I did get lazy in the summer and stopped putting money in the envelope but by that time I was up to over $800.00 which was a nice amount of extra cash to have on hand.
Shopping on line was HUGE!! This is the first year I really got into shopping on line. What a difference it made for me and our budget. Our girls did a pretty darn good job with their lists by including the links of what they wanted and where to get it in the e-mails. LOVE that. Etsy stores got a bunch more sales from our family by using this trick.
Here is where for me the big pay off was by shopping on line. No buggy. What is it about a buggy that causes me to LOAD her up? I'm not a shopper, never have been never will be but put me in a big box store with a buggy and you would think I was a shopaholic. I seem to find something on every isle that we NEED, or maybe might NEED, or how cool is that. At the checkout counter I am shocked at how high the total is. Once home I realize that the majority of what I am unpacking wasn't on any list anywhere, grrr
Another added bonus to on line shopping was the packing boxes it all came in. When the time came to package up our own gifts to mail everything I needed was piled in the garage. See there is something to be said for being a slacker at putting stuff in the recycle bin. Free boxes in every size and shape along with all the packing materials I could want.
Next year there will be a whole lot more On Line shopping for me. I know it saved us hundreds of dollars. I kid you not!
What tricks have you used this Christmas to stay on budget? Did you do many hand made gifts? If so what seemed to be the winner in the hand made category?