Friday, December 12, 2014

Frugal Friday: Planning Ahead

Do you remember the movie, A Christmas Story?  There is a line in the story when Ralphie is talking about wanting the Red Ryder BB Gun and says he felt the Christmas noose tightening itself around his neck.  Well, I kind of feel that way myself lately. 

This year I don't seem to have my act together.  A lot of it was because I was so distracted and busy with the shop.  And I'm kicking myself for not making my list, planning ahead and getting things done in advance of December 11!

That is something I want to rectify in the coming year.  If I start planning for Christmas in January then it won't be such a crunch to come up with something nor will it be a financial issue.  However, yesterday I remembered I have a shed full of gift items that were left over from my shop so I'm going shopping there today and getting things in the mail to our extended family.  My mother sent money for Christmas as she always does so I can use that to buy for the kids.  She always sends us money for the children as well as Dan & I, but we usually end up using ours for the children.  :-)

Planning ahead really is the key to being frugal.  If you are always a day behind then you will always be a dollar short too.  Look at the coming year's calendar and figure out what birthdays, anniversaries or other special occasions are coming up and plan ahead.  If you are in the store and see something on sale that Susie would love and there is a super sale on it, get it now even though her birthday isn't for 3 months.  If you know Don's graduation is in June, start making that gift item now so you don't have to juggle household, job and trying to make something all at the same time.

Now, I just need to follow my own advice! :-)  I used to be better at this but have really gotten out of the "plan ahead" mode over the past year.  So I'm refocusing and getting my act together.  After Christmas is a perfect time to see prices slashed on items and to be able to plan for the next year. 

One year I bought the cutest little fabric Easter baskets that were shaped like animals for 10 cents each!  That was an amazing savings, given they were originally $5.99.  I used them for shower gifts with a bunch of homemade burp cloths and because I bought the whole shopping cart full of them (about 15) they lasted me for years.  So rejoice when you can find those types of deals.

Okay, now on to some ways I've saved or made money this week:

$ Used an online code to save 40% on a gift item for both sets of parents.  Also used a code from the same company to save on shipping.  Total savings: $ 25.

$ Working with Dan to see where we can cut expenses and reduce debt.

$ I've been buying my eggs from the local post office (yes, this is a small community lol) for $1.50 per dozen.  I found out yesterday that the price jumped up to $2.25 so I will be finding them from a different source.

$ My daughter and her friend are planning a Christmas party here and have asked everyone to bring a dish which I thought was a wonderful way to save on food costs.

$ I have gotten two Etsy orders this week for tea totes and soaps which brought in some money.

$ A local coffee shop is carrying some of my items and I've done very well there in just one week of them being open.  I haven't gotten paid yet, but that money will help too.

$ Did well at the town craft fair last Saturday.

$ Whenever I get a box from a delivery of something, I save it so I can reuse it to ship an order.  This saves on having to purchase packaging from the post office.

$ Ate at home every night, and made Nathan a dinner to take with him to work so he can save money too.

I think that's it this week.  I love doing the Frugal Friday posts because it keeps me focused throughout the week.  Remember to make those lists and plan ahead!