Getting Paid to Shop at Christmas

 

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I don’t know about you, but when it comes to spending money, my husband and I are as frugal as they come. We are always careful in prayerfully handling our finances as we believe that the less we spend on “things” the more we can give away to further His Kingdom! This has proved to be a huge success and blessing in our homeschool and family over the last decade.

For the past 5 years, we have taken a different approach to Christmas shopping. The first and largest change, was giving each of our children just one gift. One that we believe would bless their walks with God – and we pray throughout the year that God will lead us to that “one” gift each year. While our focus on Christmas has always been Christ, we felt convicted to make this change for our family, and I am so glad we did. We have seen a shift in an even greater closeness to Christ and character that can only come from obedience to God. Let me be clear that every family has to do what God is telling them to do, so in no way am I saying that anyone who does it differently is wrong, rather this is what God has told us to do.

We also send out a handful of Christmas presents to some of our family members and friends that are not able to buy much for their own children. As a military family that moves a lot, we do most of our Christmas shopping online. The first reason we do this is that we have found we can get deeper discounts online than in traditional stores. Secondly, as a military family (currently stationed in Germany) this has proven to be an effective way to bless others.

In this new way of thinking, we were compelled to continually figure out ways that we could help cut down expenses while saving any extra money to put towards homeschooling. So in our prayerful quest to find the best way to Christmas shop frugally, God brought another thing to our attention. He showed us that while we did shop for the “one” gift – and for some of our family members – we needed to get paid to do so! As the saying goes, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” And just being real, He didn’t have to tell us twice! In the last 5 years of living this way, we have earned well over $1,000 while shopping online for our Christmas presents! While we do continue to earn money for any shopping we do throughout the year, these earnings figures I pulled are ONLY from our Christmas shopping.

My husband and I have opted to put this money into our “homeschool” account – a separate account we have for all things homeschool (anything from curriculum to extra curricular activities). This way of thinking has transformed the entire face of our homeschool and family finances. The cash back we have earned has allowed our children to do some expensive activities that our normal budget would not have allowed for. While we do many other things to help save our family thousands of dollars a year, this is one way that many of you can benefit right now – as the holiday season approaches – to put more money back into your homeschool and family budget.

Start Shopping And Start Earning

Here are some amazing sites that allow you to shop as you normally would, but pay you for it {and they are FREE to join} :

  • Ebates. This is my personal favorite. While there are several sites that you can earn cash back through – Ebates has consistently shown the best variety and biggest discounts. Not only do you get paid for a plethora of online shopping, you also often times can get some great coupon codes to go with them.
  • Big Crumbs. This is my second go-to site for earning cash back for my Christmas shopping (and all online purchases). It is good to look at both Ebates and Big Crumbs to see which site is offering the highest cash back incentive – particularly on high ticket items. I am a photographer and recently purchased a very high end camera – and Big Crumbs gave me 5% more cash back than Ebates was offering at the time. So I earned a nice chunk of change for doing a comparison that took all of 20 seconds to do!
  • Fat Wallet. This is another cash back online shopping site that I use as well. Although I tend to use the first two, occasionally, this site will have higher percentages during promotional months than the other two.

Here are a few more posts for Christmas savings inspiration:

Saving By Using Social Shopping Websites

More Ways to Christmas Shop for Free

Combining Cash Back Shopping With Coupons

As an absolute rule of thumb: I ALWAYS search for a coupon code prior to completing my online purchase. You’d be so surprised at the special coupons you can dig up if you’ll take a few extra minutes to do a thorough online search. One website that consistently has amazing online coupon codes is Retail Me Not. If I don’t find what I need on here, then I start doing my investigative work. There have only been a few times I can remember where I was not able to find an additional discount code for an online retailer. Look at it this way, it’s like you are getting paid to shop – even when you spend five minutes to locate a 30% coupon code that you didn’t even know existed! Combine that with the cash back you’ll be earning on most every online purchase – and you just got yourself a nice little paying job.

I pray that as you shop for your loved ones this Christmas, this new way of thinking will help you to put some money back into your homeschool and family budget. May you rest in His peace this holiday season.

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