smart spending

6 low-cost ways to save on holiday gifts

Earn or buy gift cards
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Julie Mayfield, who blogs as The Family CEO, recommends Swagbucks, an online customer loyalty rewards program, as a good way to accumulate points that can be turned in for gift certificates or gift cards and used for shopping to save money on holiday gifts.

"I use the site's search engine function to earn points, but Swagbucks has several other ways to cash in like playing games, taking polls, etc.," Mayfield says.

You may get eight points or 30 points for one search. It's like playing the slot machines in Las Vegas, Mayfield says.

Discounted gift cards can be picked up at sites like Cardpool.com.

"Your savings on these sites can add up to 25 percent," Mayfield says. "If the particular gift card you're looking for isn't currently available, you can put it on an online wish list and be notified when it arrives."

Gift cards are also available on the auction site eBay. However, check the seller's ranking to see previous customers' experiences.


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