Christmas isn’t that far off. I have already started shopping to avoid having to pay for everything all at once. Many people have the money to buy everything in the month before Christmas, while others have to budget it. In saying that, I thought I would share how I do Christmas for as cheap as possible.
I do numerous point programs. Basically, these programs give you points for doing things, whether it’s using their search engines, reading emails, or shopping through them. A few months before Christmas, I evaluate how many points I have, how many points it takes to get the reward I want (usually a gift card), and then cash in if it’s worth it. There are tons of sites that have programs like this, but the ones I like the best are MyPoints and Swagbucks. MyPoints gives you points for a variety of things. I get emails for them with offers. Most will give you x amount of points to complete the offer or 5 points for clicking and viewing the offer. I just usually view the offer, but the points add up! Swagbucks gives you points randomly for using their search engine. They also give points for a few other things and randomly put codes up on the Facebook page or hide them in their blogs.
There are also sites that give you cash back for shopping online. When you want to shop online, go to the site first, then click on the store you want to shop at and it will take you there. You are then given a percentage of your total spent. I use Upromise and Ebates. Upromise doesn’t have as many stores as Ebates, but my Upromise account is linked to my student loan and whatever money is in my account is put towards my student loan quarterly. Ebates gives you straight cash back. It sits in your account and they send checks out quarterly.
I still have a child in diapers. Pampers has a points program called Gifts to Grow. The point codes are in each pack of diapers and wipes. I save up the points to buy the kid’s toys or to get gift cards. Huggies also has a point program, but they don’t seem to have near the amount of items to redeem points for. I also don’t buy Huggies, except Pull-Ups, so I don’t have as much experience with their rewards.
This one isn’t as reliable, but I use some of my wins from sweeps and instant win games for presents too. There is an Orbit Gum game now that gives you Orbit bucks if you win. Those bucks can be used to purchase a variety of things. I’ve won a few times, so I got the kids each a movie and an Amazon gift card.
Doing any of these things won’t pay for all of Christmas, but if you can cash in points to get a giftcard to someone’s favorite restaurant, then that is one less thing for you to pay for.