**Wanna know how I am having a 100% FREE holiday? It is easier than you think!**
Step 1: I started early (January of 2012) because I know that to get things at the best deal (or free!) you have to take the deals as they come, and stockpile the gifts. Some of these offers I am about to share will still help you this year, but if you stick with it, your 2013 holiday season can be even bigger & better!
Step 2: Have a good hiding spot for your freebie stockpile! I use a footlocker that sits in my closet, works great! I also keep a list (hidden on my PC) so I know what I have, and for whom...organization helps! I also arranged to use my mother in law's spare room for some of the bigger items, so as not to ruin the surprises.
Step 3: Have a 'junk' email account, to sign up for offers. You can get one free via Google Gmail or Yahoo Mail. Trust me, this helps keep you from becoming overwhelmed.
Step 4: Sign up for a prepaid debit/credit card, to use when you sign up for any offers that may require you pay shipping. I do not usually sign up for anything that costs me money, but sometimes the shipping is so low, the cost of the freebie so high, that it would be insane not to. Using what I call a "dummy" card keeps you from running into charging issues, like the one I had with Stamps.com.
Step 5: Find your favorite stores and brands on Facebook, and like their fan pages. I have gotten free gift items from Bath & Body Works, Victoria's Secret, Dewar's, and even the Sleep Number store! Some offer monthly "get you in the door" freebies. I got my sister in law a cute t-shirt from VS, a bunch of mini candles from Bath & Body, plus many travel size lotions and body sprays, for stocking stuffers.
Step 6: Sign up for birthday clubs, newsletters and emails from your favorite restaurants brands, stores and even small businesses! This year, I have gotten 10 pairs of free panties from Victoria's Secret, a $10 free credit to World Market (check out the gifts you can get here!) and so many more. A complete list of places that offer credit for sign up can be found here.
Step 7: Refer friend programs are what got me the best gifts, I will admit. For every friend I have brought to NoMoreRack, I get 1 point, which translates into $1. I used this to get a new computer, a Kindle Fire, and several Amazon Gift Cards! A full list of referral for points or cash programs can be found here.
My other favorite is InBoxDollars! This year, just starting out mind you, I have made $615 just by clicking my mouse a few times a day! PLUS, you get paid for printing coupons, which most of us do anyway.
Step 8: Follow Little Mom on the Prairie. I know this last one seems self serving, but there have been a few really fantastic deals that were either missed all together by other deal bloggers, or not paid the attention they deserved. For instance, the $10 off any purchase at Christopher & Banks (NO Exclusions!!) barely got mentioned, when this was a huge opportunity for gift-getting. I got my mother in law a beautiful gray sweater-jacket (normally $60, marked down to $9.99) and on separate trips, got my daughter a super adorable scarf, my sister in law a nice woven leather belt, earrings for a friend, and even a sweater for myself. FREE.
This step will also help you take advantage of on-the-fly freebie deals, which can go in the matter of minutes! Take a look at what is possible:
1saleaday.com has given out some really cool freebies in the last year, but you have to be ready to pounce! I have gotten an LED book light, drinking straw glasses, 2 pairs of silver hoop earrings, 2 pairs of pearl earrings, and a silver heart necklace from them. Everything is very nice quality, too!
If you are not opposed to signing up for a smoker's or alcohol website, you can sign up for great free stuff from L & M, Black & Mild, and more! In the last few months alone, I have gotten a really nice metal lighter cover, a drink shaker, a flask and a monogrammed scotch glass.
Step 9: Grab yourself some FREE (with s/h) customized gifts, from Vistaprint! I use the business card for gift tags, the self inking stamper as a gift for my book loving daughter (to label her books), made a shirt for the racing fan in my life and even a coffee mug for my daughter's teacher! You can see examples and find links here and here.