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My extended family and I participate in a $25 limit gift exchange every year. Out of a hat, I picked my brother’s name as my gift recipient last year. I managed to purchase $40 worth of gifts for $5. Yes, I only spent a fifth of what everyone else spent on their recipients, but nobody knew that! Everyone said they wanted me to pick their name next year.
If the budget seems to be a bit short for Christmas shopping this year (like most of us) here are some ways you can cheat on Christmas gifts too. I cut my Christmas budget in HALF last year utilizing these tactics.
1. NEVER, I repeat, NEVER pay full price for anything. There are always deals. Check out RetailMeNot whenever you’re shopping and it’ll tell you all the sales and coupons available for any store.
2. Sign up for birthday freebies and re-gift those suckers! My birthday is in November, so this works out well for me. Just search online for “birthday freebies” and a huge list will pop up like this one. Some that I’ve received are:
-Victoria Secret/Pink- $10 off $10 (you can get headbands, perfume, socks, water bottles…I have 3 girls. This is fabulous.)
-Sporting goods store $15 off $15
-Bare Minerals make up (Again. 3 girls here.)
-Sephora make up
-ACE Hardware- $5 off coupon
-CVS Pharmacy- $3 off coupon
-Famous Footwear- $10 off coupon
3. Sign up for store memberships that reward you with points or gift cards when you shop there. They really add up when it’s somewhere you shop frequently for your daily needs anyway! Use the points to purchase free items or re-gift the cards.
-Kmart/Sears Shop Your Way Points
– Walmart Savings Catcher gift cards
– Walgreens Balance Rewards
-Kohls Yes2You Rewards
-Target free gift cards with purchase
5. Use Raise/Cardpool for discounted gift cards to either gift or buy items with. The cards can be up to 30% off the face value. Combine that with cash back from, say, Ebates as well as a deal found on RetailMeNot and that can be HUGE savings!
6. Use any store credits or gift cards that you have laying around that you haven’t used. I had store credit for a home improvement store from a return I made. I didn’t think I could find anything giftable there but you would be surprised!
7. Free magazine subscriptions make excellent gifts!
8. Online shopping is your friend. You can shop around without leaving home to find the best deal on the items you are looking for. With free shipping offered on many websites as well, this is a win-win.
9. Sign up for a coupon website like Hip2Save or Coupon Mom. It will save you the time it takes searching for deals. Take a peak every day or two and see what kind of steals you can grab. It can even give you gift ideas if you’ve drawn a blank.
10. Check your mailbox/email for coupons. Sometimes I get flyers/emails that I assume are junk mail but turn out to be prized money off coupons! I received a coupon in the mail for $15 off any purchase on Groupon just because I hadn’t purchased anything in a while. Do you know how many products Groupon has for under $15?! WHAT A SCORE!! You’ll also frequently find $10 of a $10 purchase coupons for JC Penny, Boston Store, Yankee Candle, Lane Bryant, Nordstrom and PetSmart to name a few.
Do you have free/cheap gift ideas? Share with us!