SO I know it's only May, but don't you hate when an event comes around, in this case Christmas, and you're pinteresting tips and tricks and whatnot, and the first sentence is "for about 3 months you need to..." like NOOOOOO I NEED IT NOW! So... I'm trying to prepare now for that time of year that our bank account hates the most!!
I try my best to spend the least amount of my own actual money every Christmas. It's so rough living off one income sometimes, and all throughout the year I'm trying to save in various ways! This year with a baby, its going to be the hardest - so I'm starting early! I can't promise these tips will pay for your ENTIRE Christmas, but it will definitely help! It scored my fiancé a $400 Apple Watch 2 last year!
1. Gift Card Offers At Target
So.. this one isn't TECHNICALLY a way of shopping without spending your real money because well, at one point, it was your actual money. But I'm adding it because I wish I would have thought of this sooner! It's basically a way of tricking yourself into saving, which is a perfect strategy for me. So usually, just the short version, I always take advantage of their gift card offers in their weekly ads. For instance : there is usually a deal on diapers. Buy 2 boxes of Pampers @ $24.29, and receive a free $10 gift card. Usually I'll combine a cartwheel offer, a target coupon, and a manufacturer coupon with said offer to save additional money. Since you can't use that gift card until the next purchase anyways, and these are items I already needed regardless of the offer, I take that giftcard and stash it in an envelope labeled "DON'T TOUCH UNTIL CHRISTMAS" (because I need constant reminders not to spend money). If you do this enough, let's say 5 times a year, you can atleast save $50 in gift cards for FREE!
Ibotta can be hard for me to keep up with sometimes, because not too often do I find many of the things I buy on there for some reason? But I'm really trying to get better! Ibotta is an app that gives you cash back for various purchases. Joining Ibotta is free and very easy to use! If you sign up now, you can use my referral by clicking here and receive a $10 welcome gift.. THERE'S $10 ALREADY! After you're all signed up, you can browse various stores and their cash back offers. You scan the products, and then the receipt after you purchase said product, and Ibotta will gradually put that money in your account. Once you hit $20 you can cash out into PayPal which is great, because from PayPal you can instantly transfer the money into your checking account! If you keep up with this all year you should be able to cash out atleast once, if not, twice! That's $40, again for FREE!
This is my BIGGEST MONEYMAKER FOR CHRISTMAS and I can't believe that more people I know don't use this app! It is literally the easiest app to use!! Basically, you get "kicks" for walking in to stores and scanning products. "Kicks" can be redeemed for gift cards after reaching a certain amount. It is SO simple! You can sign up by clicking here! After you sign up, you can turn your location services on, go to your favorite stores, open the app, walk in the store, and get kicks! It's that easy! To maximize your kicks, you can scan products around the store. You can also buy certain products and scan your receipt for even MORE kicks! After you reach your goal, you turn them in for your gift card of choice. I usually do a target gift card, and I plan to just keep adding kicks until the end of the year when I'm ready to turn it in for my gift card. Last year I cashed out a couple of different times and got about $100! But that was before I decided to start saving all year! This year I'm already at $50 and there is no stopping in sight! I plan to have hopefully $200 by this Christmas! Again, all for FREE!
And there you have it! It might not pay for your entire Christmas, but I can't name one person that an extra $300 for FREE wouldn't help!