1. Gifts for unnamed people
I’ve done it dozens of times: buy a gift that’s a great deal because I know that there will be someone on my Christmas list that will like it. I couldn’t pass it up! And then I forget about it, or find too many great deals for “someone“, and it throws off my whole Christmas shopping plan and the money is wasted.
I am not doing that this year. If I see a great deal, it will not be purchased unless I know exactly who I’m purchasing it for.
2. Christmas craft supplies
I’m not really crafty (maybe creative, but I’m too much of a perfectionist to like anything crafty that I make) and so I have a backlog of craft supplies that I’ve purchased intending to do this or that and never doing it. Or doing it halfway and then realizing that I’m not going to like it when it’s done.
This year, if I have the urge to do a Christmas craft, or have my kids do a craft, we will simply make do with what we already have.
3. Clearanced Christmas paraphernalia
I just recently used up the Christmas napkins that I purchase at 90% off at Target…five years ago. Hmm, so maybe that wasn’t really such a great deal? I’ve picked up ornaments that I didn’t really love, more wrapping paper than I needed, and those blasted napkins all for 75-90% off, and now when I look at those items, I’m wishing I had the five dollars I spent rather than the junk.
I’m not even going to buy wrapping paper on clearance this year. If I get through the stash I already have with this year’s gifts, which is unlikely (see below), I will simply wait and buy one roll at full price next year, and I will measure and scrimp and make that roll of wrapping paper go as far as it possibly can because I paid full price for it.
4. Gifts for each other
Jeremy and I are spending about $50 (or less) total on our own kids this year, and skipping buying presents for each other. The budget is tight this year, so we’re simply considering the purchase of a tree a gift for each other since that is a non-negotiable even on a tight budget. ;) (We do have gift obligations for other family members, so don’t get the wrong impression that we are only spending $50 on Christmas gifts!) We’ve not bought gifts for each other several times before and guess what – it’s not a big deal. Not at all!
(Of course, it’s a big deal to our kids to not get gifts, but we generally keep gift-giving pretty low-key at birthdays and Christmas so expectations aren’t too high. We were given some money by one of Jeremy’s grandparents to buy gifts for the family, so we pooled some of that money with some of our money to get each of the kids a small Playmobil set, and then we bought a Ticket To Ride game for the family. I’ve already told them there is only going to be one gift to open at home so that they don’t say, “Where’s the rest?” on Christmas. :)
5. Lots of baking supplies
So far this year I haven’t bought many baking supplies at all – where are the sales, please? There are just not many amazing deals right now, and when coupled with a tight budget and the constant reminder that I’m still using my stockpile of cornstarch that I purchased at Christmas three years ago, I’ve determined to not stock up on baking supplies like I’m normally tempted to do at this time of year.
If I see a good deal on flour or sugar, I’ll stock up some, but it doesn’t appear that we are going to see many amazing deals this month – at least none that will beat Sam’s Club’s price (and you know it’s about time for me to go through my every-few-months consideration of purchasing a Sam’s Club membership).