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1. Get paid to shop.
There is actually a website that pays you to shop online, and it’s called eBates. Sound baller? It is. Sign up here, browse and start shopping at one of the 1,700 stores online, and earn cash back! I’ve easily racked up to $200ish from one Christmas shopping spree alone, so consider this my favorite of all the ways to save this season.
2. Gotta have coups.
I’ll be the first one to roll my eyes at home girl who whips out her coupon organizer at the grocery store with 19 other people waiting in line, but I won’t say I can’t empathize. The holidays especially can get expensive, so cutting even 20 cents from a bill can make a difference. If you haven’t already, download the Retail Me Not app. It’ll literally give you the best of the best coupon codes, as well as their corresponding success rate, on your smart phone, so you can pull up any and all available discounts as you’re waiting in line.
Also, fear not, smart phone objectors. Use coupons.com for all of your coupon-ing and deal hunting. You can browse current coupons by category, find savings in the hundreds on any given day, and conveniently print them all online. Also, make sure you frequently check their site for giveaways! Right now, they’re hosting The Good Stuff 2014 Holiday Sweepstakes, which runs from today through Christmas, and it’ll select one winner every week, awarding $100 in cash, as well as a grand prize of $500 cash.
You can also check out all 3 of their fabulous gift guides for budget-friendly gifts, gifts for enthusiasts, and gifts for all the gracious holiday hostesses.
3. Rent those gowns.
The holiday season is also conveniently gala and black tie season. It’s typically taboo to wear the same gown over and over again, and I’m not spending hundreds, let alone thousand, on a new dress for every fancy affair, especially not in the midst of other seasonal expenses. I’ve recently become obsessed with Rent the Runway, and I’ve already ordered 10+ dresses this year from their amazing inventory. Rent fabulous gowns and day dresses from Badgley Mischka (my favorite), Herve Leger… there’s literally tons of all of your favorite runway designer pieces at your frugal fingertips.
4. Be domestic.
I’m the first one to run to the mall and/or call a caterer, so I’m not judging– but if you’re strapped this holiday season, consider baking treats and making homemade gifts instead of store-bought items or dining out. For example, a friend gave me a hand-monogrammed ornament last year, and it was actually one of my favorite gifts. It shows thoughtfulness and generosity simultaneously.
5. Make a list and stick to it twice.
It’s really easy to get in a comfortable state where you just keep adding things to your cart without any rhyme or reason. I can do some major damage to myself in Target. Make a game plan, and do everything in your power to not deviate from your list. You’ll save time, money, and post-spree remorse.