Here we are, 17 days until the Biggest Shopping day of the year and I am ready. We have worked hard throughout the year to gain points from different rewards programs so that we would not have to spend much cash. I’m proud to say that with some hard work and determination, every gift we have purchased has been severely discounted or Free.
Earlier this year, I signed up for every store loyalty program I could think of. We also linked our debit cards to two verified rewards programs (only those we confirmed were legit and we were comfortable with). I’ve couponed my little heart out and we set our Christmas budget at $215.00 for 12 people. We made a layaway at Kmart and gained points and reduced our layaway total from $114.00 down to $66.00 after our items were marked for clearance.
As of today, we have spent $107.00 cash of our $215.00 budget and I am grateful to say we are completely done with our Christmas Shopping. The best part is that we have $108.00 remaining cash & $613.00 worth of gift cards. We are still going out shopping on Black to see if we can score a new skillet and microwave with a budget of $35 dollars. I have been diligently reading all of the ads that are leaking out daily and comparing whom has the best deal. I am confident that we can find what we want and perhaps come in under budget.
We’ve also decided to leave our debit & credit card behind and just carry cash/gift cards so that we can avoid any ridiculous temptation to make a large purchase that we do not need. Also, we both signed up for Credit Karma (Free credit score, no gimmicks) so that we can keep track and ensure that no one is establishing any new lines of credit that we have not authorized in an attempt to steal our personal information. Unfortunately, it seems that scammers like to steal this type of information more as the holidays approach. Credit Karma has a handy app for Android and IOS devices. I also receive daily alerts of any changes so that I can remain on top of our credit profiles.
Because I do not want to carry around a bunch of coupons while I’m shopping, I’m relying heavily on my Smartphone and my favorite coupon app “Coupon Sherpa”. There are only two coupons that I must print and take along however Coupon Sherpa is doing most of the work for me.
Because we are serious shoppers, I know it sounds silly but we’ve decided that our wardrobe will be comfortable sneakers and sweat suits. We have to be quick on our feet, agile and have the ability to navigate without any restrictions.
We plan on shopping at Walmart, Kmart, CVS and Sprint. We may add a few more stores to the list, but this is our definite “must shop store” list.