How to buy Christmas gifts on the cheap

Monday, November 12, 2012

Truth: I can be a little cheap. has a negative connotation, so I'll go with "thrifty."

I did a whole series of posts on our "Essentials Only Month" in July/August, during which we had $200 for groceries, gas, clothing and eating out for 30 days. I definitely used coupons to get us through, as well as Groupons, gift cards, meal planning...anything we could get our hands on.

But honestly, I use all those things all the time - not just during Essentials Only Month.

While I might be a little frugal with day-to-day purchases, the one area I don't mind going all out is buying gifts for others. However: my motto is if you can get a good deal on something, you can get that person more of whatever it is within your original budget (and look like a baller in the meantime).

With Thanksgiving - and BLACK FRIDAY - just days away, I thought you might enjoy knowing the ways that I plan to save money this holiday season while I'm shopping for gifts.

If you are an online shopper and you aren't using eBates, you are literally missing out on cash money. The way it works: before you make a purchase, go to the eBates homepage and log in. From eBates, you can click through to thousands of online stores (including Target, Groupon and Living Social - see below). Make your purchases as you normally would. Once you make your purchase, you'll get an email from eBates telling you how much cash back you're getting (for example, usually at Target, it's 2% cash back). Then, once a quarter, they will send you a Check in the mail for your cash back. It adds up fast, people - I am getting a check for $27.00 from last quarter! Literally cash money. It's free and there are no catches. And sometimes, some websites will have huge cash back amounts of 8% or even up to 40%. Sign up here! Daily Deals
This one is easy. Go to (after going to eBates, of course!). Click on the daily deals link. There will be 5 or more deals listed that are only food for 24 hours. They're usually 40% or more and always have free shipping - even if it's furniture! They have cute clothes, toys, makeup, electronics, you name it. And it's a surprise every day! Love. 

Rue La La
I know there are a ton of flash sale sites out there, but Rue is my fave. It has a great assortment of items, from designer handbags (think Chanel and Louie) to wedding dresses to vacations to casual clothes. They've even had my wedding china on there. The boutiques are usually open for a few days, but they sell out fast because the prices are so good. Sign up here.

If you haven't ever eBayed - where have you been for the last 17 years?? To be fair, online auctions aren't for everyone. But no need to sell to take part - although that is an excellent way to make some extra $$ for the holidays. Tons of items are "Buy it Now" and you can get some of the best, most popular gifts right now for little bits of nothin'. For example: bubble necklaces. I have seen them on there for $8 including shipping, no bidding required.

Groupon and Living Social
Now I'm not suggesting you buy someone a restaurant Groupon and wrap it up (although you certainly can), but what you should look out for are the national and online deals. There have been deals for Amazon, Fandango, Old Navy, The Body Shop and other national chains, or deals on actual products that you order online. Heck, I got a 2-year subscription to Better Homes and Gardens for $2. I have also noticed that a lot of local boutiques and stores will sell vouchers this time of year, so you can use the vouchers to by gifts for half off. Easy.

Cash in your reward points
If you get reward points for using your Debit or Credit card, cash in on those points now. A lot of people forget about them - don't let yours go to waste. I always redeem ours for gift cards, and then I use them to buy gifts (or a treat for myself - that way, I don't feel guilty about spending money on something for me!)

So now you know all my best secrets. You're welcome. I've already used most of these in my Christmas shopping this year and plan to continue to do so.

Good luck in your shopping - and may you score the best deals this holiday season. I'm pulling for ya!

1 comment:

  1. Aahh I feel like half of what we do/buy comes from groupon and living social! LOVE IT
    Never noticed Target's daily deal...going to have to keep my eye on that one. :)


Theme created by SWEET LEMON GREY