Friday, November 13, 2015

How To play For Less: Christmas Shopping

Ok, so I had a few posts I was going to get to before this one, but I looked down and realized, holy freaking cow, Christmas is coming soon.  and, as always, our American crazy culture makes the gift buying season come earlier every. stinking. year.  While our family is slowly moving toward the "less is more" modicum, we still like to get good deals on the stuff we buy - which means if you haven't started shopping yet, it's time to do it stat to minimize the lincolns and franklins coming out of your wallet.  (People still use cash for things, right??)  So, here thrifty Christmas (ahem, holiday) tips:

1.  Black Friday.  Do it right.  This probably could have a whole post on it, but I'll keep it short and sweet.  Gone are the days (thank god) of waiting in line for stores to do black Friday rush over a $5 Tickle me Elmo doll and a $99 iphone (see what I did there?)  I'm actually glad to see consumerism taking the boot a bit and some stores closing on Thanksgiving (what a shit show that was) but lets face it - black friday had its hey day, and its over.  Look through the circulars (go to, most of them are up) and plan your attack.  Probably you don't even have to do it that day.....

2.  Turkey Day week - yep.  Black Friday has expanded.  Kohls starts their sale online usually the (dont forget ebates) in your pjs.  I hit up kohls pretty good each year (They have awesome deals and a great return policy) and 99% of the time, I'm done with most of the heavy lifting by Thanksgiving, and it's shipped to my door.  Check out for any codes you can stack with the great sales.
Monday or Tuesday before T day, so you can get the same savings

3. ....Or even earlier.  This is for next year (sorry) but Veteran's day has some black friday status deal (which is sad....but what can you do).  On Wednesday I picked up roller skates, an activity table, yoga pants and a set of blocks for my kids...$110 worth of stuff, for $22 shipped.  Score.  Subscribe to kohls emails, go to "Black Friday" page on facebook, or get krazy Coupon Lady emails.  They all gotcha covered (love those ladies).

4.  Stocking stuffer freebies.  Who said stuffers had to be elaborate?  Look for free samples of toothpaste, mouthwash, or low cost Halloween leftovers (play doh, etc) to fill those stockings.  I also love Target's dollar spot and Five below to find nice goodies to fill those stockings.  It cracks me up every time I see someone advertising a $50 stocking stuffer.  Who are the people that buy these things and how can we be friends???

5.  Do a secret Santa.  If you're anything like our family, we all have too much stuff and find more joy in doing Christmas for the kids.  So we buy for the kids and do a swap for the rest - on Thanksgiving, everyone puts their name in the turkey hat, along with a few things they would like Santa to bring.  We set a loose dollar limit, pull out a name, and then shop for that person.  It makes the holiday less stressful, wondering who you should buy for, and is a ton of fun on Christmas to see who your santa was.

6. Pass it on.  This year, one of my friends started a facebook page (if you're local and want in, let me know) that is dedicated to passing along presents.  Each mama goes through her stash of un played with toys and posts them on a page in the spirit of giving.  Then if you see something you like, you take it.  No strings attached.  Rob got a cool cars tent and some Hulk gloves that are practically new and we passed along some puzzles and games that we don't play with.  Perfect.

I'm sure I have more tips, but naptime is limited today so there ya go - hope it helps get you started.  Happy shopping with some ideas that won't break the bank - now there's a ho ho ho :-)

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