Getting Ready for Christmas without Breaking the Bank!!

by Clippin' with Carie on November 8, 2011. This post may contain affiliate links.Affiliate Link



With the holidays right around the corner, I want to give you a few HEADS UP IDEAS to get you going and staying within budget!!

I (and my little elves) will be super busy posting all sorts of deals and many will go quickly! So make sure you subscribe to email delivery HERE, “LIKE” me on Facebook by going HERE or follow me on Twitter HERE or you may want to check the site more often than ususal so you don’t miss anything!

In a normal day, I may post 15 to 20 deals, but with the holidays, I’m going to be typing like a crazy lady around here!! To visualize think of a hamster running full speed on a wheel!! Yeah…that will be me!! My postings may almost double to 25 – 40! The whole hamster thing making sense now???

I have already talked to the hubs about bringing in an IV Drip of Starbucks to keep me rollin’! 🙂

If you have been earning your Swagbucks all year…It is time to start cashing them in!!!
Swagbucks limits you to cashing in 2 gift cards per day, and ONLY 5 of the SAME Gift Cards per month. So basically if you are holding out on $5 Amazon Cards, I would start cashing them in RIGHT NOW, since Amazon Cards are posted after the 15th and 30th of each month. Other Gift Cards post faster, but you don’t want to miss the chance of using your gift cards to pay for the holidays!!! Most Gift Cards come in an Ecard format so you can use them for online shopping, however, if you are cashing in for Starbucks Gfit Cards, those come in the mail and take about 4 weeks to arrive, so I just want to make sure everyone is aware and starts cashing out!!


It is so easy to overspend during the holiday season. The best way to keep yourself on track is to write out your budget and separate it into categories such as decorating, gifts, baking, entertaining, events, etc. so that you can see exactly where you plan to spend your money.

Go through all of your holiday expenses NOW and make your budget as COMPLETE as possible. One thing that I do is use separate envelopes for each category and on the front of the envelope I have my list of what I plan on spending and on who or what. For instance, I have one envelope for baking (not holiday dinner, but just baking items). On the front of the envelope, I list the items I plan on baking and I have a list of ingredients I will need on a paper in the envelope. I have given myself a total budget of $20.00 for baking ($10 for Thanksgiving and $10 for Christmas) so I am currently keeping an eye out for coupons and sales that meet my baking needs and putting them along with $20 cash into that envelope. I will do the same for gifts and all other categories. You might notice that I stated I put “cash” into the envelope! DO YOUR BEST TO BE ON A CASH SYSTEM so you don’t keep swiping your debit or credit card and then realize after the fact…you spent too much! Have an envelope labeled for unexpected expenses and put 5% of your total budget into that envelope so you have a little wiggle room! Also, make an envelope for day after Christmas. You know there are going to be a ton of sales and that is the best time to buy gift wrap and so many other things at deep discount prices, so make sure you budget for those items as well.

Remember that spending more money does NOT make your Christmas any merrier. Set limits on your budget and the number of gifts you give. Being frugal means you will need to think outside of the box and get creative. The amount of money I spend on someone DOES NOT mean that I love them any more or any less. Creative gifts can be the most special gifts, because you have to put time and effort into them.

One thing I do each year is what I call a “Spa Gift Basket”! The baskets will include items that I was either able to get FREE or bought throughout the year on sale and used coupons, and the contents will cost me very little, but it makes for a nice gift. This is one of the reasons I love all those Bath & Body Works Coupons for FREE Travel size items!

Just like having a written budget, having a gift list written down and full of ideas helps you stay on track to buy what you need for everyone on your list without having to make a last-minute run to the mall or place a last-minute online order with express shipping. Jot down multiple ideas for each person and know how much you want to spend on each person and include that much cash in their envelope.

The sooner you start shopping, the better off you will be and this will also lessen the stress of the season. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE!!!

I truly hope that this will be your merriest and most budget friendly Christmas ever!!!


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Marla November 8, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Thanks for all you do carie!


2 Shelly November 9, 2011 at 7:27 am

I’m ready! Bring it! LOL



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