1. Planning ahead can really do so much! Brace yourself for shock… I have never used a rebate website But, we never buy anything anywhere online except Amazon. And we use Amazon Smiles to donate so… ebates/ibotta wouldn’t do anything for us. It’s an amazing way to use those funds though! If only the whole country had your foresight and determination Penny.

  2. I love these ideas, and I think I got the idea for 2019 (based on one of your old posts), to save all of our credit card rewards for this coming Christmas. Because Mr. ThreeYear puts all of his travel on our Barclay, we end up getting over $1000 per year in credit card rewards. So my goal is to save those up to be our Christmas fund money this year. Christmas is always stressful because I spend so much, so I’m hoping with this plan it’ll be way better, and keep me more in budget, this year!

  3. I love that you wrote this in January! So much good advice isn’t implementable in late November when people start talking about this. I have a google calendar reminder to talk to my parents about reducing the amount of Christmas gift giving this February (and yes, pretty much all the blog posts I read in November agreed about this being the correct timeline).
    To answer your question, yes to Discover points, and Amazon points (we have the Amazon card, we also occasionally earn points by agreeing to have something shipped later). For us, the cost is mostly in travel, but we did manage to shave $300 off it this year, which was pretty cool.
    I have also never used a rebate website… but I only buy things online on Amazon as well. I have used mail in rebates from liquor stores and never actually got a rebate back, so I stopped trying.

    • That’s so frustrating that you haven’t gotten the rebates back. UGH. In my waste of time couponing days, I learned a lot about rebates (the mail-in kind!). They’re basically designed for us to fail. The smallest detail that gets missed, and they can just toss them. So frustrating!

    • Sinking funds are so great! We do this for our cars. We hope to not come anywhere close to the amount we have saved, but it makes trips to the mechanics a lot less stressful!

  4. Yaaaas!!! Credit card cashback all the way!

    We 100% funded Christmas with cashback rewards. We’ve done this for the past two years and it’s AWESOME. It’s like saving for Christmas all year round.

    It took us a while to be able to do this, of course. After paying off our debt, it was much easier to afford nice gifts for the family. If you have the luxury of using a credit card and paying it off every month, it’s an amazing way to save for the holidays.

    • I was actually contemplating trying to scoop up a checking account bonus and doing something similar. That’s the big advantage of a regular 9-5 that has auto deposits!

  5. Hey I really the cash back idea and using it for your Christmas gift. I have the Costco Citi card and I receive my cash back rewards check next month. I might want to look into saving it for Christmas gifts. Never too early to plan!

    • It made a big difference for us this year to not really worry about the money at all this past Christmas. It’s my two prong plan of attack — we’re trying to cut down gift exchanges (the ones done out of obligation!) and fund it this way!

    • Thanks, Deb! Only because I got tired of playing catch up. It was always such a bad feeling come January when the bills rolled in. Even if I knew they could be paid, it just never felt like a great start to the year!

  6. I love the idea of using cashback rewards for Christmas and thinking ahead of time. Thank you for the idea! We are friends with a lot of people all about travel rewards, but with the little one we don’t plan on traveling anytime soon. I have Discover It and Bank of America credit cards too. You must be pretty on top of it to pay attention to the cashback categories with Discover. I am on top of a lot of things, but that always slips under the radar. I think that’s why we go to the Citi card for the consistency of 2% cashback.

    Also, I am one of the people blowing your mind about my lack of knowledge regarding Ebates and Shopping Apps. You’ve given me a task to investigate! I’ve heard about Ebates from podcasts, but I thought there’d be a learning curve so I was procrastinating… No excuses now!

  7. Tre

    Great tips! I use our Costco cashback each year towards Christmas gifts. Mr. Tre does our grocery shopping now and loves Costco, so that usually means a good check from Costco just in time for Christmas 🙂

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