Gift Giving: Start Today

This may sound crazy but, I will be looking out for deep discounts on toysclothes and Christmas decorations this week. Over the last few years I have been shopping after holiday sales and have been able to purchase birthday and holiday items well in advance for way below the market price.

Walmart has been one of my number one resources for the best clearancedeals. I was able to get a closet full of Hanna Montana paraphernalia for $2 each earlier this year. These purchases served as birthday and Christmas gifts for my daughter this year.

I’d like to offer some tips that work to help my family spend wisely;

1. Plan ahead for your 2010 occasions. Dave Ramsey says, “Christmas and birthdays are not emergencies, they arrive on the same day every year”. You must become proactive in your gift buying or you will always be a slave to paying full price. Setting a budget is a great way to slowly pay for gifts. My husband and I have a big jar that we add coins to everyday. Once it’s full we deposit them and add the balance to our Christmas fund. We were pleasantly surprised to see how much we had accumulated towards paying for Christmas gifts.

2. Take advantage of online deals as much as possible. They save you time and the headache of navigating store crowds. Nowadays, retailers have teamed up with coupon sites to offer discount coupons that can be applied in store or online. Retailers want your online business. It’s cheaper for retailers to operate a no frills warehouse than a department store. The money they save as a result of the rise in online shopping is passed on to US…the consumer.

3. Acquaint yourself with online rebate sites. It took me awhile to get on board this ship, mostly because I didn’t think that I spent enough online to benefit. Since finding out that I can get the same deals online as a brick and mortar store, I order plenty of our items online now. Most families make at least one $200 or more a year. Those are the purchases that I run through my online rebate sites to get the most savings. These major purchases coupled with the great deals I find on everyday items adds up to a nice quarterly rebate check.

4. You should be signed up with Swag Bucks. It’s free to join and you earn swagbuck which can be traded in for giftcards to retailers such as, Macy’s, Barnes and Noble and much more. Your points can be traded for toys, games, ipods and even magazine subscriptions.

There’s two major ways to earn points. You can tell your blog readers about swagbucks and when they sign up using your referral link you will earn point when they earn points. The other way to earn points is to search the web. If you are online for any amount of time, you will search the web. Swagbucks will award you at least one point a day just for searching using their search box. Installing the Swagbucks toolbar or search box in your web browsers makes earning swagbucks easier. If you search through Swagbucks just 4 times a week, you will earn enough Swagbucks to get (4) $5 Amazon gift cards.

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