Introducing The Cha-Ching! Christmas Club

by Kaley on December 3rd, 2009

in 'Free Money', Frugal Tips, Great Deals

Update: I’ve now created a series called The Cha-Ching! Christmas Club: Seven Days to Christmas Savings.  You can check out each step here:

Day 1: Cha-Ching! Christmas Club: Seven Days to Saving
Day 2: Let the Prep Begin!
Day 3: Making the Most of Freebies
Day 4: Show Me the Money!
Day 5: Saving with Surveys
Day 6: Shopping Strategies
Day 7: Let the Planning Begin!

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I just want to let you all know how much I’ve enjoyed sharing my “How I Plan to Spend Less than $50 on Christmas” series with you all. Thanks for all of your interest and encouraging comments!

I’ve discovered that this series has been  a great way to help me keep track of my Christmas spending.  I would say that right now I have a little over half of my Christmas shopping done and I still haven’t touched that $50.  By using rebates, rewards programs, great deals, and Swag Bucks, I am well on my way to an under $50 Christmas!

I understand that an under $50 budget make me sound like “Grinch” is my middle name. However, I am actually going to be able to be more generous this year than in years past.  Because I am planning ahead and have these great resources, there is much more room for generosity!  I may be spending less than $50, but I am giving more than ever!

Here is what I want to do to help you do the same for Christmas next year.  I am officially inviting you to join the “Cha-Ching! Christmas Club”.  It’s similar to a Christmas Club you may join at your bank in that you’ll be setting money aside for Christmas.  The difference is that you need NO money to become a member and every cent you earn will be free money!!

Listed below are all of the resources that have helped me slash my Christmas budget this year plus a few more that have been recommended to me by others.

I recommend joining as many of them as possible and then setting aside all of your earnings from them for Christmas next year.  I think you will be amazed by next Christmas at how much money you will save simply by planning ahead.

It may take a few minutes to sign up for each of these and then you may need to set aside a few minutes a day to keep up with them.  But in this case, time really does = money!

Note: You may want to check out my Intro to Making Free Money Online post if you are new to all of this!

Rewards Programs:

  • MyPoints: Earn points for reading e-mails, taking surveys and shopping through their site.
  • YouData: Earn money simply for looking at ads.  The pay-out isn’t big, but it only takes a few seconds per day and you will be paid weekly.
  • Inbox Dollars: Similar to MyPoints (see above).  Get $5 in your account just for signing up.
  • Cashcrate: Earn around $0.50 per survey you take. They usually offer 1-2 daily survey by clicking on their “Complete Offers” and then “Research Surveys” tabs.
  • Pinecone Research: Earn $3 per survey.  Currently accepting female applicants age 18-24.

Other Ideas:

  • Rebates: Set them aside in your Cha-Ching Christmas fund!  (Check out the rebates I have posted recently here.  Keep in mind that some may have expired.)
  • If you are shopping online, be sure to sign up for Ebates, Cashbaq and ShopAtHome.  These sites offer cash back when you shop through their site.  Refer your friends to earn additional money in your account!
  • Freecycle: Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!  This is a group that you can sign up for in your area and then give and get free stuff.  We were able to score a beautiful child-sized acoustic guitar for Griffin–don’t tell!

Leave me a comment if you decide to use some of these to start saving for Christmas next year, ok?  I’d love to see who’s joined the club!

This Post May Contain Affiliate Links. See my Disclosure Policy.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela December 3, 2009 at 9:39 am

Thanks for all the info. I have recently started my Pamper’s and Huggies rewards program. There are some really nice items on there. I have also started the Swagbucks. I can’t wait until next Christmas to see how much I have gotten!!

Thanks again.

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Linda B December 3, 2009 at 10:29 am

I am a grandmother of 2 teenage girls. I have recently joined MyPoints and VocalPoint. I also am a member of Staples Reward Club. I am hoping to do all of my shopping throughout the year with your kind advice! I’m looking forward to having a great Christmas 2010 with Cha-Ching Christmas…it’s our secret! Loads of gifts with a little money sounds great to me!

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Judy W December 4, 2009 at 1:06 pm

I am a big fan of swagbucks, mypoints and have also made some money selling old video games to toys r us and dvd so amazon.com and selling books to Cash4books. It has really helped my Christmas budget this year and will do the same again next year.

