This post is brought to you by Ebates and The Motherhood. All opinions are 100% honest and 100% my own.
I’m not one of those frugal bloggers who advises against buying ANYthing for the holidays. More power to the people who celebrate giftless and save oodles of cash, but our family still treasures the tradition of gift exchanges.
I do a lot of things to cut back on costs and keep my budget from imploding this time of year. One of the most effective things I do is shop throughout the year. When I spot a good sale on something, I pick it up and put it in my secret Christmas gift box.
Another thing I do is comparison shop. I don’t just purchase the first thing I see. I look around to see if I can get it cheaper somewhere else.
Finally, I use cashback sites like Ebates. Ebates is a free-to-users site which gets a commission when you purchase after clicking through their link. They then share some of that commission with you as the consumer.
Before you go shopping, visit Ebates’ site first. You then find the store you want to shop, see how much cash back they’re offering, and click through. Then you just shop as you normally would.
Alternatively, you can install the Ebates browser extension. That way you don’t have to remember to go to Ebates’ site first. After you activate this feature, you’re good for all future purchases.
If you shop on mobile, you can use their app, too–which comes with exclusives you won’t want to miss.
Ebates keeps track of how much cashback you earn, and then cashes you out every three months through PayPal or a paper check.
You’re essentially getting paid for doing shopping you were planning on doing anyways.
Plus, if you sign up right now, they’ll put $10 in your account just for getting started. Ten dollars for free is always awesome.
How I Use Ebates
I recently did a little holiday shopping, so I’ll take you on a tour of how I use Ebates.
I needed two Disney items. One of my kiddos has “Hulk Fists” on their Christmas list. Earlier in the year, I found a talking Iron Man mask on super sale, so I picked it up. When I told their dad, he said we “needed” to get a full costume.
This child has also been asking for a dress up box, so here’s my plan:
- Decorate a Rubbermaid container we already have.
- Fill it with all the dress up items we currently have.
- Throw in the Hulk Fists, Iron Man mask, and the apparently necessary Iron Man costume. Wrapped, of course. Because presents inside presents are fun.
To make this happen, I needed to get Hulk Fists and an Iron Man costume. First, I visited Ebates’ site.
Both of the products I needed were from Disney, and Disney currently has a 4.0% cashback rate, which is high enough to cause a celebration. I clicked on the orange “Shop Now” button, and I was on Disney’s site like normal.
I found the Hulk fists for $29.95. And I chose to go with some PJs for Iron Man as we already have a mask and don’t need a full Halloween costume. Those were 19.95. Paying $49.90 for two gifts isn’t horrific–especially when you get about $2 cashback–but I really don’t like parting with my money.
So I did some comparison shopping. I went back to the Ebates portal, and was able to find the Hulk Fists at Target for five dollars less. It was only 1% cashback, but that’s still a way better deal.
Then I poked around to find cheaper Iron Man pajamas. I was able to successfully find some on eBay for only $9.99 with 1% cashback from Ebates. They’re not as snazzy as the Disney option, but they’re half the price and my child won’t know. Quite frankly, I don’t think they’d care. This pair is pretty awesome in their own right, anyways.
If I had gone the original route, I would have spent $49.90 and gotten about $2.00 back, bringing my total to $47.90.
Because I comparison shopped, I spent $34.98 and can expect to see about $0.35 back in my Ebates account, bringing my total to $34.63.
Using all of these methods, I saved $15.27.
With that $10 bonus, that’s $10.35 you could expect to see back in your pocket. And that’s only including one, small shopping order. If you use this tool for all of your holiday shopping, the amount you get back is just going to get larger.
It’s free money. And free money is the best.
Holiday Gifts for Children
Ebates literally works with 2,000+ retailers. Odds are, if you’re shopping there, it’s on there. Here are some of my favorites when I’m shopping for my kids:
- Toys R Us
And the list goes on. They also have super helpful shopping guides. For example, they have a compilation of the hottest toys for 2017. You can use it for inspiration or to find something on your kids’ list, and then navigate straight to the item’s page on the partner’s site without having to browse.
If you’re going to be doing holiday shopping anyways, get some cashback for your efforts. Also be sure to get your free $10 just for signing up!