Christmas Wrap-up – Little Money O.O.P.

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Some of you may not know this but back in August, we knew we were going to have a very tight Christmas. We had to close one of our businesses – once our main income – due to the economy. We had to tighten our budget in ways we didn’t think possible. Since then, these are the things we’ve done (and you can do too) to make it through and have Christmas with little to no money out of pocket.

• We signed up for Swagbucks back in the end of August. If you are not familiar with Swagbucks, you can read more about it here. With the Swagbucks we have earned, we have traded them in for a $20 Target Gift Card & $50 in Amazon.com gift cards. We have bought 5 gifts and only paid about $2. 

• Remember the post about Bebe’s $10/$10 coupon code with free shipping? Well, we took advantage of this to get a bottle of perfume to give as gift. (received it today) I paid around $2 because it was originally $12.

• A while ago we put up a Hot deal that went very quickly for Buy 1 Large Yankee Candle, Get 3 Free!! Needless to say we jumped all over it and bought 4 Large Jar Candles for $25. We saved $75 on this deal! Here are another 3 or maybe 4 gifts we were able to get (I think I will keep one – not sure yet).

• We have been saving some of the nice free samples (eos lip gloss, etc…) to put into a gift basket for my niece. This includes some nail polishes, deodorants, hair accessories that were free after ECBs at CVS.

• We also bought a Glade 3 wick candle and Reed diffuser set when CVS had them on sale with ECBs. These too were free.

• We also ordered through Nascar.com when they had a $15/$15. We order 3 collectible cars and paid a little over a $1. (we still have our fingers crossed as we have not received these yet.)

• We took advantage of the 50% off any 1 item at Ace Hardware as well. We have a wonderful store near us, so Hubby and I went and picked a gift out for each other. This saved us 50% on 2 purchases (we had 2 coupons). 

• Did you print out the Hallmark $5/$5? We did, twice! We will be able to get a nice little something for free or nearly free!

• We will also be making a few homemade gifts this year. For some of the guys we’re going to make an Herb Spice Steak Rub. We are planning on making a few layered  jars mixes and Peppermint Hot Cocoa for teachers and such.

• We also did a garage sale a little while ago that got rained out early but still made $105. This is tucked away to buy gifts with.

Gift: Retail Price: We Paid:
1 Gift From Target.com $19.99 $2
4 Gifts From Amazon.com $48.85 $0
Bebe Perfume $12 $2
4 Large Yankee Candles $100 $25
Gift Basket $10 $3
Glade 3 Wick Candle $9 or so $0
Glade Reed Diffuser $9 or so $0
$ From Garage sale – 7 gifts   $105 $0
3 Collectible Cars $30 $1-$2
2 Gifts From Ace Hardware $45 $22.50
Hallmark $10 $0
16 GIFTS $398.84 $56.50 OOP (Saved 86%)

I believe the trick is to start early. We are now projecting out to next year to see how we can easily take care of Christmas for little or no out money out of pocket. Start your journey with us. We’ll get there together!

How are you doing on your budget? Let us know.


4 Comments
  1. That is great you saved so much! I discovered all the money saving tricks out there when I to lost part of my income in March and I am ashamed that I spent money like I did before without thinking about. Had I known 10 years ago what I know now I can only imagine how much money I would have. Everything happens for a reason. Good job on the Christmas shopping and love your site! 🙂

  2. The perfume must be gone. 🙁 I could only find the $49.50 bottle. I might have to go with the $24 for my neice. she loves BEBE. Thanks for posting.

  3. Melanie,

    You are welcome. Lisa

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