‘Tis the Season

Yes, I know Halloween hasn’t even struck yet, but last week, I received my first email from BlackFriday.com, hailing the coming season of savings (and buying, buying, buying). I’ve mentioned before that my sister and I often partake in the day-after-Thanksgiving festivities, yes, for the deals, but as a weird way to celebrate the season and spend some special time together. It’s a thing. (Dude, I even wrote a guide for it last year.)

As with last year, though, I fully plan on taking advantage of the wonder that is the interwebs. Online shopping is as much a tradition for me as Black Friday is. I rely on it to find the obscure books that Dave loves (thanks, Amazon!), to grab handmade and eco-friendly goodies from Etsy, and, just as importantly, stay in my sweats while doing so. Gotta say, it’s a lifesaver for moms (and dads, too…okay, everyone).

Oh, yeah, I’m also expecting to simplify big-time, including focusing on buying (and asking for) items I NEED and would really, really like to have. But that’s a whole other topic for a whole different day.

So, recently I decided to check out ebates.com. Now, I have absolutely no affiliation with this site. Oh, wait, unless you decide to check it out. If you sign up through this link, I can earn some moolah (to put into Christmas shopping — thanks!). But, yeah, otherwise, I’m not being perked to write about these guys. They don’t know who the heck I am. I’ve just looked into their program and can’t seem to find any “sounds too good to be true…what am I missing here?” proof not to tout its awesomeness.

Anyhoo, the idea of the site is this: If you go through their web site first and click on your favorite stores (and they’ve got TONS of stores, guys) instead of just going to, say, kohls.com in your address bar, you can earn back money. Oh, you can also install a little button so that when you visit a site on your usual browser that can earn you money back, it lets you know immediately (but not in an obnoxious way). Genius.

And, of course you don’t have to pay a thing to take part. Think I’d sign up for something like that? No way.

I like that I don’t really have to “think” too much to earn money back while doing my shopping this year. I can just buy the things I usually buy from the places I’d usually buy them (I kid you not, they have a buttload of stores!). Even when I’m saving up to buy a big purchase through Amazon or Overstock, I’ll just buy what I want, when I want it (sometimes they only offer cash back on certain departments, so keep an eye on that). It kind of shaves off a bit of the guilt of spending, too.

If you don’t care where you find something, as long as it’s inexpensive, you can also search to see the best deal (with cash back, dude) according to some sites you may never have heard of. They all seem to be highly reliable, well-known sites, so I’ll be heading here to compare prices on other searches before hitting the “submit” button on some of those purchases.

Do any of you use Ebates.com? Do you have another time-saving (and/or money-saving) holiday gift ideas? Do tell!

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