Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Deck the Haul: The Strategy

Before I unveil the amount that we're giving to charity this year, I wanted to let you in on the gift shopping strategies which are allowing us to spend less and give more this year.
  • Sites like Groupon and Eversave have daily deals that cost about 50% of their retail price. Plus, most of the time, you get a credit for signing up, which can be used toward any deal. ---> I purchased a gift certificate to an online toy store for 80% off!
  • There's a new fad in internet shopping -- "private sale" sites which are "members only" and offer "designer" items at a discount for a few days. (Do you like my use of quotations?) In my opinion, these sites are kind of worthless EXCEPT that they've all been giving free money to use in their store when you sign up! If you use the credit to pay shipping as well, you can get totally free items. I honestly don't know if they're still giving money when you sign up, but here are the sites I think might if you want to try: Hautelook, Modnique, Rue La La.
    ---> I scored this floor puzzle (isn't the case cute?) for totally free ... and have spent several other of these promotional credits on our family.
  • I stay up-to-date with bargain blogs like Springs Bargains and Money Saving Mom for coupons at stores that have gifts that I want to purchase.
    ---> J.C. Penney released an online code for $10 off a $10 purchase. (My savings: 80%)
    ---> Target releases several game/toy coupons each Christmas, which I combined with in-store sales. (My savings: 80%)
    ---> BarnesandNoble.com had a great Black Friday weekend sale. (My savings: 70%)
  • I use a search engine called Swagbucks, which gives points as you search and releases codes for points randomly. You can redeem those points for prizes. I always get the $5 Amazon gift card.
    --> I've only earned one prize this holiday season, but the gift I purchased on Amazon was already on sale, so my savings on that gift was 85%.
  • Lastly, for every online purchase I make, I check Ebates to see if I can earn cash back at that retailer. The concept is that retailers pay Ebates a commission for sending them customers, and Ebates splits the money 50/50 with the customer. It's really easy, too. The most I've earned is $11 on a purchase, but most of the time I earn a dollar or two. Every penny counts!
Are you overloaded with information yet? I guess one thing that I want to add is that this doesn't take as much time as it looks. I'm not making a full-time job out of buying Christmas gifts. I have a list of items I want to purchase, check my email and read bargain blog updates a few times a day, and if something looks good, I'll check it out and do a little bit of shopping in the evening.

Stay tuned ... I'll give you the grand total as soon as I can.

1 comment:

Abby said...

Great strategies, thanks for sharing. I've done a few of these things this year, but I definitely need to be more strategic about it next year. It's amazing the quality you can get without spending much at all!