Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sale Shopping Success! Saved over $1,200!

Well, I am DONE!

Yes, it is true, I am almost completely done with all my birthday and Christmas shopping for 2009 thanks to one powerhouse day of shopping!

If you remember, one of my Methods in the Marathon was Sale Shopping. Click here to read. And, I was SOO glad I had my list prepared with everyone I needed to shop for in 2009!

Because of that, I was able to get all the "kids" shopping done. This means, I got my 3 kids done, my 6 nieces and nephews, and enough gifts for the approx. 15 kids birthday parties my kids get invited to during the year.

With my budget, I want to get an approx. $25 birthday gift for the kids friends, $30 gifts for nieces/nephews birthdays, $50 for their Christmas presents and about $100 in gifts for my kids. Altogether, that would add up to about $1395 I would spend if not buying items on sale. Ugh!

But, because I only shop 75% off or greater, I was able to get all that done for $402 plus extra Misc. gifts I decided to stash. You never know when your kids are going to get invited to a birthday party with new friends from school. Must be prepared! :-) And, don't forget to have a few extras for Toys for Tots and the Christmas Angel tree! We always take part in a few of these programs each year, so I like to have some toys on hand for that, too.

And, I am done! Woo, hoo! Of course, I still need to shop for parents, brother and sister in laws, etc, but still.....

Big thanks to Heather at Freebies 4 Mom for letting me know that Target toys were going 75% off on Thursday. My mom, my dad, and two of my kids ( and me ) hit the store and filled 4 carts full of toys. Then, we got home and Mom and I split them all up. She has a lot of her shopping done for all the grandkids done now, too!

Did you notice that picture at the top? Those are my parents and my 1 year old with 2 of the carts full. There were still 2 more ( just not in the pic )

And, here is a picture below of my 4 year old daughter in the middle of all the bags of toys once we brought them home.

It was an exhausting day. From the shopping, to getting home..sorting thru them, checking receipts ( to make sure everything rang up right ), splitting them, and then stashing them before my 6 year old got home from school...I was TIRED! Then, being me, I of course had to log it all and match it up to the appropriate person on my Sale Shopping list on the computer.

But, that will make it easy as occasions arise. I can log into my spreadsheet, see what I bought for that person and go pull it off the shelf!

Hopefully, you hit the sale, too. And, if not, I do so hope this inspires you to make your sales shopping list for 2009, too! By taking advantage of this method and stockpiling gifts for the year, I just saved my family $1,206!


Ginger said...

Carrie, this was awesome. You have your own litle stimulus going on in your store with all of your purchases.

This has been us in years past. Since we are generally traveling during the holidays (and getting older) the shopping, wrapping, packing, hauling, unwrapping has lost its' appeal to us. We are shifting gears this year. I'm taking a totally different approach. I am saving all of my Amazon GC's to shop via the backdoor to Target on Amazon. I'm going to have them wrap and ship right to the front door of where the gift goes. I even purchased Amazon Prime to make it more affordable.

This is the year I am saving my sanity and my back.

Thanks for posting a comment on my site. I do the weekly Target Coupon Match-up for anyone that is interested. I do the complete food, HBA and cleaning items. I list them all. I post clearance alerts and I post coupons to match up with toys as I find them.


Ginger said...


See I have a real need to save my sanity obviously! LOL


Kookaburra said...

Wow, truely amazing! You must be on a super high from that great shopping trip. I know I'm all giddy when I score just a few good bargains.... but you had 4 carts full! Great job and really inspirational!

Kira said...

That is phenomenal, Carrie! I keep thinking I would like to do something like this, but I have a hard time figuring out how to know what the nieces & nephews will want by the time their birthdays & Christmas roll around. Additionally, last year I started giving the older ones a choice of "a something or a somewhere" for their birthday gifts, and every one of them has chosen "somewhere" so far (we've been bowling, roller skating, and to a couple of museums). While I think this is great because it gives us memories of time together rather than yet another toy, it sure is hard to plan ahead and get a good deal!

A Frugal Friend said...

Amazing job! My Target isn't at 75% yet....I keep waiting

Carrie @ said...


That is an absolutely excellent idea.

My in laws have also started not giving gifts and giving Savings Bonds instead. This is going to be very beneficial to the kids someday, when they start out to college or on their own! I am so excited for them to have all this piling up for them...what a head start on life!

Unfortunately, my nieces/nephews..well all but two, live too far away for me to see them at the Holidays normally.

One is in Hawaii ( well, soon to be the process of adopting ), and the others are in Chicago. We did get to spend this Christmas with them, though...woo, hoo! But usually, they don't come home.

My niece that is here is only 1, so she isn't picky about gifts yet...which makes it easy. And, my nephew that is 4 and here is very into cars and power I tried to find gifts along those lines.

I think this advanced sale shopping will get harder as they get older. But, since they are all very young, they seem to get excited about any gifts at this point.

My husband and I were just talking about that for clothes for my 6 year old, too.

I got a bunch of Polo Style Shirts on sale and sweaters at Target, too. I paid only $1.48 for the I did all his school shopping for next fall.

When that time of the year rolls around, I will bring them all out for him and surprise save me tons of money by not having to go buy him new school clothes when they are expensive.