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carmen ryan December 4, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Joined Inbox Dollars

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Cynthia December 4, 2009 at 3:31 pm

I just joined the Huggies Rewards Plan. I do not have babies at home, but it is nice that the program is for everyone! I am already an avid fan and use Swagbucks and MyPoints each and every day. I was able to get 6 gift cards for Christmas presents through these programs. I saved alot of money, and I was very excited! Now my daughters are starting to use MyPoints. (They see the benefits!)

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Tami December 4, 2009 at 4:06 pm

I love this idea and will be a member of the Cha-Ching Christmas Club. I would love to see a monthly update and ideas on Christmas Club.

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Jackie December 4, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Great idea! I am members of most of your suggested places but I haven’t set that income aside. Will definitely try that for next year. In addition, I am using most of my Christmas budget to help those who need it more than me. I look forward to being able to contribute even more next year! Thanks!

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Stacia December 5, 2009 at 10:39 am

I just started the Pampers & Huggies Rewards programs (I have a home daycare!) . Thanks for all the great info!!!

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Pat Campbell January 2, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Tell me how do you have time to do all the surveys? I feel overwhelmed! Someone e-mail me with your secret! I got $10.00 from my cousin for Christmas so I’m going to use that for seed money on my Christmas savings club at the credit union. Please e-mail me time saving tips also my family says I’m on the computer all the time! Help! patsconnection@gmail.com

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Anara January 8, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Just started the couponing and frugal lifestyle changes last May and I have learned so much! Thank you! One way I plan to save is to save 1 or 2 pictures a month in a photo file then I can QUICKLY take advantage of all the free and very low cost photo gifts that started popping up around Thanksgiving. CVS had FREE memory books after ECB, and there were tons of great online offers for mugs, calendars, memory books etc. If you do not belong to any online photo gift sites DO NOT sign up until an offer comes by – many of the freebies are for new members.

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Sheri January 16, 2010 at 10:59 pm

I cannot believe the amount of junk/spam emails I have received within hours of signing up for these rewards programs. I am truly disappointed & have already cancelled all of them! Beware!

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kaleyehret January 17, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Sheri,

I am sorry you were disappointed with your experience with these programs. Several of them do send out 4 or 5 e-mails a day since that is how you earn rewards. I can see why you would feel overwhelmed if you signed up for all of them at once. I can vouch that these programs are legitimate, however, since I have taken part in most of them (and those that I haven’t tried out yet have come highly recommended to me by people that I respect.)

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JoAnn February 15, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Key to signing up for these websites is to create a specific email address to use OR have the mail that comes from them directed to a certain folder in your email. Then it’s not overwhelming at all. I have mine directed to a “points newsletters” folder, then everyday I click click click while I’m drinking my coffee.

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Rainey February 18, 2010 at 5:14 am

Thanks for all that info. Have you had any problems with some of the surveys you have done? I have never completed one. It just seems to go on and on and on….

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kaleyehret February 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Rainey,

Which surveys are you talking about? Some companies have longer surveys than others. If it takes too long and they aren’t paying well, I don’t usually finish them either. Your time is valuable!

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Lou February 25, 2010 at 7:20 pm

I am kind of new to this concept but am tickled to learn the art of creative couponing. Thank you for all the tips. I hope to save a lot this year!

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heather August 5, 2010 at 9:13 pm

how do you sign up for the christmas fund? i’ve taken most if not all your ideas and i’m really seeing results.

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kaleyehret August 5, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Hi, Heather! The Christmas Club is more an idea than an actual club. The idea is to use ‘Free Money’ sites and rewards programs to help you set aside money for Christmas throughout the year.

Sounds like you are already a member!

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Anna September 1, 2010 at 1:37 pm

I have been saving Swag Bucks, Target GCs, rebates, “free” items (on-line bargains, i.e. $10 off $10 purchase) and have a lot of xmas shopping done. I have about $200 in rebates, $150 in GCs, a supply of “free” items, but not as much luck with Swags. I think I have about $50 and that is from the whole year. I wish I had better luck getting Swag Bucks. Four months left to go to Xmas!

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Anna September 3, 2010 at 9:47 am

I save freebies like free VS panties. I have gotten 6 free ones so far and will bundle them into one gift for my young teen. She loves VS

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Corinne October 26, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Thanks for your updates everyday! I look forward to all the goodies that are available everyday! As a stay at home mom, quickly sneaking a peek at your site in between feedings, cleaning, fights, messes is my “coffee break.” Thanks again! I can’t wait to have an inexpensive Christmas either!!

