The Thrifty Gifty Girls 2009 (Organised & Money Neutral for All Occasions) #3

jamtart6 Posts: 8,302 Forumite
We started life as two seperate threads - 'Money neutral 2008' run by Jamtart6 and 'OrganizedChristmas 2008' by Pinkladymel. Both threads were hugely popular and we realised that together it would be the ultimate tool to being organised and thrifty for all occasions.

What can I find here?:
There are now many many tasks that you can get involved in for being Thrifty and Organised for Christmas 2009 - and you can take part in as few or as many as you would like to. If you just want a natter:coffee:, feel free to pop in as we love nattering almost as much as Christmas! :D

So what's going on then?

1.Money Neutralising FAQ's

What is this 'money neutral' of which you speak?
Have a read of this thread, to see how I managed it this year to give you an example. Basically you do surveys to earn vouchers/points, save up loyalty points, shop through cashback websites to reduced the total amount of hard cash you spend...most of us do this anyway. We're always left with a little bit left over that we have to spend, so the idea is to get 'free' money from cashback sites, survey sites and one of the best sources for this....eBay. Throw out List your old items and make some money for new ones...then use this money to spend on your gifts throughout the year...therefore the items you have bought are technically free and you are therefore, 'money neutral'. (I saw this term in a recent magazine...I'm sure the writer of the article coined it from these very threads ;)).

Example - I want to buy a gift for my son... it costs £100....firstly (a) do I have a voucher code or gift voucher from a survey site that I can reduce this cost by? (b) Can I purchase it from a cashback website? (c) Yep..used my vouchers...the cost is still £80 of my cold hard can I get this back?? Answer: eBay or survey sites to the value of £80. If you manage are 'money neutral'.
  • Why a group?
We found in previous years that have other people to motivate you is really really helpful to keep the momentum going, and more people spot more good deals too :) And everyone is SOOOOOOOOOO nice!
  • So is this just for Christmas or all special occasions?
That is entirely up to you! I managed to cover 90% of the costs of Christmas and Birthdays for 2008, but if you just want to join us for Christmas then feel free!!
  • Look lady...enough of the chat:p...just tell me what I've gotta to do be in it!? Where do I start???
1. Make a list of everyone you need presents for in a "Gift Notebook"

2. Keep your eye out in the sales for anything that might suit that person for their birthday or Christmas - try and buy it with loyalty points/vouchers

3. Make a note of how much you spend in the book and mark if you spend vouchers, points or cash

4. Try and earn the hard cash back via eBay (I'm not encouraging you to earn it back via Quidco, but if you do have any spare quidco funds then use it to offset what you have spent.

5. Keep us posted on how you are doing with earning your points, buying your gifts, selling on eBay etc. I will probably keep my update in my signature (in very small font!)

:AWell we'd love you to join us - so feel free to post as much as you want, if you already know you will have spare points/vouchers etc for next years gift buying then keep us posted now!:A

We love oldies, newbies, we'll take anything to be honest...we're not the fussy type!! Come on in and let us know how you are doing :D

Best of luck and hopefully this time next year, we will have all had a money neutral gift buying year!!! :A

2.Savings Tin For the beginning of Organized Christmas
Grab yourself a sealed, self-proof tin and save, save, save for a stress free Christmas. We will open these tins together on Saturday OCTOBER 10th
You may open your tins whenever you wish (Obviously) But I thought it would be fun to open ours as a group on the day everything kicks off (Organized Christmas starts, Boots catalogue is out etc)
Ideas for this include:
  • Emptying your change every sunday from your purse (Coppers and silvers)
  • Filling it as and when you can afford
  • Making a new years resolution (Swearing or dieting for example) and putting in 50p each time you break it.
  • Everytime you receive a two pounds coin put it in the tin.

3.Organized Christmas

There is a reason it is spelt with a 'z' and that is not because I am American or illiterate :) Each October we begin the countdown to Christmas together by pledging to follow:
If you click on the main page, at the top there is a list of plans to follow ranging from being organised to completely clearing the house.

