As I mentioned in last week’s post my annual shopping plan is in two parts, the first being my important dates list which I wrote about last Wednesday and the second, which is today’s topic is dividing the year into quarters. By doing this I have everything in advance, I’m never stress about birthdays or anniversaries and it keeps everything all organized. No last minute gift planning here. I print off my sheets and add them to my life binder and i’m good to go.
Step 1– Important Dates — If you haven’t printed last week’s important dates printable do that first it makes the next steps so much easier.
Step 2— Year in Quarters Sheets— Print off 4 copies of the year in quarters planning sheets. and fill in the information
Step 3– Greeting Card Inventory– In December of last year I was at Costco and I saw the best greeting card box I have ever seen. It came with some beautiful cards, a greeting card planner & dividers (Children’s birthdays, General Birthdays, Sympathy etc. ) If you can find something of the sort I definitely recommend it, if not they are easy to make (CLICK HERE). If you have something like this or even a box of extra cards go through and make a list of what you have.
Step 4-– Quarterly Shopping List– Print off 4 copies of the year in quarters shopping list. Using your planning sheets & greeting card inventory figure out how many cards you need and what kind and put them in your list as well as the gifts you want to buy each person.
Step 5– Schedule your shopping days– With your planner choose 4 days throughout the year (end of december/beginning of January; End of march/beginning of April; End of June/Beginning of July; End of September/Beginning of October). My Shopping days are the last day of December, March, June & September. Put these shopping trips into your planner so you remember to go. On your shopping says take your Quarterly Shopping list and go get all the cards/gifts/giftcards etc. you need for the three month period, wrap and store them in a closet or other designated place so you have them when you need them.
If while you are out at a store shopping for something else and you see an item from your quarterly shopping list on sale grab it, you are going to need it eventually anyway might as well save money while you’re at it. For example: last year I had 4 plushes to order from the Disney Store throughout the year . I got a good cash back offer from E-bates & the plushes were on sale so instead of waiting until that specific quarter came along I ordered the four at the same time (saved on shipping, duty, overall cost + got cash back from E-bates)
What do you think? Is this something you have done or would like to try? How to you organize your gift shopping? Let me know in the comments.