I'm not THAT Christmas crazy . . . HOWEVER my husband and I talked about it and we think Christmas shopping could be far more doable if we planned for it all year. **Warning**This is a blog post with couponing undertones, but who doesn't like to save money?? Bear with me now, it's a good idea, I promise! I wanted to share the two super awesome strategies we've decided to abide by all year in hopes of more easing the holiday budget this year.
1) The Walmart Gift Card Strategy:
This is not my original idea, by any means, I read about it on a couponing blog called I Heart The Mart (although I think it was actually one of his readers that tipped him to the idea). How it works is that at the beginning of the year you purchase a re-loadable gift card and load $5 on it. Then every time you go to the store, for whatever reason, you load another $5. While I don't love going to walmart, I still end up there at least 1-2 times a week and we decided tacking on that $5 to whatever our total will be will not really make or break us and in the end it could add up to a couple hundred dollars to use for Christmas. Now, to make this work we'll probably each get our own card to carry with us so there's not the whole "aw I couldn't do it because YOU had the card" song and dance. You could TOTALLY do this at Target or any other store you frequent!
2) The Swagbucks Strategy:
If you are at all familiar with couponing blogs you've probably heard about swagbucks. If not, it is a search engine that you register with and then periodically win points (i.e. "swagbucks") for using. You can then cash out those bucks for prizes and giftcards, most popularly the $5 amazon gift card which only costs you 450 swagbucks. You can also earn swagbucks by getting referrals via your unique link, you will earn a match of the swagbucks your referrals win up to their first 1000. I've had a couple of friends sign up under me and it's crazy the difference that can make.
So, how this plays into my Christmas saving is that I am going to bank all amazon cards earned via swagbucks and save it exclusively for Christmas Shopping. I tried to do this this past year and ended up making a little over $100 in amazon gift cards but I nickle and dimed it away on diapers and such. If you are interested in swagbucks and want to sign up as one of my referrals you can do that here. Or you can go to swagbucks.com to sign up independently :)
I know these two ways will not cover all of our Christmas expenses, but I am hoping that they can make a hefty dent (I'm shooting for a total of $400 between the two!).
Do you have a super handy plan for saving for the holidays? Would love to hear other ideas!