Monday, December 24, 2012

The $3 Christmas Present Piles

Santa pulled it off again this year!

We managed to create a pile of gifts for each of our kids for less than $3 each.

Up first is Oliver's. He got a new child's snow shovel from Home Depot. This past fall, Home Depot had a Facebook game in which you mowed down zombies with a wood chip mulcher to get free certificates. We used a $5 off of $5 purchase to get Oliver a free snow shovel. On Small Business Saturday, we went to a toy store called Timbuk Toys. As I posted before, we got a "Honeybee Tree" board game for Oliver and some jingle bells for Jo. After the $25 Small Business Saturday discount, they came to $2.28. I took Jo's summer clothes into a consignment shop and got enough credit to pick out the baseball mitt for Oliver. On Black Friday, I scored two baseballs for less than 50 cents. A fellow mom in MOMS Club was cleaning out her daughters' bookshelf, and she gave me a pile of Clifford books. They were in great condition, so they went into Oliver's Christmas pile. Finally, I went to JCPenney every day between Black Friday and Christmas Eve to get free buttons that they were giving away. Each button came with a code I entered online. One in four buttons was a winner. I won a substantial quantity of free $5 and $10 vouchers. I worked hard to make purchases of their exact amount to get items for free. Below, you can see Oliver got a toy birthday cake because he loves candles. It was on sale for $10, so I got it for free with one of my $10 vouchers. The Melissa & Doug stamp set was on clearance for $8. I picked up a $2 pair of socks and got the stamp set for free!

Here is Jo's pile. The mailbox was actually once Oliver's. A few months ago, I cleaned it up and replaced the batteries. I stowed it away in the closet so it would be fresh and new for Jo. I got the basketball game from a gift exchange from MOMS Club. We brought in some toys we no longer used and got this in return. The wrapped gift was a bathtub coloring set that I got for free with my Pampers rewards points. I posted previously about good rewards programs, but I ended up saving the bumble bee flashlight and the Dumbo puzzle to give to the kids next year instead. The bathtub fishing net was also free. We ordered a Christmas present on Amazon that came to $20. We were going to have to pay $5 in shipping, or we would get free shipping if we spent $25. So, I searched the website for a $5-$6 toy, since I would pay that much for shipping anyway. Jo loves taking baths, so I chose that for her. The book was saved from Oliver. I paid for the box of Kleenex (which she loved). You can also see the jingle bells poking out from behind the wrapped gift, which, as I mentioned from Oliver's pile, came from Timbuk Toys on Small Business Saturday.

And, so, once again, Santa pulled off a good but affordable Christmas. All told, we spent about $7 in our piles of presents from Santa. In addition, we got a number of gifts using the JCPenney vouchers for next year. Santa plans ahead!

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