This morning as I ran into church late I had a moment that totally made my day. A sweet woman who I attend church with, and who has been a consistently kind presence over the years stopped me as I grabbed my program and rushed for the auditorium door with a frazzled expression on my face. She smiled and said “Oh Sara – I love your blog!”. I didn't quite know how to respond, because at this point my blog is so new, I'm extremely touched to hear about people reading and enjoying it. She proceeded to tell me how she is hoping to pick up some saving tips, and she would even be up for some in-person money saving training when things slow down after the holidays. We chatted for a bit about how a lot of money saving tools seem overwhelming, and how I'm trying to focus on the most approachable techniques which can be easily integrated into a busy life. I entered the church service with a smile on my face, and a few thoughts brewing.
The holiday's are very busy – but they are also very expensive, and I know of at least one technique for saving that can be implemented right now with virtually no effort and learning curve. Not only is it easy – but this time of year is actually the best time for this tool. I'm talking about Ebates – and I can't imagine Christmas shopping without it.
Ebates is a website that gives you cash back from the shopping you would be doing anyway. It's simple. You sign up for an Ebates account. Then, each time you need to make an online purchase, go to Ebates first. Type in the name of the store you will be shopping from. Go to that vendor's website using the link given on Ebates, and complete your purchase as normal. That is ALL you have to do. A few days later, you will receive an email stating that you have cash back in your Ebates account. Ebates receives a commission for the sales made at stores linked to from their site, and then they pass that commission along to shoppers. Cash back rates differ from store to store, and often increase as part of special promotions - sometimes into the double digits! It's the easiest saving you're ever going to do! The trickiest part is remembering to go to Ebates when you shop. I sometimes forget until I'm about to checkout, and then I'll quickly jump over to ebates, click through to the store's page via the site and save!
Since October, I have earned $36.73 in cash back. Prior to this, I have earned over $80.00 and I'm a very sporadic online shopper. Ebates doesn't just feature retail stores. They also feature travel sites like www.hotels.com and daily deal sites like www.livingsocial.com. They even offer cash back on purchase from www.godaddy.com which I used to pay for the web hosting for this blog. If you can give yourself a mental reminder to always use Ebates for online shopping (heck – even put a sticky note on your computer screen if it helps!), you'll save money without any extra effort. During this busy holiday season, I think we could all use an easy method to save a little green!
Sign up for Ebates using this link, and earn cash back on the remaining holiday purchases you plan to make!