Helpful Hump-Day Hints 08/01/12

Seriously?  How is it August?  Where did July go, or the summer for that matter?  I am so behind….time to jump right in…

I usually start this in July, but clearly this year, I’ll be starting it in August!  It’s time for my Christmas Present Excel Spreadsheet.  Yes, you heard me correctly!  Christmas!  Each year I add a tab to my yearly Christmas Present spreadsheet listing everyone who receives a present from us.  I can easily access the previous tab to remind me what I bought everyone last year.  Next, I go into the closet and take out the box or bag labeled CHRISTMAS 2013 (or whatever the next year is!)  In this bag, I already have items purchased (usually during the holiday sales after Christmas week.) I enter all those items into the spreadsheet.  I continue to shop for Christmas all year long – mainly from the sales rack. I have a big family so it would be easy to overspend during the holidays. Spreading the shopping out over months helps so I don’t accumulate debt over the holidays.

Ok – so my Helpful Hump-day Hints for tackling Holiday Shopping early:

HHH#1: Challenge yourself to purchase ONLY consumables this year.  Honestly – who needs more stuff??!!!?  I know what your thinking –  everyone buys those same types of holiday consumables every year.  It doesn’t have to mean that!  Stray away from the 3 C’s – candles, candy, and coffee.  Be creative.  Search online (or here on my blog!) for an easy recipe. Print it out.  Mount it on cardstock. Buy one main ingredient.  There you go!

HHH#2: Only buy off sales racks and ONLY buy with cash or debit card. Don’t use your credit card unless you know you can transfer cash to it that week!

HHH#3 Buying all year round means it’s not just gingerbread and egg nog.  Buy other seasonal items that are on sale.  Cute BBQ plates and napkins (paper of course!) that will be on sale in August with a BBQ sauce and a How to Grill Burgers recipe is a nice change of pace from candy canes and peppermint bark.

As I continue to shop, I will post different sales I find. When do you start thinking about Holiday shopping?  How do you organize your gift giving? I love to hear other people ideas, organizational methods, and helpful hints – so leave a comment and let me know.

Thanks for reading and happy hump-day!

4 thoughts on “Helpful Hump-Day Hints 08/01/12

  1. Millie Hiibel says:

    While traveling or shopping for work, I often see things and think “Aunt Linda will like this or my brother needs that” and instead of giving the gift right away, I put it in a plastic box in my basement. While it’s tempting to resist the urge of giving the gift right away, it is nice come November when I pull out the box and half of my holiday shopping is finished. Even better is knowing that I am giving a heartfelt gift instead something because it’s two days left until Christmas.

    • Maureen says:

      I totally agree with you about gifts being more thoughtful and not just – “oh I need something for…” when you buy all year round. I know what you mean when you pull out the box — it’s almost relief for me! I hope you have a lot of goodies in your plastic box already!

  2. Cassie says:

    I am definitely not the most organized person, but over the last few years I have found the Christmas spreadsheet essential to saving money, time, and sanity during the joyous season. I now have two sheets. The second one is a list of things that come up throughout the year that my kids (or I) want or need. I used to stress when grandparents and others asked for ideas. Now I just refer to list that I’ve been keeping all year. Recently added to list: Stompees slippers for my four year old and a new cooler w wheels for me!

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