How did I buy Christmas presents last year and this year for FREE?

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Last year I paid almost nothing out of pocket for Christmas – seriously!! This year my goal is the same! Christmas can put a HUGE strain on your budget but with a little bit of preplanning not only can you purchase very nice gifts you can also save your finances. In fact, this year I have already “bought” some of my Christmas gifts and not spent a penny on them – and they are much nicer than I could have afforded if I had spent cash. 

So how did I do it? How did I afford nice Christmas presents without spending much money?

The first way I was able to save a lot of money for Christmas was through Swagbucks! If you haven’t heard of it you need to sign up now! I downloaded their toolbar, and then when I search online for things I search through the toolbar. It’s google powered so I find the same information, but I am rewarded with “swagbucks” – which are essentially points that I earn which I used to buy Amazon gift cards, iTunes gift cards, Southwest gift cards, Travelocity gift cards, Target gift cards, Barnes and Noble, Home Depot, restaurants, and a TON of other prizes (they are not all gift cards – that is just my favorite! You can even get Paypal cash too!). For my nephew I gave him a $15 iTunes gift card for his new iPod – and I didn’t pay a penny. I saved $100 of Amazon gift cards throughout the year using Swagbucks that I used to purchase toys, clothes, and other items to send to my nieces for Christmas (as well as picking up a few items for my boys too!). It doesn’t take any extra time to do and it really adds up!!

You can do other things like polls and surveys and print grocery coupons to earn more Swagbucks but to be honest I don’t do any of that stuff. I simply search using the toolbar and that is beneficial to me by far to keep it going! 

Another thing we did last year that was a big help was by saving up Amazon reward money on our credit card. If you can handle paying off your balance every month there are tons of credit cards out there that can save you a lot of money. This year since I am traveling more for my blog we have mostly switched to using a hotels and airlines reward card but last year we made about $200+ in Amazon rewards just by using our credit card.

Another way to purchase nice gifts for half the price is by watching daily deal sites (Groupon, Totsy, Zulily, etc.) This is how I’ve already bought some of my Christmas presents for this year! JCPenney’s and Old Navy and Barnes and Noble gift cards half off, toy stores online half off…….if you keep an eye on the deals (or watch for them here on my site!) this can save you a tremendous amount of money!

By faithfully using these ideas above our Christmas budget went from $600 to $400 to $200 and next year will probably be about $50 just to cover any additional shipping charges. And these budgets cover at LEAST the 2 of us, our 2 kids, and an additional 12 kids and 4 adults. We don’t spend a ton of money on each other, but you can find some rockin’ deals online to help stretch your budget!

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  1. Anonymous says:

    AWESOME!! I am shopping already and getting gifts when I find things I know people will like..I have lots for my younger son already! My older two being teenagers it is harder..

  2. Great tips! Thanks so much! I am new to Swagbucks & still trying to figure out how it works…glad to hear it is beneficial just searching. With only about a month on Swagbucks I almost have a $5 Amazon card earned (if I choose to spend them on that) so I guess $5 month for no extra time is worth it in the long run :o)

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