Thrifty Thursday: Christmas on a Budget

Each year, I start budgeting for Christmas in January. This enables me to buy things throughout the year when they go on sale. I was a little stressed this year because I really hadn’t come across many exciting deals, but then the Amazon deals came along and I made up for lost time.

I am still receiving boxes. I don’t think I will give the kids all of this for Christmas (I will probably put some of it away for their birthdays), but I just wanted to share that a little bit can go a LONG way and you don’t have to spend a lot of money for Christmas. I actually came in under budget for Christmas this year and will have money to start out my Christmas fund for next year.

Total OOP: $113.78 (before rebates), $108.79 after rebates
Total retail value: $380.78

Disney Bike – Total OOP was $6 exactly, regularly $79.99. On sale for $20 off at Toys ‘R us. Used 20% off coupon. Used $10 off Toys ‘R Us gift card. Used $30 Toys ‘R Us gift card (did a prescription transfer @ Randalls and got it for free).

Leapster – Total OOP was $3.88, regularly $49.99. On sale for $28.88 at Used $25 e-certificate earned from Britax carseat deal that fell through, earned $2.02 back from Ebates.

Leapster games: Dora Pinata Party (regularly $17.99), Letterpillar (regularly $17.99), Kindergarten (regularly $24.99), Scooby Doo (regularly $17.99), and Numbers Raiders (regularly $17.99), total regular price $96.95. Purchased during Leap Frog 50% off sale , spend $49.47, earned $2.97 back from Ebates.

Leap Frog Tag reading system (regularly $49.99) and Disney Princess book (regularly $13.99) – $21.98 for both during Amazon Gold Box deal

Dr. Seuss I can Do That Game – $5.99 during Amazon deal (regularly $19.99)

Hannah Montana doll – $3.24 (purchased on clearance at Target) (regularly $9.99)

Hannah Montana Jake doll – $3.24 (purchased on clearance at Target) (regularly $9.99)

Barbie & The Diamond Castle dolls – $9.99/each (purchased through deals, regularly $24.95/each)

Total OOP: $110.64 (before rebates), $109.72 after rebates
Total retail value – $214.89

Fisher Price Musical Fingerpaint – regularly $19.99, purchased from Etoys for $14.99 (received .32 from Ebates)

Clipo Creativity Table – regularly $32.99, purchased for $19.99 on

Clipo Activity bucket – regularly $19.99, purchased for $5.99 through Amazon deal

Imaginarium blocks set – regularly $19.99, purchased for $9.99 through Toys ‘R Us deal

Mr. Potato Head Themed Value Pack – $7.99 through Amazon, regularly $19.99

Playskool Talk ‘N Scan Cash register – $5.99 through Amazon, regularly $15.99

Tonka Front loader truck – $3.99 through Amazon, regularly $12.99

Leap Frog fridge Farm – $9.99 through Leap Frog 50% off sale, regularly $19.99 (received .60 from Ebates)

Little Einsteins character set – $1.49 clearance at Target, regularly $7.99

Tonka Truck – $3.24 on clearance at Target, regularly $9.99

Fisher Price Rock, Roll & Ride trike – $26.99 on Amazon, regularly $34.99

My CVS trip for the week. I went in with the intention of buying just the Contour monitors. They are on sale for $14.99 this week and you earn a $5 ECB. I have a coupon good for up to $30 off. So, the cashier scanned my monitor and then my coupon and told me I needed $15 more in merchandise. This is NOT supposed to happen and I TOLD the cashier that she was supposed to adjust the coupon down, but she insisted she couldn’t. So, I ended up with all of these for some change OOP and earned $15.99 in ECBs.

My Walgreens trip. I lost count of how many Turtles I purchased. They are on sale for $.99 this week and there are $1.50/1 coupons. I bought them in sets of 11, used 7 coupons (you can’t use one coupon per item because then it beeps because of the overage), and paid .39/each. I went to different stores and did not clear shelves (there were still plenty left). I even shared leftover coupons with the cashiers!