4. Rudolph Day #3 March-April

:santa2:Hello fellow Christmas enthusiasts and happy Rudolph Day :rudolf:

May I take this oppurtunity to dust you a mince pie with icing sugar and pop a marshmallow in your hot chocolate.:coffee: as we sit down to our third edition, and co-incidentally a third of the way to the countdown to Christmas (which will start on September 1st)

This month has been very busy for me with pancakes, mothers day, valentines and an awful lot of birthdays. I would like to apologise sheepishly as I have nothing to show you but promise I am SO energised for christmas right now.. click here and you will be too :xmassign:

Today marks the fact we are 1/4 of the way to Christmas day but more importantly, 1/3 until we start organising. We can only help this by making a start now on the little things.

Monthly Challenge:
Your challenge this month will be to complete as many of the following as you can, ready for next month:

1) If you plan to give handmade cards this year, make as many as you possibly can. If you plan to give shop bought, make sure your sale finds are somewhere you know of and write the quantity down in your book.

2) Do you have a christmas savings plan in action? I know it may seem early to think about it but you can take the weight off your mind if you find a way to make some money now:
- Jamtart runs challenges throughout the month, try to participate in as many as possible for maximum money making. Ebay, carboots, it all rids clutter whilst making money!
- I also set a challenge to collect money in a sealed tin (no peeking) we will open in October together, if you wish to take part I think it would get the Christmas magic rolling :T .

3) Stock up your gift cupboard. Keep your eyes open for those last sale bargains and grab them whilst you can! Do you have unwanted presents you could regift? Try to add two presents a month and remember to keep it all wrote down in your book! RustyFlange has been grabbing last minute bargains on Ebay.. I think this is also a great idea :snow_grin

4) How much do you usually spend on food per week? Create a meal plan every week and stick to it.. set yourself the challenge of seeing just how cheap you can get by and put the savings into your christmas pot. Let us know how you get on and share cheap meal ideas.

5) Choose a room of your house and focus on decluttering. Just 5 minutes every day, one little space.. will make such a big difference. Be ruthless and sell things, bin things, give stuff to charity. Clutter makes people unhappy and you want to feel as free as possible this christmas x:xmastree:

I think that will be enough to get you all started this month!

Take pics of your progress, christmas madness and share stories of your successes. Let's make this a really positive month.

5. Christmas Advent Swap

This swap will commence on October 1st where full details will be released including sign-ups etc.

Due to MSE rules and regulations we are unable to conduct a swap here but I will be able to run it through our thread on UKS including creating a santa membership for you to log in to anonymously and ask your swapee questions/keep them updated :xmassign:

For those who like to prepare early, I am going to release the following information and tips:

+ I think it will be fairly certain your swapee will be female
+ You may want to save a big box, create some numbered gift tags in preparation and find some bargain paper.
+ I am going to set the budget at 15.00 with postage extra. I know this is a lot but this is a special treat to ourselves and to our friends.
+ There are couriers available but for this swap you MUST send your parcel via Royal Mail recorded.
+ Remember you will need 25 gifts and try to keep a close eye on the weight as it may cost a fortune to post! Perhaps you may like to theme them or choose gifts that really envoke the Christmas spirit?
+Swapees can sign up in October. Once I have all names you will then be assigned your swapee which you are to keep secret until Christmas day.

I hope this has answered all of your questions.

Please remember to put your clocks forward this sunday.

♥♥ :xmassmile ♥♥


:ABeing Thrifty Gifty again this year:A



  • phunkles
    phunkles Posts: 1,711 Forumite
    Leaves luffs and luff hearts for everyone :)
    just thought Id sign in to the new post :)
    :grouphug:leaves some dodgy hugs and all
    Love is the answer. At least for most of the questions in my heart,
    Like why are we here? And where do we go?And how come it's so hard?
    It's not always easy,And sometimes life can be deceiving,
    I'll tell you one thing, its always better when we're together
  • jamtart6
    jamtart6 Posts: 8,302 Forumite
    brand new shiny thread..I notice the riff raff have already posted (^^^) :D hi phunks!

    So guys, Easter and muvvas day is the next big event...

