Sign up for Mypoints and Swagbucks to earn points for reading emails, taking surveys, doing web searches and shopping online. Then, cash in your points for gift cards that you can give as gifts or use to do your Christmas shopping. With over 75 merchants to choose from, you're sure to find a card for everyone on your list.
Cereal prizes aren't just for kids. Get in the habit of checking product packaging for offers, and you may just turn up some great ones. I've scored gift cards, DVDs, toys and even savings bonds this way. Who wouldn't like to get those as Christmas gifts?
Tip: The Kellogg's Family Rewards program allows you to redeem product codes for prizes – you'll find everything from gift cards to electronics in their rewards catalog.
The competition between department stores is fierce around the holidays – great news for the consumer. Get in the habit of checking the sales ads in the Friday newspaper each week for $10-off-$10 coupons. JC Penney and Sears are two stores that commonly run this type of promotion. Snag a coupon from both stores, and you could knock two gifts off your list without ever pulling out your wallet. It's department store shopping at its best!
Enjoy sharing your opinion? Then, you've got to give surveys a try. You can earn magazine subscriptions, best-selling books and movies, gift cards, electronics and lots of other great stuff that your friends and family would love to receive. This is one time when it pays to be opinionated.
Rebates are great any day, but they're especially nice when you're looking to boost a small Christmas budget. Be on the lookout for free-after-rebate items that you can use to create gift baskets. Also watch for rebates on items that you normally buy. If it's something you'd purchase anyway, go ahead and drop that rebate check in your Christmas fund, and consider it free money.
06National Consumer Panel
We all have to grocery shop, so we may as well be paid for it. Sign up for National Consumer Panel; scan the barcode of each item that you buy (with the provided scanner), and you'll be rewarded with points that you can redeem in their gift catalog. Remember: they didn't say the gift had to be for you.
07Credit Card Rewards
If you're disciplined enough to pay your credit card off each month, paying your bills with plastic can be a great way to rack up rewards points in a hurry. Let them accumulate throughout the year. Then, cash them in when you're ready to do your Christmas shopping.
08Black Friday Gift Cards
Lots of stores offer free gift cards to the first [insert number] of customers through the door. Decide which offers excite you the most, and plan your shopping trip around them.
One store where I've always been able to get the free gift card: Sears.
09Sweepstakes and Instant Wins
Enjoy entering sweepstakes and instant win game? Then, seek out games with prizes that you'd like to give as gifts. Sure, there's no guarantee you'll win; but you can at least try – and have fun doing it.
Companies give things away all the time. Keep your ear to the ground, and be ready to pounce anytime something gift-worthy comes up for grabs.
Sources for Free Christmas Gifts
Wouldn’t it be great if free Christmas gifts were easy to come by? Well, they can be. Put these 10 sources for free gifts to work for you, and you'll never worry about your Christmas budget again.