It won't cost you anything and could make your holidays that much brighter!

4 Ways Back to School Shopping Can Improve Your Christmas

by Paige Estigarribia

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Your mind is focused on back to school shopping. It's not Christmas. That's months away. There's no need to think about it now. But what if you did think about Christmas as you did your back to school shopping? Could the things that you do now make the holiday season less stressful? Let's look at ways to make back to school shopping helpful for Christmas.

One way to make Christmas easier by what you do now is to spend money where you earn cash rebates or gift cards that you can use to buy gifts. Another is to spend your money where you earn points that you can use to buy gifts. A third is to buy creative gifts while they're on back to school sale. Let's look at all of them.

1. Ebates

Whether you are looking for backpacks, school supplies, or even textbooks, consider shopping through Ebates is an online shopping portal that offers coupon codes, promotions, and discounts just for shopping at any one of over 1800 stores. In addition to the discount codes, you can earn cash back too! It's a little like a rebate without all the paperwork and rejections! If you're not already using ebates, you can sign up here at

2. Swagbucks

Swagbucks is an online site where you earn swagbucks by searching the web, taking surveys, or even shopping. Swagbucks can be redeemed for gift cards or PayPal cash! For a further explanation of Swagbucks, read our review. You'll probably be doing some searching as you do your back to school shopping. Do it through Swagbucks. And, if you're like most parents, you'll probably be distracted. That's not so bad if you're earning Swagbucks while you're wasting time! If you're not already a member, you can sign up here.

3. My Points

You can also earn rewards by shopping through MyPoints. You earn points by shopping, taking surveys, or playing games. Those points can be redeemed for gift cards, cash, or travel.

4. eBay or Amazon

Normally when you think of eBay or Amazon, you think of shopping. But you can also sell your outgrown school clothes, old school uniforms, or even old textbooks on eBay or other online marketplaces. As you are getting kids ready for school, set aside any old clothes that are still in good condition. You can sell these online at eBay. And set aside old textbooks as well, because depending on the title, you can try selling these on Amazon.

It's unlikely that you'll earn enough points and cash or sell enough stuff to pay for your entire Christmas. But any that you do earn will bring you that much closer to a wonderful holiday in a few months!

Paige Estigarribia is a writer for The Dollar Stretcher who enjoys writing about food, frugal living, and money-saving tips. Visit Paige on Google+.

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