Monday, December 30, 2013

We Only Spent $50 Per Kid This Christmas... And They Were Happy! Success!

You read that right. Fifty bucks. When Mr. Ordinary and I began talking Christmas business a month or so back, he came up with the  (what I thought was insane at the time) idea of spending just $50 per child for Christmas.

Now, we've never been over-the-top Santas here at the Ordinary House, but I think our typical budget has been about $75 per child. So this wasn't the easiest of feats. But we did it! And it was kind of fun! Here's how and why:

  • We really listened to what the kids wanted. We try our best to steer clear of commercialism, so we don't do letters to Santa or bring the topic of all that their little hearts desire all that much. But it's Christmas, so catalogs come and the topic does come up from time to time. So this year we super-duper paid attention.

  • I made a chart. Across the top were the categories Want, Need, Wear, & Read. And then I crossed off read and replaced it with Smaller Want because, honestly, we don't need any more books in this house and I like the library better than buying books anyway. Down the first column went their names and then we filled the thing in with ideas over dinner on date night.

  • I knew to make the budget work I'd have to watch sales like a hawk. Enter the wonders of Bargain Briana and Money Saving Mom. They did the bargain hunting for me and I just clicked their convenient little links. Thanks, girls!
So, what did we get? Well, I'll tell ya!

Big Boy (10) got...
  • a real deal kids bow and arrow set ($20, Meijer)
  • a snowboard ($15, Menards)
  • a long-sleeved, camo shirt with a hood ($8, Target)
  • a Transformers spin-brush ($5, Target)
Monkey (8) got...
  • a remote control Mudslinger Jeep (regularly $40, but I found it for $15 one day on Target's website! SCORE!)
  • a Z-Curve bow that he'd been eyeing ($15, Menards)
  • a long-sleeved, camo t-shirt ($8, Target)
  • a Transformers spin-brush ($5, Target)
Future (6) got...
  • an Imaginext T-Rex huge dinosaur toy thing he's been eyeing (usually $40, on sale for $23, Amazon)
  • a military set with planes and guys and stuff ($10, Target)
  • a long-sleeved shirt with a motorcycle on it because I couldn't find another camo shirt to save my life ($6, Target)
  • a Transformers spin-brush ($5, Target)
Sunshine (4) got...
  • a Melissa & Doug fold-n-go dollhouse (scored on sale for only $25, Amazon)
  • a doctor's kit, because she wants to be a "hospitiler" ($14, Target)
  • a sweater dress with a cute fawn on it ($9, Crazy8 <---love li="" place="" that="">
  • a princess spin-brush ($5, Target)
Little Man (2) got...
  • a Tonka bulldozer ($16, Menards)
  • a bike helmet because he has a thing for helmets right now ($20, Target)
  • a flannel shirt because baby lumberjacks are adorable ($8, Target)
  • an ABC spin-brush ($5, Target)
For stockings, I happened to have a gift card to Barnes and Noble that I hadn't used so I picked up some little scratch-off style hangman books for the 3 big boys, a set of colored pencils made out of actual fat twigs ("Santa" slipped a few pencils in each stocking) for $5 and some blank journals for another $5 at Home Goods.

Grand total: $247! Woo hoo!

I was nervous about the limited budget, but we made it work and the kids were absolutely thrilled Christmas morning.

How about you? Do you use a budget at Christmas or do you just go nuts?


Sharon@DiscoverExploreLearn said...

You guys did awesome! I'm impressed! I love that you did a combination of fun stuff (toys), and more practical stuff (clothes, toothbrushes).

Anonymous said...

good deal! it sounds really nice what you got them! I had a big problem for my mother this year, I just could not decide what to give her for christmass but then I was like okay let's get her some gaming fun and I gave her 2 months for At first I was not sure because this present is very impersonal but then she actually was quite happy about it! or she was good at faking it :)
says Mary