Ok, so this post is more of an accountability thing than anything…. to make myself stick to it…. but if the idea helps or inspires one person like me, then it is worth typing.
Here’s the skinny – every year, I start Christmas shopping in October. There are a few things I buy throughout the year, but for the most part, its October.
By Thanksgiving, I always say to myself, “Holy Crap! The stockings!” Stocking have always been a big deal in our house, and they are filled with stuff that’s no more than 10 bucks per item, but the problem is that many of the items ARE 5 to 10 bucks per item. Yanno, razors (holy moly why are razors and blades so expensive?!?!) and specialty soaps, funky socks, makeup, small tools, etc.
Point being, by the time I fill 5 stockings (for the hubby, two teen boys, and my parents) it is a honking big expense. And since I don’t think of it til the Macy’s Day Parade, I always only have 2 paychecks til Santa is supposed to be hanging these things. This year was a tight economic year for us, so there were some things I wanted to put in the stockings that I just had to leave out.
SO. This year, I got all OCD on myself, and made a schedule of stocking stuffers. The plan is to spend about 20 or 30 bucks a month on specific items for the 5 stockings, with the hopes that by Thanksgiving, I won’t go into panic mode. (20 to 30 bucks sounds like a lot – per month, but divided by 5, it’s really not that much- not to mention some months won’t be nearly that much.)
I won’t bore you with the entire list, but just enough for you to get the jist.
January – Any small exercise equipment like jump ropes, exercise videos, etc. January retailers lean towards either organizational items or exercise stuff (for all those New Years resolutions) so I try to find any little specialty items like that.
February – heart shaped post it notes, etc. Stuff that they sell for Valentines Day.
March – all razors and shaving items. That should take up my monthly budget plus some.
September – mini flashlights, glycerine soaps.
October – candles
I tried to plan items that might be available or on sale due to the specific time of year. For months that don’t have anything specific like that, I chose the other fillers. Hair items, office supplies, make up, etc.
I left the items with a shorter shelf life to put towards the end of the year. Food, candy, even makeup. I put candles at the end of the year, so I don’t have to worry about them melting with shipping.
I also tried to keep the most expensive items towards the beginning of the year, since anything after about July I’m spending tons of bucks on our Halloween haunt, and October forward I’m buying the big Christmas gifts.
I have a big box in the bottom of my closet, with 5 bags in it, labeled with each family members name. As I buy the stocking stuffers, I put them straight into the bags, so I wont lose anything over the next year. Yes, I have already bought stuff.
Anyways, now that I’m putting it on the blog, I hope someone will email me in like April and ask what I have bought. I really, really, really hope this works!