Chanukah may not be for a few more days, but I am officially done shopping!
As I did last year, I thought I’d give you a run-down on what we got and how much we spent – to help encourage you that Chanukah (and other major gift giving occasions in your family) can be done ON A BUDGET.
Our budget last year was $50. We doubled that for this year, but really – that just means that our budgets for birthdays and other gift-giving occasions (Purim, Afikomen presents) will be decreased.
You see, we set aside $25 per month into a family gift fund, for a total of $300 over the course of the year. That fund covers all the kids’ gifts, all year long, and usually birthday gifts for me and my husband as well. (Or I use Swagbucks to fly under the budget radar!)
Beyond the money side of things, I actually had some internal struggles this year over “scope”. In some ways, writing this blog can be dangerous, because I’m hyper aware of how EASY it is to acquire so MUCH for so LITTLE.
In addition to the value of sticking to our budget, we also try to model modesty and proportion for our children. And that’s where I struggled.
On more than one occasion, I took an item out of my cart, or shut down a window – not because I couldn’t afford it, but because I didn’t want to “spoil” my children – especially on a holiday that really isn’t about gift-giving anyway.
As I’ve mentioned before, my husband and I decided a few months ago that we were going to get the family an XBox 360 Kinect for Chanukah – provided we could save up enough Swagbucks to pay for most or all of it. By mid November, I had $178 in my Amazon gift card account, so I knew we were good money-wise.
But an XBox is a much bigger gift than we have ever given to our kids for Chanukah, so even though it was ‘affordable’, I wasn’t sure we should indulge. My husband convinced me, but honestly, I’m still a bit conflicted. I’m really hoping we can frame this gift as a special treat for the whole family.
Anyway… Outside of the XBox, I think the rest of our gifts were much more modest – both in price and in scope. So, without further adieu, here’s our Chanukah 2011 Rundown:
1st Candle – XBox 360 Kinect. We paid $199 at Amazon during Black Friday (unfortunately I never got the deal with the $50 gift card – those just went too quickly) – $178 in Swagbucks = $21 + tax
2nd Candle – Gifts from grandparents (1 XBox game + Hess trucks, which have become a Chanukah tradition)
3rd Candle – Snapfish photo albums. Another Chanukah tradition, I make each kiddo a flip book with pictures about their year. I paid $3.49 each after coupon codes & free shipping.
4th Candle – Matching Spiderman pajamas for our boys (love when a practical need can be framed as a gift) and a Crayola Pixies wristlet for our daughter (she’s into purses right now, so I thought this would be cute.) The PJs were $5.93 each after coupon codes, free shipping, 5% off with Target Red Card and my $10 Target gift card. The wrislet was $3.99 at Amazon – it’s still available if anyone’s interested.
5th Candle – Gift from grandparents – Another XBox game.
6th Candle – New Crocs. They worked out to be $12.50 each during the BOGO Free Sale (+ free shipping, of course!)
7th Candle – New winter gloves for sons and hat/glove set for daughter. The gloves were $6 each from Lands End during Friday’s 40% off sale, and the fleece hat and glove set was $2.85 at Target (after a BOGO50% off sale… I got a purse for myself on clearance and happily her hat set went from $6 to $3!)
8th Candle – Nerf Basketball Hoop & Ball for our boys and Melissa & Doug Fold-and-Go Doll House. The basektball hoop was $10 shipped from Toys R Us a few days ago and the dollhouse was actually FREE from Ecomom, during that amazing Black Friday promotion with Plum District. I had $25 in Plum District credits to buy the original $50 voucher to Eco Mom – with which I got not only the doll house, but also $40 worth of toys for our gift closet. That sale was insane!
The total value of gifts for this year’s Chanukah – before sales?
The total amount we spent out of pocket for Chanukah?
$110.31 – plus we’ll be getting about $7 back from Ebates. Sigh.