How To: Save Money on Christmas Gifts Part 1

Many of us are looking to save some money on holiday gift giving this year.  I’ve got a few tips to help you purchase great gifts for your friends and family without breaking the bank!  {This post ended up getting really long, so I’m dividing it into two parts; the first will focus on ways to save on gifts you would buy anyways and the second will focus on inexpensive gift ideas.} 

1.  Shop early.

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There are great deals to be found year round.  If you can anticipate gifts for people in advance, you will save a lot of money come Christmas.  The day after Thanksgiving (a.k.a. Black Friday) is known for being the day with the best prices on just about everything.  If you get your list together by this time, you can surely find some deep discounts on things you would pay full price for a month later.

2.  Shop online.

{This may scare some of you if you are worried about credit card fraud, but I have a work around, so keep reading!}  Oftentimes you can find deals online that are cheaper in the stores.  At the minimum, you can usually find coupon codes for free shipping and a percentage off at reputable online retailers. 

The savings are even sweeter when you can find deals such as those posted on Slickdeals.  {I realize I mention this site a lot, but it’s simply because I have had great luck with it!}  I guarantee that if you check Slickdeals early enough in your holiday shopping, you will find some great stocking stuffers for cheap or even free, and you will find significant discounts on almost any item on your “to buy” list.  I have mentioned in another post how many cheap and free clothes I’ve scored using this site, but it doesn’t stop there.  I also got my laptop from Best Buy for a few hundred dollars less off after reading about the deal on Slickdeals.  I also just recently saved about $80 by buying my camera online instead of at a brick and mortar store. 

For those of you that are skeptical about entering credit card info online, simply buy a prepaid Visa card from your bank in an amount you are comfortable with.  It works just the same as a credit card, yet you have the security of knowing that there is a low limit on the card if anything were to happen.  When the balance gets low, simply refill the card.

3.  Shop with cashback rewards.

This idea may not be for everyone, but if you can remember to pay off your bill every month in full, a cash back rewards credit card may be right for you.  I very rarely buy anything with cash.  Everything we buy and every bill we pay is paid on a credit card.  I get probably $500-$1000 in cash back checks every year simply for buying the things we would regardless, and I pay no interest since the balances are paid in full each month.  There are also cashback rewards sites such as ebates which gives you cash back for any of the online retailers on their site.  For example, Piperlime is now at 8% cashback with free shipping and free returns, so if you spend $100 by clicking through that link, $8 will automatically be credited to your ebates account.  Every time you earn at least $20 you will be mailed a check.  {I have used this service before, and it is legit.} 

4.  Shop for (or with) discount gift cards.

There are many online retailers which buy and sell discounted gift cards to a variety of stores.  They purchase gift cards from people who would rather have, say, $100 cash instead of a $150 gift card to somewhere they don’t need.  Then, the companies sell the gift cards at a discount to people who want them.  Gift Card Granny is a site that compares the deals for the gift cards.  For example, they have an AMC theatres gift card valued at $42 on sale for $33.60.  If you were planning on getting a friend a $35 gift card, this site can stretch that money to $42, which is almost enough to see an extra movie!  You can also take advantage of this site by buying a gift card and then spending it on someone.  For instance, there are Brookstone gift cards worth $50 on sale for $40, so you could buy the gift card at a discount, and only pay $40 for a $50 gift!

Do any of you use these techniques?  Stay tuned for Part 2 next Monday!

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One Response to How To: Save Money on Christmas Gifts Part 1

  1. Wow.! good article. I like it. That is a good ideas.

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