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Some Small Savings & Christmas Stuff

December 14th, 2016 at 07:53 am

**We received a $5 statement credit for checking AmEx account on mobile app.

**I bought ahead $100 of Target gift cards, 10% off. MH later asked me if we should buy up gift cards for kids' to gift for their friends' birthday parties. Smart! We bought 5 Target gift cards during 2016, so I just bought up 5 ($15) gift cards at 10% off.

We probably could/should have done the $300 max, but we already get 5% off our purchases and it is a bit of a hassle. This is the first year we even took the 10% deal.

**I did also get MM(13) switched over to our cheap dentist from the pediatric (not cheap) dentist. I expect this will save us at least $400 per year. DL(11) is not quite there yet, but probably soon.

**The saga of DL's extra tooth is finally over. Phew! We were told maybe 3 years ago that they might have to do surgery to remove it. But we have been waiting (& waiting) and it finally erupted (broke the skin) on its own, without causing too many problems. So he had that tooth yanked this week.

It's one minor win. I expect he will cost me tens of thousands of dollars for the long haul. He has all the teeth/jaw problems that I had. So... I will take any win I can get.

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**We are doing virtually nothing for Christmas.

I generally don't do much because my work is so busy. But this year is just insane busy, starting several weeks early.

I think that's compounded with us just having a crazy year in general, MH being so busy, and being on a general downward trend of Christmas spending.

The kids and I grew up in homes that didn't make a huge materialistic deal about Christmas. So... I am pretty sure that *MH* is the one that broached the subject, but we had discussed not getting the kids any gifts this year. Well, *he* did grow up in a house that made a huge deal about Christmas, so he's been very wishy washy about this. To us and the kids, he clearly has issues. As of this moment in time, we agreed to get them one "need" gift each, and some stocking stuffers (food). I think that's probably where we will land, but lord knows. (& when he said, "no gifts", I figured we'd still be doing stockings/treats, so we seem to be on the same page on that part).

As to the kids, they could care less about if we get them any gifts.

The kids also insist that they don't care about our (plastic) tree, and so we decided not to put it up this year. I don't know if this is more of a break or a more permanent decision. I would like to buy a smaller tree, but will probably let it go for this year and will shop the after-Christmas sales. We might not bother decorating at all. Lord knows I won't be around much to care either way.

Gifts I bought for my parents: a concert ticket for my dad and a charitable gift in my mom's name.

& we always take my Christmas bonus ($200) and each pick a charity to donate $50 to.

For the in-laws, we already bought a big gift, since they generally go big. MH always has some electronic toy or whatever in mind. They will give us more cash than we spend for all of Christmas, so I figure money is no object for their gift.

But... Hell has frozen over! MIL announced a week or two ago that she was going to give us $500 to give to charity. I don't think she has any idea that we already do this. In fact, I told most my friends and relatives (about 10 years ago!) that I'd rather them donate to charity than give me gifts. Everyone was very receptive to this, except my MIL. She was NOT Having it. So... I have no idea what on earth happened, but I guess it's a Christmas miracle. Big Grin (She seems to be toning it down on the gift side of things, though I never for sure until it's over. I am not holding my breath on that part. But... I just feel like she actually gets it on some level, that she would do this. Less emphasis on the stuff).

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I've spent virtually nothing this year (on myself or on retail). Since I had a few days off around my birthday, I went shopping. WAY behind on allowance spending. & not that I need to spend it all (because I won't). But I updated my wardrobe a bit.

I also found a beautiful table cloth for $30 that goes very well in our formal dining room. You never know if these things will look as good in person, but we put it up yesterday and it is just perfect! I also bought a "Christmas" table cloth and we put it over, for now. I had a couple of Christmas items stored in the china cabinet, so just put those out to anchor the table cloth (the table is over 100 inches long). & I found my Christmas tree scented candle, so we ended up with a little Christmas spirit. I set up a Christmas table for us to put our gifts on.

I had bought a very pretty table cloth (last year) which wasn't practical and I just decided to donate. I also donated a few sweaters, to make room for some new ones.

Oh, and that reminds me. MM is outgrowing his clothes like crazy. DL didn't want most of MM's old shirts, so I had a pile to donate. Plus I took out all of the "baby" hangers from their closets. I had already given MM some of my hangers for his uniform shirts, but otherwise they don't bother hanging up their clothes.

I bought an electronic toy last January that I knew I would most likely sell. I think it was $150 retail and I paid virtually nothing for it because I used credit card rewards. I sold it yesterday for $85.

We went by the school Dicken's fair briefly over the weekend. I ended up picking up a very cool tie dye shirt for myself. I didn't get her business card, and I could kick myself. She had some really neat tie dye. Very talented. If I had more Christmas shopping to do, there would have been some good gifts.

MH and I snuck in a nice lunch date. We've been doing that some on the weekends. Is unusual for us (to go out, to be spontaneous, or to even eat out). But since we didn't invite the kids, it was more of a reasonable expenditure. I had a perpetual headache and I knew it was work stress. So I decided to relax Saturday. Sunday I worked all day. I *might* take Sunday off for Christmas with MH's family. (Not sure where I will be with work and I am fighting off a cold. If I get sick at all I will need the time to catch up). & not that I'd work *all* weekend, but I just won't be able to get much done if I go out of town all day. I may need a mental health day (or physical health day) at home. I will take Christmas Day off. Otherwise it's just work work work, for me. MH's last day of work (for the season) should be Friday. So he can take care of the kids' crazy schedules. All 3 schools have completely different breaks, and 2 have weird final schedules (next week). MH will be home for a month.

5 Responses to “Some Small Savings & Christmas Stuff”

  1. househopeful Says:

    I did the target deal too. Got 2 $15 cards for daycare teachers, 2 $25 (one for my sister and one for my nephew) and one $75 card for us to use for items throughout the year. 10% off is a pretty good deal!

  2. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    I did the $300 maximum deal at target. But I also gave away $120 of it off the bat to the teachers for DK. The rest for gifts and saving for more gift cards at the end of the year.

  3. rob62521 Says:

    Wow, great Target deal!

  4. littlegopher Says:

    For the tye dye seller - the fair organizers may have the contact info.

    We've cut back on decorating at my house too, and it's nice.

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I had thought about getting one of those star laser things so our house had some kind of decoration ... but I've heard too many stories of them being stolen. So ... no decorating going on here.

    I plan on trying to update my cold weather wardrobe this Friday. I'll mostly have to use my spending allowance, because there isn't much in the clothing budget ATM. We're supposed to get into the negatives Saturday morning ... possibly snow.

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