Wednesday, January 22, 2020

2020 Christmas & Black Friday Shopping

I know it's only January, but as some of you know I start Christmas shopping & saving for the next year the minute I have my Christmas shopping done (which is usually end November/early December). My main reason for doing this is that I'm super busy with work during 4th quarter and I also don't have to worry about spending a load of cash during the holidays. The other (equally main reason) is because you find far better deals throughout the year.

In early December Soma sent me a $25 off anything q. I don't know why, because I rarely shop there. I waited for a free shipping day and found slipper socks on sale for $5. So I got 5 pairs for free.

A few weeks ago, I found a beautiful gift clearanced to $5.98 (original price $55). I get a 5% discount & free shipping at this store and Rakuten had 10% cash back. Whoo-hoo! So after all discounts, the gift came to $5.44. I loved it so much when it arrived, but unfortunately it was sold out. Then a week later, I saw the same item back in stock (this rarely happens) so I grabbed another one. Price after all discounts and rewards $6.03. I so wish that I could mention the item or post pics, but some family members & friends read my blog.

I also picked up a clearance gift for DS at Walmart. Paid $3.18

So that's $14.65 OOP for 8 gifts so far.

My gift card status is as follows:

Kohls $52.81
Target $50
Gap $4.58

The Target gc was part of the gcs I purchased at 10% off in December. DS wanted a new video game for Christmas. Shortly after I purchased the discounted gcs, Target had a deal for buy 2 select games earn $50 gc. So I purchased 3 games, paid $91.21 with discounted gcs and earned $50 gc and earned 1% Rakuten. Then I sold one of the games for $20 and DS ended up getting 2 games instead. Win-win!

3 x games $91.21
Less 10% discount on gcs (9.12) I bought these at 10% off
Less $50 gc back on 2 games (50.00)
Less Rakuten (0.89)
Less Game sold (20.00)
Total cost to me : $11.20

I still have other Target gcs, but I'm saving them to use for deals that earn new gcs.

I want to try a different strategy for saving gcs for Christmas/BF. I'm gonna give it a few months to see if it works, before mentioning my plan (I know I mentioned one, but I have another different strategy that might work better for me). If it fails, I'll just revert to my old ways.

My goal is to once again save $500 for Kohls BF shopping. Last year we didn't need much. My plan was to just buy our athletic shoes for the year, Pyrex storage and my favorite perfume. Then we decided to adopt a child for Christmas and I ended up spending that full $500 gcs. Yikes! I'm a planner and wasn't prepared for this, but thankfully I had gcs to help offset the cost of Christmas gifts. My birthday is just before Thanksgiving, so I also had lots of birthday rewards to score some free items to gift. I might have gone a little overboard, but it's all for a good cause. So $500 is my goal again. We'll stick to our regular purchases, since we don't need much.

I feel like I'm in good shape thus far. I have enough points to cash out on several sites, but I'm holding out for bigger gc amounts. I know I should get a good Rakuten check next month.

Does anyone else plan and save up for Christmas or use any other strategies to help lower their OOP? Please feel free to share.


  1. Look at you go! Great job on getting the jump on Christmas shopping. I will be following along for more tips!

    1. Thanks Lisa! I do lots of little things to help us save on Christmas gifts. It's a bit of work, but totally worth the savings.

  2. I also buy gifts early in the year for birthdays and Christmas for my children and grandchildren. I received 2 $1 gift certificated at Belk and used them for gifts.

    1. That's great Linda! It's my favorite way to shop. Less stress and saving our $$$


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