I found myself in a place I said I would never go again.
A shopping mall.
I went back today because it has a Walmart and I wanted to get this cheapo pair of flat boots that would fit my wide calf (as seen in the Fatshionista! community). Lucky for me it wasn’t the zoo it was on the weekend. Note to self: do your shopping on a weird day!
I ended up taking several detours, slowly accumulating bags and purchases like it was my business! (Luckily I had my trusty reusable bags with me to help carry everything, including my My Bag! You can win one from me too, you know! To help you with your shopping! Just click here to enter!)
I just finished jotting down a list of all the people/events I must provide a gift for, and it breaks down like this:
7 (minimum) xmas gifts
That is TWELVE gifts that I have to come up with! For me that is a simply staggering amount! I am doing everything as frugally as possible, and I vacillate between being ridiculously proud of myself and crying in the corner because I still spent so much money.
So far I have about 6 of the gifts covered, and am well on my way to finishing up the remainder.
For my friends I’m trying to be uber-frugal, but in the end I wonder how much everything is going to cost. All the little pieces, sunk costs and miscellaneous bits that need to come together for these gifts could end up being quite the investment. For wrapping, I’ve been using the little that I have on hand, and have also visited a dollar store for some interesting items. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m going to be baking/making little bags of goodies for everyone as the finishing piece to their gifts.
Here’s a photo of some of the things I’m giving away that I have ready to go:
I made and canned a batch of apple butter in the summer, and also made my own vanilla extract, both of which you can see in this photo.
I’m actually going to be including more stuff in each gift basket for my friends, but I don’t have it all in one place yet. Each friend is roughly going to get:
- A jar of canned fruit I grew, picked & canned myself in the summer (pears or plums)
- a jar of apple butter
- and/or homemade pickles I made at the same time
- and/or a bottle of vanilla
- a bag or two of sweets
- a pretty little basket or bag to hold it all in!
Once I’ve got it all together I’ll be sure to take some photos–if everything works out they should be pretty good-looking gifts! (Not gonna lie… when I try I am very talented at wrapping & presentation! You can see my mom’s gift in the background 😉 )
Even though I bitch and complain about putting these gifts together, I really enjoy doing it. If I had more or unlimited money I would do so much more! But I’d still probably include something handmade, and I like all my gifts to be as thoughtful as possible.
I just wish money wasn’t such a big concern for me right now. I don’t want to think about it, and I haven’t tallied anything up yet, but I have an inkling that these “frugal gifts” are actually costing me a lot more than I anticipated. Everything from the cost of the jars & wrapping supplies and the ingredients to make the goodies will eventually add up.
The question is–do I really want to know?