Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Free Christmas in July ...

When people find out that we have five kiddos they inevitably ask how we can afford to have a large family with the economy the way it is. The short answer is that I am a cheapskate, and that my husband supports my frugal nature. The long answer involves an intricate network of coupons, freebies, homemade necessities, and a whole lot of prayer.

In addition to being hopelessly devoted to saving money, I also find it necessary to plan for everything months in advance. Just like a boy scout I prefer to always be prepared. To that end, the beginning of July always signals the beginning of the home stretch ... towards Christmas. Knowing that I am nearly halfway to those first Christmas shipping deadlines, class parties, and family celebrations gets my mind working overtime.

Providing gifts for all five of our kiddos, extended family, teachers, and friends always seems like a dauntingly expensive task, but I have found ways to keep the out of pocket cost to a minimum while making sure that everyone receives a gift that they can enjoy. For the next several weeks I would love to start sharing some of my ideas and tactics with you, and would love to hear of any that you use in return!

This year I set two goals for my Christmas spending:

  1. Earn enough "money" (or gift cards, as it were) via rewards, product testing, and similar sites to pay for as many Christmas gifts as possible.
  2. Make as many gifts myself as I can, since homemade gifts cost more in love than money.
So far I have already saved up enough Amazon and Target gift cards to buy over half of the kiddos' gifts! I am so happy with the progress that we have made on our lists.  Starting tomorrow I will profile one site per week that allows you to earn gift cards, cash, or incentives that can help keep your holiday shopping costs down as well!

In addition, I will also be periodically posting ideas and projects that I am working on for homemade gifts. Again - please be sure to comment with your own tips, tricks, and ideas!!


  1. Great ideas, Megan, I'm looking forward to learning more thrifty ideas, now that we are both 'retired'. :)

  2. Super excited to learn how to be more frugual!