I woke up this morning to the sound of rain, that and the chiming of the alarm on my cell phone. It was an early morning around here the day after Christmas. Now that (for most people) the holiday was over it means that all the Christmas stuff is on sale. Since my family is having out holiday after the traditional one that means I can use this to my advantage to stretch my limited budget just a little bit further. So that's why I was up so early, so I could head into town and get the best deals. Apparently Mother Nature was none to pleased with my plans because she made it pour today. A real torrential downpour of rain. But it could always be worse, at least it wasn't snowing. Lots of other places have been hit hard with heavy winter weather lately, luckily we're south enough so we don't have to deal with that.
After a quick breakfast and getting dressed it was time to hit the road. It was shortly before nine that my father and I left the house. After quick stop to the Bank to withdraw money from the ATM we were all ready to start our long shopping journey. From the money that was withdrawn I was given eighty dollars that was my budget for today. Hopefully it was enough, I had a long shipping list.
Up first was the Hallmark store at the mall. Just like last year my sister wanted ornaments for Christmas, so like usual we waited until after the Holidays to get them at a discount. But when I went into the mall first thing this morning, they didn't have any signs up saying things were on clearance. I wasn't sure if Hallmark put things on clearance the day after Christmas, they could very well do it tomorrow. I really don't shop there often enough to know how they do things there. I ended up leaving there without getting anything, deciding to either come back later or tomorrow. I had a lot of other places to go today.
After that we went to Hobby Lobby. I knew they had their Christmas stuff on sale since they had it listed in their sales ad on Sunday. All the Christmas stuff was now 66 percent off. I actually wasn't heading there for my sister, but for myself. (Shocking, right?) Well, I did look through the remaining ornament section to see if they had anything I thought she would like, but nothing really called out to me. The reason I was headed over there was to snag some of the Christmas tulle they sell now that it was even more on sale. In their Christmas section they have spools similar to the kind they sell in the sewing section, but these are made of 100 yards of tulle. They work out really well for doll sewing. Last year I bought the white and black ones, but they sold out of the colored ones before I got there. Since this year I got there bright and early they still had all of the colors in stock. I didn't bother getting white or black this year, I still have plenty left from last year's haul for those two colors. Instead I got red and hot pink. I left the spool of bright green, I only budgeted for two spools, and I decided that out of the three colors the green was the one I'd be least likely to use. I can always get it next year since I doubt I'll use up enough of the pink or red to warrant getting them again.
I did manage to hit up the two remaining thrift stores today as well. I didn't find anything good at the Salvation Army, but I did find a couple good things at Goodwill, both for my sister's husband. The first one was a mini-figure of Thor from a Marvel game. It was an exclusive on free comic book day, I know he used to play that game, but wasn't sure if he still did. I decided to get it, and if it wasn't something he liked he could always just get rid of it. But that's not all I found for him. Also at Goodwill was this pinball game. It was pretty big, about two feel long. It seemed pretty fun, and was only three dollars, so I got that for him too. Not sure if it still worked, but even if it didn't you could still play, just couldn't keep score or anything. I thought he would like it, and even better it would annoy my sister.
From there I headed to the shops on Sunset. No, I wasn't visiting the United Christian Outreach Center at their old-new store. They're not open yet. Instead I was heading into the Antique Mall. Several weeks ago when I was last there I found a booth that had a bunch of military books that were 75 percent off, they would be perfect for my father for Christmas. Since I didn't want to make an executive decision at the time I held off getting any and talked to my mother about it. She thought it was a good idea, and decided that we should get them. This was just the first time I had been back since then. And since it had been a while since I visited last, I also did some wandering around the store before I headed to the book section. I checked the booth with the vintage Barbie dolls, nothing new there. I won't lie, I was trying to see if there was any room in the budget for me to buy one of the cheaper clothing items. I know, I'm terrible. Nothing really called out to me from the booth, so I walked away, possibly to return later, depending how much the books cost. I walked around for a bit more before going to the book section. And wouldn't you know I managed to find something Barbie related. It was three small bags of clothing, each for nine dollars, but they were all on sale for 60 percent off. I recognized several of the clothing items in the bags, so I decided to get them. Screw the budget I needed these clothes! (The clothes will be discussed in a later post). After I found those I went to the book section. I found seven books that I thought he would really like from what was there. I did a rough calculation in my head and thought I'd be slightly over budget with all my purchases. I brought them all downstairs and they rang me up. I was slightly over budget, but I still had a couple bucks left over from Hobby Lobby, so I was able to cover it. And with that, I got all the presents purchased for my father!
You'd think that after all that shopping I'd be ready to go home, but I actually wasn't... but we did go home anyway. Turns out we forgot the grocery shopping list, so we had to go back and get it. Since we were already here we unloaded our purchases and had lunch. After that we headed back out, making sure this time we had the grocery list.
We ended up back at Hallmark for the first part of the second trip. By now they had the signs up saying the Christmas stuff was at a discount. (40 percent off) The ornament section had been picked clean since that morning, but I wasn't looking for anything in particular. I looked through it and picked out the two I liked the best. One was a polar bear and penguin sledding, and the other was two Hallmark characters standing on a roof watching for Santa. I think she'll like them. I tried getting one medium priced one and one large one for her. I had budgeted 20 dollars for this stop, guess how much I spent?
19.84, not too shabby, right?
After there I went to Walmart. My brother asked for rechargeable batteries, and since I was out I figured that I might as well get them for him. It makes sense in hindsight, but they were totally out the day after Christmas. All they had left were two packages of AAA, and he wanted AA. But the trip wasn't for naught I ended up hitting up their Christmas section and stocking up on Christmas Candy. I was able to get enough candy for everyone's stockings at Walmart, and under budget, so that was nice.
After that I was done present shopping, and not a moment too soon. All that was left was grocery shopping, which while we only had a couple places left to go, we were getting a lot more than usual. It's weird that adding two more people to the grocery list added a ton more stuff.
Anyway, when that was all over we went back at home and everything got put away. I added batteries to the pinball game, and it works, and it's LOUD! I love it! Going to drive my sister crazy. I also managed to wrap most of the presents I bought today. I didn't wrap the pinball game since it needs some light cleaning. I should have also worked on my cleaning some more, but I'm just too tired to bother.
I've been everywhere today!