Monday, December 25, 2006

Cheapass Christmass Part 6--Presents & Finale

Woo! The End! El Fin!

Boy I really enjoyed this and I do believe it did succeed in putting me in the Christmas spirit. Before I get into the final breakdown of how much I spent and whatnot, I'll give you some hardcore Cheapass Christmass food porn:

Mmm, what's a turkey without that plastic popper thingy?

stuff it baby!
Cornbread stuffing with wild rice courtesy of Amy of "Knit Think"

Cinnamon rolls. Very pretty on the outside.

crescent rolls
Crescent rolls. Kind of obese aren't they?

green beans
The veggie we went with was green beans. I drenched them in olive oil, salted and peppered them, minced a couple of cloves of garlic and popped 'em in the oven for about 10 minutes. When they came out I sprinked parmesan cheese we had in the fridge from something else on top of them.

cranberry upside down
Ok, no Mormon Salad for dessert. The Mad Scientist wanted Cranberry Upside Down Cake. Which only cost $2.65 for the bag of cranberries. I'll call it a wash since the Mormon salad makings were about that much and we'll still eat the Mormon Salad at a later time. (Or use the ingredients bought for something else).

But what about the presents???

Well for Chunky I of course visited my Mecca (Wally's World) for cheap-o gifts and a stocking stuffer.

At Wally's I bought him a couple of monster trucks (this is what he asked Santa for), Connect Four (he used to play that at my office all the time when The Man would have me working so hard I couldn't take a day off when he had a school day off/was sick), and in true motherly style--Santa brought him two new packs of underwear and I wrapped up a 10 pack of white socks from "Mom." For his stocking from Wally's he got an educational card game.

That was all cheap because well, it's Wally's World. It doesn't get much white trash/cheaper than that!

I also couldn't resist going to Half Price Books and buying him a couple of Calvin and Hobbes books. Yes, I realize that he's only five, but honestly a lot of the stuff in there isn't very offensive and Calvin himself is six years old. Right now Chunky's in his bedroom "reading" one (when he's supposed to be going to sleep) and laughing his ass off!


For Dr. Mad Scientist I splurged a little. He always carries a pocket knife with him. He lost his first one in Chicago when we went to a friend's wedding and so he ordered an exact replacement which he just recently lost in the last five months at work. So I bought him a new one--this time a different model.

The round up for the rest of my family is as follows:

Oldest Younger Brother and Family--I baked them some toffee squares and mailed them on over to NC (it was great payback for the buttload of chocolate that they sent us!)

Middle Younger Brother and Wife--For him: Coronet hat and For Her: Kool Aid Cable Scarf

Oldest Younger Sister--Keychain I bought for her on our way down here to Texas when we stopped at Graceland. It's always been her dream to go to Graceland and I beat her there. Why not say "Neener neener!" with a nice cheap keychain? (And I've already accounted for this in my grand total as well!)

Youngest Younger Sister and Youngest Younger Brother--Ho boy, I hope this one worked. I went super cheapass on them! I went onto itunes and bought them a gift certificate. Because the lowest form of gift certificate on there is $10.00 I had to break it up like so:


Ha ha, they each got half a CD with the same gift certificate code. Those two monkeys are pretty tight so I think they can rig it so they download $5 each of songs they dig.

Both Sets of Parental Units (mine and Dr. Mad Scientist's)--As you might remember, they each got a CD case calendar featuring Chunky.

And I think that was everybody.

What was the final damage on all of this? Well I spent $49.25 on Chunky; $30.08 on Dr. Mad Scientist; $10 on Youngest Younger Sister and Brother; and $14.53 to mail everything to everyone.

He didn't save any receipts but claims to have spent just a hair under $75 on the both of us. (He has no idea, to my knowledge, that this blog even exists--to him the words "Cheapass Christmass" just mean me being my usual tight self!)

Breakdown:Total Remaining Of $250.00 Budget Goal: ($15.91)**This total was arrived at by using the final total of budget money left after Cheapass Christmass Week 5

SUCKAGE! Nearly $16 overbudget! But you know what? If I subtracted the underwear and socks that me and "Santa" bought for Chunky (stuff he needed regardless of what holiday it was), I would have had $0.73 to spare. Ok, I feel better now!

Now, when I wrote the last installment I promised to highlight some of the Cheapass Christmass stuff I've seen on the web lately (or that you've sent me).

First up, check out this Mother-In-Law gift that Elizabeth scored!


She writes:

I just wanted to show you the Cheap Ass gift I bought for my MIL this year.
Found three matching silver-plate candle holders, which don't looks so great
in this photo because of the hammered surface texture. They were tarnished,
but Mr. Sable polished them up nicely. These were $2.50 each at St. Vincent's. I
found three cylindrical candles at Hobby Lobby, 50% off all Christmas
candles, so they were $1.50 each. So, for $12 plus tax, we got something
pretty impressive looking for MIL and her husband

Elizabeth is my thrift store idol. I can never score stuff this freakin' cool when I go!

Alisha baked some delish looking banana bread for her neighbors. Spread the neighborlycheapass love!

Domestic Overlord rescued a velvet painting from the curbside and created a really kick ass purse from it. Wouldn't that look great made from a velvet Jesus or Elvis too?

Oh and hey, how could I forget my own mother who made this cute little t-shirt for me?

Mom and Dad's Present

Just a cheap-o plain t-shirt you find at a craft store with an design she ironed on. I'm just kind of bummed I have to wait a year to wear it again.

