One of the ways that we help curb the gimmes is by not having cable tv. We have an antenna but we only get PBS and we also have Netflix. I'm extremely grateful that neither show commercials. If my kids don't see the ads they don't want the junk!
I only grocery shop once a month and do quick trips to Aldi as needed. I love Aldi because of their cheap prices but also because they don't have a toy aisle!
We don't get a newspaper so my kids don't get to browse through the toy ads.
We have told all the kids that they are getting three gifts total! There will be a gift to open on Christmas Eve and stockings in the morning. Our budget is $50-$60 per child. I've asked each one what they want the most. My goal is to buy that item and pay the best price for it.
I shop all year round. I also check "deal" boards frequently to see if there are any deals worth buying.
We are on a spending freeze until further notice. No eating out, no thrift store trips ( with the kids!), minimal driving, and a reduction of outside activities.
How do you keep costs down at Christmas time?