Thursday, December 1, 2011

How to do sub for santa on a budget

I've been getting asked by a lot of people how I do sub for santa's on our low income.  So here goes!
I keep an eye out all year for amazing deals.  I start in the 75% off sales after Christmas.  I get $5 gift sets for $1.25.  One dollar items for $.25.  The rest of the year I use my coupons, & keep an eye out for great deals.   Shirts on clearance for $1?  I buy 5 of them.  Games with coupons for $1?  I buy some of those.  I buy yarn on sale for $1 & knit scarves all year.  I also keep an eye out at garage sales.  This year I got a box full of brand new, with tags scarves, hats & gloves for $4.  I bought prelit Christmas trees for $2.   I have 1 closet I keep all this stuff in during the year.  If there's something really great at the Dollar Store I grab a few.  Walgreens just had wooden Christmas puzzles for $.33 so I grabbed 10 of those.
Then right after halloween I find families who need help for Christmas.  I get out all this stuff & their wish lists & ages, & start matching up.  It's amazing how well things match!  This year I had 3 busy ball poppers I'd bought for $1 (clearance plus coupon).  And there were 3 kids that age on my lists.  I had 3 trees & 3 families that needed a tree.  It's just awesome!  I gave the boys hats & gloves & the girls scarves I'd knitted.  With the pile this year, I was able to do around 5 presents each child, for 6 families!  I also donated gifts to someone else doing sub for santa for 2 more families.  And I had 3 boxes of stuff leftover!  One pile I had a Christmas porcelain doll, Candyland, busy ball popper, & a playset for a boy, all brand new, & the whole pile only cost me $10!
Note:  this is not to brag.  This is again, what one woman can do, another can do!  I hear all season, from people with significantly more money than me, how they wish they could help people at Christmas too, but can't afford it.  Most people have this idea that you have to have several hundred dollars to help even 1 family.  So I'm sharing how I do it for anyone who'd like to!  Imagine if we were all able to give Christmas to 6 families!
Ok, now the question of what do I do with the 3 leftover boxes.  I found a local charity called PJ's.  They provide Christmas for 1800 local children.  With that large volume of children, they can use anything I have leftover; it's sure to be the right size for someone!  And they are a tax deductable charity!  So I take them all my leftovers & save some money on my taxes, & help even more children!
Last year I had over $2000 full retail price of things to donate & use for my sub for santa's.  With what I actually paid, & the tax savings I got, I figure I spent around $100 out of my pocket...less than $10 a month.  How cool is that?!

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Thanks for sharing your great ideas! Guess I'll need to pay attention after Christmas this year!