Now that the big day is over (THANK GOODNESS!) I thought I would recap our experience for a frugal Christmas.
As you may recall, the deal was that each person could get $25 spent on them by their spouse and $25 by the other couple. We allowed a few extra dollars for stocking stuffers.
Main presents were two light-up controllers for the Xbox 360. Nadine and I bought together on special and got them for $20 each.
He got some small doodads from his parents as stocking stuffers, like a couple of snacks and goodies he wouldn’t normally get himself.
From me, he got some Green Lantern buttons (Hot Topic, $2 clearance), a year-long Maxim subscription ($5 special, minus $1.50 back from Mr. Rebates) and 3 $25-Restaurant.com GCs ($1 each minus 35 cents back through Mr. Rebates).
Total cost for me: $27.45; for Nadine & Marc: under $30
We found a foot spa thing that Nadine said he had wanted for ages. I guess his feet are hard to work on and get pretty bad. That was $10.
He also loves a Facebook game called Knights of Camelot, so I searched for a similar PC game. There were two good contenders, so I printed out descriptions for both and told him to choose one. Once he does, we’ll download it to his computer.
Nadine found a nice new electric razor he would like. It was on sale at Sears for $34.99. I had to order something anyway, so we combined the two and got $5 off since the order was over $50. We also got 5% back through Mr. Rebates.
After tax, the total was $31.39. Since she didn’t buy any stocking stuffers for him, and since it was a nice razor, we agreed it was a fair price.
Total cost for us: $18-20; for Nadine: $31.39.
We got her a book she had been interested in, The Help, for $9 and a goodies basket at Ulta for $5.49 after coupon. The basket had a sleep mask, two vanilla votives, a ginger shower gel and a berry shower gel.
At Target, I found a vanilla hand sanitizer (vanilla is one of her favorite scents) and a plastic tiger that roars when you push a button on its belly. Each was $1. At Michael’s I found a little notebook of various sticky notes — all with the initial “N” on them. It was $.80 after coupon.
Marc got her some nice items from Bath & Body Works. (She asked for scented items, we aren’t trying to tell her she smells!) There was a Buy 2, Get 1 Free special. After tax, it came to just under $30, but the items were the perfect combinations of her favorite scents. And, again, no stocking stuffers. So we agreed it was fair.
Total cost to us: $17.56; Total cost to Marc: $29.60
Nadine got me a $15 iTunes GC, so I can download some songs I want. (I hate the idea of paying for music, even just 99 cents!) She also got me a nice planner/address book that also has a notepad in the back. Very useful!
One of my stocking stuffers was two containers of her homemade trail mix for when I’m out and about — especially at Magic tournaments. Yummy and better/cheaper than fast food.
Tim got me a nice set of hair brushes that I had asked for. (My current one has to be at least a decade old and looks ever day of it.) The set included some alligator clips to help me section off my hair while I’m blow drying it. That will make life easier.
Total cost for Tim: $19.22(ish) after tax; total cost for Marc & Nadine: under $30 (to the best of my knowledge).
While the $25-limit was bent a bit, I still call this a success. We were all delighted with our gifts and will get use out of them. With such a tight budget, we really had to think about the gifts we gave and make sure they would be appreciated.
And with the most expensive item being under $31.50 — including tax! — I would say we did pretty well. Tim and I have already agreed we’d like to do something similar next year, since we’ll be coping with the expense of an infant.