9 Ways to Save Mad $$$ When Shopping for Holiday Gifts

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

It's mid-November, & my holiday shopping is officially in full swing. If you're like me (thrifty, budget-conscious, and/or Jewish), you're always looking for the best deal - & don't necessarily want to wait in 4am lines on Black Friday to find them. Below are a few of my favorite ways to save money (& bring in a little side income) while shopping online during the holiday season. 

If you have a tip or site I don't yet know about, pretty please comment & let me know.

1. Regular Old Coupons

OK, this one is a gimme, but let's not underestimate the value - like, literally - of doing things the good, old-fashioned way. Most sites offer coupons of their own, especially on & in the lead-up to Black Friday. Find them in your mailbox & on the sites you're shopping themselves.

2. RetailMeNot

Having trouble finding aforementioned coupons & coupon codes? This site is my favorite retail roundup for discount codes & sale information for nearly every site I've ever wanted to shop from. Just search the site for the store you're shopping, & see what coupon codes pop up. You don't have to register to use the codes, though it seems like being a member of the site offers additional bonuses. Can any of you weigh in on this?

3. Newsletter Bonuses

Plenty of websites offer discounts for first-time shoppers when you sign up for their email newsletters. Already signed up? Uhhhh, I'm sure you have a second (or third, or fourth) email address, right? And if that's unethical, well... look, I never said this guide was on the up-&-up. Just do it. The 20% off will be worth it (& you can unsubscribe as soon as you're done).

4. Honey

This easy browser plug-in is another way to identify coupon codes on the sites you're using - everywhere from Macy's to Papa John's, & the site stacks coupons whenever possible. What I like best about Honey is that when you shop on Amazon, it tells you where to find lower prices, & it also lets you set 60-day price-drop notifications, should the items you're looking at go down in cost. Honey also offers cash back, though I've never used that feature because I'm too obsessed with...

5. Ebates

Ebates is, hand down, my favorite way to save/make money while shopping, not just at the holidays but year-round. Install the browser plugin &, when you shop, Ebates will let you know how much cash back you can get through them when you buy from each site. Once a quarter, Ebates sends a fat rebate check to your PayPal account. I've saved $200+ since I started using it! They also offer travel rebates & in-store rebates when you submit your receipts. In other words, go sign up for this immediately

6. Groupon

You're rolling your eyes right now because who even uses Groupon anymore? But I'll tell you: I do. If you're shopping for experiences or stocking stuffers, in particular, Groupon is still full of excellent gift options - and they offer \cash back through Ebates (6% right now!), which means you're saving extra. From electronics to clothing to personalized items to homegoods, Groupon is definitely worth revisiting while you're putting together your shopping list.

7. Amazon Associates

Affiliate marketing for the win! If you're a blogger, you've got to start using Amazon Associates, the quick & easy way to bring in a few cents every time one of your readers buys something you recommended to them. Just run your Amazon links through their simple URL creator to make unique-to-you links to use in your blog posts. When you reach an accumulated $10 in profit, Amazon will deposit a gift card into your account.

8. Social Media

Think you can't get discounts from small businesses? Think again. These sites, while unlikely to be on RetailMeNot or Groupon, often share their discount codes on their social media accounts. If you're interested in buying something from an Etsy shop, for example, your savings can be two-fold: Use Ebates to get cash back from Etsy itself (right now it's at 1%, but I've seen up to 5%), then check the seller's social media accounts - especially Instagram - to see if they're running any good deals you wouldn't have found out about otherwise.

9. Poshmark

This is more of a side-hustle than a couponing opportunity, but it's still worth doing if you're looking for some side cash. I recently checked out how much I've made in the four years I've been using this app, & I was honestly blown away! Awhile back, I wrote the post "How to Run a Successful Poshmark Shop," which I hope will help you in your side-hustle endeavors. And don't forget to use my code HMUGD for $5 credit on your first purchase!

Looking for additional side hustles to bring in money for the holidays? Check out The Laughing Girls Guide for five sites that will help you find your holiday shopping (or, like, the rest of your life). I, for one, am about to be all over those ebook opportunities.

Am I missing anything? What tricks do you use to save money when you shop? Let me know - & if you try out any of the sites I've shared here, especially Ebates & Honey, please consider clicking through directly from my site so I get a little bit of referral kickbacks myself - & can save even more. Happy shopping, friends!

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