We all say we are going to do it. We think about it and start it. In reality we start it and never finish it. We decide it is too much work or we just plain forget about it.
Well this is my second year doing “It”. Okay, I guess I do need to tell you what “It” is!
I saved for Christmas doing a few simple things. Yes it paid off again this year! Here is what I did and I am continuing this for the 3rd year in hopes of more savings than last year!
So here is what I started 2 years ago. (I have updated this)
- First thing I did was to check with my bank to see if they had a Holiday Savings program. Which they did, so got the information and took it home to look it over. If you are like me we live from pay check to pay check and not really any give or take. But I deiced that if I packed my lunch for work instead of eating out and cut down my Starbucks run that I could afford at least $25 or more every other week. (When I have had extra I have put a little more in the account). After I while I did not miss it and I loved having the little extra money in my pocket and money to put up! But paying for college and girls in general.. you know how that goes!
- Then the second thing I did was searched the web and found a few good programs that allowed me to earn points to redeem gift cards. I found a few good ones and a few that well did not work. Here are the ones I found that worked for me.
- **Update** I also found out my Credit union has a Point program with my debit card. So every time I use my Debit Card to shop or pay bills I earn point which I then can redeem for cash or gift cards. I earned enough points to get $100 cash! Love it! So double check you Banks, Credit Union and Credit Cards to see if they offer any programs!
**But note I did open up a separate email account just for this, so my main one did not get hit hard with junk mail **
Here are my Updated top picks for sites that really do pay off!
SWAGBUKS. You can read emails watch videos and search using their search engine to earn swagbucks. Then you can turn them in for gift cards to use online. Some do not like the way they do their gift cards are, I don’t mind. Most of them when you have enough points to redeem they send you an email with a code of like Amazon or Walmart. I do most of my shopping online when do so it is easy for me. They have a great list of gift cards to choose from in increments of $5, $10, $15, $25 and $50 etc. Some of the cards are VISA, Kohls, Walmart, Target, Amazon and so many more to choose from. (Note Yes you need to spend a little time on this each day by clicking on links, watching video and taking a few surveys) But to me they are fun and I learn a few things and you can even earn points for shopping on the web or cutting grocery shopping coupons and using them.
** SWAGBUKS – The first year I earned enough points for: $250 in Visa Gift cards and $100 in Target Gift Cards. Which I used to shop online for Christmas gifts. My Update for $$ for 2016 – $300 in Visa gift cards. A little less from the year before but it still was extra money!
EBATES – If you do a lot of your shopping online you will love this site. You get paid any where from 1% to 6% or more cashback for shopping thru their site. Like if you wanted to order something from Kohls or Target online you click the link to the store’s website and you can get 6% cash back from Kohls or 3% cashback from Target. The %’s do change and sometime they double. And they have deals of the day and hundreds of Websites to shop from! They will also let you know if there are coupons for that site. You get paid every three months as long as you have over $5.01 they will either send it to your paypal account or send you a check. It is a Win Win….. Ebates even features Groupon with 6% cash back. (I have not tried Groupon but I have heard from a few you can find some good deals). Plus most of the time they have signup bonuses to get you started off like a $10 gift card.
** Update This past year I receive $243 in my paypal account!
Walmart Savings Catcher! – Yes I Love shopping at Walmart! I am lucky enough to have a Super Walmart near so I can do all my shopping in one place! One of the sales clerks told me about Walmart Saving Catcher program. You shop at Walmart then scan your receipt into the Savings Catcher app on your phone. Then they go out and compare price with other competitors and if they catch the price lower at another competitor you get the difference. You can then save up your savings and transfer them to a Walmart Card for a Bluebird Card. I was also lucky when I signed up they had a deal that if you signed up for a free BlueBird card (you can only use this card at Walmart and it is sponsored by AmercianExpress) you get double your savings. For a limited time. (It was free and no hidden charges). Also what is really great is your Walmart Cash does not expire! So I am still saving mine and putting the savings I get on my BlueBird Card and can’t wait to go shopping.
2015: I earned over $150 cash back that I used at Christmas to by stocking stuffers and a few other things needed around the house for out of town guest!
2016 Update. I earned $97 by the 1st of December. Yes I used it for stocking stuffers.
MyPoints: There are several ways to earn from MyPoints, Clicking on emails, taking surveys, clipping coupons and also shopping online. They even give you large amounts of points for purchasing gift cards thru their site. It does not get any easier than this. I tend to do the emails about once a week, it only takes me a few minutes to open them and click the links. If I have time I will take a survey they send to my email and earn points for taking it. When I shop online I will either go thru MyPoints, SwagBucks (sometimes they don’t always have the stores I want) I always use my EBATES!!!!
This past year 2016 I was able to cash in my points for $100 in gift cards!! Win Win
SurveySavvy : This program so far has worked for me. They email you surveys or you can download an app that will let you know when they have surveys available. I started in January with this on and so far I have over $100 in my account. When you are ready for the money you just request a check! Also they have weekly and Monthly drawings for $$ prizes!
** This past year 2016 I recieved 2 $100 check! Yep $200 for doing surveys! And right now I have $59 in my account and building!
(2016 Update on this part) I was not able to do as much canning as I would have liked due to the weather and lack of local fruit. I was not able to find anything new online that worked for me. But I did make sure that I looked for coupons when shopping for Christmas presents and bought some things early when they had good sales.
(For 2016 the family was ready and even a few returned their baskets with the empty Jars. So this is something I will make and effort to do each year!) I have also came up with a few other ideas that did get me a little ahead of the gifts for family and friends which is my homemade jellies, jams, salsa and green beans. My gifts from the heart!
This year 2016 I have decided to check out a few more ideas and websites. I will keep you posted as I find them and see if they work! But don’t forget using your loyalty cards at grocery stores and coupons! Some of my family has really been able to stock up on things and save by using Store apps like the Dollar General store… I will post some of her savings her soon. I am in the process of checking out and App call Checkout51 and a few more I will let you know if they work… Wish me luck!
Now if someone can just tell me how to add more time to the Holiday Season! LOL Guess I need to start thinking about an Idea for this! Can’t wait to see what this Next Year will bring! Good luck all!