How-To: Christmas Saving Tips for Happy Shopping

Thanks to several different couponing and money-saving groups and forums, I’ve come across various ways to save more on groceries and household items. I’ve previously shared some of these tips such as how to obtain free diapers! With Christmas just a few months away, I thought I’d share some tried and true Christmas saving tips so you don’t end up overspending or putting yourself in debt.

holiday shopping

 

First, let me just state that Christmas is not about the gifts or how much money you spend. It’s a time to be with the ones you love and coming together. Often times, however, the weeks leading up to Christmas bring out stress from the holiday shopping. You can avoid this by being prepared ahead of time to eliminate the struggle of shopping for everyone on your list.

Start Early
This is a big step in preparing for the holidays. Start early, as in at least 3 months in advance or sooner. You can even start a year in advance right after Christmas, putting a little aside here and there and shopping smart. You would be surprised how much easier it is when the time comes.

Look for the Sales
sale imgWhen you visit the grocery store, check out the sales and clearance racks for toys and gift ideas that might be suitable for someone on your list. Don’t wait until Black Friday and Cyber Monday to hit up the biggest deals – this often leads to overspending on products you may not have even intended on purchasing simply because it ‘looks’ like a good deal. Also check the weekly coupons as there are sometimes coupons you can find for discounts on toys.

Open a Christmas Savings Account
christmas piggy bankSome banks offer a specific account for Christmas savings where a specified amount is automatically drafted from your bank account. This is a great way to have money set aside that you won’t end up spending before-hand. I recommend opening an online savings account such as through GE Capital as they earn higher interest rates. You can still set up automatic drafts or transfer money on your own terms.

Earn Points Towards Gift Cards and Save
online shoppingAmazon is one of my favorite places to shop because I often find better deals and you can find nearly EVERYTHING. Did you know there are tons of ways to earn gift cards, especially Amazon gift cards? By participating in several online opportunities you can enter giveaways, sweepstakes and earn points that you can use towards redeeming gift cards of your choice.

Many have saved hundreds of dollars within just a couple of months by filling out surveys in their spare time earning enough points to redeem for gift cards. While you won’t earn a significant amount to make up as a work from home outlet as many of these claim, it is a great way to have extra spending money towards your Christmas shopping. The best way to maximize earnings is by joining multiple websites where you earn through taking surveysHere are some of the ones that I follow and participate in that I recommend!

Inbox Dollars

This is a popular site because you can earn money from performing different activities from reading emails to taking surveys and completing special offers. In my experience, it’s one of the fastest-earning sites to acquire extra money and offers a lot of opportunities to not only earn, but also save money too. You can print out coupons to save on your grocery shopping and still earn .10 for every coupon you redeem!

Receipt Hog
This is a neat app that you can download for free on your iPhone or Android smartphone. It’s very easy to use and takes very little of your time. You download the app, snap a picture of your grocery receipts and earn coins for your purchases. When you have accumulated enough coins you can redeem them for cash via Paypal or an Amazon gift card from the selected amounts.

Global Test Market
This is a survey site that offers rewards for taking surveys and opportunities to enter for giveaways. It’s fairly easy to use. You sign up and fill out profile surveys so they can email you with survey opportunities that fit your criteria to earn points towards different things.

InstaGC
This one is another popular favorite. Much like Inbox Dollars, this site also offers several different opportunities to earn points that can be used towards a selection of gift cards. You can set goals for what you would like to work towards earning then take surveys, complete tasks, and earn points simple for doing Internet searches among many other activities.

SpringBoard America
This is yet another survey site that gives you an opportunity to earn between .50 to $5 in Survey Dollars. Once you you have acquired 50 Survey Dollars you can redeem them for an Amazon gift e-card or cash through a bank deposit or prepaid Visa card.

Swagbucks
This site also gives you multiple methods of earning ‘Swagbucks’ that you can redeem for various gift cards. You can earn ‘bucks’ through discounts and savings offered, taking surveys, and finding swag codes that are offered throughout the site’s blog.

Christmas shopping doesn’t have to put you in the hole if you shop wisely. If you have your own Christmas saving tips you would like to add, feel free to share them in the comments.

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