Guest post from Annie
For my family, Christmas shopping is a leisurely year-long event. We are always on the lookout for gift ideas and bargains, and usually have most of our presents purchased by the end of October.
We have found this to be advantageous for several reasons:
- We end up spending less money on presents while being able to give more.
- We avoid the holiday shopping crowds in November and December.
- Gifts are a part of our monthly budget instead of an end-of-the-year burden.
- We have more time and energy to spend on family activities, developing holiday traditions, and focusing on the true Joy of Christmas.
I’m excited to share how MoneySavingMom.com helped me to purchase some very nice gifts this year without actually spending any of our income:
1. After about two years of clicking on emails and taking surveys, I earned a $45.51 check from Inbox Dollars in March.
2. When Crystal posted the Cents of Style Chevron scarf in June, I purchased it for $7.95.
3. I created a beautiful Shutterfly photo album of our daughter in August and paid only the shipping cost of $7.99.
4. I started using Viggle earlier this year, and just recently began shopping through Ebates – both thanks to MSM’s recommendations. Today I used a $25 JCPenney gift card that I earned through Viggle to buy nice sweater and a shirt to match the Chevron scarf. Shipping to the store was free. I spent nothing out-of-pocket, Ebates gave me $1.49 cash back, and I’ll receive a $10 Target gift card from Ebates as my sign-up bonus.
5. When I receive my $10 Target gift card from Ebates, I’ll browse the dollar bins and combine sales, Cartwheel discounts, and coupons to purchase stocking-stuffers such as toiletries, candy, nail polish, and note cards. (Okay, so I’m not QUITE done yet)!
6. Recyclebank is currently offering a digital subscription to All You for 400 points and a subscription to Real Simple for 475 points. I have more than enough points from completing free activities to order both of these.
In summary, we’re giving my mom a scarf, a shirt, a sweater, a photo album, two magazine subscriptions, and a stocking full of stuffers without even scratching the surface of our budget.
Between our year-long bargain hunting, leftover Inbox Dollars earnings, and gift cards from Viggle, Recyclebank, Swagbucks, and MyPoints, we may not need to spend any of our income on gifts this season! And that means more money in our savings account to meet our long-term financial goals. Thank you Crystal, for sharing the information that has enabled our family to do this!
Annie is a wife and stay-at-home mom who enjoys watching football, volunteering through her church and local ministries, and spending time with her family.