15 Websites & Apps That Will Save You Money On Your Christmas Shopping


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If you have been actively participating in my How To Plan A Christmas To Remember On A Super Tight Budget then you have probably created a nice stash of cash for Christmas shopping. This post is going to help you make that Christmas cash go further than you might have thought possible.

This list of websites and apps will save you a significant amount of money on your Christmas gift shopping.

15 Websites & Apps That Will Save You Money On Your Christmas Shopping

Discount Gift Card Sites

Discount gift cards are one of my thrifty family’s favorite ways of dropping the price of an item further, even if it is already on sale. We have been able to purchase gift cards at a discount of anywhere between 7% to as much as 20% off through discount gift card sites.

1. Cardpool

Cardpool is the discount gift card company our family uses the most often because it sells physical, hold-in-your-hand gift cards and one person in our thrifty couple isn’t very app savvy so he prefers physical gift cards (oops…gave away who it is).

Cardpool does have an app though, if you prefer buying and using your discounted gift cards that way.

2. Raise

Our family has yet to use Raise, but it does seem to have a good selection of cards. At Raise the gift cards are electronically based and saved in the Raise app for you to use when you need them.

This list of websites and apps will save you a significant amount of money on your Christmas gift shopping.

Cash Back Sites

Our thrifty family makes sure to use a cash back site before we buy anything online. Sure, we do have to wait to get our money back, but this step can really add up to significant savings. One Christmas we got $75 back from our Christmas shopping.

3. Ebates

Ebates offers a HUGE selection of stores to earn cashback through. One thing I don’t like about Ebates, though is that you not only have to wait until you meet the $5.01 cashback value, but when you do reach it you also have to wait until their next “Big Fat Check” payout date to get your payout, which only happens 4 times a year.

However, as I said the selection is amazing! Often if I can’t find a cash back at a store I am shopping at through the two other suggestions below, I go to Ebates and almost always I will find a cash back for that store offered there.

4. TopCashBack

What I love about TopCashBack is that there are no minimum payouts. You also earn a bonus when you cash out for Amazon gift card codes which makes your cashback rate even bigger. I do find it takes TopCashBack a considerable amount of time to credit your account for cash back, though.

5. Swagbucks

The greatest benefit of using Swagbucks to earn cashback is that through Swagbucks you can earn points called SB in so many other ways and when you combine those points together you can earn a gift card cash out pretty fast–especially since most gift cards start at 500 SB points. Most times Swagbucks is the first place I look for a cash back offer for online shopping.

psst…did you know you can use the Ibotta app to earn cashback on in store shopping?

Check out my Hot Deals page | Snail Pace Transformations

Websites & Blogs That List Great Deals

6. Money Saving Mom

Money Saving Mom lists great deals all day long, all week long. I like checking the website daily to see what new deals have been listed.

7. Brad’s Deals

Brad’s Deals is an app and a website. I haven’t used the app version, but most years I sign up to receive Brad’s Deals emails just as the Christmas shopping season begins and then unsubscribe after I am done my shopping so I am not tempted to continue shopping the great deals.

8. Snail Pace Transformations

Yes, I list deals too. On my Hot Deals page I list a small amount of great deals I find from companies I work with as well as high value coupons and free sample listings. I also have a Facebook group where I share these deals as I find them.

A Step by Step Guide to Using Ibotta | Snail Pace Transformations

Apps That offer Cashback & More

9. Ibotta

Ibotta is an app that you can use to earn cashback on all your in-store shopping from groceries, to movie tickets, to craft supplies, to clothing and more. When you earn enough for a cash out you can pick from a PayPal deposit or several different gift card providers including Starbucks, Amazon, iTunes and more. One thing I really like about Ibotta is how fast it takes them to deliver your payout once you have earned it–I can’t remember waiting more than a few hours.

10. Shopkick

Shopkick has several different ways to earn points, but my favorite is the walk-in points. Simply open the app as you are walking in the store and you can earn points. Sometimes it is just 35 points, but sometimes they run specials where I have seen Shopkick offer 150 points or more for simply walking in the store.

11. Receipt Hog

Receipt Hog is a very simple app to use (use my referral code yect1667 to earn a bonus when you sign up). You simply snap a picture of your receipt and earn coins or spins. When you earn enough coins you can cash out for an Amazon or PayPal gift card code. Receipt Hog works at clothing stores, sporting good stores, book stores, grocery stores and even restaurants.

