Time to start your new budget for 2011! Here are some helpful hints for dealing with this year's holidays and birthdays.
Make a lists of...
1....anything you did not have this Christmas that you may want next year. You will find these things 80% off this time of year. We always drive around and see all the lights and get new ideas for our house. So we make a list and go to the store a couple days after Christmas and use some of our Christmas cash to get the supplies. We are getting them at their best price and not cutting into our budget.
2...the birthdays you will have in 2011. I did a post last year on how you can save a bundle by shopping all year long for birthdays and next Christmas. Last year Walmart had their Christmas toys 75% off. You bet I bought ten craft packs and gave them as presents through the entire year. I can not wait to see what they will have this year!:) Keep in mind, though, I've found online specials are the best mid year for toys.
Make sure that you note on your list what months your girlfriends have birthdays. There are usually magazine specials for around $3 for a year subscription on all kind of magazines but will take 12 weeks to start delivery, http://www.tanga.com/products/christianity-today-magazine-subscription--2. Example: my sister has a birthday in April, I will wait for a fun one she will enjoy and order in January.
3....teacher gifts. This is another time to stock up! Bath and Body Works will usually have lotions for $3. They retail for $9. I have two kids that will be in school next year and I will get 4 of these and they will provide a holiday cello bag at no charge. How fun, simple, and budget friendly!
Think ahead on your purchases. Another great gift for anyone are books. Make sure to see what movies are scheduled to come out in 2011. Most people who like to read love to read the book before they see the movie. How thoughtful! You can get gently used to 75% off and most of the time you can not even tell. I gave a couple of this for Christmas presents this year and they had no idea. I guess they will now if they read this!
When looking at clearance sections always have your gift list in mind. When you purchase an item, go ahead and mark the person off of this list. Trust me that you will get items at best prices with the least amount of stress. I cut my gift budget by 75% last year by doing this.
Wrapping: save comic papers from your papers for wrapping! Budget and Earth friendly. Kids love reading them as well!
I hope to continue through this year with fun and thoughtful gift ideas for you and your family this year!