If you are like most people, you still have a lot of gift shopping for the holidays. As you look for meaningful gifts to give friends and loved ones, these tips will help you save money and stretch your dollar.
We’ve also compiled a list of gift suggestions for the whole family following these savvy shopping tips.
Save Money Shopping Online
Using Rakuten is a fantastic way to get cash back when shopping online. It’s free to sign up, and right now, they are offering $40 cash back once you make your first purchase. There are more than 3500 online stores, including dozens of places you shop already.
Last Christmas, I got my best deal when I used Rakuten and bought a Drinkmate carbonation beverage maker for my hubby. I shopped around and found that through Rakuten, the Drinkmate system was 20% off at Verishop.com, AND I got 18% back a few weeks later when I got my check from Rakuten. The price went from $164.99 to $131.99 on sale, and then I got $23.76 back!
Retailers are vying for your money this time of year and offer excellent incentives when you shop via Rakuten! Sign up for your free account and get a $40 bonus with your first qualifying purchase of at least $40 within your first 90 days!
Save Money In-Person & Online- and Eliminate Credit Fraud
Have you heard of Starfish Perks yet?
It’s a digital platform that pays you cash-back rewards at most of the places we shop at already: Amazon, Target, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, Apple, Southwest Airlines, and almost 500 stores. You can use it when you are out shopping in person or shopping online from your phone or computer.
After becoming a Starfish Perks member, you load money from your bank account to your e-wallet to make purchases and instantly receive cash back into your e-wallet. In addition to the cash back, Starfish eliminates credit card processing fees for merchants and pays that money back to the people!
I’ve even STACKED savings by using Rakuten AND Starfish to get even more cash back! This works because Starfish is a payment platform, and doesn’t just give discounts like traditional cash back companies. Click here to learn more about Starfish Perks. I love helping people save money and get out of debt!
One other reason I love using Starfish is that it’s a more secure way to shop. Starfish works by using electronic gift cards, and so retailers don’t have my credit card or debit card info that could be used for fraudulent purposes! Win-Win-Win!
Save Money by Avoiding Credit Card Debt, Fees, and Interest
No one wants to have buyer’s remorse come January when a bunch of credit card bills arrive with high balances. Using cash, electronic gift cards from the Starfish Platform, or paying off a card right away is better to avoid late fees, interest and overspending.
Did you know that using credit cards instead of cash makes people spend more than they would otherwise? Studies show that people spend 15 – 83% more with a credit card vs. cash! There is a disconnect when you buy something on credit and don’t get the bill until the following month. You hardly feel like you are spending money.
Did you know Americans pay $175 Billion a year in late fees and interest to credit card companies? Minimum payment plans keep you in debt. When a person only pays the minimum, it can take years to pay off the balance, and the interest is often at least half of the original purchase amount. To calculate how long it will take you to pay off a credit card balance, go to Debt.com’s Credit Card Payoff Calculator.
These staggering statistics are enough to motivate all of us to be wiser consumers!
Give gifts in your budget that you can pay for immediately, or even give a heartfelt note expressing your love and appreciation. True friends will appreciate your thoughtfulness and support you in your goal to live debt free.
Christmas Gifts for the Whole Family
Here are gift ideas that I have compiled with the help of team members Lori Jackson and Sharee Pack. I hope you have a wonderful time gift-giving this Christmas season. Giving is truly a joy! It is even more fun when we stretch our dollar and don’t regret overspending later. We hope these recommendations will be a blessing to you and those who receive them.
Gifts for Christians
Hoping for Happy by Lori L Jackson
Do you struggle to fit it all in? Do your lists of “things to do” become all-consuming and never-ending? Have you ever said: “I’ll be happy when…” The problem with postponing our happiness with checklists is it leads down a road to anything but lasting joy. You are not alone. Join Lori as she shares her thoughts and feelings from her own journey through those low places where the light of hope is but a dim glow in the distance. Throughout this book, Lori shares hard-won insights and lessons that have made all the difference in her life.
5-Minute Miracle Journal by Lori L. Jackson
This journal is different in a special way. It focuses on the one key element of an effective gratitude practice — drawing Christ into the center of your thoughts. This simple habit will bring more hope into your life, it will help realign your perspective and improve your relationship with the Savior.
30-day Prayer Journal for Christian Mothers by Amy Walker
Amy was a presenter at our Joy In All Seasons summit and shared about her experience with prayer journaling. She created this journal to help others through divine inspiration and guidance from God. You can get a sneak peek of our interview and learn how Amy went from struggling financially to being a very successful business coach and leader. I bought this journal and love it!
Whisper by Mark Batterson
After hearing about this incredible book from several friends, I first got this book on Audible. Within the first few minutes, I knew this was a book that I would also want my own copy to read and mark up. It is filled with so many many reminders and pleadings of just how much God wants to communicate with YOU if you do the work to feel the Whisperings of the Spirit. Mark Batterson is a New York Times best-selling author and the lead pastor of National Community Church (NCC) in Washington, DC.
