Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! This year we are celebrated both! This holiday season I also lost my mind and challenged myself to spend only $100 on almost 20 presents for friends and family. Check out the original post if you need a refresher.
And for those of you who were curious about my strategy, this post explains it. If you’re not feeling extra literary, here’s the short of it: I used coupons, I had a no-gift pact with my husband, I crafted and I shopped early, among other things.
Since it’s now Christmas, I can share the full details with you!
- Mom – $2 necklace flea market find
- Dad – $10 pants with a coupon at JC Penny
- Dog – .99 soft toy from Ikea
- Sister – Necklace made from materials at Michaels $10.11 with coupon and Etsy: $10.00
- Sister’s cat – .99 soft toy from Ikea
- Sister’s boyfriend – $2.78 hat with coupon from Kohl’s and coffee from my CSA (free)
- Mother-in-law – Gift basket made with things from the Dollar Tree: $8.00 and a neck relaxer .53 with coupon from Kohl’s
- Father-in-law – Set of grilling accessories: $5.33 with coupon from Kohl’s
- Brother-in-law – Slippers with coupon from Kohl’s: $6.39
- Sister-in-law – Made with same supplies from sister’s present: free
- Niece – Finger puppets from Ikea: $4.99
- Kid Cousin – $9.99 toy vehicle kit from Ikea
- Kid Cousin – $4.79 necklace making kit from Kohl’s with coupon
- Gift exchange – Made with same supplies from sister’s present: free
- Friend – Ice scraper from Kohl’s with coupon $7.26
- Friend – Purse $4.06 with coupon from Kohl’s
- Friend’s kid – $10 Groupon
- Co-workers – Nuts made with ingredients already on hand and packaged in bags from the Dollar Store $2.00
You guys, I got so close! It’s almost unbelievable! Admittedly, I probably didn’t add in tax for everything (which is pretty low here). I would have been under if everything had worked as planned– but of course it never does! I had planned on redeeming some of my credit card/debit card points for gift cards, but they didn’t arrive in time. Although I ordered them a month ago. Ugh!
Regardless, I’m considering this a win!
So what did I learn? Start early– super early. I thought I was starting early enough with a month’s leeway, but I could have used more time. The holidays are such a busy time, I’d love to just be able to sit back and enjoy them without all the shopping and craziness.
Use cash because it’s more tangible and you can easily figure out exactly how much you have left in your budget.
I also learned to look in the clearance section before even looking at something that people might enjoy. Then, use your coupons strategically. I always tried to get things for less than a dollar, if possible.
And luckily, I have a coupon crazy mom who graciously couponed for me and gave up some of her Kohl’s cash for me.
Happy holidays, ya’ll! It’s been a fun, wild ride, but I’m glad it’s over. I can’t wait for the refreshing start of a new year!