Ebates Coupons and Cash BackFor the next few days, I will be doing a spotlight on one “moneymaker” idea each day. Some of these may be ideas to make money or gift cards while others may be rebate type of ideas, etc. I have previously posted about these, but thought I would bring them back into the spotlight for those who may have missed these posts. For today, I will be focusing on Ebates.

Ebates is probably my highest recommended site. I absolutely love it. I signed up mid-2012 and have already received over $300 back. It’s a rebate type of site where you just go through their site each time you shop and you get a certain percentage of your purchase back based on what store you use. The site links you to various popular stores including Walmart, Kohls, Target, etc. Ebates periodically sends you checks for what you have earned by using their site. Honestly, if you shop online, I don’t know why you wouldn’t use it.  Right now, they are offering a $10 gift card for signing up and making your first $25+ purchase. Head over to Ebates to get more information and to see a list of stores that they partner with.

This post/page may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.

The following is a guest post from Nikki, a Thriving on Thrifty reader, on how she is saving money she has earned from Expotv to help pay for Christmas. Thanks for sharing Nikki!

I just wanted to pass along a website that I have been using recently to earn Amazon gift cards. You may have already heard of it, but it is called Expotv.com. You can earn points for submitting video reviews of many different products.The videos must be at least a minute long. They have thousands of products to choose from, many of which you may already have on hand. You can also take surveys to earn points as well as a chance to try new products. I have been doing it a little over a week and have already earned enough points for $25 in Amazon gift cards to put towards Christmas! They also have many other gift cards and products that you can exchange your points for. It takes about a week for your points to become available for redemption. So far, I have been very pleased with this site and the amount of points that I have earned for just a little work! This is my referral linkhttps://www.expotv.com/register?rid=1054919 or you can just got to www.expotv.com to sign up.

 

**This post contains Nikki’s referral link for those interested in signing up.

This post/page may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.

Hey Thriving on Thrifty readers, you can check out my guest post over at Money Saving Mom to find out how my husband and I paid for our Honda Civic with cash!

This post/page may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.

presents

Are you a creative person?  Do you have talents that could help other people? Do you like to coupon and find deals? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be able to use your gifts or talents to save money.

I don’t know about you, but I know gift giving can be a big expense in my household budget between birthdays, Christmas, weddings, baby showers, and the list goes on. So instead of paying for these presents, consider using your creative talents to make an one-of-a-kind, unique present for these occasions.

At the baby shower for my son, I received several handmade blankets and quilts which my son loved.  These individuals used their sewing skills to make my son a present. What a great idea! Or maybe you are good at photography? Consider taking a family or child’s portraits as a gift giving option. Or maybe you are handy around the house or outside? Consider giving your time to helping someone clean, organize, or decorate areas around their house. The list of skills and talents goes on and on. Find what you are good at and think about the gifts that you could give.

Maybe you read through this article and thought to yourself, “I’m not really creative at anything” (which you probably are but just can pinpoint your unique specialty). Or maybe you thought, “I don’t have time to use my skills as a gift option.” Instead, use your deal finding or couponing skills to get relatively inexpensive gifts. When you spot freebies or cheap items that you may not need, hold onto them and stock up on gifts that you could use for various occasions. I have actually received big baskets of useful household items as Christmas presents before, which turned out to be some of the best presents I had ever received. So when you get these items, really think through how you could put them together to make some really great presents.

Do you have a way that you have saved on gift giving? Have you received a really thoughtful, unique present someone made for you? Please share in a comment below or in my Submissions area.

This post/page may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.

vacapic

Search Online Deal & Travel Sites.

Many times you can find awesome deals on sites such as Groupon. Taking the time to search the internet can prove to be very effective much of the time in comparing prices to find the best deal available. Also take advantage of travel sites like Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline, Booking.com, etc. to help find a place that has the amenities, price and location that’s right for you. Also, I have found that calling travel or rental agencies can sometimes help you find deals that aren’t publicized.

If you have found a way to have an affordable vacation, leave a comment below or submit your idea in my Submissions area.

To read other tips in this series, click on the links below:

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #1 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #2 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #3 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #4 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #5 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #6 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #7 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #8 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #9 (Series)

This post/page may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.

vacapic

Swap Date Nights with Friends.

I know this isn’t exactly a vacation, but occasionally a date night without the kids can certainly be relaxing. Therefore, we are counting date night as a mini vacation. I have had this idea recommended to me many times. Fortunately, I have family relatively close that can watch my son when my husband and I go on a date. For those who don’t have this advantage, if you have friends with kids that live nearby, arrange a date night swap. You can watch their kids and they can watch your kids on different nights to give each other a break. By doing this, you will save on sitter costs and be able to work in that much needed date night.

