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The Almost No Cash Christmas

I’ve found quite a few ways to stretch my Christmas dollars so far this year. My goal was to put as few purchases on my credit card as possible. So far, I’m doing pretty well, but I still have a few gifts left to go. Here’s how I’ve done it so far:

I cashed in points through Best Buy’s reward zone program. I had enough points in my account to print out a $50 reward certificate. I then used that certificate to purchase iTunes gift cards. Best Buy ran a deal earlier in the week where you could buy $60 worth of gift cards for $50, so I cashed out my points and saved myself an additional $10.

Of course, I had to spend money to get these reward points. We racked up the points while furnishing the beach house with TVs and other electronics last year. I actually completely forgot that I had them available until I checked out on bestbuy.com and noticed the reward certificate option on the payment screen. I have a number of people in my family that want one of these so I can divvy up the cards. Each card has a $10 value.

I also cashed in points I earned through MyPoints.com. I received a $25 gift card to Macy’s, which I quickly used to buy earrings and necklaces for a few of the women on my list. Of course, I used a combination of sales and coupons to pay for the jewelry, which stretched my dollars even farther. (If you aren’t familiar with the My Points program send me an email and I can send you a referral.)

I’m also gifting two items I won in online giveaway contests earlier this year. This may sound odd, but I actually entered the contest with those people in mind. One of the gifts is absolutely perfect for a friend of the family and the other is just a small stocking stuffer that will be presented in addition to a number of other items.

Groupon really helped me stretch my dollars this year too. I bought reduced certificates to local stores through Groupon and then used those certificates to purchase Christmas gifts. You can earn $10 for every Groupon member that signs up and makes a purchase through your referral link and thanks to the generous Groupon referral program I earned enough credit to attain those Groupon certificates for free.

Lastly, I earned two small gift certificates for advertising on this blog and used those certificates, along with a small charge on my credit card to buy two of my husband’s gifts. I also used a Kohl’s gift card I received as a birthday present to buy gifts. Between the gift card, coupon code and promotion for free shipping I was able to order quite a few gifts for family members.
That card had been burning a hole in my pocket since my birthday and I found a bunch of items at Kohl’s I think my family will really love. (If they don’t Kohl’s has an amazing return policy.)

I’m almost finished with Christmas shopping. In fact, I hope to be sitting in front of a warm fire, wrapping all the presents by tomorrow afternoon. My dad is last on the list and I always have an impossible time finding him a gift. I might just have to pull out the credit card in order to find something he’ll love.

One Frugal Girl

Thursday 16th of December 2010

@Maureen - I was happy to share that gift card with the people I love. In fact, I had more fun buying gifts for them than I would have for myself.

Maureen

Saturday 11th of December 2010

You have done really really well we are also having a cash only Christmas, although I have to admit that I have cut back drastically on the number of presents I am buying. This year it is Grandchildren only and a Secret Santa.

I have to say I have a bit of an issue with you buying gifts with your present money, that was supposed to buy you something nice !!!