10 Holiday Shopping Hacks That Will Literally Save You Hundreds (And Won't Ruin Christmas)

Updated: November 17, 2020
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It’s that time of year: the holiday season is just around the corner. Already dreading the fortune you know you’re going to spend on gifts for your relatives and friends? Yeah, join the club.

It’s true, your bank account can take a serious hit during the holidays, and while Black Friday and Cyber Monday can help you save money, they’re not the only way or even the most efficient way on their own.

Here are a couple of bargain tricks that we swear by that will ensure you are spending as little as possible on your holiday shopping and even a few hacks that will help you pay for your holiday gifts with basically zero work.

1. Earn Easy Cash Online For Your Holiday Shopping

 - Earn Easy Cash Online For Your Holiday Shopping

You’ve probably heard here and there of people taking surveys online for a little bit of cash. While doing this certainly isn’t going to earn you a ton of cash, they are a great way to earn a little bit extra during the holiday season, and that’s what really matters.

InboxDollars happens to be one of the best survey apps out there, especially for busy people with little time to spare on a side hustle. But surveys aren’t the only way to earn with this app. You can earn points by shopping online through the app at any of its 1,900 partner retailers, and even by watching videos and searching the web.

Redeem your points for cold hard cash via PayPal or gift cards to stores like:

  • Amazon
  • Target
  • eBay
  • Lowe’s
  • Macy’s

Sharing your opinion is easy, you do it every day. Now you can earn cash for the holidays doing it with InboxDollars. Join today and you’ll get a $5 sign up bonus.

2. Turn Your Holiday Shopping Receipts Into Cash

 - Turn Your Holiday Shopping Receipts Into Cash

If you’ve been throwing out your receipts, you need to stop doing it, like right now. You’re missing out on some serious money earning opportunities, and with the holidays coming up, you’re gonna need to take advantage of as many opportunities as you can.

So how exactly can receipts earn you cash for the holidays? By using an app called Ibotta to take a photo of your receipt. The app will scan your shopping receipt for deals and then instantly credit cash back to your Ibotta account within 24 hours. Ibotta offers cash back rewards for more than 1,500 brands at more than 300 retailers across 500,000 physical locations and 150 online stores. So whether you’re shopping online or in-person — whether it be for food, clothes, hair and beauty supplies, tech or pet supplies — you can use Ibotta to earn cash back to fund or save on your holiday shopping.

Use Ibotta at places like:

  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Target
  • Best Buy
  • Ulta
  • Lowes

FYI: You’ll definitely want to use Ibotta for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. That’s when the deals kick into overdrive. And when you sign up today, you’ll get a $20 sign up bonus.

Get paid to shop now

3. Say Goodbye To Coupon Clipping For Holiday Sales And Hello To Cash Back On Every Thing You Buy

 - Say Goodbye To Coupon Clipping For Holiday Sales And Hello To Cash Back On Every Thing You Buy

We love a good coupon as much as the next person, but who has the time to go searching for holiday discounts every season before you go shopping? We don’t. Luckily, with the app Dosh, the holiday savings come to you via cash back.

There’s no receipt scanning, discount codes or coupon clipping needed to get cash back for your spending. Simply download Dosh, create a free account and link the debit or credit cards you use frequently to shop (Dosh accepts all cards except Discover). Anytime you use a linked card to shop at any of the app’s 15,000 retail (and restaurant) partners, you’ll get up to 10% cash back automatically.

Earn cash back shopping at more than 100,000 places, like Walmart, Target, Sephora and Asos, and food retailers and restaurants like Grubhub, Dunkin’ and Wendy’s. Dosh also offers up to 20% cash back on over 60,000 international hotels when you book your room through the Dosh app. So if you plan on traveling this holiday season, Dosh can help with that too.

As soon as you have accumulated $25 in cash back, you can transfer your earnings directly to your bank account, or you can use PayPal or Venmo to do so.

Skip the coupon clipping. Download Dosh today so you can start earning automatic cash back as the holidays approach and beyond.

Download Dosh today

4. Get Tens Of Thousands Of Paid Survey Opportunities For Holiday Spending Money

 - Get Tens Of Thousands Of Paid Survey Opportunities For Holiday Spending Money

The Swagbucks app is one of our favorite paid survey go-to’s because on top of the tens of thousands of paid survey opportunities it has to offer, there are a couple of other entertaining ways to earn holiday pocket money with the app, too.

Here how to earn with Swagbucks:

  • Shop – Get free coupons (that earn you rewards for redeeming) and online and in-store cash back deals for hundreds of retailers
  • Answer – Take surveys and polls on anything from products and brands you shop to the kind of food you like to eat to travel preferences
  • Watch – Watch videos on a variety of topics like sports, world and entertainment news and more

Doing all of these activities earns you points you can exchange for cash via PayPal and gift cards from Visa, Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy and more. So you’re basically earning money for your holiday shopping and plans doing the things you do online anyway, which sounds pretty great to us!

Swagbucks gives out 7,000 gift cards every day and since 2014, has already paid out more than $430 million in cash rewards to its members (that’s huge)!

Make quick cash you can stash away for the holidays and have fun doing it when you download Swagbucks.


Start earning free gift cards

5. You Could Be Earning Holiday Cash Playing Games With This App

 - You Could Be Earning Holiday Cash Playing Games With This App

We have tried a lot of apps that promise cash for playing games and AppStation (Android only) is a new one we’re super excited about! I mean, playing games in exchange for holiday shopping money. Who would pass that up?

With AppStation, you can get paid to play games like Merge Dragons!, Candy Crush Saga and Words with Friends 2.

