I think most moms can agree that we're all about getting the best deal. That's why you can find us out and about on Black Friday every year. We're just trying to buy our family everything on their list and not break the bank.
One year, when we were tight on money, I scored all the kids' presents through the local Mom Swap on Facebook. My kids were young enough to not know how to make a wish list, so it was perfect! I couldn't do that now because they expect Santa to bring what they asked for in their letters.
Last year, I had the most successful year with my Christmas shopping. I think I found the secret!
At Target, I noticed that starting early November, a lot of the toys went on clearance. Amazingly reduced toys. And not just the ones that nobody wants-these were cool toys!
Every week, on my morning browse through the store, I would go straight to the clearance aisles in the toy department and arts and crafts section. It's a plus to grab good deals when you see them, not only for Christmas presents but start a gift closet and stock up. When you have a birthday party pop up, you won't have to worry about last minute stops at the store or an unexpected expense.
When it came down to Black Friday, we went out and purchased a few items IF* they were on sale. But we had a list in hand and didn't just buy for the sake of making a purchase. Always shop with a purpose!
The next time you are at the store, check the sales! I always have a running list of interests/needs/wants for all my kids. If a sale meets those criteria, I go ahead and make the purchase.
I had my Christmas shopping finished up before December started. You know what I was able to do? Actually enjoy the month while being completely present. I didn't have to worry about Christmas shopping so I had more time to focus on baking and decorating and fun holiday crafts.
However, this year I'm going to skip the toys and give my kids experiences. We are working on downsizing before we move. But in general, my kids don't need any more toys, they have an arsenal of Nerf guns and costumes and can play with them for hours. So many toys are just neglected and left for dead within a few days anyways.