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Joleen November 11, 2010 at 10:01 am

I found your website late last year when you were talking about your $50 Christmas and was a little skeptical. However, I was new to the couponing game, so I was intrigued enough to give it shot. So here I am, a year later and I just cashed in all of my rewards points from various websites, everyday purchases, etc. to now have $270 in gifts cards plus a couple of small items to use towards Christmas gift giving. I did not set any expectation of getting to a certain dollar amount or being able to fund my entire Christmas gift giving from these efforts, but rather just wanted to see if it could be done. I am now a believer and this will make a huge difference in being able to give for Christmas without having to worry about where to come up with the extra cash. I still don’t think I will set a particular dollar amount goal for next year. I will likely just try to beat the amount from this year. What a great bonus for relatively little effort. Thanks for the inspiration!!

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kaleyehret November 11, 2010 at 10:15 am

Thank you for sharing this, Joleen! You made my day. :)

Would you mind if I shared your comment in a post? I’d like to encourage those who are just starting out!

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Joleen November 11, 2010 at 11:25 am

Absolutely you can use it. I never would have imagined how much of a difference things like this and couponing in general can make. My rewards points and other items came from My Points, Huggies, Pampers, Disney Movie Rewards, and Inbox Dollars. I also saved points that we earned through rewards programs linked to our bank’s debit card and the one credit card that we use for everyday purchases (and yes, we do pay the credit card off every month – we just use it as another means to accumulate rewards points as it doesn’t really take any effort on our part) . I will continue with these programs and will probably add in Swagbucks. If there is anything else that I can share that will help, please let me know. Again, thank you for the inspiration to try something new and for the work you do. Through this blog and others that I follow, I have forever changed the way I looking at shopping and saving money.

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dianne November 13, 2010 at 11:18 pm

I recently joined swagbucks, mypoints and inbox dollars after seeing your segment on abc news. I have been using the search on swagbucks but don’t seem to get rewarded with anything. The inbox dollars I complete the surveys but nothing gets added to my account. What am I doing wrong? Thanks for your help!

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kaleyehret November 14, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Hi, Dianne!

As for Swag Bucks…are you searching multiple times per day? Swag Bucks are rewarded randomly and typically you can expect to win some at least once per day. (Although it’s possible not to receive any in a day since it is random.) I would recommend searching at different times throughout the day and doing multiple searches each time to be sure you earn. Also, make sure that you are signed into your Swag Bucks account.

As for Inbox Dollars…I am uncertain why you aren’t receiving credit for your surveys. Are you qualifying for the surveys? If you don’t qualify then you won’t receive credit.

Also, you can earn credit for up to one survey per day from each survey provider listed under the cash surveys.

I recommend checking out their FAQ’s about surveys here to find out more: http://server.iad.liveperson.net/hc/s-20537474/cmd/kbresource/kb-824620815628832712/view_question!PAGETYPE?sc=18&sf=101133&documentid=358691&action=view

Hope that helps!

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Ashley Morrison October 5, 2011 at 2:45 pm

I enjoyed all of your great buys last Christmas. Will you be giving us more deals specifically for Christmas shopping this year?

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kaleyehret October 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Absolutely, Ashley! I will begin posting Christmas offers in the next few weeks.

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Julie March 10, 2013 at 8:43 am

I was wondering if you had considered re-viving this post for 2013?
I think now more than ever, we all need help to survive the holidays….and since it is relatively early in the year, everyone could benefit from your experience and advice.
Thanks
Julie

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Robert and Karen July 22, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Hi Kaley,
We enjoyed talking with you at your yard sale on Saturday. Thanks for sharing your site. It’s great. I especially liked Freecycle. Karen already knew about it as she knows more about freebees than I do, it was new to me. Keep up the great work.

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Monica March 13, 2014 at 9:57 pm

Hello,

Free Cycle is a great site, i have received toys, clothes, and all kinds of items. This site has helped me a great deal, especially being a grandmother of eight. It’s very stress-free and so helpful to me and my family. At this time, my family doesn’t look at the cost, just at how many presents they receive on their birthday(s), every holiday(s) event, or just for being special. Just seeing the gleam in their eyes gives, brings me so much joy. There are so many people in the world,who are willing and wanting to give back to their community. Wonderful site!

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