Wednesday, January 5, 2011

You Have A Year To Get Ready...

How I used my swagbucks. :)
That's right...for next Christmas!

Even though we keep to simple handmade gifts at Christmas-time, I find it still saves time and money to plan ahead. Here are my favorite non-last-minute ways to gradually prepare for Christmas during the year:

Swagbucks--I've been using Swagbucks for over a year now and have not been disappointed. You simply use their search engine to search the net and occasionally you will win swagbucks, which can be accumulated and used to redeem free gift cards (or other items in the swagstore). So far I've redeemed 18 gift cards...for a total of around $100. My favorite gift card to redeem is the $5 Amazon gift card. Those gift cards helped me pay for my Jillian Michaels work-out DVD and for the vanilla beans I used to make homemade vanilla extract for Christmas this year. I have more Swagbucks tips here.

Groupon--Last year I bought an awesome groupon of $25 for $100 worth of photo products from the online store Picaboo. Groupons are town-specific (unless it's an online deal!) and you can get great discounts on everything from restaurants to hair cuts. There's a different groupon available each day. Groupons are a good way to get discounts on services that you typically can't find coupons for.

Slowly Fill A Shoebox--Go ahead and find a shoebox, and gradually fill it up for Operation Christmas Child so that November doesn't catch you off guard! You can take advantage of sales as they come along (there are some great post-Christmas sales going on now).

Start Working On Handmade Gifts Now--My favorite do-ahead Christmas gift is homemade vanilla. I have a whole post about it coming up soon, because mine turned out super great!

Here's to a relaxed (or perhaps just cheerfully busy) Christmas this year! Do you plan during the year and how?

Linked to Works For Me Wednesday and Penny Pinching Party.

P.S. The Swagbucks and Groupon links are my referral links. :)


  1. I spent less than $100 on Christmas last year by taking full advantage of a year's worth of sales and free ways to get things! You can definitely make this year's gifts super cheap if you are starting now!

    I'll be doing another $100 Holiday this year and love the idea of homemade vanilla. I've added it to my list.

  2. I love your suggestions. I'm a Swagbucks fan too. You're right about planning ahead. It's the key, I think.

  3. The Saved quarter--That's awesome! I'm pretty sure we did Christmas for about $50 bucks this year. Suuuuu-weeeet!

  4. I've already started my shoe box :)

    great post :)

  5. Smart ideas! I've never seemed to get the hang of Swagbucks and haven't tried Groupon. I might need to look into them. I have a friend who just went shopping for her OCC boxes right after Christmas. She scored some great deals for next to nothing.

  6. Sarah, I was slow to start with Groupon, too. It sounded confusing. But I signed up for it, and it emails me each day the "deal of the day"...I just give it a cursory glance and delete if I'm not interested that day. :)

    The catch with swagbucks is that you actually have to use the search engine to win! And it's slow going. But worth it for me. :)

  7. We do all those things too! Not so much the Groupon since it's not usually for things that I use/buy/go to. Love swagbucks too! In 4 months I got $50 of codes. Got some cashback from ebates too.

  8. What a great roundup. I've used to Swagbucks to pay for two Christmas's so far. I saved close to $200 in January alone using Groupon. I highly recommend both sites.


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