User post: How I help my checking account survive Christmas

It's very easy to get carried away for Christmas, especially with young children. As a single parent I have learned a couple of great gift ideas. Santa comes with one very special gift each year. Usually this special gift has been decided on months in advance. This year it's pillow pets. I'm so excited because last year it was a $100 kitchen, so bless their little hearts they have made it easy for me. I love Christmas. Just love everything about it except the bank account. Over the last couple of years I have learned a few tricks in making every Christmas great for my little ones. They always have at least ten presents each under the Christmas tree. This is how I do it:

Pajamas- Usually about $5-$7- I love pjs because who doesn't love some pjs and who doesn't need some new pjs.

Movies- There is always great family movies for less than $10! This year I got Toy Story 3 for $10 and Ice Age for $2!

Jeans- What jeans? Yes that's right. I love Old Navy's jeans for kids only $10 on sale. What's great about jeans? They are a necessity and my 5 year old has been asking for skinny jeans so I know she will be excited and its one or two more wrapped presents she will enjoy opening and love.

Long Sleeve Shirts- I love K-marts long sleeve shirts not only are they about $4, but they are incredibly thick! Slap on a skunk and that's enough to make it my 3 year olds favorite shirt. (My 3 year old wears her sisters from 2 years ago and colors and thickness is still great after all those washes!)

Scarves, Mittens, Winter hats- All about $3-$5! Great as a set and great alone!

Jackets- Usually about $15-$20. I scored at Old Navy's Black Friday this year and got a $50 jacket for $15!

Socks- Boring? Make them exciting. Get some cute colorful socks. There are a lot out there this time of the year buy 5 pairs for $5!

Shoes- You could always find a good deal on shoes whether it be sneakers, ballet flats or boots. And its perfect because they already come in a box! They just need some wrapping paper!

Disney Cups- I love the Disney Store's Disney cups. Usually they have a buy two special. Very awesome cups that last.

Goodwill- Stop at your local thrift store! I found two helmets for $3.99 each. They are in great condition and were even 20% off! That trip saved me $40 since I was going to buy them for $20 apiece.

The great thing about all these things are that they are useful items that you are more than likely going to buy for your children when they head back to school after winter break. Why not purchase it in advance and wrap it! I dont feel the need to fill the presents with toys because I know grandma and aunts and uncles will supply the toys even though everyone knows they dont need anymore.
Merry Christmas

Do you have more great useful inexpensive gift ideas?