Top 3 Ways to Save with Online Holiday Gift Shopping
My favorite time of year is the later half, or holiday season. The Las Vegas heat retreats and the sweaters come out! Just the word “holidays” brings a massive smile to my face and warm fuzzy feelings abound.
This is also a high-stress time of year for many families on tight budgets. I’m here to share my top money-saving tips that can help limited funds stretch into a very Merry Christmas!
Know Your Budget
Yes, I went there. I know this sounds simple, and it is, however many people don’t set a firm budget for holiday spending. Personally, I don’t have credit cards – – not even one (especially store cards). I’m a buyer and this can get me into trouble fast, so I just don’t go there. But if you do like using credit cards, make sure you also implement a budget for those as well, and stick to it!
Top 3 Ways to Save with Online Holiday Gift Shopping
Ebates is an affiliate based site. When you click through Ebates links and they receive a commission from your purchase, Ebates gives you a percentage of cash back based on your purchase amount. It’s a win-win for all parties involved. It’s an easy service to sign up for and use. They even offer an incentive program to their members for telling friends and family how to save as well.
WHY I LIKE EBATES
I’ve been a member since 2009, and use this free service with every online order I purchase. I rack up most of my cash back in the months of November and December, but I highly recommend shopping through Ebates all year long. The cash back I receive counters all my out-of-pocket shipping costs (if any) during the holidays. So you might find this an awesome deal, but shipping is killing it! Well, just shop through Ebates and you will no longer have that issue.
I also make many of my large purchases from the website. I received a hefty cash back amount when I bought my new washer and dryer from Home Depot through the Ebates link! This was like receiving an additional discount on a large investment. If you like to shop for those items in person, pick them out in store and have an employee help you with the model numbers so you can order online (that’s what I did).
HOW TO USE EBATES
Ebates is very easy and user-friendly. First visit Ebates.com and create a free account. You can even sign up using your Facebook account (if you have one). You can either search for a specific store by name or browse through retail offers by category. Once you have picked the store you wish to shop, click the “Shop Now” button and you will automatically be redirected to the retailer’s site. Make sure you check out from the same window that opened from Ebates so you get your cash back.
- Sign up for a free Ebates account.
- Search by retailer name of category.
- Click “Shop Now” and shop.
- Check out from the same window.
Retailers coupon codes will also be displayed under their store description. Use these codes at checkout to save even more!
Savings is one of the top tools I use to save money when I make purchases online. This site posts retailers current coupon codes and offers. If you like a certain store or brand, you can easily search though the thousands of listed retailers and find their offers. I use this service when I know what store I want to shop at.
Savings.com allows members to give each coupon code a thumbs up or down depending on the reliability of the online coupon code. This way you can easily see which is working well for other members. You can view the widget below to get an idea of how the service works.
Amazon.com is my favorite online store. I get everything from books to groceries there, even hard to find specialty items. My favorite feature is Amazon Prime membership. The benefits of prime are numerous, including free unlimited 2-day shipping on millions of items (this benefit actually pays for itself in time!): Amazon Mom 20% off benefits of everyday baby items: unlimited instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows with Prime Instant Video. Another one of my top favorite features is the Kindle book to borrow for free each month from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
Right now is the perfect time to get your free Amazon Prime Trial! For the next month you can receive the benefits of a prime membership for free! So if you sign up now, all your Amazon order (gifts!) will ship free, as well as all the other member perks.
Amazon also offers daily lighting deals for the holidays. Right now, Amazon highlights some of the best gifts at deep discounts. On top of lightning deals, you can often find coupons and promotions. Prices on Amazon can change without notice, so if you see your item at an outstanding price you may not want to delay.
I like using the “Wishlist” feature. I save items to the list and keep an eye on them for discounts; you can also email the list to friends and family if they ask what to get grandchildren for Christmas.
Want More Deals?
Having spent the past two years employed with two large national deal websites, Melly Allen knows how to save families’ time and money on much needed necessities. In addition to saving men and women money nationally, Melly is also the creator of Couponers of Las Vegas, a family-friendly local couponing community on Facebook. You can request to join for more deals and saving tips!
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