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8 Easy Ways to Save Money For the Holidays!

 

It’s officially October. Time to get your holiday planning on.

Time to make that gift list and that dinner menu.

How many people are you buying gifts for?

How many people are you inviting over for that Thanksiving or Christmas dinner?

Time to save MONEY.

Besides money for gifts, food and decorations are big expenses during this time of year!

 

Here are 8 simple and easy ways to save money this holiday season!

 

1. Cut down the number of people on your gift list

I used to buy gifts for my cousins and their kids.  Now only the kids get presents. I made it a rule: once you have kids, only your kids get the presents.

You know what?! My cousins are fine with that. They just love seeing their kids happy playing with whatever gifts they got.

 

2. Have a potluck dinner

Instead of you buying food or slaving away in your kitchen for half the day to make dinner, why not ask everyone to bring something to the party?

You make the main dish. Your guests bring a dish assigned to them. For example, Aunt Mary and Aunt Jill can bring desserts. Uncle John bring alcoholic beverages.

This will also make it fun for everyone because they get to share their favorite dishes with family and friends.

Everyone can also bring the recipe to the food they bought. This way, your family and friends can make their favorite dishes later.




3. Give up your favorite Joe

What does coffee have anything to do with saving money for the holidays?! Lots, actually!

If you are sticking to the big gift list and the big dinner, you need to save money ASAP!

One way to save a good chunk of money is to give up one thing, like coffee, for a certain amount of time.

How much is that cup of coffee that you buy at Starbucks or some other cafe?

Lets say it cost $3 and you drink it twice a day. That is $6.

$6 x 30 days = $180/month.

So from October 15 – December 15 (that gives you two months), you save $360 for your gifts and food/dinner decorations.

I can’t give up coffee, you say?

Don’t give it up then! Give up 1 cup of coffee instead of 2 cups. That would give you $180 for the holidays.

You can also just give up something else. I just used coffee as an example.

How about buying a regular cup of coffee from local bagel store? Or buying your morning coffee at Starbucks and your afternoon coffee at a cheaper place?

Or you can make a simple cup of coffee at home.

My husband makes his coffee daily using one of  these. This thing is a money and space saver in our house. Cost less than $20. No electricity needed. Easy to store.

The kids love to help make it and watch it drips into the cup.

 

4. Shop for gifts and decorations online using these rebate programs

If you can’t or don’t want to do any of the above, then shop using these two rebate programs.

I use them whenever I shop online.

You can also link your credit card with the programs and get rebates when you shop physically at a store. I just prefer online to avoid the crowds and save gas money.

With rebate programs, you basically shop and they offer you cash back.

The two programs I use are: EBATES and TOPCASHBACK.

They are competitors and each are wonderful. Both offers cash back, but the cash back value differs. Whenever, I shop I check to see who offer the higher cash back for that particular store.

For example, Ebates offer 1% cash back for Etsy, but Top Cash Back sometimes offer 3%. Of course, I’m going through TopCashBack for that transaction.

Sometimes they do double cash back! Instead of getting 8% cash back, you get 16%. WHAAA?! I get excited just thinking about it.

I have also received a product for free through Ebates!  They were offering $10 cash back on a month of Kiwi Crate subscription. I bought this subscription during Kiwi Crate November special promo, which was less than $10.

I spent no money on that gift! NONE! And I earn some cents! YAY!

You can shop like normal on any of the store website using the store’s coupons. You just have to go through Ebates or TopCashBack first. They make it super easy to do that by giving you an extension you can install on your browser.

Here is how the extension works:

When you are on an online store, you will see an E for Ebates on the top right corner of your screen (if you are on a computer), telling you you can get % cash back from the store and there are coupons they can apply to your purchase.You just click on “Active up to % Cash Back”. This will bring you to the store and you shop as usual.

Ways to save money for the holidays using ebates program such as Ebates

When you do a google search, it will give you all the websites you can buy a product and how much cash back each store will give you. In example below, I’m heading to Walmart for my Christmas decorations!

Ways to save money for the holidays

When you first join Ebates, you get a $10 gift card to some of their most popular stores after you make a $25 purchase during a 90 day period.

So EASY, right?

 

5. Buy store brand essentials

Unless you have a product that you totally love, you can almost buy store brand for cheaper. If you can’t give up the luxurious brand, why not do a spending freeze on that product for two months or until you reach your money goal. You can put the difference from buying generic compare to the luxurious brand into a Holiday Saving Jars.

For example, let’s say you normally use a shampoo that cost $6. You decide to buy a store brand for $4. You’re saving $2 on this shampoo. Put the $2 into your little holiday saving jar.

Do that for several of your essentials. You might reach your money goal very quickly. You might fall in love with these store brand and never go back to the more expensive products again!

Totally Win!




6. Buy your holiday decorations at the dollar store

I don’t know about you, but I feel the dollar stores have gotten a lot better these days. You can find everything you need for your dinner party in the dollar store. From gift wraps to wine glasses. You can purchase them at the dollar store.

 

7. Do your searches with Bing Rewards

You can earn points by just searching for something using the Bing search engine.  After you reach a certain amount of points, you can redeem it for a price. Since my family uses Amazon to shop a lot, we get a $5 Amazon gift card using our Bing Rewards points.

 

8. Take pictures of all your receipts

Did you know that your shopping receipts can make you money? YES, it can! I can attest to that!

I use an app called, Receipt Hog, to take pictures of all my receipts, from my grocery to Barnes and Nobles books.

Depending on where you shop and how much your total is, Receipt Hog will give you either coins or a chance at the slot machine, where you can earn more coins.

After a certain amount of coins you get an Amazon gift card or get it the money deposit through your PayPal.

Start saving those receipts!

 

Why not save more by combining all the 8 easy tips above?

There you have it! 8 easy ways to save money this holiday!

You don’t have to pick one or two of these ways to save.

To save the most money, you:

1. Cut down the number of people on your list.

2. Do a potluck party. You cook the main entree and do the party decorations. Everyone else bring a side dish or drinks.

3. Give up something for a duration of time until you have enough money for the holiday season. Remember to make a $ goal so you can keep your eye on the price.

4. Do all your shopping through a cash rebate program, like Ebates or Top Cash Back.

5.Buy generic brand essentials.

6. Buy your party decorations and party supplies at the dollar store.

7. Search for all your gifts and holiday recipes using Bing. Make sure you sign up for Bing Rewards first.

8. Take photos of all your food and gift shopping receipts to get some cool gift cards!

Happy Saving!

Over to you:

How are you planning to save money this holiday season?! Have to clever ideas on how to save money for the holidays?  Share them in the comment!

My-Ngoc

 

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