First things first, I do not consider myself to be a very competitive person. In fact, I'm the least competitive person I know (ha ha, yea, it's a stretch for a joke). Anyways, I am VERY competitive with myself, which sounds strange, but since I started on this savings journey 1 year ago, it has almost become a kind of game that I play with myself. Me and my wallet VS. the stores. Well, this year, I decided that I was crazy. Read on and you'll see why. I decided that I wanted to set a budget for Christmas this year of $100. Not per person, for everyone. Let me go on... we generally buy gifts for about 25 people (including my husband, myself, son & dog). And we have never really had a budget for Christmas spending. Strange right?? Even last year, I just set a goal to save and use coupons, but I never paid much attention to how much we were spending as a grand total. Well this year I decided (after setting that ridiculous $100 goal), to count it up and see how much we were spending. I calculated it based on how much we would spend in our "cutting back" minds and it ended up being over $700. For someone that cringes when she spends more than $25 at the grocery store, this is HUGE! Now, obviously the $100 budget is ridiculous. When I first told my husband, I believe he laughed, then said, "If you could do that it would be awesome."
Now, let me go on to say that I realize that a $100 budget for 25 people would equal out to $4 per person. Clearly, that is insane. And no, I am not shoplifting. What I am doing is using things like mypoints, swagbucks and more to get gift cards and getting gifts for free. Now I realize that if you are new to couponing, or even new to some of these "reward earning" sites, it is probably too late for this year, but in the next few weeks I will be sharing with you how I was able to save up enough points from various websites to get gift cards to cover most of our Christmas shopping. (And let me say that I am not one of those people that sits on a computer 24/7 - the way I have earned points through each of these sites is easy and something that anyone could do).
Ok, enough of my rambling. I cannot say much more about the gifts I have bought for Christmas or the amount spent yet, since the recipients haven't received them yet and might read this site and I don't want to give anything away. But I will say that the gifts I have gotten so far are valued at way more than $4 per person ;).
If you've kept reading til now I applaud you. I guess my "not blogging for 6 months" equals one insanely long blog post! Ok, so on to the good stuff.
Are you looking for cut back on your Christmas spending? Um, I would guess that MOST people nowadays would say yes. If you are, here is a way I'm going to help you with that. As I said before, after Christmas has come and gone I will give you all the details of some sites I have used over the past year to help earn gift cards to help pay for gifts this year. But since there's not THAT much time left til Christmas (I won't dare give a countdown), I do have 2 sites that can help you make a slight dent.
Ok, the little one is fussing so this will be fast and furious.
1. ItsThoughtful.com - sign up through here and first, you will help me out, and second you can then send the link along to your friends or post on your facebook wall. Once 15 of your friends sign up through your referral link, you will get a $25 Amazon gift card. By the way, this site is FULL of great Christmas ideas!!! Even if you decide not to sign up, I would definitely bookmark it for future reference!
2. ShopItToMe.com - sign up through here and again, you will help me out :), and then you can again invite your friends to join. Once 10 friends sign up through your referral link, you will get a $10 gift card (and you can choose from a list of different gift cards). This is a daily shopping site, and they do send quite a few e-mails, so I would recommend giving them your special "couponing" e-mail.
Now, the best thing about these 2 sites, is that you do not have to buy ANYTHING, you do not have to give any credit card info, nothing! All you do is get your friends to sign up and you get rewarded. Just from doing the 2 sites above, you have the potential to get $35 in gift cards towards Amazon.
Note: this is not my pathetic cry for people to sign up through my link. Obviously, I would like it very much and it would help towards my Christmas goal, but if you choose to sign up through someone elses that is fine too. I just wanted to share these to help put a dent in your Christmas spending as I try to do so for myself as well.
Ok, this post is probably long enough. If I hear of any new gift card deals like the above soon, I will be sure to post. Til next time... :)