It is time to wrap up the Christmas for FREE experiment. Literally. The gifts are purchased and are being wrapped as I write this! Overall it was a successful experiment.
For those of you who are just joining me or may not have read about the experiment yet, last year in November I decided to see if, just by using savings apps, I could pay for Christmas without using any money out of pocket. My goal was $700 to pay for everyone on my holiday shopping list this year. To be honest with you I really did not think I could save all that money just using apps. I know that the apps gave me fun money here and there when I needed it but I never really considered it a viable savings option.
I could not have been more wrong.
I won’t go through all the savings apps here you can watch my November wrap up in the YouTube video below if you’re interested but in the end, I saved $402.61 with just these apps. That didn’t include the target gift cards I set aside throughout the year (another $45) and the Kellogg’s Family rewards points I have (over 19,000) that I used to get my photo Christmas cards completely free!
I am absolutely going to do the challenge again for 2019. In fact, I’ve already begun. I want you to join me in 2019. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
If you haven’t yet signed up for these savings programs let me give you a leg up on 2019. If you sign up using my links below you will receive the bonus listed for that app (and I will usually get a little bump too). If you choose to use my links, THANK YOU so much for supporting me on this journey. I am so grateful to you for doing so and I am so grateful the people who participated in 2018 and helped me along my path!
Happy saving everyone!
Apps & Programs – The links are affiliate links. See full disclosure here
Checkout 51 –How it works: Pays out: cash Time for Payout: 5-15 days. Need to cash out by 10/15 to start shopping by 11/1
Ebates – What I get for referring $25 what you get for using my referral $10 Why I like them: I shop online a lot. They have Barnes and Noble, Shutterfly, VistaPrint, Target, Groupon, Itunes, and other online retailers I frequent. Pays out: Cash by “Big Fat Check” Drawback: The check is sent on Ebates schedule and not mine. I will have to set this money aside to add the Christmas funds.
Ibotta – What I get from you clicking the link $5 what you get for clicking this link $10 – If you haven’t tried Ibotta I am encouraging you right now to click the link. You won’t be disappointed. Why I like them : Teammate bonuses (you get more money because your friends shop with the app too), product bonuses (If you love certain brands this can be a big win), wine/beer (don’t look at me like it’s just me), any item payments (this is for things like bread, milk, or just any receipt), and the variety of stores. Pays out: Cash (via PayPal) or Gift Card Payout Time: Minimal since it’s by PayPal I can hold until 10/31 to start shopping by 11/1
Shopkicks – Referal Code: SAVE725778 what we get both of us get 250 points for the referral – Why I like them: It’s like Pokemon for adults. You don’t need to make a purchase with Shopkicks to be awarded points. You get points for simply walking in to some stores like Walmart and Target, and you get points for scanning certain items (ie – magazines, pasta sauces, nailpolish). This gives me something to do while I’m waiting for a prescription to fill or I arrived somewhere too early somewhere (which I tend to do because I have a pathological fear of being late for things). I can walk into Target or Walgreens (my two favorite Shopkick locations) and scan a few items, kill some time without spending any money, and they give me gift cards to Target.
Fetch Rewards – Referal Code GB0QJ We both get 1500 points for the referral – This is another scan a receipt deal. They give 25 points per receipt and bonus points if you buy certain brands. I never watch the brands because they will look at my receipt for the brands they represent. It’s a nice surprise for me when a receipt nets me extra points. Some of their brands are Kraft, Jello, Lay’s, Magnum, Lipton, Mountain Dew, Oscar Meyers, – The list goes on and on so you can see your chance of bonus points are pretty high. Pays Out: Gift cards they have Target so I’m in! They also have Amazon, Sears and a bunch of other retailers if you prefer to shop elsewhere.
SavingsStar – what we get for referral nothing but I like them so they are here –How it works: Scan your receipt for items listed that have been activated. Pays Out: Cash or gift card (gifts are limited not Target or Amazon so going with cash here) – PayPal payout 2-3 day processing (mine has been more like a day) – Can cash out at $5 – boost your progress bonuses toward high value savings by watching a video or sharing your email – Drawback: some offers require multiple purchases like spending $12 to get $3 back.
Receipt Hog – There’s no referral program and they have a note about reaching maximum capacity so I don’t know if anyone else can sign up. This is another scan your receipt and earns points toward PayPal or Amazon. They have bonuses for certain receipts in the form of a pull on their Hog Slots slot machine. I’ve been using it so I’ll keep using it.
Coupons.com App – I get nothing from this referral no bump to you either – Why I like it: They pay cash now delay by PayPal – Drawback: Limited number of stores . . . VERY limited in my area, but Target is included so I’m keeping it on the list.
KellogsFamilyRewards – What I get when you click the link Nothing but it’s still awesome – Pays in Gift Cards and rewards – Why I like them, I’ve been using this for years to get Shutterfly photo books for free for Christmas gifts and Christmas cards. They also have Target and Amazon Gift cards. My family mows through cereal like it’s air. I’m not kidding. I bought a box and the next day it was gone. It’s breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks around here so Kellogs Rewards is a slam dunk.
Shutterfly The App – What we get for the referral we both receive an 8×8 photo book free! – App freebie throughout the year for items like photobooks, calendars, playing cards, puzzles, and mugs, which will be saved and used as photo gifts. The app kicks out a freebie or a discount every weekend. Make sure you download the app and enable notifications. As a bonus the app gives you free prints. No lie all the time. Just pay shipping.