Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 4 of 12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge

Day 4: Tips/Tricks to a Budget Friendly holiday season

Some of the tips/tricks I use to budget for the holiday season include:
1. shop throughout the year for small things for Christmas. It makes it easier when you get closer to time because you're not having to shop last minuet.
2. if you can, try to pick up a seasonal job to help with funds around the holiday season
(i.e. working at the Kostomb Shoppe for Halloween) and SAVE all the money you make. Hide it if you have to.
3. have a plan for who you are buying for and what you are going to buy for them

4. buy stuff that will last for a while when it comes to your kids. 
books are always a great kid gift because they lost for so long 
(unless they are Stratton's pop up books because he rips all the pages out)


5. don't do Black Friday shopping
you wind up spending more than what you meant to 

Black Friday

I never thought that I would EVER go Black Friday shopping.  
But...alas...I went. 
It was quite the experience. There was pushing and shoving
Hot Wheels, moon dough, and $1 towels.
Our first stop was supposed to be at Toys R Us. (by us I mean Maggie and I)
We drove by to find the line ALL the way down by Hancock Furniture. (Which is almost a block long)
We decided to just wait and go to Wal Mart instead. On the way there we HAD to drive by by Best Buy just to see if anyone was there. 
There was tents.
You can barely see it in the picture but Those are tents set up in front of the store.

We got to Wal Mart around 9pm and just walked around and looked at all the different things they had in the shrink wrapped bins. The one thing I was really out to get was the Hot Wheels for Stratton.
He loves Hot Wheels. Look anywhere in our house and you're bound to find at least one.
We got to Wal Mart and there really wasn't a whole lot of people there. There were a few people standing at the designated items that they wanted but maybe on a dozen or so. Then around 10:30 more people showed up, then 11:00 rolled around and the store was PACKED with carts and people. 
On a side note: I hate crowds. I have a slight problem with crowds. They make me have panic attacks. But, I was determined to get those dang hot wheels for Stratton. 
My friend Lauren came right around 11:20 and stood with Maggie. 
They were in charge of getting the hot wheels and the pillow pal with sleeping back. I was bound and determined to get my Paula Dean 12 piece cook wear set, hand mixer, and 2qt crock pot.
Twelve o' Clock on the dot the guy came across on the loud speaker that it was midnight. All heck broke loose. 
There were elbows flying, hand mixers flying, and people literally pushing me up against the stack of Paula Dean cook wear. It was seriously a mad house. In less than 30 seconds I received an eblow to the face and got pinned up against a stack of boxes with Paula Dean smiling at me like "Yea, you're an idiot."
Once I had my stuff which consisted of 2 hand mixers and a Paula Dean Cook wear set. I made my way back over to where a girl I went to high school with was holding some picture frames for me. We traded, I got here a hand mixer and crock pot while she got me a picture frame set. 
As soon as I got what I was looking for I called Maggie and Lauren to look for them. 
They got Stratton eight 10 packs of Hot Wheels and the sleeping back pillow pal! 
They did awesome! I was so glad that they came with me!
We made it out of there at 12:40. 
Here is our victory picture.
After we checked out we stopped by Toys R Us because there was a digital picture frame on sale that I really wanted. Of course they were cleaned out. So I settled on a family game and we left.
It was around 1am by the time we got out of Toys R Us and we were HUNGRY!
We went to Huddle House in Cape and stood there for a good 5 min after staring at 4 dirty tables and at least another 5-6 tables sitting with menus and no drinks. We didn't stay. We wound up going to Denny's and standing in line for about 20 min waiting for a table. We chatted it up with the people standing in line with us. There were a bunch of really nice ladies that stood and talked to us. 
We left Denny's like three stuffed ticks and headed to our next shopping destination.
Maggie parted ways with us and went to Sears to shop with her mom and brother. Lauren wanted to go to Khols so I dropped her off there while I set off to make one of the biggest buys I had made in a while. Derek has been bugging me for the last year or so for a new t.v. for the upstairs. We have a really nice one so I didn't really think we needed a new one. But he wanted to move the one that we had in the living room down stairs so he could play video games on it. 
So...I went BACK to Wal Mart and got the 42"Song Vizio television that he had been wanting.
I went back and got Lauren, dropped her off at her house and then headed HOME! Home sweet home.
It was 4:45 when I got home. I drug the huge box inside and propped it up next to a mattress we have in the basement and put a few coats over it then headed for BED!
Saturday morning Stratton woke me and Derek up at 8:30. Which is about usual for him. I woke up with him couldn't wait to surprise Derek with his new T.V. 
I let him get up and get dressed and then asked him to come back in the bedroom for a min. He hates when I do that. I asked him to go down and get my brown carhartt jacket from down stairs. He didn't want to and he complained about having to so he asked me why I needed it so bad. I was quick on my feet and said there was something in the pocket that I needed him to get for me. He drug his feet down the hall way and went down stairs. It took him a little bit so I got up and waited in the hallway for him. He checked all the pockets and didn't notice the huge t.v. box under the coat until he threw it back on top of it and another one fell. That's when I heard him SPRINT up the stairs. He gave me a huge hug and said how happy and thankful he was. It was definitely worth the lack of sleep to see him so happy about his new t.v. Not to mention I really like it too. The picture on it is amazingly clear and it feels like you're right there in the movie. It's so great.
So, overall it was a pretty good experience. Only a little tiny elbow to the face, a slight shove into some boxes, and a great big warm feeling seeing my husbands face light up.
I'm so thankful that I was able to save up the money for a really great Christmas this year. Working at the Halloween store really helped out. I'm also SO thankful for two of the best friends a girl could ask for. Thank you Lauren and Maggie!