Here’s how it works:

  • Within the AppStation app, tap “Play & Collect” on the game you want to play
  • You’ll get directed to the Google Play store to download the game
  • Once you start playing, you’ll earn “Coins” for every minute that you play
  • Exchange the coins you earn for gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks, Macy’s and many more or cash via PayPal.

AppStation is completely free to download and the games it suggests to download are free to download, too. You’ll start with a signup bonus of 4,444 coins and from there you can earn coins pretty quickly, alternating between games.

Play games and earn cash for your holiday shopping with AppStation. It’s that easy.

Earn money playing games

6. Take Surveys On Topics You Care About And Earn Holiday Cash

 - Take Surveys On Topics You Care About And Earn Holiday Cash

Paid surveys are a tried and true way to earn extra cash, and Branded Surveys has become a new favorite paid-survey hub for a lot of people. Why? Because you will never spend time taking surveys that aren’t relevant to you.

Earn cash or gift cards for your holiday shopping by taking surveys tailored to your interests. The more details you provided about yourself in your user profile when you sign up, the more surveys you’ll be eligible for, which means even more money. Unlike other paid survey companies, Branded Surveys makes a huge effort to match its members with as many surveys as possible using its Survey Matching Engine.

There are a few ways to earn with Branded Surveys, too:

  • Online focus groups
  • Product reviews
  • Social glimpse video testing

Every time you complete an activity, your answers get sent directly to the market research clients the survey is for so they can review it, and after that, your earned points get posted to your account. Once you earn 1,000, you can start redeeming them for cash via PayPal or direct deposits with the Branded Pay feature (the U.S. only) and gift cards from Amazon, Visa and other retailers and restaurants.

Join Branded Surveys today and earn money for the holidays with surveys on topics that interest you.

Sign up for Branded Surveys

7. Get Multiple Opportunities To Earn Free Gift Cards For The Holidays With This App

 - Get Multiple Opportunities To Earn Free Gift Cards For The Holidays With This App

Drop is another cash back and discount shopping favorite of ours that will help you score extra money this holiday season. When you shop at any one of its 300 retail partners in-person or online through the app, you can earn cash, as well as reward points you can exchange for gift cards. From late-night takeout to buying beauty products from your favorite brands to food for your pets, you can earn cash back.

Drop also offers discount deals for a variety of products and brands and there are more opportunities to earn reward points via games and surveys available through the app. Points can be redeemed for gift cards at a bunch of different places, including:

  • Amazon
  • Adidas
  • American Airlines
  • Whole Foods

There’s a reason Drop is three million strong in members. It’s because it really works to help people save and earn.

Supercharge your savings this holiday season with Drop.

Earn rewards with Drop

8. Get Free Gift Cards To Pay For The Holidays

 - Get Free Gift Cards To Pay For The Holidays

Opinion Outpost is one of the easiest ways to score free gift cards and cash in time for the holidays. It’s a website that pays you to share your opinions through high-paying online surveys. Sounds ridiculously easy? That’s because it really is.

The best part? It’s super easy to get paid since the value per point is high. It takes just 50 points (5-7 surveys) to earn a $5 Amazon gift card. And since it’s 100% free to sign up, there’s no reason not to give it a shot.

Make money with surveys

9. Pro Tip: Build Up Your Holiday Savings Fund Without Changing Your Routine

 - Pro Tip: Build Up Your Holiday Savings Fund Without Changing Your Routine

Every year, it feels like the holiday season just kind of sneaks up on us, so it can be hard to know when to start saving and how much money to save for all of your plans and gift shopping. Well, the time is now and we have a little hack that makes stocking away money for your holiday plans effortless: Digit.

You tell the app what you’re saving for and how much you want to save and it takes care of the rest. It analyzes your spending and automatically transfers small amounts of money every day that you can afford to save — without changing your spending habits — into your Digit account for safekeeping. If you manage to save a couple of dollars every day, you could end up with a few hundred by thanksgiving and even more by Christmas!

Just sign-up, create a “savings goal” and watch your fund build in the background. The cash is always accessible, so the risk is absolutely zero.

Save the money you need for your holiday plans easily with Digit. Not convinced? Try it for free for 30 days!

Save better with Digit

10. Score All Kinds Of Deals And Gift Cards For Your Holiday Shopping

 - Score All Kinds Of Deals And Gift Cards For Your Holiday Shopping

Desperate to give your hands a break from coupon hunting and clipping this year? Then you should definitely sign up for Capital One Shopping to help you save on your online holiday purchases. Not only does it help sniff out discount codes and lower prices at alternative retailers, you can also you can even earn Shopping Credits that you can redeem for gift cards, too.

Capital One Shopping is a free browser extension and app that works behind the scenes as you shop to find you savings. It does this in four major ways:

  • Price comparison – When shopping online at Amazon, Target, Home Depot and Best Buy, the Capital One Shopping browser extension automatically scans the web for the lowest available prices for items you’re interested in buying.
  • Automatic coupons – When shopping at any of the tens of thousands of other online retailers it monitors, Capital One Shopping will search for coupon codes to apply to your shopping and automatically apply the one that will get you the most savings (you can only use one code at a time).
  • Shopping Credits – Earn Shopping Credits for select purchases with a linked credit or debit card. They can be redeemed for gift cards for dozens of merchants.
  • Price Drop Monitoring – Add an item to your Capital One Shopping watchlist and if it receives a price drop, you’ll be alerted right away.

With all the money-saving opportunities Capital One Shopping offers, it would be crazy to pass up this kind of help up this holiday season.

Sign-up for Capital One Shopping today so you find money-saving deals as you shop.

Get help saving with Capital One Shopping

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