And of course (and I think this is my favorite gift this year) my sister T.'s present. She had a school assignment to create a glossary. So while all the other squares in her class were making glossaries of the latest urban-speak or techno-computo-terms she compiled a list of family words.

These are words our family made up that only we really knew the meaning to or were normal words/phrases we had assigned new meanings to. She sent us all a list of words a few months ago and asked us to write the words in our handwriting and mail them back to her. She compiled the glossary and while I guess the numbnuts she pays thousands of dollars to each quarter to teach her design and copywriting didn't "get" it when she turned it in as an assignment--she printed us all off copies for our own cheapass Christmas presents.

Here's the cover of "Budnikspeak" (I love that picture of my parents doing the American Gothic mock):

This is a page with a word she had me do in my handwriting:


And finally this one has one of my favorite definitions maybe because I can still picture my brother sitting cross-legged in his sled in the middle of the iced-over road on that windy day:


There, now you get a small glimpse into my bizzare childhood. Dr. Mad Scientist totally didn't understand why I was laughing over each and every entry. To me this handmade book she did is an heirloom in the making. I hope to instill the same weirdness in Chunky and pass this book down to him someday.

So there you go folks! Cheapass Christmass has come to an end! Even though I didn't keep it under $250 like I originally wanted I had a hell of a fun time trying!

Stay tuned for my next big exercise in craziness--Kootchie Awareness Yarn Extravaganza!


Blogger Jennifer said...

You did awesome!! I am glad that ya'll had a great holiday and I just wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas!!

9:37 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

no way! My family loves Calvin and Hobbes! He will love those books. Congrats on the budget. I went WAY over my non-existent budget. ;) To make you feel maybe a little more normal, we had a mother raper father stabber as well. I'm glad the kids got off scot-free with that guy. LOL :)

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aw, thanks for featuring "Budnikspeak," the official Budnikcionary! (I should set the record straight, though, the instructors who helped me with it actually did like it. Although, it wasn't chosen to be put on display.)

Who could ever forget the sail sled?

Great conclusion to a kick-ass series.

Merry Christmas!


10:53 PM  
Blogger Zonda said...

I've been waiting for you!! hehe! My mouth is just drooling over your food!!! (see here, it's after midnight and mine has worn off!) Your rolls are awesome...huge crescents or what! did a great job there! Only a tiny bit over, but I congratulate you for sticking to it! The tee is cute and the family Budnikcionary is just too cool! :)

11:49 PM  
Blogger janna said...

The cinnamon rolls look wonderful! And I love the "Budnikcionary." I think most families have things like that that only they get, and they really should be recorded somewhere. My brother and sister and I all howl at the words "Olympic Chair Spinning."

12:09 AM  
Blogger cpurl17 said...

Looks like you had an awesome Christmas and I know the best part was that both your men were with you!

Your turkey made me drool. The nice part about going to my Mom's, no cooking. The downside, no leftovers for midnight snacking...

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas - I admire you for even sticking that close to budget :) I don't have a picture, but my sister Teri found a purple wool sweater with and yellow and orange checked panel down the front (don't even ask!) at the Sally Ann that was partially felted already. She paid $1.50 for it, cut it and sewed it into a handbag and felted it some more. I know she spent a couple of bucks on some decorative buttons, but she couldn't have sunk more than $5 into the whole project and it looks great.

1:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

merry Christmas and you did it! Managed to share your cheap ass wisdom with the rest of us cheap asses and made the world a better, cheaper place! kuddos!

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, the new blogger has me listed as anonymous, but it is me, Stacie!

9:47 AM  
Blogger Tactless Wonder said...

We just won't count the "needed" gifts, so YEY .73 under!!!

Happy my holidays are officially extended into Noche Buena, I'm still trying to keep the total down as I finish up the parental unit gifties :).

10:49 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

That rocks! A series well done! The dinner looks to be quite first rate though...sure you didn't slip on that?

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a great ending! I loved the food. Glad that you liked the T-shirt! But what about what was in it? I got that at the "Freinds of the Library" book sale I think that I paid 2$ at the most! The iron on I found in my sewing room,
"Spider Hole"! Love, Mom

11:03 AM  
Blogger turtlegirl76 said...

Cheapass Christmass will have to make a repeat performance next year! What a fun little trip you've taken us into your cheapass mind. =)

Glad y'all had a Merry Christmas!

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My family has a lot of in-joke private words, too.

Word of caution about Calvin and Hobbes. When Owen got into them, about age 6 (and still into them almost 6 years later), he took them as a training manual for childhood, not humor. He's very literal. He memorized (easily) lengthy passages wherein Calvin explores questions about the point of living if we're only going to die and so on. Be prepared!

Some day you'll have to visit Mad-town and we'll hit the thrift shops together. Bring a truck.

11:31 AM  
Blogger weezalana said...

Very impressive cheapassyness! Your turkeystuffingbeanroll pron looks so yummy.

I love that your sister made a family dictionary! Dare I ask what "rocketbutt" means? (Hubster has that sometimes, but I don't think it means the same thing in your family as it does in mine...)

12:45 PM  
Blogger Alisha said...

You did good!! I loved reading all about this. I am still waiting for photos to load ~sigh~ so I read this with no photos but will be sure to pop in once I am home (to my high speed) to see your display of food photos!!!

2:55 PM  
Blogger sgeddes said...

I lvoed the Cheapass Christmas entries and I think a big congrtulations is in order even if you did go slightly over budget. You stayed so close! And everything looked wonderful.

You'll have to repeat next year for us!

12:37 PM  
Blogger Rain said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful christmas. Every kid needs a bit of Calvin and Hobbes.

2:02 PM  

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