Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Cost of Planning Ahead

I am a very organized Christmas shopper. I have a spreadsheet on my computer with my budget for each person. I keep up with what we gave them last year-- and the past 5 before that. I order ahead. I finish before the rush begins.

By and large, I am proud of it. (Except for when it is written. Then it seems especially dorky.) However, when all the work of my preparedness comes to its completion...I find the gifts that I have been hiding for weeks drop significantly in price.

I know it is going to happen. It happens each year. It has happened 4 times this year.

It really pushes my buttons.

I am just not sure what to do. If I pay more to be sure that I get the gifts that are requested --I am totally frustrated. If I wait for the bargains (and that term is way relative) and I miss the gift because the entire world decides it wants my gift -- I would be totally frustrated.

What is a dork to do?


Queen Mother said...

Always go with the early gift. You have it, it's done, no sweat. What if you wait and don't find it?That will get your stress level up!!! If you don't have a particular something in mind, just wait until the sales start and pick up something then. The early gift gene must be a recessive one. I know it didn't come from your dad and positive I don't have it. By the way, you've got a couple of weeks, but be thinking what YOU want for Christmas.

Amy said...

I battle the same problem, but in the end, I believe the stress level being lower outweighs the savings I would surely have to turn around and spend on psychiatric help.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

From one dork to another: Is it possible to buy the gifts-that-have-now-gone-on-sale and return the gifts-you-bought-earlier-for-more-money?

Sometimes, it's too late. But if you still have the receipt....

Rebecca said...

I'm with Kelly. If you can buy the cheaper gift and return the more expensive version -- and if going out in the hustle and bustle won't stress you out -- do it.

(May seem "cheap," but I can always use the extra money "cheap" gives me. :)

Org Junkie said...

Oh I love other dorks, it just makes me so happy :)

I say go with the earlier gift but keep your receipts and do an exchange if need be. Dept stores will usually let you take things back up to 3 months back.

It's that or you just don't even peek at the flyers and drive yourself insane with all the money you could have saved.

Be strong!

ValleyGirl said...

I was going to say what Org Junkie said; keep receipts and do exchanges or get price protection refunds when the prices drop.

I live in a small town and all the Christmas stock goes on sale 2 weeks before Christmas already because the stores have to unload it all. One of the many redeeming qualities of country life!!

Julie said...

Here's what my husband does. He's a buyer but then he just keeps checking the ads and driving himself (and our entire family) nuts. He marches back into the store, receipt in hand, and demands a refund of the price difference.

And he always gets it. He's happy, we're happy. It's all good.

HoorayForSaturday said...

I would never even think to look at the current price of an object I have already purchased. Who's the dork now?
However, I don't do my shopping until around the 22nd of December, so I guess it's not that much of a problem.
If you bought it, keep it and don't look. Simply not enough time in the day to worry your head about that.

Rocks In My Dryer said...

I have no answer, because I am the very same kind of dork, with the very same dilemma.

AG98 said...

Sign up this dork!
I think we must have the same spreadsheet! I keep track of what I've purchased, how much I spent where I bought it and what I've given everyone in the prior years! It never fails, things go on sale. If I haven't wrapped them yet, and it's worth the savings, I'll buy it on sale and return the original purchase. Most stores have 90 day return policies - so that is good! Merry Christmas!

Lisa@Take90West said...

Oh my! You are a dork!

No, no...I'm just kidding. I wish I was that organized.

I have no advice because I have not bought one present yet. Not one. For all the kids or any of the fam. Well, except for the Wii. And, I have no idea what I'm waiting for. I have the money, the kids are at school, the house is decorated....hmmmm, maybe I should get OFF THE COMPUTER!!! :)

Maybe you should do an organized-holiday-shopping post for me!

Beverly said...

I have the same problem! But yesterday I found a solution!!!

Check out this Works-For-Me-Wednesday post here.



Beverly said...

Hmmm, don't know what happened with that link... Let's try that again....

Beverly said...

Grrrr... sorry. Don't mean to be filling up the Queen's comments with useless rubbish!

Tell ya what - just go visit Shannon at "Rocks in my Dryer" and look at the "Works for me Wednesday" from this week. Then go to #88. :)


Family O'Foxes said...

I didn't read all your responses but I've been having this problem also.

I got some of my gifts from Target so I just buy another one at the cheaper price and then I return it with my original receipt. Someone just recently informed that I don't need to do that I can just take my receipt back and they will adjust it.