Monday, November 7, 2011

Using Points For Christmas Gifts

As I find myself saying out loud that Christmas is next month (yikes!) there is some instant anxiety--who do I need to buy for, what is my budget, how will I get the best deal...the list goes on and on! One of my favorite money savers is using points that I accrue throughout the year from various outlets. The easiest way for me to rack up points is with my debit card and checking account. I let my points add up all year and cash them in for Toys R Us gift cards at Christmas time. It's an easy score! 

With Recycle Bank you take quizes, watch short videos, and pledge to take action to make your life more "green". In return you get codes that are redeemable for points. You can also get codes from certain items you purchase at the store. You can use your points to purchase magazine subscriptions including Good Housekeeping, Popular Mechanics, Parents and Entertainment Weekly. You can also use your points to buy down a purchase at participating websites: for instance, 150 points will get you $15 off a $75 purchase at Dick's Sporting Goods.

If you purchase Disney movies or CD's or see Disney movies in the theater, this is a rewards program for you. Every time you buy or see a participating movie or CD(which most are these days) you get a special code that you enter at the website for points. With your points you can purchase magazine subsricptions like Disney Family Fun. You can also purchase great gift items from Snapfish, including flip books and collage posters. You can use your points to score gift cards that are great to use around the holidays, like Telaflora. You can even donate to charity with your points!

This website couldn't be any easier to use. If you're going to make an online purchase, head over to Ebates and type in the name of the store you want to make a purchase at. Follow the link that is provided and it will automatically track your purchase and give you a percentage of cash back on your purchase amount (which is different for every store). Just last week I purchased a coat from Children's Place (it obviously wasn't for me) and 4% of my purchase price was credited to my account the next day! This usually doesn't add up super quick unless you make large online purchases, but every little bit helps! And, if you use it every time, all that little savings could buy a great Christmas present for someone!

These are the three main websites that I use but it's merely a drop in the bucket to what is out there these days! Finding a website incorporating things you already purchase day to day is imperative. Maybe it's rewards for electronics or diapers that interest you-there is something for everyone. You will stay motivated to keep up the good work when you know you are getting a little extra help at Christmas time!

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