But, my husband said..."Enjoy it now" Meaning, once he starts caring what he wears, it will be harder to buy him these clearanced clothes. :-)

I am going to remember you idea about doing something fun instead of a when they all get older, I can pose that question to them.

Danielle Miller said...

OMG!!! You're totally awesome. I hope to be to the point to be able to do that by next year, but this year it just isn't possible. My parents used to do it, so I know it's a great plan, but your level of organization makes it a million times better. Congratulations! You could even wrap them ahead of time, a few at a time if you were so inclined to make the holidays even easier.

Anna said...

That is awesome.
You are an inspiration to us all.

Marla AKA prncssbttrkup said...

Oh WOW!!!! That is sooooo awesome! Ok...I aspire to be this organized and on top of things one day and believe me, with 5 kids, I need it! I have already started some of my Christmas shopping. I have ordered a few good deals from Amazon using a couple GC I got from swagbucks. My plan is to continue doing that. I do have a hard time buying for my older kids because their likes change so quickly. So, what my hubby and I are doing is each payday we are taking some money and buying a GC and putting it in a plastic shoebox. That way when the holidays roll around, I can search out the best online deals(or in store deals) and pay with GC's.

Queen of the Urban Jungle said...

holy......crap. that's amazing!!!

Jenny said...

Oh my! How exciting! That would be so FUN!

Sariah S. Wilson said...

Wow - I wish you'd posted here on your site that the sale was coming. I would have loved to run over to my Target and see if I could get the sale prices too!

Carrie @ said...

I wish I would have known it was nationwide earlier, and I would have.

Heather actually emailed me around 1 in the morning my time, the day of.

So, I got up early to hit the store. If she wouldn't have emailed me, I would have totally missed it.

I wasn't planning on hitting Target that day.

Stephanie said...

Impressive!! Now I'm wishing I'd braved the cold and went to Target anyway! Maybe there will be some left if I go tomorrow....

Now, where on earth did you hide that many toys?!

Carrie @ said...

Thankfully, we have a portion of our basement we left unfinished.

I have shelves in there lining the one wall that I try to fill every year. Then, I just have an old sheet hanging from the top covering the whole shelf.

My kids never seem to bother it. Now, as they get older...than may change. But, right now, I don't think it even dawns on them to snoop around underneath.

Lisa N said...

Wow- Gotta Love Those Days!!

Ours in SC are still at 50% but I hit it up anyhow.... I did cover all the birthdays for 100.00.

We have 4 Target's so I will keep watching the others. I have my eye on a few things that I won't go for until the hit 75%.

You truly do inspire us all to be better shoppers, planners, risk takers (online deals) and better all around stewards of our money!

Thank you for all the time you put into all our lives.


Rachel said...

I can only imagine the looks you got! I hit Target the day they were marking down, but the toy deals weren't as good as others reported. The stuff at my store was really not so great...rejects. Oh well. Love to hear it's possible!

I like to see your pictures. It makes it real....and possible for us readers to get if we try.

Jackie said...

First of all, you are awesome! haha I cant believe how much you saved!

I have a question for you...I am invited to 5 weddings this year, 5 showers and 2 baby showers. How do you save money on this?!?!

Emily said...

Carrie - your organization amazes me!! My biggest issue would be having the money to do it up front - something I'm going to work on more this year. What is your method for saving up for something like this?

I did pretty well at the Target toy clearance for my children's birthdays (this spring) as well as a friend's birthday I knew we needed to buy for. However, I really score with the clothes - between Target and the Old Navy Clearance sale this month, I usually wardrobe my kids for the entire next year! I hit 3 Old Navy stores and 2 Targets this weekend.

Carrie @ said...

The clothes were pretty amazing, too. I got my sons school shopping done at Target already. Yeah!

In regards to saving up, once you get into the routie, the money is there.

For example, most people spent hundreds during Nov/Dec for gifts...and I spent hardly anything because I was stockpiled.

And, usually, I buy periodically thru the year ( I only hit a sale like this every few years ), so usually the money is coming out slowly over the year.

Once a family has their goals met ( emergency funds, liquid savings, investment, etc ) you end up having extra money in your savings you can tap for these periodic trips. Then, you just replenish the savings as you get paid and you end up ahead at the end of the year.

And, Nov/Dec end up being very cheap months instead of very expensive months for families.

Carrie @ said...


The exact same way. If you go back to my original Method Madness Marathon post, it has my spreadsheet.

I include weddings, baby showers, gifts for babies after they are born, etc.

In my basement right now,I have about 5 baby gifts stashed ( from babies first scrapbooks, to feeding spoons, mobiles, etc, washcloth sets, etc ).

I do the same thing. I shop my favorite store once a week and hit their clearance sections quickly.

All merchandise goes on sale clearance eventually.

Households and babies are both on sale at Target right now, too. They had full pot sets going down to "very" cheap. Lots of cooking utensils ( which are always nice ), etc, etc.

For babies and weddings, you can also consider making nice gift baskets full of the freebies you get from Drugstore Shopping. Cleanng supplies, baby products, whatever. Those items are always needed.

But, my goal is the same. I try to buy that at 75% off.