Keeping Christmas Cheap

I’ve been thinking a LOT about Christmas lately. Probably because its next month! With how quickly the past month has flown by, I fully expect November to be over just as quick.
Like any parent, I long to spoil my kids at Christmas…but I know better. I don’t want to spend tons of money on Christmas and have it be all about the gifts and less about the family. Not to mention, my budget doesn’t exactly allow for spoiling this year. That’s ok though, because then I think about my kids counting presents each year and getting pissed off if there are less presents than the year before. I know, I’m being a tad dramatic, but still.
In past years we have found ways to cut back on Christmas costs and I’m not afraid to admit it. For the past two Christmases, Matt and I have bought most of Nolan’s clothes and toys second hand, from either Kijiji or consignment stores. He didn’t get all second hand things, we purchased one or two brand new gifts. But by going second hand for most of his things, we were able to save money even when splurging a bit on the new gifts.
Another trick my parents taught me was waiting until whatever we wanted went on sale. They would save our birthday lists and purchase the items we really wanted for our birthdays for Christmas, when they either reduced in prices or became less in demand. I don’t need to worry about doing this for a while though, since Nolan is too young to write out a Christmas wish list.
This year, my plan of attack is similar. Hit up consignment stores and Kijiji for most things. I plan on buying a crapton of books for Nolan this year, since he loves reading and I want to build up our library. I’ll be buying books from Value Village, since they charge about 2 bucks per book {sometimes cheaper} instead of the price of brand new books.
Nolan is at the age where he doesn’t care if the things we buy him are “second hand”, and I hope that he will always not care if they’re second hand but if I can recall MY teen days, brand new was what I thought was best because that’s what everyone wanted. Ya, I was a spoiled brat. In any case, I have many years before Nolan gets picky.
So, how do you save money at Christmas time? I am interested in hearing your tips and suggestions!Β 
β™₯
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About J.C. Hannigan

25. Mother. Wife. Lover of words. Weaver of stories. My first book, Collide, is available in e-book for Amazon Kindle and Kobo.
This entry was posted in kids, mom to mom, opinions, thoughts, tidbits. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Keeping Christmas Cheap

  1. Sam says:

    We've already set Christmas limits. I was totally a spoiled brat and my siblings and I were always asking “where's more?”. I NEVER want that for Archer. I want him to be thankful and enjoy the holiday because of the little traditions we start rather than how much stuff he gets. With that being said, we are all going to do two gifts per person. Something fun and something practical. My husband and I have always had the practical rule and we love being able to USE our gifts rather than them sitting around collecting dust because it was “cute”. Since its his first Christmas, he might get a little more (there's just quite a bit he NEEDS at this age that we haven't acquired yet) but that's going to be our rule going forward.

  2. I started Christmas shopping in September. I try to start it earlier so I'm not overwhelmed with having to buy gifts for everyone closer to Christmas. It's my way of easing the stress associated with Christmas. Problem is, I just buy more. This is a habit I really need to break because I can't have my kids expecting a bazillion Christmas presents each year! I think your tip for using consignment stores is a great one. I will definitely be using that, in particular for books. Books are SO expensive. I'm fortunate that Landon's godmother works at Chapters so she can get him lots of great books for discounted prices…but any books I buy will definitely be used this year.

  3. jess β™₯ says:

    @Sam: I am THE SAME WAY. I want it to be all about the traditions and the time with family, and less about the gifts. Nolan and my Archer both need tons of clothes though, which is why I intend to buy consignment store clothes. We were thinking that too – two toy gifts from us, one toy gift from Santa and a stocking {full of things they need, socks, bath stuff, etc}, and then clothes.

    @Danielle-Marie: I keep saying I'm going to start Christmas shopping early and never do LOL! I am already overwhelmed. Books are lovely no matter how new or used they are, plus with kids it's hard to justify buying brand spanking new copies of books when they are a little rough on them. That's my way of thinking anyway πŸ˜‰

  4. Jess says:

    I've got that problem this year as well. Usually I'm all about spending $$$ (& unhealthy competition with my evil SiL). But this year I decided to put a stop to that (plus we have 0 money coming in waiting for baby to be born!). So this year I've made everyone on my Hubby's side little stockings (less than $3 each) and will just be filling them with cheap things eg: home made chocolate, $1 nail polish…

    For my niece and nephew I bought them cheap beach towels and 1 $5 toy each.

    I don't know what to do for my side (I doubt I'll get more stockings made before Bubs is born) but it won't get too expensive either.

    I feel so much better not feeling like I have to spend $$$ and the presents are still special.

  5. Lisa says:

    Sometimes when I'm looking for a particular item, I'll go to froogle.google.com, which if you haven't used it before, will show you every price of the item in every online store out there (and in some cases, every offline store too). That way you can sort by price, look at shipping costs, etc. all in one shot. I've found video games, figurines, electronics and tons of other stuff for much cheaper than I normally would have.

    ~Lisa
    http://msmarvelproject.blog.com

  6. I'm a huge thrift store shopper. I could spend hours in one. I just most of our clothes and house hold decor things from there. This year I'm working at Sears and I get a discount. And Sears has a family friends day where everyone can get the same discount as me. But I get that discount plus my employee discount, which is awesome. So next sunday I will be going layway happy and getting loads of discounts.

  7. jess β™₯ says:

    @Jess: We also buy the $5 kid toys for the kids in the family, I don't feel bad because I KNOW all the kids get spoiled πŸ™‚ Good ideas!

    @Lisa: Never heard of it, but thank you SO much! That will come in handy, especially for the “new toys” we will purchase for our kids down the road. I'm totally excited about this lol and adding it to my list πŸ˜‰

    @Nikki Darlin': I LOVE Sears on the family discount days haha! Sears has some pretty cute baby clothes too, although I'm not always in agreement with their prices πŸ˜‰

  8. Donna Young says:

    Mine aren't little anymore (I've got 2 grandbabies & their mommy (my oldest) & daddy, a 19-yo girl & an 11-yo boy!), but I'm still instituting a new Christmas policy, due to the uncertain status of my job. We're going to do a “Want, Need, Wear, Read” Christmas – so 4 gifts per child. The 19-yo wasn't thrilled with the 4 gift idea, but when I explained the Want, Need, Wear, Read, she brightened right up & was totally on board with it. This way I can spend more on quality gifts & and everyone knows what to expect.

  9. jess β™₯ says:

    @Donna Young: Oh wow that IS a great idea! I just might use it!!

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