Christmas shopping is time consuming. Every year, it is up to me to shop for all of our family and then wrap every present.
My husband’s parents are probably my biggest shopping challenge during Christmas. They have particular interests and tastes, yet we try to give them different things from year to year to keep them guessing. My father-in-law is a notorious gift shaker and prides himself on being able to guess what his gifts are before he opens them. I must admit, I take a sick sense of pride in being able to stump him, so I’m always looking for fun and unusual gifts.
I have several discount shopping sites I use to find special items for great savings.
How does a coupon lady shop for Christmas? The key to staying on budget is giving yourself enough time to search for the right presents.
After I make my list, I like to think of three things the person likes to do or current live events. I also set a budget for each person. Once I get a few ideas, I check out my favorite discount sites for items that would be a great fit for the person I’m searching for.
One of my favorite sites is Groupon.com. Groupon recently added a Goods section to its offerings. It has items for men, women and children. You can find everything: discounted movie tickets, restaurant deals, toys, clothing and home items. You can also earn referral credits, making it possible to score your gift items free.
My next favorite deal site is Sneekpeeq.com. I have a candle addiction, especially during the winter months. It just so happens that my favorite brand of candles, Diamond Candles, are constantly featured on Sneekpeeq.
At the Diamond Candle retail site, each large jar candle costs $24.99 with $5 shipping. However, Sneekpeeq offers the candles for at least a 10 percent discount. I also use its rewards system to save even more. After combining free shipping and a bonus reward discount, I can usually purchase a candle for $13-$19. Sneekpeeq also has a rewards program. If you get 10 people to sign up, you can earn $10 in credit.
Nomorerack.com offers flash sales, including discounts on electronics, toys, clothes and jewelry. One of my favorite things about Nomorerack is that shipping is a flat $2 per item, so shipping doesn’t eat up your savings. The site offers a $10 per person referral credit program that I consider to be the best. Referrals show up immediately, and the site lets you know immediately if you have received credit.
There are plenty of deal sites I have used in the past. Living Social, Mamapedia, Half off depot, Zulilly, Totsy, Saveology, 1 Sale a Day, Rue La La, Froobi, Tanga, Plum District and Buy.com are also great resources for finding deals.
Having several of these Web sites available helps you broaden your choices.
A word of warning to those of you just discovering daily deal sites: look carefully at shipping dates. Some of these sites do not ship these items immediately; they wait until the entire sale is over, sometimes even shipping out up to a week or two later. Make sure you read the fine print on your deal to make sure your gift will arrive in time. Right now, several of these deal sites are noting whether the item will arrive in time for Christmas. As long as you know to look for possible delays, it won’t be a problem.
Another friendly warning: know the product. Do a Google search on the item before you buy it to make sure it’s a good deal. You might be surprised that some deals are not as good as you might be led to believe. Sometimes a similar deal can be found on Amazon.
As long as you keep these cautions in mind, using daily deal Web sites can be a great tool against spending too much this holiday season.