I've been promising you this post for a long time, and with Christmas knocking on the door, I decided it was time to get you all saving some money! These are my favorite online ways to shave some money off of your budget. I've used them all and they are legit. I love a good deal!
*Groupon- This is probably the site I've been using the longest. They are a daily deal site for a specific area. For example, if you are in the NE Oklahoma area, like me, you would want to sign up for the Tulsa Groupon. They would send you a new deal each day, usually for a local business. Sometimes they offer a deal on a website, so anyone can purchase, no matter where you are, and occasionally they will offer a national deal for a big chain. The deals are normally at least 50% off the regular purchase price. The one today for Tulsa is 73% off game tokens at a game/arcade place in Jenks. If you are into that sort of thing, it is a great deal! I have purchased Groupons for Gap, Shutterfly, Shiloh's (a Tulsa restaurant), a plant nursery in Pryor, and I even purchased one from Long Island for a stamped jewelry website. They have all been used for things I was going to buy anyway, something special for our family, or as gifts. I've also heard of people checking out Groupon for a city they were visiting on vacation. What a great way to shave money off of your entertainment and gift budget! Signing up for Groupon is FREE and you can visit them here.
*Living Social- Living Social is another daily deal site, like Groupon. I've been getting their email updates for Tulsa for quite awhile, but today was actually my first time to purchase a deal from them. They were offering 50% off that awesome "home cooking" restaurant Shiloh's I mentioned above with Groupon. You will see a lot of businesses using both Groupon and Living Social at different times, so double the savings for you! Again, an easy way to save money doing things you would do anyway. Today's OKC deal is for a 4 pack of tickets to the Science Museum Oklahoma. A great family outing if you have school aged kiddos. Seems like a no brainer to me! Sign up for Living Social updates here.
*Ebates- This site is the easiest way to save money for those of us who shop online. Sign up for Ebates and get money back on most of your online purchases. Once your Ebates account reaches a certain amount, you'll get money from Ebates...either via check or Paypal. It is that easy! Most stores offer an extra 2-5% off, which doesn't seem like much, but adds up, especially this time of year when my online shopping increases ten fold. Wanna know something great? Go to your Ebates account first, then search "Groupon" and get an extra 3% off of your Groupon purchase! How cool is that? Right now, Ebates is offering even higher cash back options for certain stores to encourage your online shopping for Christmas. I sense a big Ebates deposit coming my way! Sign up for Ebates here and get a gift card to one of your favorite stores....just for signing up!
*Shop At Home- This site is like Ebates. It isn't as easy to maneuver their site, but lately, they have been having higher cash back rates, so I've actually been using them more than Ebates. They also work with different stores, so if one store you are wanting to shop from isn't on Ebates, they might be on Shop At Home or vice versa. You DON'T have to download anything to use the online shopping feature of Shop At Home and once your account reaches $20, they will send you your money. Again, a great way to get a better deal on stuff you are already buying. I check both Ebates and Shop At Home before I purchase anything online. Sign up for Shop At Home here.
*Swag Bucks- This is probably the easiest to use site I'm listing here today and it is way different from the others. This is a search engine where you earn points, or Swag Bucks, just for searching the web. You then can spend your points on all sorts of prizes. I recently bought three $5 Amazon gift cards with the points I've earned since mid-September. Not too shabby. I highly recommend downloading the Swagbucks Toolbar, which will appear at the top of your screen, similar to a Google or Yahoo searching toolbar. You randomly are awarded Swagbucks based on what you search and how often you search. Consistency is the key to earning Swagbucks, so I use my toolbar instead of just typing in the web address. Instead of typing in http://www.charlasconfessions.com/, I simply type "charlas confessions" into the Swagbucks toolbar, then click on the link. That gives me a higher chance of earning Swagbucks in a given day. I've already won 10 this morning! I'm hoping this will become an easy way to reduce our gift budget. Sign up for Swagbucks here.
I'm sure there are other sites that I use to save money, but these are the ones I love and that I use most often. If you have a site, I'd love to hear about it! Share it with us in the comments section. I hope these help you keep a little more green in your pocket as you start, or for you over achievers, finish your Christmas shopping.