Use my referral link for Hollar | Snail Pace Transformations

Websites with Great Prices On Name Brand Items

 12. Zulily

If the loved ones on your Christmas list are name brand picky, Zulily could help you save up to 50% on some of their favorite brands. They offer new deals each and every day so if you don’t see something on your Christmas list today it could be there tomorrow. My family has gotten some great deals through Zulily.

13. Hollar

Hollar is what I would describe as an online dollar variety store. Prices at Hollar start at $1 and go up from there. I have gotten O.P.I nail polish for $4 a bottle from Hollar. I noticed they recently had K’nex sets starting at just $3. Items at Hollar move fast! What is there today might not be there tomorrow. New customers get free shipping on their first order of $10 or more (normally free shipping starts at $25).

Where to Find Free and Low Cost Christmas Gifts That Rock! | Snail Pace Transformations

Websites That Reward You With Free Items That Would Make Great Gifts

14. Tyndale Rewards

I have been a member of Tyndale rewards for years and over those years I have gotten some really awesome books for as little as 75 points and it isn’t as hard to earn those points as you might think. Tyndale Rewards offers a fairly good selection of fiction, nonfiction, children’s books, bibles, devotions and more for you to cash your points in for.

15. Recycle Bank

Recycle Bank gives you points for doing things like watching video clips or slide shows on environmental topics and then answering questions afterwards. Recycle Bank has a great selection of magazine subscriptions that could be given as gifts to those in your household. For instance, if your spouse is a runner you could grab them a year subscription of Runner’s World.

psst…I share more sites where you can grab great free or low cost gifts in this article.

How To Stack The Savings

So now you have 15 different places that could save you money on your Christmas shopping, but where the fun part comes in–at least for us thrifty people–is stacking the 15 on top of each other as much as possible.

  1. Find a bargain
  2. Use a discounted gift card: Our thrifty family tends to keep a gift card to a small handful of stores we shop at  most often on hand. That way when we see a bargain at these stores we can make it bigger.
  3. If shopping online use a cashback site. If shopping in store use a cashback app.
  4. Search RetailMeNot for a discount code or free shipping code if shopping online (that’s a 16th website)

If you are lucky enough to use all four steps on your purchase you can easily save an additional 10% or more off an item on your Christmas list that was already a bargain to begin with!

How to Plan a Christmas to Remember on a Super Tight BudgetThis post is part of the How To Plan A Christmas To Remember On A Super Tight Budget Series

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3 Things I am LOVING This Week: November 30


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3 Things I Am Loving Lately What about you

I hope all my American readers had a great Thanksgiving day weekend. I enjoyed Thanksgiving day but spent Friday, Saturday and most of Sunday fighting a fever and sore throat. I won the fight though and am feeling much better.


First Thing I am LOVING Lately…

First sugar cookie of the holiday season

On the day of Thanksgiving our family went over to celebrate with another family in town. This year I brought over a big batch of my sugar cookies .

There we quite a few leftovers since I brought a 4 times batch to the event. Of course once I got them home they didn’t last long. I grabbed one Friday afternoon to eat with a cup of hot lemon and honey. Saturday I tried to do the same thing only to discover the kids had already finished them off.

I am thinking I will make gingerbread cookies next. I like making just one type of cookie at a time during the holidays. If I start at Thanksgiving we usually will have cycled through all our family favorites by Christmas at least once.


Second Thing I am LOVING Lately…

Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life

Friday afternoon my throat was killing me so I gave up trying to do much of anything and just rested on the couch and enjoyed all 4 episodes on the new Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life available only on Netflix.

Yep all 4 at once! Once I stated I could not stop –plus I didn’t want anyone on social media to have time to spoil the ending for me.


Third Thing I am LOVING Lately…

I finally finished a few of my hand knitted Christmas Tree’s

So last year around this time I started on 10 of my DIY hand knitted Christmas tree ornaments , but then the Christmas season got crazy and I never got around to finishing them.

Sunday I still wasn’t feeling well so I grabbed an audio copy of The Good, The Bad, And The Grace Of God: What Honesty And Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, And Forgiveness through the Hoopla app and started working on finally finishing them.

By the end of the day I had 7 completely done and hope to finish the last 3  by the end of the week.

