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Planning For Holiday Shopping

In a very unlike me fashion I have already started planning for the holiday shopping and have even purchased a few items already!  I used to only be able to take life one holiday at a time, but that made Christmas shopping both expensive and stressful.  So this year I am getting a jump on things.

I started by updating my recipients in the Google Docs spreadsheet list and removing all the gifts from last year.  This way I have a good number of what I need to get.  I decided to start with the kids on the list (because let’s face it, they are the easiest to buy for).  A few years ago we made a deal with both my brother and my husband’s sister:  instead of getting each other gifts, we go out for a dinner together after the holidays and we just buy for each others kids.  Works great.  I also started a tradition with my aunt and uncle where we each make a donation to charity in lieu of giving each other gifts.  I highly recommend doing whatever you can to reduce the number of gifts you need to purchase.

Here is my strategy for my kids and the other kids on the list:

  • Check Woot, Mamabargains, and KidSteals every day to see what the deals are.  Yesterday I stocked up on science kits that I can use for both Christmas and Birthday gifts
  • Read my Amazon e-mails.  I was able to order two Blue-Ray/DVD combo packs with a $10 off coupon and free shipping
  • Check the sales anytime I am in Target and buy (no waiting)
  • Order my Pillow Pets now!  Ok, I still need to do this, but my kids both really want them and I don’t want to risk stores running out.
  • If I see it at Costco, get it! They had a good price on the Leapster Explorer the other day so I grabbed it.
  • The Scholastic Book Fair at our school next week will be a great place to stock up on books for gifts.  I find books to be a great way to round out smaller gifts.

At the end of the day, we go to enough birthday parties that if I have gifts left over it will not be a big deal. It is much better to take advantage of the sales and free shipping offers now.

Then comes the hard part, shopping for the adults.  The grandma’s love the photo gifts, especially the calendars.  That is another one that needs to be done early if you want avoid expedited shipping fees so I will be checking Shutterfly and Snapfish for their current deals and get started next week.

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