Preparing NOW for Christmas 2011

by Clippin' with Carie on January 5, 2011. This post may contain affiliate links.Affiliate Link

POSTED IN: Budget, Uncategorized

I know it’s only the beginning of January, and there are still 11+ months to go until Christmas, but this is really the best time to start planning and preparing!
How can you prepare for Christmas 2011?
Here are a few tips and tricks!
Make sure you are signed up with reward programs!
I am a huge fan of Swagbucks and MyPoints. I can earn all year long and receive Gift Cards that I can use to buy Christmas gifts, meaning a little bit of my time now can be traded for Gift Cards that I can use for Christmas shopping later! Both of these rewards programs are great because they offer Gift Cards for stores that I use such as Target, Amazon and more. 

Swagbucks are digital dollars that you earn by doing online searches of the web. The results are from Google and so you are still able to find what you are looking for, just like when you do a google search! As you search you randomly win Swagbucks. It’s FREE, easy, and fun, and the PRIZES are amazing! You can earn gift cards and other prizes. There is NO obligation or credit cards are required!
There are all kinds of prizes you can get with your Swagbucks! I turn in my Swagbucks for Gift Cards! This saves me money down the road, because I don’t have to pull money out of my pocket to buy something and the Gift Cards were FREE…they just cost me a few minutes of my time searching the web, which I am always doing anyway! There are a lot of different Gift Cards, but my faves are:
1300 Swagbucks = $10 Starbucks Gift Card
450 Swagbukcs = $5 Amazon Gift Cards
+ There are planty more rewards to choose from
or turn your Swagbucks in for Cash!! 700 Swagbucks = $5 Cash into you PayPal Account

MyPoints is another easy way to earn FREE Gift Cards online. I have been signed up with MyPoints for well over a year!

Here’s how it works:

You will get 3-5 emails a day and each email you read is worth usually 5 points, so you can easily earn 15-25 points per day. I go through two days of emails at one time. It takes me maybe all of five minutes to go through a couple days worth of my emails.
It takes 1500 – 1600 points to get start getting FREE gift cards! 
If you earned 25 points a day it takes just a couple months to earn a FREE gift card and all you have to do is read your emails!  You can also shop through MyPoints, print coupons to earn even more points. Go HERE to sign up for MyPoints and start earning your FREEBIES today!
Set up a Christmas Account!
If you have an account set up soley for Christmas and you deposit just a small amount of money each month into that account, it will grow all year and make Christmas a little less stressful! Here’s what I do…I have a separate account for Christmas! When I send away for Rebates, such as the $20 Olay Rebate that just ended, when the rebate check comes in, I deposit them directly into the Christmas account. By the time you receive rebate checks, half the time you already forgot about them, so it’s like found money, put it to good use! It all adds up through the year! 
Saving up those $5 Target Gift Cards?
I love the Target Gift Card Promotions! Throughout the year, Target offers FREE Target Gift Cards with certain purchases. You can use coupons for these purchases and spend less money out of your pocket! Many times I will use the $5 Target Gift Card to purchase other items at Target, but sometimes, I willl hold a few back and save them for Christmas! The Target Gift Cards that you get with these promotions are just that, Gift Cards and they do not expire!
Shop Clearance Now!
Just because it is January, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do any Christmas shopping! When you see an item that you know someone would really enjoy and it is on clearance, pick it up now and save it away for Christmas! I keep separate totes for Christmas items I pick up through the year

Just a few ideas to get you thinking about your next holiday season!!  Do you have some tips and trick that help you save all year for the holidays??  Please share in the comments section!


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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sheri finta January 5, 2011 at 11:02 am

I know this is an oldie , but I save up my change in a jar. This year, I took it to a Coinstar machine, and traded it in for Starbucks gift certificate. If you trade it in for certificates instead of cash, they don’t charge you a percentage. I took the certificate to Starbuck’s and got a bunch of smaller gift ceritficates for teachers and coaches…felt like I didn’t spend any real money at all. AND I didn’t have to count it or roll it! Thye also have certificates for other places besides Starbucks.


2 Lisa January 5, 2011 at 11:29 am

Going with Sheri’s change idea, if you are a US Bank member to the local O’Fallon/St.Charles residents you can go to the US Bank at Harvester Rd and they have a coin machine in there. It counts it for you, spits out a receipt and you take it straight to the teller and get handed cash. It’s awesome. No fees, no work. There may be other US Bank locations that do this, but this is the only one I personally know of. No rolling, no fees, no work, straight to cash! 🙂


3 Clippin' with Carie January 5, 2011 at 11:36 am

The Ofallon Branch at Veteran’s Memorial and K (by where the OLD Shop N Save used to be) does that as well!! I did that last year and found out that I had over $300 in my change jar!!


4 Jenny January 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Wow, that is good to know! I wonder if our US Bank does this! It’s annoying to roll change.


5 Rachelle Foster January 5, 2011 at 12:59 pm

My husband and I opened a Christmas Club savings account at the bank I work at at the end of 2009 for this past Christmas(2010). We had a little taken out of each of my paychecks and go straight into the account. At the end of October, we close the accounts and cut checks (with a little interest added). But if anyone were to withdraw any money from their Christmas Club account before we close them out (including us employees) there is a $7 fee, which was enough to keep us from touching it. It REALLY REALLY helped us out this past Christmas and we have already started it again for this year.


6 carrie January 5, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Thanks ladies~I always pay at the coinstar! I will be heading to my US bank other locations!! Thanks!!!!!!!!!!


7 Corina January 5, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Thanks for the tips Carie and for the other ladies who shared! I had purchased some gift items on clearance at Target in ’09 and stowed them away for Christmas ’10. I was able to wrap for 11 people on my list w/o leaving the house. I also believe in re gifting (appropriately), so I keep track every year in a designated notebook who I give presents too & what I received from people(along with what my kids received). This helps too when I buy multiples of a markdown item and store them, that I am not giving the same person the same item year after year=)


8 Krystal February 9, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Great ideas ladies! Ill tell you what I do. Not only do I buy christmas cards, wrapping paper, bows, decorations etc. the day after Christmas…but I also begin my Christmas shopping that day as well!!! I start by making a list of EVERYONE I buy gifts for every year, and what I know they like to get. My husband and I buy his family giftcards every year. So I go ahead and buy their giftcards (making sure they dont expire of course—most do not) and I put them in an envelope in my Christmas closet. I also do this for kids in the family. Besides our children (which I shop for them on Black Friday), their is only 3 other children in our family. I figure out exactly what their age will be by the next christmas, and but stuff on clearance appropriate for their age! I am happy to say, that I was COMPLETELY DONE with my Christmas shopping for Christmas 2011 by the end of January!!! My Christmas closet is booming with gifts for all! The only shopping I have left to do is gifts for me husband, my son and daughter. Which now that my christmas shopping for family is complete, I save so much money a month toward my Black Friday shopping. Hope this helps!!! Happy HOLIDAYS!!!! 🙂


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