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Skipping Christmas Gifts And Other Ways I Save At Christmas

by The Happy Rock on December 17, 2008

Here are a 5 ways that I have saved money over the last few Christmas seasons :

  • Skip the Gifts – Don’t try and buy significance and meaning, it doesn’t come from gifts.  Talk to family and friends and see who is open to cutting back on gifts amounts or even take the plunge and see if they are willing to skip gifts altogether.  I would recommend trying to replace the gifts with something significant that deepens your relationships: a  heartfelt card, special dinner or get together, a family day.  Here is my Christmas gift journey from the last few years, and we have even cut back even further in positive ways this year.
  • Physical Labor Coupon – Just print or hand draw a coupon for things like car washes, lawn mowing, dishes, back rubs, and cleaning.  Simple as that.
  • Buy Used- Not every relationship or person can handle this one, especially without prior warning, but it is a great way to save money and recycle.  Who needs to buy a CD new, when they can get it from eBay in mint condition for half the price.  DVD, CDs, and Legos/Toys are all good examples of things you can be used.
  • Use eBay – You can not only by used on eBay, but you can also get new items on eBay at deep discounts.   Don’t forget to use your live.com 8% rebate too.  I was able to get brand new copies of Seasons 3 and 4 of The Office for a friend for about $40 after rebates with shipping included.  This would have cost me about $66 on Amazon, Season 3($36.99) and Season 4($29.99).
  • Rebate and Cash back Websites – I have gotten over $60 back from Mr. Rebates.  Just go to the site, sign up, search for the store and click through to the store on their link make the purchases.  The credit will show up in the account in a few days.  Ebates provides an almost identical service too.  They even offer 3% on eBay purchases.  The one drawback is it may take a little while to reach the full cash out limit to get your check, although when I did the check arrived without incident.
  • Use Coupon Sites – RetailMeNot is my favorite, but there are a ton out there.  Just do a search for something like ‘Macy’s Coupon” and weed through the links.  Often the codes are out dated, so it might take a little patience.  RetailMeNot usually is the most up to date in my experience and provides community feedback as to whether the coupons are working for others or not.
  • Google Shopping Search – I often use the Google Shopping Search for price checking and sometimes purchases, just be sure to stick to rated stores as cheap prices often(not always) means bad service. I used it to find a good deal a unique clothing item and I even made sure the website had a 6% rebate from Mr. Rebates.


Save on everything you love to do!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Celes | EmbraceLiving.Net December 17, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Hi there! :) I agree that we can actually just do away with gifts altogether – over the years, Christmas has turned into a tool for capitalism by the consumerists. The upside of the recession is that it gives people a chance to refind joy in the simplest of things this Christmas.

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Jason from Money Theory December 20, 2008 at 11:47 pm

I so agree with Celes and feel that Christmas has become consumed by consumerism.

So this year I’ve made a conscious effort to cut back and just focus on spending time with family. My fiance and I are not buying each other that much at all and with family, we are just buying small gifts for nieces and nephews.

This makes the holidays much less stressful.

Thanks for the great list!

~ Jason

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