Monthly Archives: December 2014

Gifts for Next Year? Oh Yes!

Mr Saver and I were able to get out today for a little post-Christmas shopping (Thanks Grandma for babysitting)! I was thrilled to be able to get some 50% off gifts for next Christmas.

There are three keys to making this work for me:

1.  I have to be buying for a specific person.  I can’t just buy random stuff and hope it works for someone next year.

2.  I have to come home and enter the purchases on our gift spreadsheet for next year.  Otherwise, yes, I will end up forgetting that I already bought a gift for that person.

3. Of course the gifts must be purchased with CASH.  You can’t save 50% and then pay 19% interest on the gifts for the next three years.

Gifts for next year

Gifts for next year


My first haul included the gifts at left.  All were $ 5.00 or less.  The kids’ gifts are tried and tested.  The Disney Princess card set we own and used hundreds of times.  Dolly stickers – sure hit as well.  The Stonewall Kitchens soap is always a pleasure to give.  I also found a wooden gift tag/ornament. I try to pick gifts that I would have purchased at full price and not just grab things because of a low price. We all have so much stuff in our lives and I want my gifts to be valued.

Another unexpected find at Target was an Isabelle American Girl mini doll.  Strange item for Target to sell as they have their own line of American Girl-like dolls.  My daughter was there when we found Isabelle. I said 11.00 is too high for an impulse purchase for me at this time of year, but if she would like me to hold it for her birthday I can do that. It is important to me that she have some “skin in the game” with discretionary purchases. When you are a grown-up, even small purchases that you can afford affect your finances. “A small leak will sink a great ship.” Amen to that, Ben Franklin.

Isabelle Mini at Target

Isabelle Mini at Target

Finally, I knew I needed tissue paper for gifts, labels, and three small gift bags for next Christmas. Those were also purchased for 50%’off and I won’t need further gift wrapping supplies next year.

Have you found any gifts on sale for next year?

Hi ho, Hi ho, Off to Work I Go…

Vintage-Sleigh-Silhouette-Scene-thm-GraphicsFairy-150x150It sure has been a long time since I have posted!  I have been enjoying keeping up with everyone’s blogs despite my own silence here on

In early October one of the reading aides at my daughter’s school left for another opportunity.  As soon as I heard about it, I felt like my next career step was right there at my feet.  I applied and a few weeks later I was on the job, working more hours, for more money, and better benefits.  As part of my job I have a few book discussion groups going with elementary school kids, and even when I am home, I still need to keep up with my readers.

The job has definitely had some pros and cons on the home front.  We have been pretty disciplined about eating dinner at home.  Couponing, though, has been very erratic.  For a while I was in the groove with Flylady’s system to keep the home organized, and I need to get back to that ASAP.  That is a major goal as 2015 nears.

We have used the extra income to boost general savings and college savings.  We are actively saving for summer vacation and for kid activities for summer.  In winter we save for summer and in summer we save for Christmas!

I know I am more disciplined with home organization, meal planning, and personal finance when I am blogging, so I hope to carve out time for this in 2015.

Thank you for all the ways you have enriched my 2014, friends!