ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to save and earn money while shopping this holiday season

Updated on November 6, 2014

While the holidays can be a great time for enjoying moments with our family and friends, it is also the time for gift-giving and new debts. A National Retail Federation survey found that average person will spend $804.42 this holiday season.

Last year, 57 percent of parents surveyed by Harris Interactive for Lexington Law reported they were willing to take on debt to buy holiday gifts. Some were even willing to go $700 or more into debt to purchase gifts. But, did you know you could give gifts without going into (or deeper, at least) debt?


Make a list, check it twice

Just like Santa, make a list of everyone you want to give a gift to. Next to each name, write a dollar amount of how much you want to spend on each person. Then, add it up for a grand total.

Do you have that money available right now? Will putting aside a few dollars each week or overtime pay or other funds earned between now and the end of the year total that amount? If not, make cuts.

Maybe you and your friends or siblings and cousins could do a Secret Santa or a Pollyanna gift exchange. Maybe there are some people on your list who would appreciate a homemade gift, even one as simple as cookies. Maybe you could even find a way to shave $10 off each person's total.

Once you have revised your totals, this is your budget. Stick to it. To make it easier, carry the cash on you when you shop so you have a tangible budget.

As you purchase something, write it and the price down on your list so you can see where you stand. This step will prevent you from purchasing too much for one person.

Check your reward cards

Some credit cards offer rewards in form of gift cards. If you have one of these cards, see if you have enough points for a reward before you shop. The gifts cards you earn could not only help you purchase gifts, but they could also become the gifts you give! In fact, according to the NRF survey, 62 percent of respondents said they would prefer a gift card this year.

Look for cards for big box stores you shop at for you to save on purchases. For those you wish to give a gift card to, look for one of their favorite stores. Restaurant gift cards are great gifts for those you struggle to find gifts for.

Use your store credit cards

Yes, I did just say in the first tip to pay in cash. But, sometimes, using the store credit card can help you save money. For example, Target instantly gives cardholders 5 percent back on all purchases. Others, like Gap, give you reward dollars for purchases.

Go ahead, save and earn that money, but either use your cash to pay off the purchase in the store immediately or put that cash aside to add on to your next regular monthly payment. Just don't use the credit card as an excuse to spend more.

Shop online through a reward site

According to the NRF, 56 percent of shoppers plan to shop online, and the average shopper will do 44 percent of her shopping online. So, why not earn money from those purchases?

By joining sites like, online shoppers earn points on their purchases at many retailers. The points can be cashed in for gift cards or even cash to your PayPal account.

( also has printable coupons available, some even for items you may need to purchase for gifts. Plus, you earn even more points on coupons used.)

Use an app

There are a few apps, like Shopkick, which reward members just for walking into a store. Just like other reward programs, the reward points can be cashed in for gift cards.

Then, there's the Savings Catcher feature on the Wal-Mart app. If you make any purchases at Wal-Mart, scan the receipt in the Savings Catcher, and the app checks prices at all kinds of stores- some you may not have even thought to shop in- for lower prices. If the app finds a lower price, Wal-Mart gives you the money back in the form of a Wal-Mart gift card. It is worth it.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)