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Monday, January 7, 2019

January Spending to Save Big Later in the Year

Although I am trying to keep a grip on spending this month, there is one kind of spending that I am allowing because it will save me big bucks later. That's gift spending. In the past 10 days, I have been stalking websites and brick and mortar stores for gift-ables to use for birthdays and Christmas 2019. This is how I can afford a few sort of high-end gifts for my family. In very early January, many retailers have not only their holiday clearance sales but also have their annual or semi-annual sales. Deals can be found both in-person and online. In addition, by shopping online, I also targeted department stores that are not even in my area. I upped my savings by signing up for email lists to get an introductory discount to combine with sales at various online retailers. On a variety of gift items, ranging from bath and body products to cashmere accessories, I saved between 40 and 75% off of the regular retail price for everything that I bought. I now have gifts for spring and fall birthdays, Easter, and Christmas for most of the people on my gift list. I will fill out my gift closet throughout the coming year and add items that become favorites as I hear about them.

I am careful to buy gifts that are versatile, in that they could change recipients if needed, avoiding sized items. For example, a cashmere wrap could be a gift for many of the women in my family, and it would fit any of them (although, for the time being, I have it earmarked for one specific female). In bath and body products, holiday gift sets, such as sets of travel-sized, assorted scents of hand cream or shower gel, are often deeply discounted. These can be given, as is, during 2019's holiday season, or they can be taken out of the holiday gift box and presented in a sheer fabric bag for a birthday gift. These gift sets can also be broken up for smaller gifts, such as for Easter, Valentine's Day, or a small birthday gift for a friend. While it may sound like my purchases are primarily female gifts, I have also bought several men's gifts, such as sweaters and men's grooming products, as well as some couples' gifts, such as household and holiday items.

In addition to gifts, I stocked up on gift wrap, tags, and boxed Christmas cards for 50 cents a package at Dollar Tree's clearance sale, and next year's Christmas candy for the family at 50-75% off retail price from several grocery stores. As a bonus, one of the candy items (truffles wrapped in red foil) will be used for Valentines Day treats for my family.

I think I mentioned this before, but I keep a log of all of the gifts that I have bought and who is to receive them. By shopping in advance, and tracking for whom things are intended, my gift-giving has less last-minute spending, which in my experience has always been the most expensive kind of gift spending. Plus, birthdays and holidays are less hectic, and I feel more organized going into any gift-giving season.

I know, by January, most of us just want to put Christmas behind us. For me, as our family continues to celebrate Christmas through Epiphany, the gift-shopping is just one extension of the holiday season, with the added perk of the charge that I get when I know that I am saving our family money. So, for me, this works.


  1. That is a very smart and organized way to do things. I understand that you are careful to get gifts that will be appropriate at various times of the year, but it's hard for me to buy ahead too far. It seems what people want, like, need often changes over the course of the year. However, I do wait until after Christmas to purchase many things that are needed now. And candy for next Christmas--let's just say that it would have to be well hidden from me to last for another year. :)

    1. Hi live and learn,
      you have to do what works for yourself. I think you have found that scenario in waiting till after Christmas to buy current needs.

      As for the candy, I have no idea why this works for me, but as long as I don't open the bag, I won't eat the candy. But once the package is opened, I can't control my candy-eating. In addition, I keep it well-hidden/inaccessible from the rest of the household.

      I do hold back on some of the gift-buying, for specific people, as their tastes/needs do change, and I can't anticipate what they might want by next Christmas. Fortunately, some of these people have spring birthdays, and what they want in December is often applicable for March, April, or May. So I can pick up birthday gifts for them in January.

      Have a lovely day, live and learn.

  2. You are the ultimate organizer! I need to take a page from your book and keep a running list on gift items that I purchase. I tend to buy things to put away as gifts and then forget I bought them.

    Now that my kids are older, my gift purchasing has shifted somewhat. When they were smaller and had recess, I made a point of hitting the January sales and buying hats/mittens/scarves for the following Christmas, but that doesn't really meet our needs anymore. I do tend to make purchases throughout the year and use them at birthdays/Christmas--for instance, at the end of the summer I bought a really nice hooded Detroit Tigers pullover for my son that was on sale.

    Hope you had a great Christmas and New Year's! It's kinda nice to have life settle down, isn't it?

    1. Hi Kris,
      I used to just buy and put things away, without making a list, but I found, as you do, that I would forget about them. Keeping the list at the back of my journal takes care of that. I would sometimes buy way too much for one person, because I would forget everything else that I had bought.
      Oh yes, shopping clearances at other times of the year can be great, too! That is wonderful that you found the hoodie for your son that he would like. I bet that has become a favorite of his. Penney's has great clearance sales online year round. I found several items for this past Christmas, during the middle of summer by shopping Penney's online in the clearance section mid-summer.

      Life is getting back to routine, here. Have a wonderful day, Kris!


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