Fandango’s question this week almost induced a migraine. Yes, we definitely spent more money than usual — especially on food. But a lot of that was Owen because he got a bonus at work and he thought we needed to refill the freezers (which were closing in on empty) and get some special things — like crackers and cheese — because we so rarely get special food. We had been buying minimal amounts of food for weeks because I wanted to use up what we had before adding more.
While we were at it, we ran out of toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, and almost all the meat we had in the freezers. Sometimes you need to let the food deplete so you won’t keep putting new stuff on top of the old stuff. Even a deep freeze isn’t a permanent food storage solution. Eventually, you have to let it go empty and start over.
I didn’t think we’d run out of everything at the same time — but I should have figured that’s how it would go. Murphy is our one true god. His laws are our laws.
So the question is:
My only problem with this question is included in my second paragraph. Holiday spending is never only gifts. It’s food, drinks which for some people is probably more expensive than gifts, wrapping paper, cards (some people still send them) and other items like a Christmas tree, decorations, and lights (indoor and exterior).
Our shopping this year was very light on gifts, but heavy on food and miscellaneous lights, etc.
All of these things may have added up to that much, but the bulk of it was not gifts, but all the other stuff. Cards, for example, are expensive. They have been very expensive for years which is probably why most people don’t send more than a few and then, of course, there are stamps and prayers to the Delivery Gods that things actually get where we have purportedly sent them. Preferably before New Year’s rolls around.
Also, we don’t buy everything at once. We buy things all year round, saving some for the holidays, often giving them in advance because we lack patience to wait months. I was a little better about it when I was younger, but now, I’m just bad. I have zero willingness to hold things — especially since we have no closet space.
If that number is an overall spending amount, it’s probably more or less “on the money” with everything included. The food alone costs — with such huge price rises on almost everything we need — double what we would normally spend. After you add in the other stuff, it’s amazing how high that number goes.
If you spread it out over the year, it doesn’t end up being one huge lump of cash. On the other hand, if you are a last-minute shopper, January might be a painful experience.