I just reviewed my Christmas expenses and couldn’t believe how little I spent this year. As I mentioned earlier this week my brother and I recently decided to stop exchanging gifts with one another. Instead we’ll focus solely on providing gifts for the children. That change resulted in two fewer gifts under the tree and $50 to $70 less to spend. Total cost for my brother and his wife = $0.
I bought my nephew’s gift from a local toy shop on Small Business Saturday. (A day I absolutely love by the way!) I paid $39.99 for the toy, but received a $25 credit back from American Express. Total cost = $14.99.
I purchased my niece’s gift from ecomom using a voucher I bought from plum district. I spent $20 on the voucher, but used it during ecomom’s green friday, which resulted in additional savings. I received $100 worth of stuff for $40.00. When you break down all of the purchases, (I bought a bunch of toys for toys-for-tots and to store as future birthday gifts), I paid roughly $5 for her gift. I also bought a set of $6 head bands on sale for $1. They are green, pink and purple and unbelievably sparkly. Total Cost: $6.
I bought two of my son’s presents using that ecomom deal. I spent less than $5 for each them. I also plan to wrap a bunch of boxes and fill them with tissue paper and bubble wrap. At this age he’s more interested in the box than the gift and we have a room full of toys already. Total cost: $10.
Some members of the family will receive specialty chocolates. I used a gift card I won in an online contest to pay for those purchases. Total out of pocket cost: $0. I also bought myself a box of candy. Yum, yum, delicious!
I bought my mom a gift from NOVICA using a gift certificate I received last year for blogging about their site. Total out of pocket cost: $0.
I also cashed in $200 worth of credit card rewards for gift cards. (Thank you Chase Freedom.) I thought about using the gift cards to buy gifts, but ultimately decided to lighten my load on Christmas day by just handing out the cards.
I’m also giving my aunt and uncle a gift card to Starbucks. My husband and I each earned e-gift cards for completing surveys related to our 401(k) provider. I combined them onto a physical card that was already worth $5. Total out of pocket cost = $0. By the way kudos to websites like Starbucks and Subway that you let you combine gift card balances. I love being able to move all the money onto one card so I don’t have to drag a bunch of cards around wherever I go.
I used a Hallmark coupon for $5 off a $10 purchase to buy an adorable little Christmas dish set for a friend of ours who loves to entertain for the holidays. Total cost = $5.
Finally I dug through my gift box. That magical box holds items I purchase on clearance or at deep discounts throughout the year. Included in the box was a beautiful $50 scarf I bought for $5 after sales and coupons and a gorgeous set of candle holders and candles that I bought for $7. Total cost = $12.
I did splurge on two items for my husband. I can’t say what they are because he reads my blog, but they cost roughly $125.
So how about you? Did you manage to save a lot of money this year? If so, what were your tricks for saving money?