Diary of a Discount Shopper | Lack of Planning Disaster


I’m not an organized person in most aspects, but when it comes to spending and the holidays, you’ve got to be on top of things.  If my gifts and plans are not set, I panic.  I don’t really care if the decorations are up, cookies are baked, or new jammies are purchased.  I care that my gifts are under the tree, wrapped perfectly, and my time away from home is efficiently planned.

I’m not sure where this year got out of control, but I’m blaming mis-matched wrapping paper (and my mother in-law, but we’ll save that story for later).   You see, am trying to waste very little and become somewhat of a minimalist.  OK- my minimalism is probably a normal person’s maximumism (nope, not a word, don’t bother to look it up).  I have several wrapping paper odds and ends that I wanted to use up.  I doubt you’ll find any other thing in my life that I’m anal retentive about. 

This year’s gifts do not coordinate and do not have bows (gasp!).  I’ve not found the time to do the bows yet, and it’s hard to get motivated to do so when the packages don’t match.  When the packages don’t match, it causes disarray. 

I wrap my gifts as I purchase them, not because I’m cool like that, but because they are safe from snooping eyes when they are safely covered and under the tree. 

I normally keep a strict inventory sheet to keep from overspending, but this year I’ve even slacked off on that.  When I don’t have the dollar figures in front of me, it makes it easy to overspend.  My other big problem this year has been sharing so many deals with my readers.  When you post them constantly, it becomes harder and harder to restrain yourself.  If I wasn’t sharing, I’d quit looking! 

We’ve spent quite a bit this year, but I’m still at 80% below retail.  I’ve used several hundreds of dollars in Swagbucks gift cards (how’s that for a free Christmas to those with restraint?).  We’ve also put off some necessary purchases to wrap and put under the tree.  The boy is in need of a new gun, so when I found a decent deal on something we were looking for, I grabbed it.  He’s also been playing guitar songs that only require 5 strings all month because his has a major issue.  The hubby has been begging for a hunting blind, so I grabbed one at 30% off.  I figure my lack of great savings on this one will pay off shortly.  He is planning on moving tree stands around- which isn’t good on a guy that’s had numerous back surgeries in the past couple of months. 

I’ve also spent more money on accessories for purchases than I have the items themselves. Guitars need cases, picks, stands, amps, cords, and extra strings.  Guns need bullets, cases, recoil pads, and a sling.  Everything takes batteries, and if you don’t have a new Littlest Pet Shop case, you’re just going to lose them all. 

I’m working super hard today to get everything re-sorted and rearranged.  Since the in-laws Christmas that was supposed to be held tonight (scheduled just a couple of days ago) has been postponed indefinitely (with 24 hours notice), I’ve got to go back through and reorganize the gifts.  They have to be under the tree in the order of the gathering or things get lost. 

I honestly think that if I’d been able to follow my normal Christmas gift wrapping traditions, I’d be in a much better state of mind right now!

I’m not having buyers remorse-yet- because most of my purchases were made with free gift cards.  However, when I finally get all of my gifts tracked and total costs added up, I might develop a *slight* case. 

How are you feeling about your Christmas purchases?  Are you in budget? Over budget?  Ready to unwrap and start returning impulse purchases? 

Want to read other posts in this series?  Check out the full Diary of a Discount Shopper Series!


  1. says

    I totally feel you here! Every time I blog about a deal, I get the shopping bug and want to go try it out myself. I’m done with Christmas, but now I’m thinking “What about birthday parties throughout the year?” LOL It never ends!


    Alicia Reply:

    It’s just too much on this ‘ol pocketbook! I’m only going to look for deals on stuff I could possibly never use from now on.

    I stopped myself before I bought birthday gifts, and I’ll be kicking myself in August- Katie has 8 friends with birthdays within 6 days of hers. Throw in 11 family birthdays and back to school, and it’s worse than Christmas!


  2. brandy williamson says

    Thanks to you and your posts about deals, I’m nearly done and everything I have bought, is wrapped and under the tree! First time since I can remember that I have almost everything done this far before Christmas. My husband and I always like to go the day before Christmas Eve and get last minute things and it usually turns out to be miserable because we can’t find what we are looking for. This year, we are going and will be enjoying each other’s company while we eat out at a nice restaurant (there is actually money for that this year since all the gifts are bought already!). We still plan to go looking and if we find a great deal on something we want to get, great! If we don’t find anything, we’ll come home and enjoy time with a Christmas movie.
    The wrapping thing, I cannot relate to. I’ve never matched mine and I am a horrible wrapper. Some will have bows, if I remember to buy them, most will not. I figure they are all lucky if their gift gets wrapped beause if I had my choice, they might just get it handed to them in a walmart sack :)


    Alicia Reply:


    I am so glad you’re ahead and probably less stressful! I hope you’ve got lots of great stuff under the tree. I love the new tradition of going out to dinner. It will be nice to wind down before the family craziness starts!


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