    :ABeing Thrifty Gifty again this year:A

  • In the Rudolph Club, these two challenges are still left:
    Make pancakes or some other culinary delight!
    Don't forget to get your goodies in for Shrove tuesday (Feb 24th) whilst the offers start trickling into the supermarkets over the forthcoming month. Every year they sell out and people are in a mad panic for Jif Lemons! We want to see your pancake pictures!!

    Mothers Day (march 22nd) - Show some intuition
    If you have a mother to celebrate then please remember mothers day! But here at thrifty gifty.. we don't do normal.. OH NO! You need to produce something that shows that extra bit of care. Perhaps a phone call, a poem in a card, a home made gift, a dinner cooked.. Share your ideas here and be organised in time for the day.

    Not all of us have a someone to share this day with so I would like those of you to make it special for yourself. Do something that bit special for you. Buy a nice box of chocolate, perhaps a candlelit bath, take a day trip out. Your choice! :)
    :xmastree:Self Certified Christmas Addict:xmastree:
  • Thanks for the new thread Jamster :D

    Hiya Phunks.. luffs an kissys 2u o.o <3
    :xmastree:Self Certified Christmas Addict:xmastree:
  • Oh yeah keep forgetting that i have to buy easter eggs. May just get loads of little eggs and follow in rusty's footsteps. Keep forgetting to write down how much i am spending, although i am putting in my monies in the sealed pots. Mother's day i am struggling. Really need to be more organised :D
    Girlies you're gunna have to keep me in line :D
    I am only me, no pretences, no second guesses.. It's the best I can do, I'm sorry if that's not good enough for you... I'm sorry I'm not good enough for you :A
  • phunkles
    phunkles Posts: 1,711 Forumite
    Aw thanks Jammy coughcowcough :P
    I just thought id add that today i got full on snotted on by a 3year old
    i was returning him back to being the normal way round after dangling him by his hips upside down and he was giggling and went to give me a kiss and well just think Jurassic Park with the dinosaur n the girl in the tree.
    Im not buying Easter Eggs this year im that mean :D

    Pancakes i have all my ingredients ready :D including my special pancake pan :)
    Mothers Day ill have to have a think on - im thinking hamper trial run
    Love is the answer. At least for most of the questions in my heart,
    Like why are we here? And where do we go?And how come it's so hard?
    It's not always easy,And sometimes life can be deceiving,
    I'll tell you one thing, its always better when we're together
  • mum2one
    mum2one Posts: 16,279
    Xmas Saver!
    As were on a new shiny thread, does anyone fancy a bit of fun and quess what date were be on post no 1,000

    mum2one - March 18th
    phunkles - March 14th
    Pinkladymel - March 21st
    Jamtart6 - March 10th
    furrypig - March 24th
    mhagster - March 7th
    sarah191979 - March 9th
    paddingtondoo - 13th Mar
    Goochie - Mar 19th
    orchid-96 - Mar 24th (hello from a fellow Cheryl x)
    Rustyflange mar 21st
    scattyma,1 - Mar 6th
    Mhagster - trying to cheat with 2nd guess fri 20th feb
    sylphraven 7th Mar
    bunbun2 - 20th march
    Chocolateorange - March 1st
    xx rip dad... we had our ups and downs but we’re always be family xx
  • phunkles
    phunkles Posts: 1,711 Forumite
    Im going for March 14th
    Love is the answer. At least for most of the questions in my heart,
    Like why are we here? And where do we go?And how come it's so hard?
    It's not always easy,And sometimes life can be deceiving,
    I'll tell you one thing, its always better when we're together
  • pinkladymel
    pinkladymel Posts: 1,707 Forumite
    oh dear Phunkles.. My son has the most ginormous disgusting 'snottys' so I can imagine what that was like :o Sounds like a load of fun though :D:D

    I think your idea is brilliant mum2one.. I GUESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

    March 21st

    Please :D:D

    Oh and BTW there is a Home Bargains next to Hobbycraft :o
    :xmastree:Self Certified Christmas Addict:xmastree:
  • jamtart6
    jamtart6 Posts: 8,302 Forumite
    march 10th for me :)

    i loves home and bargains :) i am going to bed now like a good girl. i iz not tired though. so much to do before 2pm tomorrow but dont want to burn myself out before I'm properly better night y'all :D

    :ABeing Thrifty Gifty again this year:A

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