Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
It's that time again. I know that many people are on a very strict budget this year, but that doesn't mean that you can't give nice gifts for very little money. Here are some tips on how to do it:
1) Cash in those rewards points! I cashed in my MyPoints rewards and the rewards points from my credit card for Amazon gift certificates that I will use to shop for people on my list. In previous years I also cashed in those points for gift cards that I gave as gifts.
2) Use rebate money as shopping money. I'll be getting a $30+ check from Ebates soon, and I may just use that money for Christmas shopping. If you saved your rebate money all year long, you could probably accumulate quite a bit.
3) Use high dollar coupons. When you get those $10 off any purchase coupons, use them for gifts. Also remember that Walgreens has lots of gift-y items right now and they frequently put out $5/$20 purchase coupons.
4) Cash in your change jar at a Coinstar machine. You can get gift certificates from it with no service charge. Right now they are also offering a promo where you cash in $40 of change and you can get $10 in additional gift certificates by mail.
5) Use gift cards that you have received. I won a $10 gift card to a gas station at my company's health fair. That will be perfect for adding automotive things to a gift basket that I am creating.
6) Keep an eye out for free photo gifts. Nearly all of the online photo companies will offer free photo gifts this time of year- you just have to pay shipping. When I bought a digital camera, I also received a coupon for several free photo gifts. I just ordered them today and will use as Christmas gifts.
7) Keep an eye out for deals. They are EVERYWHERE right now, both online and in-store. Victoria's Secret is offering their body lotions and sprays 8/$35 right now. There is also a coupon online that you can print and get a free scrub as well. 9/$35 is a great deal and would make good small gifts.
8) Don't forget dollar stores. They have some things in stock that may surprise you and would be appropriate for gifts.
9) Give used. In my family, it is perfectly acceptable to give used DVDs and books that are in good condition. If you can find it on Paperback Swap, even better!
This season, try to think outside the (ridiculously-priced) box. Remember that one day is not worth sacrificing your finances.