Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How to NOT Spend Your Money on Christmas Gifts (Pt 1)

With the economy the way it has been, and more and more people out of work, and the prices keep rising on everything we buy, it's very hard to think about how we are going to make it this Christmas.
It's already November, and I haven't started for one, lol, but I am going to make sure I don't spend a single cent on Christmas gifts again this year!
There is actually still plenty of time to get some free deals before Christmas, and earn something quick, in order to help cover your expenses this Christmas.
I will list several ways to do this, and I would be very happy to get any feedback, and ideas from all of you!!
There are some ways you can also do with up front investments, although some will return your money if you sell so much product in your first month or so. Direct selling, Mary Kay, Avon, Gold Canyon Candles, Pampered Chef, there are tons of direct selling opportunities around!
If you know somebody who sells these products, you can always ask to be the host of a party! Party hosts always receive free gifts, generous discounts, and free products, all depending on how much is sold at your party, or how many orders you get.
Another option would be to trade and barter. Do you crochet? Bake amazing cookies? You can put ads up on your community bulletin boards, advertise on Craigs List, etc, and either sell, or take trades from other crafters! Or you could also make your Christmas gifts!
Of course there are always the giveaways that are all over blogs and Facebook and Twitter. You will have to do what is required for the giveaways, normally, liking pages, following blogs, commenting, etc, but there are prizes to be won! Especially on Facebook!
Are you good with coupons? Walmart will pay overages back in cash on your coupons, not to mention, they have a very nice price match policy, and you can take advantage of that and use your coupons, and make a few bucks towards something for Christmas! If you are an avid couponer, you know you can either take numerous coupons of the same, on 1 trip, several trips, buy your coupons by the lot on http://www.ebay.com/, or various coupon clipping sites, and maybe get lots of the same coupon, take them to Walmart, price match if needed, and get the overages back in cash.
The above does require some work, and yes, I have gotten paid for coupons at Walmart, quite a few times. Most recently, I had several P&G $8 off 2 Cover Girl product coupons, (about 40). I did use almost all of them, (after I gave some away), and got several blushes, and compacts, along with about $100 in cash to use towards other items in the store. I do not recommend this for beginners, nor is it something that is a whole lot of fun, lol, well it is when you end up taking $ from the cashier and walking out with a cart full of products! But it is definitely something that can be done if you want to take the time to do so.
CVS and Rite Aid, Walgreens, Target, all offer Extra Bucks, Up Rewards, Register Rewards, Gift Cards, etc, if you buy so much in product, or specific products, and with your receipt, you can "earn" "money" that can be used on practically anything in the store! (usually milk, postage, cigarettes, are not acceptable).
CVS is by far, my favorite store, and the one I do best at. I can go in the store, buy $40 worth of whatever I picked to buy that is on sale, use $25 in coupons, pay $15, and maybe get $20 back in Extra Bucks, plus they now have The Beauty Club, (I love this!!).All of your "beauty" purchases, before coupons, are added up and for every $50 you spend, (again, the best part is BEFORE coupons!!), you will earn $5 in Extra Bucks!! Yes, this is also on top of any Extra Bucks promos they are doing that week. Then they have the regular quarterly Extra Bucks you receive. This is always 2% of what you spend, before coupons as well. So, these really add up!
Now, with that $20 in Extra Bucks I received, i can continue to take advantage of deals, extra Bucks promos, and use more coupons, and either save half or all, and at some point, if you do your homework, you will indeed have transactions where you pay a few cents up front and get more Extra Bucks! This again, takes time to master, but it is so easy to figure out! All you need is some coupons, and CVS flyers! Keep in mind, if they are out of a sale item, you can always ask for a rain check.
If you want to end up walking out of CVS without paying a dime, you will have to do separate transactions, with the first one being the one you may have to spend a few dollars on. Then you can plan your trip accordingly, and use the Extra Bucks from the first transaction, to pay, along with your coupons, for the next and the next etc. I have done this in one trip before, when I had $4 to spend, and lots of coupons, but needed Pull Ups, Diapers, prescriptions, etc. I actually that day, got $174 worth of items, for $3. However, it took a while, and a lot of walking back and forth lol.
I do not want to bore my readers as I write and write here, so I will be doing these in parts. You can read them at your leisure, and share with your friends1
All of the ideas I will give you are some I have tried, done, and do presently, to earn free deals, money and gift cards. Hence, paying for Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, school clothes, school supplies, groceries, things my family needs like towels, pots and pans, etc.
One thing my family ALWAYS does, and we are firm believers, in donating. For example, the Cover Girl makeup I spoke of, that I actually earned money from, has already been given away, and donated to a local church to give to moms, grandmas, teens, anybody who could use them, and can't afford them on their own.
One more thing I would like to share here about an idea of earning money in time for Christmas.
Do you babysit? Do you clean houses? Can you offer transportation for elderly or people who can not drive? Can you type well? Can you write resumes? These are all options for you to advertise, spread the word about, and maybe earn some extra cash, or do the trade/bartering thing I always add in these types of posts. You can maybe babysit for somebody who works, wants to run errands, go out for a night, and since that money was not expected, you could use that for Christmas as well! Or of course, this can be used to supplement your income where needed!

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