Monday, July 12, 2010

The Holidays are coming!!!!!

The holidays are coming!!! ARRGGGHHHHHH..... You are probably thinking Christmas is still months away! People think I am crazy that I have already starting thinking and planning, but I have too! In my household, the time from Halloween to New Years is jam packed! We have Halloween, 3 November birthdays, Thanksgiving, a December birthday, then the big one... Christmas. My children have birthdays a week and half apart.

These are some of the things that my family does to make the next few months less stressful.

1.) Halloween candy can get expensive, so I try to stretch the candy by also adding toys or other items. I have a box that I toss extra or unwanted, unopened kid's meal toys into. You would be surprised at the collection you get over a few months time. I also purchase items like spider rings, pencils, or stickers purchased from the year before Halloween clearance. This gives a little variety to the candy cauldron.

Never pay full price for Halloween costumes. Buy on clearance or get some friends together and have a costume swap. I make most of my kid's costumes. I set a deadline, by mid September we have a hard idea of what we are going to be. Then I set my fabric and supply budget. I usually spend about $20 or less for two. If you make your own costumes, make use of Hobby Lobby and Micheal's coupons.

2.) I start stock piling items for baking and entertaining. I watch for BOGO cake mixes and frosting, sales on flour and sugar, etc. We do a lot of baking and cooking during the holidays so it is nice to have a well stocked pantry.

3.) I start watching for clearanced party supplies. Since I have 2 birthday parties to plan, I watch for solid colored plates, napkins, and clearance priced party favors. I have already started talking to my kids about the type of birthday parties they would like. This gives me an idea of items to watch for.

4.) Watch for sales and start shopping now! I have already started birthday/Christmas shopping for my kids now. It is a great time to watch for Toy clearance. You can find great deals 75-90% percent off. If you aren't sure it is something your children will like, you can always hold on to them to donate or put into a birthday box.
Start making your Christmas budget. Decide who you are buying for and set a gift amount for each person. If it is too much, then cut back on the amount. It isn't the gift that matters, it is the thought that counts.

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