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Friday, December 3, 2010

Have a Merry (Frugal) Christmas!

With Christmas right around the corner many of us may be searching for the right gifts, at the right price. I, unfortunately, did not do as much shopping ahead as I have done other years. As a matter of fact, the majority of people on my list still need to be shopped for...with just three weeks to go!

That does not mean that I need to run out and pay full price for items that I am interested in. As we get closer to Christmas I know that there will be plenty of online sales where I can buy for everyone on my list at a reduced rate.

There are other options too. Frugal ways of doing Christmas shopping. Though everything I list below has already been covered on my blog at one time or another I will review it to show you how these things are helping me have a frugal Christmas this year.

Swagbucks is one of the biggest helps to me this year. It is an online search engine, much like Google, but you can often win "Swagbucks" for a search that you do. I typically win 6-11 swagbucks each day just for my typical few searches. You can then trade in your swagbucks for an actual prize. There are several real prizes (such as books, t-shirts, etc.) but I stick to the gift card section, especially the $5 Amazon giftcards which are 450 swagbucks. I earn at least $10 worth of Amazon giftcards a month this way, sometimes more. If you refer friends you can earn even more...you get a swagbuck every time they earn a swagbuck (up to their first 100). I have earned over $200 in Amazon giftcards this past year and saved a majority of it for Christmas shopping this month (though I did purchase some diapers at an amazing price earlier this year with some).

Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap.
Click on the link above to learn more about Paperback Swap. You trade your no longer wanted books for books that you do want. While I've traded for several books for myself off my wanted list, I've also received books that I have saved for Christmas presents. One year I gave my husband a book about his favorite band (which I had been looking high and low for and could only find at expensive prices) that I got from Paperback Swap. I'm saving a cute child's hardcover book for Becca for this Christmas that I received from there as well. If you have a reader on your shopping list this is one of the first places to hit! Some books that you receive will look used, but half the books I've received look brand new. I'm glad that no one on my list would look twice at a used looking book...they only care about the book and not the price!

ThredUp is another unusual place to look for gifts. Your kids don't appreciate clothes for Christmas?! Never fear, on December 6th they are launching their toy swap (which you can view details of on their website now). I've viewed some toy boxes ready for swapping that look fantastic! This is a great way to recycle toys and also get some in return without having to deal with all the packaging, little twist ties, and annoying aspects of brand new toys! If you go through the link over here------> you will get two months of free PRO membership (and you can't enjoy this site fully without being PRO as you get dibs on things 24 hours before the non-PRO members do).

Don't forget looking for gifts at consignment shops or thrift stores. Many items are still new in package and other used items are perfect for that hard to buy for person. These stores carry such original items.

Handmade crafts and homemade baked goodies are inexpensive but from the heart gifts. Even children can get in on this to give to teachers or friends.

What else are you doing this year to make it a frugal Christmas?

Disclaimer: While many of the sites I listed above give me a referral bonus for anyone clicking through these links, I am referring these sites because they are all ones I use and love. I would refer away even if I wasn't offered a bonus!

Following: LifeasMom and theFrugalFreeGal


  1. These are wonderful ideas! We are making many of our gifts this year using what we have on hand or with materials we have found at very low prices. We're also baking for our loved ones. We are discovering this year that Christmas can be fun! (Because we're not going into debt to make it so.)

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  3. I agree that homemade gifts are "from the heart"! You may turn to them out of necessity (because they're inexpensive), but I think it means a lot to people to receive something they know you spent your valuable time on. I wrote a list of homemade gifts to consider if you're thinking of going that route: http://www.laughingwallet.com/homemade-gifts.html. My personal favorites to receive are always the food ones! :)

  4. One of the things I do for teacher gifts as well as some adult gifts are to use HalfOffDepot: http://halfoffdepot.com/ You can get some great gift cards for 1/2 price. Make your dollar stretch further without seeming too cheap. The teachers last year each got a $25 gift cert and it only cost me $12.50 per teacher. I had to buy for 6 teachers so it saved me a great deal!

  5. I've made jam and will add to that hommade cookies or brownies for lots of our friends at church.

    (quick aside, the bucks you get from your referrals is up to 1000 not 100.prob just a typo!)

    I joined swagbucks and was able to get enough for £20 (it's 849 bucks for a £5 gift card) which I spent on my husband's present. I think i'll be saving my bucks for next Christmas (or maybe some birthday presents inbetween!)



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