Thursday, November 15, 2012

Christmas Planning: Lists & Shopping

Thanksgiving will be here in just over a week and Christmas will quickly follow!! How time flies!! 

How are you coming with your planning??

I hope you are not like me and talking more about it than doing something to prepare?!

  • Have you made a Holiday Planner? If you have, pull it out today and look it over and see what you need to do and DO it for 15 minutes minimum. Don't be like me and do more blogging about preparations than preparing, LOL!!

  • Review your shopping lists. Did you make a  grocery list for Thanksgiving? I am making mine tonight. I will look over a master menu (to jog my brain) and grocery list I have used before. I always like to redo my planning and change-up anything that didn't work or just plain ole try something 'new.'

  • Have you been listening to your children and hubby for gift ideas? How about your parents and parents-in-law? If you give to your nieces and nephews, can you hand-craft their presents?
  • When my children were little, we were broke for quite a few years. Those were the best Christmases!! We made homemade gifts for each other and for our relatives. You never know what skills you have dormant until you are really, really broke. When I share about gift-giving, I know many folks are short on money. Many of you are really young and just starting out. Then, life has a way of bringing you through financial 'times' but giving is NOT about spending LOTS of money. It is about expressing your LOVE in a small way like Jesus did when He came as a baby.
Here are just a few of the items we made during those years:

  • I am going to start buying some of the food items I will need for Thanksgiving and Christmas this week. My intention is to defray the overall cost so that it doesn't all end up at the last minute. I don't want all the expense to end up in December. I also want to have the baking goods on hand without emergency trips to the grocery store. Our grocery store is 7 miles away and Walmart over 20, so if I run out of sugar or vanilla because I didn't will cost me gas!!
  • While you are out-and-about doing errands and grocery shopping, do you need any dry cleaning done? Think through any coats or suits that might need cleaning to save time and gas while you are out. I don't dry clean too often, so this isn't top on my list.
  • While you are out, keep your eyes open for Christmas gifts while being cautious because of your budget. Don't bust it with the lure of advertising or placement of items. Have you ever noticed that they MOVE items and place them at the ends of isles or in the middle just to GRAB your attention?? There are no clocks in a store and it is easy to forget your sense and use your cents!!
  • Remember to think through the standard items you still need to have available through November and December. Be careful to have these things on hand so as not to bust that budget because you forgot: toilet paper, napkins, paper towels, and plenty of window cleaner.  I can't tell you how many times I had to pack up all my babies into their warm coats and car seats in the middle of Christmas baking because we ran out of an important commodity!!
  • Finally (I am sure there are other things YOU can think of) the last thing I can think of is to think through what you, your husband, and children might need to wear through the Christmas season. In a way this seems inconsequential but yet, how many times have I found that my daughter grew out of her dress, or there were no white tights, or that my son grew out of his dress shoes!! When you plan for these things, you can purchase ahead without having to spend a mega amount all in one week. If you WILL bust that budget and then come January it is easy to sink into depression as reality sets in. It would be better to do without or shop at my favorite store, Sally's Boutique (AKA Salvation Army.)
It is helpful to plan through your shopping this time of the year. Planning helps you to think through the upcoming events with your budget in mind. I certainly need to do this especially this year!! 

What money saving tips will you be using to curb your budget this year? I have enjoyed the helpful comments on previous posts. Take the time to share. They are an encouragement to me and other ladies!!

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  1. Excellent tips and ideas! I especially loved "giving is NOT about spending LOTS of money. It is about expressing your LOVE" that is so very true!

  2. You make me laugh with your opening comment, "I hope you aren't like me . . . ." Thanks for the making my day. :-)

    1. Nita...and you make me *smile* as I sit here with trying to figure out what I am cooking for Thanksgiving...and wondering where my recipe is for supper!!

  3. This is the first year that I'm not making most of our gifts. Last year I was really overwhelmed and stressed trying to make everything on time and although made gifts mean more to me and most of my receivers it is gettign hard to keep up. So we used our tax returns and purchased most of our gifts on clearance. I was almost completely finished with Christmas shopping last January! Now the only two people I need to focus on are my husband and my daughter!


If you have gone a little way ahead, O friend, call back --
Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.


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