Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Christmas shopping update

I don't think I've done a Christmas shopping update for the year yet. As most of you know, I shop for Christmas gifts year round. This year has been no different. I normally start saving earned gift cards once my Christmas shopping is done for the year (normally by the end of November).

I've decided not to buy as many gifts as before. It seems the older we get, the less we need. So I'm getting one big ticket item for DH & DS each and smaller items. I'd rather take a nice vacation to somewhere exotic, that just fill our lives with more 'stuff'.

We also have a trip to South Africa planned in the near future, because there's several upcoming close friends & family weddings that we need to attend. Not sure about the dates yet, but since I'm a planner, I'm preparing and saving for it now. That includes stocking up gifts for my immediate family.

Aren't these socks pretty? They are Earth Therapeutics and they're super soft. These are 2 pk socks (2 pairs per pack) and I bought 6 sets (12 pairs) when Kohls had it clearanced to $3.60 per set. Of course I had gcs, so I scored these for free. My plan is to use these as stockings (each person will receive a pair (not just one sock). I want to fill these socks with all kinds of free/near free makeup that we get from the drugstores. I know most young women will be happy to get free makeup, especially brands that they don't have in SA.

Then I also picked up lots of men's winter accessories when Kohls had them at extra 90% off. I mean the items were dirt cheap. I got brands like Levi's & Under Armour. Again, I paid with a gc and earned Kohls cash back on my purchase. I love shopping this way, cause Kohls cash is like free money to me. I never really overspend my rewards. I'll pay up to $5 extra, but I try to stay within budget. Not getting sucked into Kohls trying to trick me into spending more. So the males are mainly taken care of.

Then for my nieces, I picked up some goodies at Victoria's secret. VS had sent me a 30% off any item coupon and they had free shipping. So I managed to score 6 items for $36 OOP.

So VS keeps sucking me in, cause they keep sending me extra discount & free shipping qs. So I ordered 3 more gifts for $26.67. So my SILs and sister are now taken care of.

A few weeks ago Loft had an extra 60% off clearance sale and free shipping. I found a beautiful linen blend blouse for my sister for $4.50 (incl tax). Original retail $59.50!  So another gift done for under $5. Score!

My family know that I'm a bargain shopper. They really don't mind that I purchase clearance items for them. They're happy that I'm able to find name brand items at a low price, because name brand clothing is very expensive in SA. As my nephews like to say "aunt Goose has the best taste and buys the best gifts", so I can't disappoint

Did you know that you can use Amazon credit to purchase gcs for other stores? I've never rolled coins in my life. And since banks no longer have coin counting machines, I've been using Coinstar for gcs. However, the variety of gcs have become very limited. Now I'm not much of an Amazon shopper. When I learned that I could turn amazon gc into other gcs, I immediately went and cashed in my coins for a gc. Then I used the gc to purchase 2 gifts for DH & DS. Ugh, I didn't know that this store only accepts one gc, so I ended up paying $13.39 OOP. Original retail was $200. My price $63.39 after tax.

Unfortunately, I cannot mention any of the gifts that I've purchased yet, because my family read the blog. I love seeing their faces light up, when I give them something cool. So for now, everything is a

All that is left are 2 big ticket gifts for my guys and gcs for DH. Easy peasy. Then toys for my youngest niece. This is gonna be tricky, cause I have to find small, lightweight items that's not gonna take up much space in my luggage.

So that's my gift shopping thus far. Retail price for everything is around $600-800. My total OOP cost for 13 people thus far (excluding the socks gifts) is $80.56. This is all for name brand items.

I'm done with Christmas shopping until November. I just need to get DH some gcs and another item (I already have it earmarked and can redeem for a gc for it) and a big gift for DS (I have something in mind, but not 100% sure if I want to buy that).

I've also earned cash back through Ebates for all the online purchases and should get a $5 Swagbucks bonus (for shopping through their site), so I'm one happy mama.

Now I'm busy saving my Kohls gcs for Black Friday shopping.

Has anyone else started doing Christmas shopping yet?


  1. Replies
    1. That's great Linda! Every bit of early shopping, helps make things easier over the holiday season. Not just for your pocketbook, but also less stress about finding the right gifts for the right person.

      Another reason why I enjoy year round christmas shopping, is because I don't like being stressed during the holiday season.

  2. You are well on your way to being finished. I HATE having to go into stores at the Holidays if I have no holiday shopping done yet. I usually wait until Sept. to check the box(es)of what I've gathered so far in the year the Xmas but I will be going through what is here in August since I can't do some other organizing/decluttering in the house and I CAN get to this stuff. lolz

    1. I'm with you about avoiding the stores over the holiday season Sluggy. I don't have the patience for large crowds and long lines. I guess I've been spoiled with empty stores and no lines,by shopping when everyone's at

  3. Great job on the Christmas shopping! My grown sons get cash or gift cards to stores they use. My grown daughter, I buy her clothes (on sale) the grand kids, I set money aside and then as it gets closer to Christmas, I coordinate with their parents to not duplicate presents.

    My husband, well he is so hard to buy for. This year I am looking for a chess set for him and he gets cash too.

    I tend to get caught up in the buying for coworkers at Crhistmas time too, but a coworker/friend an I split the cost and give inexpensive gifts as a team.

    Holiday dinners, well everyone has such complicated schedules its hard to get together, if schedules permit we will have a potluck here or at my son's.

    Not perfect, but it works for us.

    1. Thank you Lisa. I love your potluck idea! I come from a large family and all our extended family got together over the holidays and we had a huge potluck feast all day long.

      Oh boy, my husband is just as hard to buy for. Sometimes I luck out by finding something he really loves, but for the most part he just gets gcs and he's happy with

      Well done on having everything mapped out and saving for it. That's my favorite part of shopping/saving in advance. We don't have to break the bank over the holiday season :)


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