It’s holiday season and it is most certainly the time for giving, but it is still important to give your self a break also! Budgeting is still a very crucial part during the holidays because reality is going to hit come January 2nd when the credit card bills start rolling in. I’m on a major mission this year to spend as little as possible while still giving the best/most meaningful gifts to those that I care about. So I figure why not share my come ups and cut corners with everyone else that s on a budget. Here are the 5 ways I’m saving money this holiday season while holiday shopping, and you can too!

The first thing you need to do… is SET a budget! How much money are you willing to spend this season… then subtract some! (haha) No but seriously… keep that number in mind… then follow the steps below to get you on track to hitting that limit or below while making some coin as well!

1. Ebates: Incase you haven’t heard of the single most amazing and QUICKEST way to make cash back from online shopping I am here to tell you a thing or two! I’ve been using Ebates for a little over 2 years now and have made over 150.00 dollars back from shopping at some of my favorite stores online. Ebates has a list of over 300 stores (including Groupon) that they have partnered up with to not only offer you cash back for your spending, but also coupon codes. I have used Ebates to save (especially on shipping costs) and earn back some of the money I’ve spent buying gifts. Best part of using Ebates during the holiday season they are currently offering a double cash back! Which means you will be getting even more of your money back during your holiday shopping spree.

If you are big on shopping online Ebates is definitely the way to go! Sign up by clicking the link below and automatically earn a 10.00 gift card to one of three stores they are offering at the time. (Usually Target which is one of my faves)

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2. Gift Cards: Most people look down on gift cards as gifts, but they are the equivalent to cash and can be great options to gift and to use. I’ve received and won a few gift cards recently, and there are two options. You can re-gift the gift card to someone else (especially if it is specific to a store they may like) or use the gift card to make your next gift purchase.  Either way you will be recycling the money and helping to keep your bank account a little heavier during the season.

3. Sales: It is important when shopping during this season you pay close attention to the sales. This season is filled with every type of sale coming from every different angle but some of them can be scammish. I like to look at sales from a particular angle. 10-15 percent doesn’t really do much for me or my pocket especially when it only takes care of the tax. I know I should be thankful for any decrease in price… however I’m on a budget here and so are you! Twenty percent and up give me more bang for my buck, and I like it to be topped off with some sort of free shipping, cash back, or reward points scenario. I may be asking for too much but during the holiday season, businesses want you to spend your money, therefore you have the right to be picky and look for as many deals as possible.  TNT currently has 20+ companies that will be offering giveaways and coupon codes for our readers. Sign up to our email list to have access to all 20 instantly or stay tuned to our Instagram as we release each code daily!

4. Groupon: Laugh all you want but Groupon has saved me many a time when looking for gift ideas for various people. The best gifts to buy on Groupon are the generally over priced options such as spa visits, waxes, manicures, …etc. Groupon also usually has discounts on top of the already discounted price. To top that off you can receive cash back from Ebates after making your purchase. This is the best way to make your money work for you.  You can sign up for Groupon below

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5. Reward Points: While I try to avoid overly buying gifts on credit, I make sure all of my online purchases are done on my credit card. Why? Most credit cards are now offering rewards points for every dollar you spend, sometimes double the points per dollar. You can use these points to help pay off your credit card bill, or purchase future gifts (especially if the card’s points do not expire). My credit card actually offers a store that you can make purchases with using your points, from iPads, trips and so much more.  If you do not have enough points you can pay the rest using another form of payment. The best part is you earn points for doing so as well. From using your credit card year round you rack up quite a bit of points that can help curb the actual spending in your bank account, and provide you a bit more options spending wise by using your points for purchase instead of cash.

Credit cards aren’t the only ways to earn points! Verizon Wireless offers a points reward system that long time Verizon users now have access to. Just for paying your bill on time you are able to rack up the points year round.

Another way to earn rewards points is by taking surveys online. This option can earn you cash back as well depending on the survey site you are on. M Points is a great point earner that offers points for quick short surveys, with a store option to shop with the points as well.

6. Coupons:  I recently started using a few apps on my iPhone to earn me some extra coin/cash back when I go grocery shopping or regular shopping as well. There are a few couponing apps that are actually worth the trouble! Below are the apps I’ve been using for the past month that have made me over 50.00 dollars in cash back.
Ibotta – provides cash back for grocery shopping. You can earn money for buying simple products like eggs, milk, and cheese from specific stores like Walmart, Target, or BJs. They currently have specials going on because of Thanksgiving on the horizon. (ref feral link) 

Checkout51– Another grocery option that doesn’t have specific stores. They are also running Thanksgiving specials where you can name your own item to earn cash back on. This app updates every Wednesday offering new coupon deals/ discounts and cash back offers.

Snip Snap– This app offers coupon codes to different stores(specific ones) that may or may not be available at that select store. This gives you access to all of the coupon codes that you may not be aware of and you can use them during checkout at the actual store.

Favado: Coupon app that is for select grocery stores and drug stores (Target, Walmart,…etc). This coupon is also similar to Snip Snap in which it offers you options that may or may not be available at the store, but provides you access to coupons that others have found and uploaded to the app for everyone’s use.

Retail Me Not: I’m sure everyone … well maybe not sure but hopefully now… you should be aware of Retail Me Not. I never make any online purchases without first checking if there is anything on sale at Retail Me Not. Sometimes the coupon codes are inactive but there is always that one good chance that you have hit the mother load. I once had a few coupons that got me 40.00 my purchase, so it is always worth the effort to try it out.

 

Hope this helps! What ways have you saved during the holiday season? What ways do you plan on saving during the holiday season!

Hey there! I’m Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I’m busy teaching the future of society.