Monday, January 3, 2011

How I saved 80% on Christmas 2010

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I am ALWAYS thinking ahead. I don't like large expenses creeping up on us, so I like to think ahead and plan. In fact, the more I plan, the LESS money I spend.

In July, I mentioned how to prepare for Christmas 6 months ahead of time HERE!

So starting in October, I made a spreadsheet of every one I wanted to buy for, what I possibly could get them, how much each item retails, and about how much I want to spend. (*Don't think I'm a cheapskate or anything, it's like a game to me.*) PLUS - the less I can spend on each item, the MORE items I can get for everyone.

This year, I was able to get ALL my Christmas shopping done for over 80% off!! And here's how I did it:

**I've been collecting Swagbucks all year, and was able to use redeem some for Amazon gift cards to get my youngest brother THE ONLY thing he wanted for Christmas - for FREE!! AND - the movie was highly, highly discounted.

**I was able to redeem my Swagbucks to get (3) $15 iTunes gift cards for FREE!!

**I won a $50.00 Target GC from a TV show, and was able to purchase a few items for FREE.

**Around Black Friday, Tanger Outlet Mall had $50 GC on sale for $25.50, and on top of that I had several 20% off and $/$$ coupons! My husband and I were able to get over $268 worth of goods for only $51.50 out of pocket, some of the items purchased were Christmas gifts for our families.

**I redeemed Credit Card points for FREE gift cards. And NO, I did not buy a poop-load of stuff, and get into debt only to get FREE gift cards. I waited all year to redeem my points, knowing that I did not want to spend out the crack on Christmas this year.

**I redeemed $50 worth of Amazon GC's from Swagbucks, and traded them for cash to finance other people's gifts, including my middle brother's AWESOME business cards!

These savings did not happen over night, or over 1 month. I had been saving up points and Swagbucks all year long, then I really started planning and redeeming in October. Let me tell you - Planning ahead & Patience are 2 VERY important factors in saving money - especially for Christmas. I can't wait til next Christmas - to see what kind of deals I can score yet again!

I encourage each one of you to try this out next year. Make your list, plan ahead, save money, pay with cash, use your CC points, use Swagbucks, shop online especially thru Amazon, etc., so that you can have a discounted, yet AWESOME Christmas in 2011.

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