An Announcement

I have been thinking for a while now that I need a Facebook group for the readers of my blog who love my thrifty posts. After all I have one for those who enjoy my decluttering posts  so it seems only fair that I have one for my thrifty readers too. So I took a few minutes this week to create The Thrifty People Of Snail Pace Transformations Facebook group. I plan to share my thrifty posts in there as well as great deals I find.

My hope is to get to know my readers on a more personal level which has been one of my major goals for my blog this year.  If you enjoy my thrifty posts I would LOVE to have you join the group.

Deals So Good I Had To Share


If you have been wanting to join the wedge ankle boot trend here is your chance to join it for just $22.99 and free shipping to boot!  (sorry I couldn’t resist the corny pun)

These boots are available for just $22.99 at Jane  but the sale ends tonight!

I have ordered from Jane before and was happy with my purchase and would order again.

These are faux suede wedges with a 2 and half inch heel. Available in 6 colors. Sizes 5.5 to 11.

Go here to see more pictures and read more about them.

Mugs & Journals Still $5 each


Dayspring’s $5 sale on select mugs and journals is still on going. They also have some great stocking stuffers on sale as well.

View the selection of $5 mugs here

View the selection of $5 journals here

View the selection of marked down stocking stuffers here








5 Gifts For Teachers Under $15


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Teachers– they do so much for us and our children. We want to give something to express our thanks, but what? Well I did a bit of leg work for you and asked a friend of mine who is also a teacher what she likes to get as gifts from her students.

She then helped me take her ideas and spin them in such a way that they are good for both male and female teachers. Your wallet is going to be super thankful that a lot of her ideas are well under $15.

5 gift ideas for Teachers Under $15.

5 Gifts For Teachers Under $15

1. Gift Cards

Starbucks and iTunes cards are a big hit with most teachers. Of course, if you see your teacher with a to go cup from “wherever” over and over again chances are that grabbing a gift card to that place is probably going to be a hit.

psst…did you know you can earn gift cards through things you already do online through Swagbucks? You can earn more by being open to doing a few simple extra tasks online each day. These are 4 great companies to work with when you want to earn gift cards fast!

Now, the gift cards you earn from these companies are paper e-code gift cards. To give them as gifts what I like to do–at least for Starbucks cards anyways–is to load my Starbucks gold gift card that I use for Starbucks Rewards with all the Starbucks gift cards I earn and then I give that gift card and the one I want to give as a gift to the cashier and tell her I want to load the new gift card with x amount of dollars and pay with my Starbucks gold gift card. That way I can slip a physical, hold-in-your-hand gift card in a card as a gift, which I like giving better than paper. Plus this gives me excuse to visit Starbucks and grab a coffee for myself! It is a win-win.

2. Office Supplies

Teachers love school supplies much more than their students do. After all, they use them day in and day out.

For male teachers a good quality pen that you present in its very own pen sleeve is sure to be appreciated.

For female teachers you can go a bit more out there and give her a pack of sparkly pens and heart shaped sticky notes.

3. Tote Bags

Teachers are always hauling stuff in and out of the classroom. Help them out by buying them tote bags as gifts.

These extra large canvas bags are fairly gender neutral and are sure to fit whatever they need to carry from the classroom to home. They come with various colored handles too.

If you want to give something just a bit more colorful, these printed bags with their 7 outer pockets might be just what you are looking for.

4. Water Bottles & Travel Mugs

All that talking all day long can make a teacher really thirsty so water bottles and travel mugs are always a wise gift choice.

Infused water is all the rage right now. Help your teacher join the trend with this cool water bottle that has a build in fruit infuser.

These RTIC tumblers are suppose to be just as good as the popular YETI brand and are often on sale for under $15.

5. Lip Balm & Hand Lotion

The forced air systems in most schools can leave teachers with chapped lips and hands. Treat them to relief with the gift of lip balm and hand lotion.

If you are not sure of  their taste in lip balm, stick to classic unflavored like Burt’s Bees or ChapStick.

For hand cream you could go with one that fits in their bag or purse or a large bottle that they can keep on their desk.

Please note: everything I linked to in this article was under $15 at the time I wrote it, but prices can change–check before you buy.

Hollar is a great place to buy small gifts | Snail Pace Transformations

Psst… A lot of  items similar to these can be found at Hollar, an online variety store with prices starting at just $1 per item. Free shipping starts at just $10 with your first order.