How to Find Great Deals on Christmas Presents

I avoid malls like the plague during the month of December. I’m one of those people who likes to have all of my Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving, so I can relax and enjoy the holiday season, rather than fight insane crowds at the shopping mall.

And like many other people this year, my family is on a tight budget this Christmas, meaning I need to make my Christmas dollars go farther. Fortunately, being frugal, I have a plan of attack when it comes to getting quality Christmas presents on the cheap.

Know Where to Find the Deals

I like to peruse message boards, where members post great deals on everything from toys to clothes to furniture. My favorite is Fishing For Deals, but a Google search will surely give you other results.

By keeping an eye on the message boards, other people do the work of finding the deals, and I can reap the benefits. When I find a great deal on the message board, I shop through the board’s link, so I can support them.

Shop Through Rebate Programs

If I find a deal on my own or just need to buy something that’s not on sale, I shop through programs like Ebates and MyPoints. These programs give cash back (in the form of actual cash or points to be applied to a gift card), making your money stretch farther. And right now if you sign up for Ebates through this link and make a qualifying purchase, $5 will be credited to your account! (and $5 to mine too!).

Ebates and MyPoints aren’t the only game in town anymore, as far as rebate programs go. is an up and coming rebate site. I’ve made a purchase through them already, and my cash back was credited directly to my account. The offer the same refer-a-friend bonus that Ebates does, where if you sign up through my link, we both get $5 if you make a qualifying purchase.

Don’t Forget to Use Coupon Codes

When shopping online, I always, always, ALWAYS do a search for an online coupon code before I check out. Often I can’t find one, but sometimes I can find a code that I can combine with the rebate program to save big bucks!

Doing a Google search usually works, as does checking the forums I mentioned earlier. Kyle of Rather-Be-Shopping, who writes for me every Wednesday, also has a great list of deals and coupons on his site.

Speaking of codes, I have the opportunity to share with you a great code for Small World Toys. Small World Toys is a company that focuses on quality educational toys for children. (My kind of toys!) If you use the code SALE134 from now until December 15, you can get 20% off your order!

Have a great holiday season, and remember to stay in your budget! You don’t want to be paying off credit cards come January!


By , on Nov 11, 2008
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.


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  1. Sarah:

    I too love Ebates, but like Kimberly, found out that hard way that retailers will often not post their promised rebates into your account if you use a coupon code you find anywhere but Ebates. I spent $200 on a computer monitor and was stoked to get 7% back, but really bummed when I found that because I had used a 10$ off coupon code I found online, I made myself ineligible for the rebate. Ebates DOES offer many of their own coupons, but I signed up for Ebates on the assumption I could use it in conjunction with coupon codes I found online to extend my savings, but unfortunately that is just not the case.

    Ebates still does rock, though!

  2. Don’t forget about doing the one-month trial membership to Amazon–free shipping for one month and no need to find fillers.

  3. Lynnae:

    Thankful, good tip! I think it will only work for those who haven’t done the trial before (or who haven’t done it recently). Amazon offers a free trial membership of Amazon Prime, which includes free shipping on many items, with no minimum purchase. I did the trial last year at Christmas, and it was great!

    You do have to enter your credit card information to get the free trial, but there’s a setting that you can change to end your membership when the trial period ends, so your credit card doesn’t get charged automatically, if you forget to cancel. It’s a great deal!

  4. Kyle:

    Thanks Lynnae for the very nice mention of!! Absolutely no reason to pay full price on your gifts this year. Love the giveaway idea too! Since I contribute to your blog am I eligble to win? ;-)

  5. Kimberly:

    Just a heads up – Ebates refused to credit me for a purchase because I used a coupon code on the transaction. It was an Office Depot purchase and I used one of the common dollar off coupons, like $10 off a $75 purchase. (Stopped using Ebates after that, because I had to get them to investigate the transaction and it ended up being a whole lot of hassle. If they had just up front stated that it wasn’t okay to use a coupon code along with purchasing through them then I wouldn’t have used one!)

  6. Lynnae:

    Oh wow. Thanks for the head’s up. I’ve never had a problem with using coupons in conjunction with Ebates, but it’s good to know it might be an issue.

  7. Trevor:

    Thanks for the warnings and heads up.

    I’ll tell my cousins in the US about it !

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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.

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