There are 18 shopping days left, and I'm well on my way to being finished. This is very unusual for me, but I am reaping the benefits of shopping early.
I refuse to shop on Black Friday, but I've shopped before Thanksgiving and during the week after. I was able to go back and get price adjustments on a couple of things bought at ToysRUs which went on sale just days after I purchased them.
Kroger is running a special through the 13th on certain gift cards...buy $100 worth, get $10 off your purchase. I also had a coupon for $5 off the purchase of 2 gift cards if you used your Kroger Mastercard. So this afternoon, during my grocery run, I picked up 2 $50 gift cards for Sears and Best Buy (for my father and husband, respectively) and they cost me $85. This is probably what I would have bought for them anyway! And I saved gas by not making another trip to the mall.
I also ran across a deal at Borders.com for $60 of gift cards for $50. And I traded in $15.00 of E-rewards for Borders bucks. There was another $25 savings.
According to my spreadsheet, I've spent 55% of my Christmas budget. But I know I'm at least 75-80% done with the shopping. Now, if I can just keep the cost of those last minute stocking stuffers down and get all the handmade items on my list finished.
Items I still need to make:
Pajamas for both kids
a Password Journal for dd
a few sets of note cards for teachers, bus driver, etc.
some decorated candles (like these)
and some gift card holders like these
I've already decided that with the amount that I come in under budget, 50% is going to the debt and the 50% will be used at the After-Christmas sales for some updated Christmas decorations. We really need to replace some of the ratty-tatty things we've been using for years. Usually I work the day after Christmas, but with it falling on Saturday I should be able to find time to scoop up some bargains over the weekend.
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