Christmas weekend is winding down and I could use help keeping my eyelids open. But even though my body is physically exhausted, my mind is full of ideas. I want to make some Christmas notes to self so that I don’t forget them. I can’t recall a year where I was already taking down the holiday décor as early as I am this year. Even though I am jumping the gun early with clean up, I’m already thinking about Christmas 2015! I hear your groans and I see your eyes rolling and I am politely ignoring you 🙂
I have been seeing a few things here and there leading up to Christmas that I could slap myself for not thinking of these things sooner. Like literally. With taking some of the things I already do and adding a few of these notes… Christmas 2015 will be even more amazing! Enough rambling and let’s get to the ideas shall we?
Target Gift Cards – in every Target weekly ad there are options of getting gift cards with purchases. Instead of rolling those gift cards into your next purchase, save the gift cards and use them for your holiday spending. Awesome idea that I just didn’t think of. Target has awesome deals that you can use manufacturer and Target coupons for and this is just an added bonus.
Target Cartwheel app – I’ve discussed this here and there and on facebook, but I am in love with this app. This year they offered a toy on 50% off every day up until Christmas Eve during the holidays. I took advantage of a few and they were really great deals. My only complaint is that they didn’t have a large variety of boy toys. Many of the special offers were targeted at girls and toddlers. The app itself, however had a ton of great discount offers that really helped stretch my money this Christmas and I hope they continue with this next year.
QVC – I bought a gift for DH on QVC this year and I was enticed by the great easy pay offer. They had so many great offers that I wanted to take advantage of but had to be budget conscious. These great offers weren’t on my list so since they weren’t planned for, and I was already going overboard by the time these offers were coming, I couldn’t do it. But next year I want to. So much more convenient and to do without the traffic and crowds. After studying the deals, QVC wins in a lot of areas, and budgeting for those big ticket items now will help me to afford the luxury of shopping on tv.
Shopkick and Ibotta– I’ve talked about both of these apps several times on the blog, but it must be said again. These apps are awesome ways to save for the holidays. With ShopkickI was able to use Target gift cards that I earned to get presents for the kiddos. I will continue to earn my kicks and save them up till next season. I earned a lot just for shopping during Black Friday. Ibotta is adding new ways to earn every time I turn around and that cash I will save up till next season as well. Savings Star, Checkout 51 and even Walmart’s Savings Catcher app are all great honorable mentions. The key is making it a habit to check your apps before you shop. Before you know it, you’ll have hundreds of dollars saved up, with very little effort on your part.
Holiday Cash Fund— I’ve talked about this several times before also, but it’s the primary way, in my opinion, to save up for the holidays. I only see things becoming more expensive as my kids get older and they want less toys and more tech stuff and pricy shoes and clothes.
Shop All Year Long— I will admit that I used to think this was a dumb idea. Primarily because I have younger kids, who are constantly growing, so how would I know in March what they want in December? This year, it wasn’t intentional, but I was in Target, (can you tell I shop there a lot?) and I saw a cute puppy purse that Brianna wanted. I wasn’t willing to pay retail price, but one day during the summer, it was under $5 on clearance. I scooped it up and tucked it away and remembered to pull it out for a Christmas gift. The key word is remembered. Lol Keep a little log of gifts you buy like this and keep them in a place you will remember and this is a great way to prepare for next Christmas.
After Christmas Sales — for me these are great to get décor and wrapping supplies. I spent more than I wanted to this Christmas because I didn’t have as much wrapping supplies as I thought I did. I didn’t have much to spend after Christmas, but I was able to get 7 new rolls of wrapping paper, so I’m set for next year! I don’t buy many gifts for the next year after Christmas, but that’s something I will start doing as I can.
Next Christmas I hope that my employment is different. Regardless, I will need to be off Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas. I would like to reschedule how we meet with our families and eventually I would like to host Christmas when we finally move. I love the memories we created this year. I will be popping in throughout 2015 with saving for Christmas updates. It will be hard not to touch the money I’m earning in my apps and stacking gift cards but I know it’ll be sooo well worth it 🙂
How about you? Did you see something that you want to incorporate into your holiday savings planning? Share with me 🙂