If you have a tip for saving on vacation costs, please comment below or submit in my Submissions area.

 

To check out the other articles in this series, click on the links below:

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #1 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #2 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #3 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #4 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #5 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #6 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #7 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #8 (Series)

This post/page may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.

vacapic

Save, Save, Save!

Okay, so I know this one sounds obvious, but many times vacation time rolls around and we either use money dedicated for something else, don’t go on vacation, or charge it on a credit card that we can’t afford to pay back. I can’t stress enough the importance of savings. I love to have specific savings accounts for specific purposes, that way I can keep track of my progress on my savings goal. I encourage you to either set up an account or keep a detailed list of all the money set aside for vacation savings. By doing this, you can make sure that your vacation money doesn’t just slip away into other various costs that pop up here and there. And by having that money set aside, you avoid either having to skip vacation all together or winding up with credit card debt that you can’t pay back. Not to mention, if you have it in an account, you may be able to earn a little interest on that money. Every little bit counts, right?

If you have a tip on having an affordable vacation, either submit it in my Submissions area or leave a comment below.

To read the other tips in the series, click on the links below:

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #1 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #2 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #3 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #4 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #5 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #6 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #7 (Series)

This post/page may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.

As you’ve seen in my first few articles, I am a very goal oriented, scheduled person. I actually enjoy sitting down and crunching numbers to figure out how to save for an item and how long it will take to get there. (Yes, I’m a nerd in this way). So I have no problem making goals, my problem is that I want to make too many.

My husband and I are not ones to just go buy a big purchase (or even a small one for the matter) on a whim. We tend to save and then when we get to our goal we still contemplate if that is truly a need. So while saving for things is very good, I’ve found that sometimes it’s good to sift through your savings and reign in to just a few, manageable goals.

For example, my husband and I wanted to add on a garage, a bonus room, a new dining room table, and try to pay down our mortgage all at the same time.  They are all great goals to have, but as we took our money each month and divided it out into our various savings accounts I realized that our small portions were going to take a long time to even attain the smallest of our goals.

At that point, I decided we needed to have a big discussion on what we really needed and to get on the same page. We both agreed that we wanted to truly be debt free and the dining room table and garage could wait. We have no debt except our mortgage, and while we have a good mortgage interest rate, it’s still interest we are paying monthly. Therefore, we are now taking the money we would have been dividing amongst our various savings and are on a 6 year plan to pay off our mortgage (we currently have 19 years if we stick to our original mortgage schedule). It will save us over $40,000 that we would have paid in interest. Wow! It’s amazing how redirecting your focus and truly narrowing down what’s important can really save you in the long run. On top of that we were still able to take the money we had already saved in various accounts to pay for a new bonus room, which we hope to add very soon.

Sometimes it truly pays off to refocus every once in a while and really hone in on what’s the most important for you and your family’s needs rather than allowing your mind and money to drift in various directions.

 

This post/page may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.

vacapic

Make and bring food from home.

 

I know it’s quite an inconvenience sometimes to bring food along with you on a trip versus eating out or grocery shopping when you get there, but it can save quite a bit of money. If you coupon, you can score deals leading up to your vacation for stuff you know you will need (i.e. food, condiments, paper products, toiletries, etc.). Planning out your meals and other necessities in advance has been a money saver for me. My family went to the beach earlier this summer and because of pre-planning we were able to bring a big chunk of our necessities in advance and spend a very minimal amount on these items while we were on vacation. As far as a time saver, you could even make some food in advance and plan to cook it in a crock pot so you don’t have to take time away from your relaxing vacation to cook.

If you have found ways to have an affordable vacation, please comment below or submit them in my Submissions area. Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for tip #8 in this 2 week series.

To read the other tips in this series, click on the links below:

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #1 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #2 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #3 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #4 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #5 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #6 (Series)

 

This post/page may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.

vacapic

Go with Friends or Family and Split the Cost.

If you have some close friends or family that you wouldn’t mind spending some time with, then take a vacation with them and split the cost. You could easily save on gas by riding together. Also, you could possibly rent a larger hotel room/suite which would hopefully make the total room costs less when split amongst everyone. Finally, it may be able to save you on food if you are going somewhere where you would be making your own meals.

If you have found a way to cut on vacation expenses, please submit it in the Submissions area or in a comment below.

To read the other tips in this series, please click on the links below:

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #1 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #2 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #3 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #4 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #5 (Series)

This post/page may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.