2011 Christmas In Review

We did exceptionally well this Christmas! I’m very proud of my family and myself for the beautiful Christmas we had this year. Despite having a huge tree and a beautifully decorated house I didn’t spend a cent on decorations or wrapping. My mother had tons of both from years past and insisted on sharing now that I have my own house.

The above picture shows why I love using comics as wrapping! They also save you lots of cutting and money. If you are getting multiple newspapers ever Sunday I look at this as an added benefit. We used the free tape from HERE to wrap gifts. We are also saving bags and boxes from this year for next year.

I was asked by a friend to participate in buying gifts for the children at a local homeless shelter and feel very thankful for being able to take part in it. I chose the oldest teenagers because I figured most people would choose younger children. I love, love the gift bags we put together for them with fun and practical personal care items, etc. My sister and I even drove a half an hour to the Victoria Secret Outlet to buy tote bags for the girls for $1.99 each! Thanks to couponing I was able to do this while spending very little money. See the above picture of the items laid out on their bags.

I LOVE many of the practical gifts I got this year. The best way to surround yourself with things from the people you love is to have them buy you things you need and use. My brother bought me a cast iron skillet (we are trying to avoid Teflon), my father got me stainless steel pots (again, trying to avoid Teflon) with lids and best of all a buffet food warmer since my new favorite hobby is making dinner for lots of people. My mother got me a small suitcase for weekend trips and my boyfriend got me a huge roller board suitcase for when we make long trips. These were both great because we LOVE to travel. Traveling is one thing I feel it is very worthwhile spending money on. My aunt got me a sewing machine which I have been wanting for some projects that I know I can accomplish once I figure out how to use it. My sister got me some really great household and personal care products as well as lots of picture frames which I will use all through my house. My boyfriend also bought me my very own copy of THE TIGHTWAD GAZETTE!!!! (I wrote about it HERE). For those who don’t know, it is the frugal living bible. I am so excited. I read it when I got it from the library and wanted to buy my own copy for a year but I never expected to get it as a gift. I love rereading it and also being able to write in my own notes this time.

None of us went into any debt to buy any gifts, because we used so many frugal strategies. Including, using gift cards, shopping sales, giving free with coupon household items, shopping at dollar stores, and many other ideas you can see here (30 Ways to Save Money This Holiday Season).

We all ate and made tons of food which cost us very little after couponing and discounts and stocking up when there were good deals through the year. Now I have lots of leftovers that will save me from having to cook for days and I will probably still have some to freeze for later.

I bought an extra ham and turkey this holiday season with a steep employee discount from the place my mother works. I have kept them frozen and I hope that this will help offset some of our meat grocery costs in the coming year.

Right now, I feel like I never need to go shopping again! I have everything I need and can’t imagine needing anything else (at least not anything I can’t buy with the many gift cards I now have lol). I know this feeling won’t last long but I’m going to try to hold onto it because I am so lucky to be so blessed.

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  1. Thanks for your comment on my post! It sounds like you had a fabulous Christmas. 🙂 When I make shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child I always pick the oldest age group, too. It’s so sad how they often get neglected. 🙁

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