Back in October, I challenged myself to spend $10 on the rest of my holiday gifts. Are you wondering how it’s going? If you’ve been following Stapler Confessions on Twitter or Facebook, you know that there have been some irresistible deals out there these past two months. So, it probably comes as no surprise that I am done with holiday shopping. I have already started to add items to my gift closet inventory for upcoming birthdays for my son, nieces and nephews, and my son’s friends. I have found some amazing deals simply by snagging items at rock bottom prices and paying for them with unused gift cards, points from rewards programs, and cashing out the savings in my SavingStar account for an Amazon gift card. My gift closet inventory is bursting, but I can’t brag that it was done for $10 or less. I did exceed my budget by a little bit.
I could break down my purchases into a play-by-play of what discount I used where, but I think it’s more helpful to see what I added to my gift closet, the techniques I used — that you can apply to your purchases — and the net cost. My proudest deal of all are the reindeer ornaments I made for my nieces, nephews, first cousins once removed, and the son of my first cousin once removed (would he be my first cousin twice removed?). I made twelve, all embroidered with their initial. The supplies cost $5 total, for 12 gifts.
- 7 — Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs blu ray ($5 each) for future birthday party gifts (I have already given one away)
- 2 — Planes blu ray ($8 each) as holiday gifts for my son and my nephew
- 8 — Board games ($3-$5 each, some of them marked down from $19.99), for birthday gifts for my nieces and nephews, Christmas gift donations, and a few for my son when he’s old enough for them.
- Lands’ End Touchscreen gloves for my husband‘s Christmas gift
- LEGOs at WalMart ($15 for 600 pieces!) for my husband’s Christmas gift
- Planes aircraft carrier at Amazon (was $15 at the time) for our son’s Christmas or birthday gift
- $15 worth of random (but useful) items for my husband’s stocking, via Amazon
- $5 on materials to make ornaments.
- $10 on my holiday card display
As you can see, despite getting good deals on items for my gift closet, I still needed to cut the costs some way other than just getting good prices. To that end, I took advantage of some good point-of-sale deals, cashed in some rewards accounts, and used some gift cards. Here is the breakdown of discounts applied at the point of sale.
- $15 — Cashed out my SavingStar balance into an Amazon gift card
- $20 — Amazon gift card won from a contest
- $5 — Amazon credit for sharing my wishlist
- $25 — American Express statement credit for spending $75 at Amazon (I bought some necessary books to achieve the $75)
- $5 — Toys R Us Groupon
- $5 — Toys R Us Rewards credit
- $6 — credit in Shop Your Way Rewards account
- $2 — Ebates cashback
Out of Pocket Costs: $70
- $0 Amazon
- $5 Staples
- $38 Toys R Us
- $10 Michael’s (craft store)
- $2 Lands’ End
- $15 WalMart
$70 to update my gift closet inventory feels like a MAJOR FAIL on the $10 holiday gifts goal. But, only half are Christmas gifts. The Christmas gifts themselves cost $5 for the ornaments, $17 husband (retail price $65), and $8 for my son (although we may shuffle one of his Christmas gifts over the the “birthday gift” pile). Total holiday spending was $30. All in all, I am happy that the total amount ended up so low. I am also glad that I got to re-discover my creative side and make all of those one-of-a-kind ornaments for loved ones.
If you are still on the hunt for good deals on gifts this season, or would like to start a gift closet of your own, consider liking Stapler Confessions on Facebook or following me on Twitter (the buttons at the bottom of the post make this easy!). I don’t spam with OK deals — I only post the stuff I would consider buying.
Are you done with your holiday shopping? Still finishing up your list? Or just getting started?