How I Paid Almost Nothing for Christmas

And You Can Too!

With Christmas right around the corner, I figured I would share some of my secrets on how I almost spent nothing out of my own pocket this Christmas.  Yes, that’s right, with the exception of a few items, most of the presents underneath our tree were bought with gift cards I got by doing surveys or using other passive ways of accruing income.  My husband and I do keep a limit as to how much we buy our children at Christmas. We like to get them a decent amount of presents but do not like to overdo it because they get a lot from their grandparents and extended family. My husband and I also tend to get each other only a couple of small things such as movies and focus more on the children. This helps us keep our budget down and makes it easier to stick to a certain number of gift cards for a budget.

Screenwise Trends: (Also known as Cross Media Panel) I LOVE Screenwise Trends.  This is the one of the simplest ways to earn cash. It’s passive income so it requires NO effort on your part. All you do is install it on your phone, tablet or computer (or all 3).  You make money for just having it installed and letting the program monitor your internet usage. I only had it installed on my phone this past year and didn’t cash it out until Black Friday.  I had earned $12o just from keeping it on my phone which I then used on presents.  My husband also has this program on his phone and tablet.  He had previously cashed a portion of his out over the summer but had about $75 leftover that we also used for Christmas gifts. They offer cash out with gift cards to big box stores such as Walmart and Target or you can choose Amazon as well. I plan on installing it on my laptop and tablet as well and accruing the cash all year for next Christmas.  You can find out more at their website  I hate surveys but every once in awhile I stumble across a good one. Yougov is my favorite survey site. The payouts aren’t huge but I always get approved for surveys so there’s no rejection and they consistently send me

one at least once a week. Most of the surveys sent are focused on important topics like news or politics.  I signed up earlier this year and after only doing surveys a couple of times a month (I got lazy) I got a $50 gift card to Walmart just in time for the holidays. They offer payout in the form of gift cards to big box retail stores, restaurants and movie theaters. If you’re interested in checking it out you can find out more here: Yougov

Walmart Savings Catcher: I’ll admit I’m super lazy when it comes to this one BUT it’s a good program if you are a frequent Walmart shopper like myself. I do most of my grocery shopping at Aldi but the other major discount store I love is Walmart.  I go here for most of my brand name products and also certain baby products like diapers and pull-ups since I love their brand Parents Choice.  Every time I shop there (or if you’re forgetful like me, every other time you shop there) you upload your receipt to their Saving Catcher feature in the Walmart app. It will analyze your receipt for you and compare prices. If it finds an item you purchased was priced lower at another big box store it will give you the difference back. If you frequent Walmart a lot, do this every time you shop and cash out at the end of the year at the holidays it should add up to a decent amount that you can use at Walmart on their Black Friday sales.

Shop Black Friday:  Lastly, I utilize every sale I can on Black Friday.  I spent hours planning an exact Black Friday blue print.  A lot of my shopping was done online utilizing the sales on sites such as Amazon but I also went out shopping on Black Friday.  I’ve been known to show up at stores on Thanksgiving night and stand in lines that stretch the entire duration of the store. I know a lot of people oppose Thanksgiving night shopping but unfortunately as long as stores are open, there’s a high probability I’ll be there because of the amazing deals. I download a Black Friday app on my phone which keeps all the ads organized and skim through them for the best deals that correspond with what my kids or family members have asked for. It takes a lot of list making, organizing and planning especially when you’re using a slew of different gift cards but the pay off is worth it. This helps me keep my budget down so I can keep within my gift card limit.

I did all of these tips really easily with little to no effort.  Between my husband and I it added up to about $300.  We were also lucky to get some gift cards from my husbands job for good performance that I saved for Black Friday shopping. The gift cards combined with big sales on Black Friday covered our children and some movies for us. All that was left to buy were gifts for extended family and stocking stuffers which I deducted from my husbands Christmas bonus. It took a lot of planning, saving and organizing a head of time but it worked for us. I hope this helps you too!

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