By in Holidays

Frugal Christmas Tips

Save Up Your Reward Points

Most retailers these days have some sort of reward points program. These points are meant to be accumulated over a long period of time, so take advantage of that structure. You don't have to do anything different from what you normally do. You just need to be sure you have a loyalty points card, or that you save up the savings coupons you get when you shop for everyday items.

This strategy works best if you remember to shop at the places that will offer you loyalty rewards. It might mean going a bit out of your way for milk or gas, but it's going to be worth it at the end of the year. Remember to take advantage of combined offers too, like using your club credit card to earn additional points or to multiply the loyalty card points.

Save Spare Change

You can never go wrong with cash! So throughout the year, tuck away your loose change and save it up for Christmas. If you can manage it, put away bills too and not just coins.

Open a Christmas club account at your bank or credit union, and deposit that money into your account. You might not get much return from the interest, but even a little interest is better than none! And putting the money in an account that you can't touch until the holidays, protects those pennies from you.

Online Savings

Many web sites these days offer savings at stores you would normally shop at anyway. Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart are just a few of the stores where you can shop online through a gateway like For The Schools . This kind of site offers significant savings at all participating stores – either in the form of an immediate discount, or a cash back.

Be sure to visit the sites regularly to check for specials and coupons which might lower costs even more. Some sites even offer a mobile app, which can help you keep track of additional savings even when you're on the go.

An additional benefit to a site like For The Schools is that it's also a fundraising site. You can help your favorite school, team or club set up an account on the site so they'll also earn money when you make purchases. That's it's own form of giving, plus earning savings throughout the year means you'll have more at the end of the year to make a cash donation to your favorite cause!

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HappyLady wrote on December 11, 2014, 6:07 AM

I put away my loose change. The local shop may wonder why I keep paying in pennies, but i figure they are glad of it. I also have been known to use them in a supermarket seff service till but it gets embarrasing if that goes wrong while I am making the purchase. That way I keep my cash for gifts.

scheng1 wrote on December 11, 2014, 6:54 AM

That is true. I just redeemed $4 off my grocery bills because of the reward points.

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on December 11, 2014, 11:09 AM

I am a rewards site junkie! It may not seem like much, but every little bit adds up. And if you're getting paid for something you do anyway, it's worth a few extra minutes of effort.

AliCanary wrote on December 11, 2014, 12:08 PM

You can also double-dip or triple-dip with rewards points: I open my Swagbucks account, go to Shop and Earn, and buy something from Best Buy with my Amazon Visa card, thereby getting Swagbucks, Reward Zone credit, and Amazon points. Yeehaw!

WordChazer wrote on December 11, 2014, 3:13 PM

Good ideas all. I also buy my Christmas cards and paper for next year in the sales in January and deposit any pennies I find in a piggy bank so that I don't accidentally spend them beforehand.

AngelSharum wrote on December 11, 2014, 4:00 PM

Great tips for saving money toward the holidays.

MamaOzzy3881 wrote on December 11, 2014, 9:20 PM

Great post! I love all these awesome tips

HappyLady wrote on December 12, 2014, 12:37 AM

I try to get points on anything I can. Annoyingly, the supermarket I use for that closed its Adpoints program so I have not done as well as I usually do this year.

momathome wrote on December 12, 2014, 6:19 PM

Starting in January I'm going to start my own Christmas Club but I'm going to use gift cards I earn online. 10% of all the gift cards I earn online will be printed out instead of added to my online accounts, then I'll add this to a folder marked Christmas fund and hold them there until I start my Christmas shopping.

chatombreux wrote on December 12, 2014, 8:42 PM

Believe it or not, I did my Christmas shopping at Goodwill. I hadn't planned on it originally, but I found a craft kit that was brand new and picked it up for my granddaughter. Then, I checked through their men's and children's t-shirt sections and found brand new Phillies t-shirts that I got for the sports-loving grandsons. They won't know and I won't tell them. But, it was affordable. Probably spent 10x more on the postage to send it all out to them. LOL

acrogodess914 wrote on December 14, 2014, 4:23 AM

I have a savings account for the children upstate in Albany. Since Olivia is so helpful, I have been giving her all my spare change to add to her bank account once we move back next year. This is in lieu of an allowance.