I thought since Black Friday is upon us, I would share my top 8 rules to Christmas shopping! Why 8? Because I couldn’t think of any more than that. 😉
1. Shop for Christmas year round! I usually start seriously looking for Christmas presents during the summer, but I am always on the lookout for something that would work as a Christmas present.
2. When I shop, it is usually online. It’s just easier to me…I don’t have to fight crowds to shop, it’s delivered to my door (usually for free…keep reading), and it’s usually cheaper! Two things that I ALWAYS, ALWAYS use before I shop online: ebates and retailmenot.com.
Ebates is a site that allows you to click through to the website you’re shopping from and save money on that purchase. For example, if I wanted to shop at walmart.com right now, I’d go to ebates, type in WalMart, click the link on the WalMart page, and automatically get 4% from that purchase put into my ebates account! It’s the easiest way to save money on an online purchase I’ve found. (And I just got an email saying that they’re doing double cash back for a lot of stores for Black Friday, so it’s a good time to check them out!) Most every shopping website you can imagine is on there…if it isn’t, I always check Shop at Home too (it’s the same kind of website as ebates).
Retailmenot.com is kind of like a database of coupon codes for, once again, pretty much every website you can imagine. I usually find that if there is a discount code for a website, it’s there! You could google to see if there’s a code, but I’ve found that it’s usually on Retail Me Not.
I check these two sites every single time I shop online…and I’ve saved hundreds doing that!
3. Check discount sites often to see if they have something you could give as a present.
We’ve recently found several sites that we love for discount items. 1 Sale a Day, Woot, and Grouponicus are a few we’ve found recently that have great deals on big name items. We also got several gifts from deals on Groupon, Living Social, and Plum District…once again, we looked year-round for deals and just bought the deals as we saw them.
Since we’ve recently learned how expensive kids can be :), I’ve been learning how to shop for them too! My absolute favorite site for shopping for kids is Totsy. Of all the discount sites for kids, this one usually has the best selection (both toys and clothes) and is usually cheaper than other sites. I also love Zulily too. Between these two sites, I’ve pretty much gotten all of the children in our family taken care of for Christmas!
The trick to discount sites is that you have to check them daily. Sounds like a pain, but just make it part of your daily routine…it maybe takes 10 minutes, and you’ll save a ton of money (not just on Christmas shopping!).
4. Follow companies on Facebook and Twitter if you’re looking for a good deal. They often put up discounts and coupons that at least help with the cost…if you’re buying it anyway, you might as well!
5. If you must shop in a store, always check the store’s website before you go. Many times they’ll have a coupon for x amount off of your purchase or will have a sale on a certain item. I rarely shop in stores now, but I always do this (and usually find a discount) if I am!
6. There’s (not necessarily) anything wrong with making a Christmas present! I’m not talking making cheap stuff, but there are a ton of projects out there that even I can make. 🙂 Pinterest has opened my eyes to do-it-yourself projects that are actually really cute and functional! You can especially make neighbor, post-man, teacher, etc. presents…just ask yourself, “would I want this if someone gave it to me?”
7. Especially for Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, etc., shop after Christmas! Every year, I stock up on wrapping paper the week after Christmas and save a ton.
8. Save up for Christmas shopping with online points-earning sites like Swagbucks and Mypoints! I love both of these – you do random tasks and searches online to earn points towards gift cards. I usually make $20-30 a month off of these! There are also apps for your smartphone like Checkpoints and Shopkick that are great for saving for gift cards too! If you’ll follow those links I gave, you’ll get a opening account bonus too. 🙂 I’ve heard of people completely doing their Christmas shopping on Amazon from all of the gift cards they’ve saved through these kinds of sites. They’re not scams, I promise! 🙂
***And this isn’t necessarily Christmas related, but I thought this might help some…Carter’s online is having a 50% off sale right now, and you can use the code RTMNCARTERS for 20% extra off of that. But first, go to ebates, put in carters.com, click the link from that site, and get 2.5% cash back! Time to stock up! 🙂 ***
Read about my links here.
Ok, I’m out of ideas…I want to hear your’s too! Link up and show everybody what works for you when you’re Christmas shopping!
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