Linda, sometimes you do have to live a little! Does your husband have a personal budget (small monthly amount that he can spend as he likes)?
My husband also cannot be trusted at a shop unaccompanied, as someone put it in the groceries thread. :) But he shops so seldom, it's no wonder that he is not very skilled at it.
I'm doing so-so on plugging my gifts leak. Meaning to be minimalist, I had my son invite a few friends to the movies for his birthday, but because he is a social kid with a lot of friends, he begged for this child or that to be invited, and before I knew it we were treating 17 people (kids, siblings, and some parents) to the movies! Then I overspent on goodie bags, since I hate giving out cheap schlock that will be thrown away. I think one issue is that I have some guilt about my son, who is the middle child, a real sweetheart, and because he is self-effacing, does not get as much attention as his brother and sister. So, I need to plan in some special attention for this child throughout the year, and next year he will have to pick 2 friends for a sleepover birthday.
At least this year I did not spend much on decorations... spent $7 for two big bags of colored cups, inflated a packet of balloons that we already had, and printed out a birthday banner from free downloadables. I did successfully turn down a few birthday party invites from children whom we are not likely to see much of after preschool since they live in different towns, so there are some savings of time and money. I also used Barnes and Noble coupons + membership discount to buy a few kids' books to give out as needed, saving a few dollars on each.
However, I need to plan one more child birthday party, and also prepare for Mother's Day gifts in May... both my mother and my MIL are high maintenance in their own ways so I have to figure out whether/how I can handcraft gifts that will please them; otherwise it will have to be $100 bouquets as usual.