Gifts for Health and Fitness
Sharee loves this scale! This scale does so much more than just tell you what you weigh. It checks your whole body composition. Sharee has been focusing on improving her health, and this scale has been a powerful tool to release weight and lower her metabolic age. It has kept her motivated even when the pounds haven’t gone down because she has gained muscle mass. The scale links to an app on your phone to track the progress of all 13 essential body measurements. (Okay, this might not be a great gift! But get it for yourself to reach your 2023 health goals.)
A friend posted this supplement organizer on Facebook, and I fell in love! I love the bright, happy colors and that it has four compartments for each day – morning, noon, night, and bedtime. I often get busy and forget if I’ve taken my daily allergy meds, Meta PWR, Life Long Vitality, and other supplements. This handy box keeps me organized for an entire week- and you can grab just a day or two for a few days out of town!
Last Christmas, Santa brought me an Apple Watch! It has been such a great tool for tracking my exercise and sleep. I know it has many other options, but that’s what I use it for the most- oh, and to find where I’ve set my phone down! Ha! The accountability and reminders are just what I need to help me reach my health goals.
This is my favorite essential oil diffuser and humidifier! It holds almost a half gallon of water and runs for up to 22 hours! With its large capacity, it covers a large area to benefit many people in our home. It’s virtually silent and perfect for running while sleeping. Diffusing essential oils can benefit physical, mental, and emotional health. I want one for every room in my house!
Water is such an important part of good health! This 32 oz water bottle actually fits in standard cup holders, so it’s easy to take everywhere with you! It has a wide lid to fit ice cubes, is vacuum sealed for insulation, and comes in a variety of colors. It comes with 2 styles of lids with a straw or a spout. For essential oil use, use the spout lid to avoid prolonged oil contact with plastics. This water bottle is durable! The friend who recommended it has had hers for four years.
Technology Related Gifts
This is Sharee’s favorite backpack! It’s comfortable to wear even with its large capacity that allows her to fit all her teaching supplies to carry back and forth to school. It’s also ideal for travel! It has a luggage strap to slide over your rolling suitcase handle and a padded compartment for a laptop. It can unzip to lay flat and expose your computer when going through security. Absolutely love it!
Sharee almost always listens to audiobooks, podcasts, or music. Her family is her top priority, and these open-ear bone conduction earphones allow her to listen to her family when they need her. When she used earbuds previously, it was frustrating because she couldn’t hear them when they tried to get her attention. With these comfortable earphones, she can still enjoy her family and audios. These earphones are also safer when exercising outside, allowing awareness of your surroundings.
The Roomba vacuum cleaner is a must! Sharee’s husband got it for her for Christmas several years ago, and she has loved it ever since. It saves time, and it’s so easy to use. (Yes, you still have to pick up the clutter off your floor.🤣) Activate the Roomba and leave the room. Come back later, and the room is all vacuumed. How sweet is that!
We have 3 Roku devices. We first got a Roku for our very old smart TV that was SO slow and no longer able to update to get Disney +. Using the Roku has allowed us to update older TVs that work perfectly fine, but were not able to keep up with advancing technology. There are many free streaming options and the option to use paid streaming platforms too. The remote goes through batteries fairly quickly so I recommend getting the Ultra version with the remote finder and rechageable remote.
Gifts for Family Fun
When Noah was in 3rd grade, there was a school fundraiser with Chinese Yoyos or Diabolos. What a huge hit! It’s fun to now introduce this fun toy to my elementatry aged kids. It’s a great toy to get kids off of electronics. It takes practice to develop the motor skills to handle the diabolo. As your child’s skills improve, you will be amazed at the tricks they can do with this simple toy!
We got this last Christmas for my 2 year old and all my younger kids have loved it! The different pieces allow for creative and energetic play. It’s been used as a slide, a sofa to read on, a sleeping mat, a fort, and a landing spot from jumping off things that make me nervous! Remember to use Rakuten and Starfish Perks to save money on this very fun imaginative toy!
Sharee’s family LOVES games! If you ever need a game recommedation, just reach out to her! Kingdomoino is a game that gets played over and over at their home. It generally takes about 30 minutes to play. The game is similar to dominos- with a twist. It teaches planning ahead and strategic thinking! Here’s a quick video to learn how it’s played. This game can be enjoyed by 2 to 4 players, recommended for ages 8+. Great game for a family!
Azul is a strategic board game that has Mosaic tiles, and you create beautiful patterns. However, don’t be fooled- all the beauty is competitive and challenging. Here’s a video to explain the game. The average playing time is 30 to 45 minutes for 2-4 players, ages 8+. Another great family board game!
This board game is the ultimate press-your-luck game! You’ll be tempted to keep rolling the dice to get to the top! You’ll go for the dice repeatedly and risk losing it all on a single role! Even though it’s recommended for ages 13+, Can’t Stop is an excellent game to teach math to young children. Here’s a short video to explain this game. Can’t Stop can be played in 30 minutes and is enjoyed by 2 to 4 players. Adults, teens, and kids will all enjoy this fun family game!
The Stomp Rocket is a fun gift for both boys and girls! My mother-in-law gave this gift to Bryan for his birthday and it’s been so much fun. Kids will discover how jumping harder on the launch pad will crete a more explosive blast off! Does it work when you sit on it? What happens when you change the angle? Such a simple gift will provide hours of fun and exploration. (Shh! don’t tell them they are learning!)