How I Got Christmas For £4! By The Coupon Detective.
Many of you might have seen my lovely face all over the papers lately, no one was more surprised than me about all the interest I got about my very cheap Christmas this year and many people have been asking me how I did it and if they can do the same so I thought I would let you know how it was done.
Sign ups are everything
First off sign up to everything. I know that sounds ominous but the joy of google autofill you can get quite a lot
The first stop was top cashback http://www.topcashback.co.uk/ref/gidjit I have this as my primary cashback website as it often has the best % back from your shopping and also pays quite quickly. If you’re not sure how they work it’s like this, you sign up for free and whenever you are going to buy something online , be it shoes, groceries, car insurance or gifts for Christmas you head here first and then it will take you to the retailers website, then you just shop as normal. The % of what you get back will be credited to your account in a few days or weeks depending on the retailer. SO if you spend £20 at a store then it might put £2 back into your account for absolutely no reason other than you went through the site first.
Another great feature of this is the snap back app. If you download the app on your phone, when you buy things and take a picture of the recipes they will also give you money back. They items that are eligible change from week to week but it also works on things like the body shop receipts as well as supermarkets. The amounts might be small but they soon add up quite quickly
Bide your time
The important thing is to … DO NOTHING WITH THEM. I waited the whole year before cashing in the amount I had earned and it came in very handy. You can take the rewards as money that transfers directly to your bank or pay pal account, but you can also take it as various vouchers for lots of different places that might give you an extra 10% for taking them this way.
A sneaky trick if you have more than one email address is to sign up and then recommend yourself as a friend, you can get 2 of the really good introductory offers this way that usually involve some good free stuff but also earn £15 for recommending a friend.
Quidco is another good one to sign up to, working very similar to top cash back it also had a cash back app you can download in order to get money back from your recipes and from online purchases, the added bonus with this one is that you can link your credit or debit card to the account, so if you make purchases in some of the stores the cashback automatically goes into your account. This is a bit more limited in how you can get the money back, usually giving the option of bank account or PayPal only.
One you might not have heard of is Swag bucks, a relatively new kid on the block it works a little defiantly, still free to sign up to it gives you points for shopping but you don’t always have to go through it to earn them. If you download the software and click on a site that you can earn sawbucks through it will automatically tell you, all you do is click activate when the drop down box appears and it will track your earnings. The other great feature of this is you don’t have to spend a penny and you can still earn money. There are several surveys you can do, they take between 2 and 20 min to compleat and you can earn points that way, they also have games you can play they will earn you points. Once you have earned enough points you can cash them in for a wide variety of vouchers with a range of values.
Use you bank accounts
Your credit or debit card can also earn you money!! There are several accounts where you get money back on spends, similar to Quidco all you have to do is shop as normal and leave the pounds to accrue. Some of the bank accounts charge you for having these accounts but as you can earn money back on everything from the direct debit for your gas bill to that coffee at Nero, you usually come out in credit. NatWest don’t charge you for theirs yet but is more limited on what you earn on.
With NatWest you can double the reward value up if you take it in vouchers, and there are plenty to choose from including amazon, pc world and other high street retailers as well as online. You can take £5 worth of the money you have earnt and get a £10 voucher.
This is similar to the Tesco double up. I do this every year and it takes a nice chunk out of my expenses. If you have an online account, or if you sign up for one at Tesco with their club card, there is a small box to tick called their Christmas club. TICK IT. This means that instead of getting vouchers sent to you 4 times a year for the money off coupons you have earned you can save them all up and double them just before Christmas on a wide variety of items, from toys to clothes, from electricals to beauty (unfortunately not wine any more thanks to the new licencing laws) It’s worth noting that the points you earn are on the pre- coupon total of your shopping. That means that if you go into Tesco and put £100 worth of goods into your trolley, and then take £40 off with coupons then they still give you £100 worth of points. You can also top up your card throughout the year if you’re a Christmas club member, add a few extra quid through the year and you will be able to double up these as well.
Get your kids involved
If you have kids under the age of 5 I really suggest you sign up the boots parenting club, they give you 4 point per pound spent on baby and child stuff as well as extra coupons for stuff you might need. If you don’t have kids then it’s still a good idea to sign up as they often have some great offers and you can use the printed coupons there a well. If you leave your points, I know it’s hard you will be able to use them in the Boots sales or on the 3 for 2 Christmas presents. If you don’t need them it’s also a great idea to save them up and wait till just after Christmas when all the gift sets go on sale. Often the 3 for 2 still works and you can put them aside for birthdays throughout the year or even the following Christmas.
Morrison’s is a newcomer to the loyalty scheme and are trying their best to compete with the more established supermarkets. They will give you quite a few extra points through the year and again they work on a pre-coupon total, meaning you can earn points on money you haven’t spent. They print their money off coupons out at the till so they can be a bit trickier to save and the temptation to use them is great and the risk of losing them is also a factor. I tend to have a small wallet or envelope that I pop these in so I don’t spend then or lose them.
Snap up the seasonal offers
There are always places and people looking to tempt you with offers at Christmas, this year the sun did a great one with collecting coupons in the paper and sending them off for £10 worth of gift cards for both Morrison’s and Tesco. I am signed up to the sun plus for a free months trial so could take a screen shot of them online and print them off and claim it that way so I did not have to pay for the papers and managed to get £20 towards my Christmas shopping that way. I did however collect the paper ones as well just to see if it would work to put on my site and had them sent to my mother in laws address so actually have £20 for Tesco and £10 for Morrison’s.
Various other offers that I can’t be sure are going to repeat themselves are things like my free tree. This was an offer in the Daily mail where you collected the codes off the back of the paper and got a free tree and or a free turkey. I luckily have a contact that can get me the codes without having to buy the paper or I probably would not have bother as the cost of the paper would have been more, but if the paper you buy is running something like this, or you have a Waitrose card and can get a free paper (and coffee) every day then it might not be for you. Think, will this save me money in the long run?
All of these methods have contributed towards my very cheap Christmas this year. I might not be able to get it you for as little as £4 but start accumulating them now and you will be amazed at how much you will be able to put towards your next Christmas. Most of the work will need to be done in about an hour now and the rest is just a matter of carrying on as normal and reaping the rewards.
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