Resources to Stretch Your Holiday Shopping

I've shared a few tips before of little and easy ways I've found to save money, without having to make any real sacrifices. Today I wanted to introduce another tactic that you can use whenever you do any online shopping to get cash back for your purchases (which is especially timely if you prefer to do most of your Christmas shopping online like I do!).

How to get cash back for online shopping
The two sites that I'm recommending, Ebates and Mr. Rebates, are completely free sites that link to various online merchants that you'd normally shop at. When you are going to buy something online, log into these sites first and see if they have any affiliations with the site you'll be shopping at. Then, all you have to do is click on the link from their site to the merchant of your choice and continue your purchase as usual. By clicking from their site to the merchant site, you'll actually get a percentage of your purchase back as a rebate. 

I wasn't really sure how these worked and whether they'd be worth it or not. However, I've been using both of these for more than a year (with minimal online purchases, mind you) and can confidently recommend both of them, as I've received checks or gift cards from both without a hitch. (Including rebates and the promo gift card, have earned about $100 over the past year or so that I've been using them both. Considering I don't do all that much shopping to begin with, that's not too shabby!)

A closer look at "Ebates" and "Mr. Rebates"
For example, if you were going to buy something from CafePress, they recently were running a special where you could get 22% of your purchase price back if you clicked through the Mr. Rebates link to the store and made your purchase. Then, once you accumulate a certain amount of money, they will send you a check for the amount. (For Ebates, the threshold for refund is $5.01, and for Mr. Rebates it is $10.)

Plus, there are tons of websites (more than 1,000) that they offer rebates for shopping through, including,, Orbitz, eBay and tons of smaller sites. The rebate percentages often range in the single digits, though select shops do get higher percentages (like in the CafePress example above). It is free money to me, so even if it's just a few bucks here and there, it's been worth it to me.

Sign up for free, plus extra perks
Everything about using these sites is completely free, from signing up for an account to getting your check sent to you. Plus, if you sign up for Ebates and make a purchase within 30 days, you can choose a bonus gift card. (I chose a $10 Home Depot gift card that came promptly once I made my first purchase. You can also choose a $10 gift card to Target or as well as a couple of other store or cash-out options.) Or, if you sign up for Mr. Rebates, you'll get a $5 credit in your account to begin with.

Click here to sign up for Ebates (and chose your bonus gift card).
Click here to sign up for Mr. Rebates (and get a $5 credit to your account).

My experience using these cash-back sites
I like having both accounts because each offers different deals and sometimes one will offer a higher percentage back. There are other similar sites, but these are the two that I've liked most and used. Both sites also keep updates about any coupon codes a certain store might be currently offering that you can take advantage of, as well.

The only problem I've found is actually remembering to go to these sites first before making a purchase! I've kicked myself afterward for forgetting to go to these sites first and missing out on some extra cash back! But if you can remember to use them even a handful of times, especially while you're doing some online Christmas shopping this season, I think you'll manage to rack up a nice bit of spare change.

Click here to sign up for Ebates (and chose your bonus gift card).
Click here to sign up for Mr. Rebates (and get a $5 credit to your account).

For the month of December, I’m taking a break from writing new posts to better enjoy the holidays with family and friends. Instead, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite posts from my first two years of blogging here. I hope you enjoy getting to do a little time-traveling with me, and I’ll be back to ring in the new year with all new posts! (Click here to see today’s original post.)


  1. I joined Ebates this summer and love it already! I used it on Cyber Monday and I'm basically done with our holiday shopping already! Great post about some very helpful resources.

  2. One of my favorite things about these sites is that they have perks for nearly every online site. This morning I set up new internet service and was able to click through Ebates to get an extra $20 cash back! Who would have thought?!

    And congrats on being almost done! I have barely started :)

  3. Carmen, thank you so much for reposting this one! I read it awhile back, but I didn't have anything to buy at the time so I didn't join. I'm kicking myself because I just made a purchase at Novica, and ebates had an awesome coupon plus a 5% cash back that would have been great. Oh well. I'll see if I can use it for my next purchases.

    Also, thanks again for the post on Swagbucks. I've made $20 for amazon so far because you introduced me to the site :D You and The Frugal Girl have both helped me stretch my dollar farther!

  4. Simply Alexis, sorry for my delayed response. Still in the midst of unpacking and taking longer than I expected! Anyway, I'm so glad that you enjoyed this post and the Swagbucks one! I love when I can find a good deal--and get a little reward back for doing so!


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