Advice and Info

The Budget Diet

Spend Less This Christmas – 7 Simple Ways to Save Money

simple ways to save
Spend Less, Give More

Stress Less, Save Money

Sound familiar?

Is this your plan every Christmas season?

Your intentions are great, but how can you really spend less this Christmas? There is more to frugal shopping than just looking for the sales!

Frugal Shopping – 7 Simple Ways to Save Money

  1. Plan Ahead – Now’s the time to make a list and set a budget. Don’t forget gifts for teachers, neighbors and toy drives…those little last minute gifts can really add up! If you need help getting started, try for printable lists.
  2. Draw Names – If your family is not already drawing names, this is a great year to start. Drawing names is a wonderful way to spend less because instead of buying for all 10 nieces and nephews, you’ll just buy for one! Other money saving options…instead of individual gifts, give a family gift that everyone will enjoy or give gifts only to children.
  3. Do Your Homework – Use the internet to do a little “window shopping” and compare prices before you hit the stores. Don’t forget to check to preview Black Friday ads.
  4. Order Discounted Gift Cards – Order discounted gift cards now to use for shopping. If Susie wants jewelry from Claire’s, you can buy a discounted gift card on Plastic Jungle for 12% off, and nobody will know you didn’t pay full price. Plastic Jungle is your source for discounted gift cards and check often because the inventory changes daily. $100 gift cards for as low as $70 to purchase brand name products at your favorite stores! PlasticJungle -Buy, sell & trade gift cards
  5. Give a Groupon – Think beyond the Groupon certificate and think Groupon Goods. Each week they feature great deals on great gifts, and once again nobody will know you paid way less than the list price.
  6. Earn Cash Back – Begin every online shopping trip at and earn cash back on every purchase plus discover money saving coupon codes. Won’t it be nice to get a big fat check after Christmas? It really does pay to shop online!
  7. Be Creative – You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to make your own gifts, just look to for inspiration.
  8. Re-Gift – Is it OK to re-gift? That’s a matter of opinion, but it’s certainly OK to recycle nice bows, boxes and gift bags! If you start collecting boxes and gift bags now, you’ll likely have plenty by December. If not, try The Dollar Store.

Now you know the 7 simple ways to save money on Christmas shopping and all your shopping!

Happy Shopping, Happy Saving from The Budget Diet girl!


Shopping Online? Learn How to Earn Cash Back with Ebates

Ebates – where it pays to shop online! I’ve seen their ads so many times, and I always think SCAM! You know the saying, “if it sounds too good to be true…it probably is.” Guess what, Ebates is the real deal!

I finally took the time to check out their site, and I made my first purchase of $4.50 with Kodak Gallery. I received a $5.00 sign-up bonus and 15% back from Kodak Gallery, so I have a whopping $5.90 in my Ebates account! Yes, I wanted to kick myself for not taking the time to check out before I did my online Christmas shopping because that check would have really made me smile! If you’re an online shopper, do your wallet a favor and learn how to use Ebates! This is a great month to get started with Ebates because they are offering double cash back!

How to use Ebates:

  • Go to
  • Sign Up for FREE, just give them your name, e-mail address, mailing address for your checks & choose a password.
  • WOW…you’ve already earned $5.00 just for signing up!
  • Ebates works with over 1200 online stores, so search by store name or category. How about Godiva for Valentine’s?
  • Once you choose the store, a list of available coupons will be shown! There just might be one you can use!
  • Make your purchase!
  • Within a couple of days, your cash back amount will appear in your account.
  • Your big fat check will be sent every 3 months: May 15, August 15, November 15 and February 15
  • Earn even more by telling your friends! Refer 50 friends and you’ll receive an Apple i-pad or $500!

Ebates really does seem to good to be true, but they are simply sharing a portion of the commission they receive from the retailers for sending them customers.

Now it’s just a matter of remembering to make my online purchases through Ebates.



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