"In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured!"
~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Some Christmas Cheer from my New Friend, Amazon

It's the most wonderful time of the year! But there's so much to do it's hard to enjoy it with all the stress of shopping, Christmas lists, budgeting, (and in my case, having my first baby!), and everything else!

Fortunately, I have a little help keeping the season merry and bright from one of my new best friends, Amazon.com  :)

Here's a nice little compilation of 5 ways Amazon has helped bring me some Christmas cheer by making my life a bit easier this holiday season!

1) Free 2-day shipping through free Amazon Moms or Amazon Prime trial

I signed up for a free no-commitment 90-day trial of Amazon Moms (it's like Amazon Prime, but with extra perks! Look a few paragraphs down for details), so I get free 2-day shipping! Since all of my Christmas shopping needs to be mailed out-of-state, free shipping is saving me a ton of money! And the 2-day delivery promise helps take a load of stress off with Christmas drawing ever nearer! If you have a lot of mailing to do, or some heavy presents to be shipped, I definitely recommend at least considering taking advantage of this free trial for the Holidays!

The trial is no-commitment, so if you just want free shipping, go for it and then cancel after the holidays! It's hard to beat free, free, free!

If you want to sign up for the free trial, or just learn more, the link for the free trial is HERE.

So what is Amazon Moms anyway? It's a program that gets you all the perks of Amazon Prime (unlimited movie and TV streaming, books to borrow on your kindle every month), up to 20% off diapers, wipes, and other baby products, as well as free 2-day shipping, additional discounts on household items, an option to have diapers and wipes set up to automatically ship to your house on a regular schedule (you can choose if you want every month, every other month, every 3 months, etc), and some exclusive deals specifically for moms!

At the end of the 90-day trial I have the option to cancel, or to pay $79 for a year subscription (about $6.70/mo) to Amazon Prime + Amazon Moms. I was originally planning on just cancelling to keep things free...but now I might be hooked :)

2) Free $5 gift card!

 Right now Amazon is offering a free $5 gift card! All you have to do is click the link HERE and create a wishlist on Amazon. It can even be just 1 item. Then you type in something you're wishing for (world peace, a life-time supply of chocolate...), make sure to un-check the box for promotional emails if you don't want to get them, share it on facebook, and you've got yourself a $5 gift card!! The only "catch" is that it has to be used on a purchase of $35 or more, so if you don't plan on buying anything that costs that much, it won't do you much good. It just takes 1 minute or less though, so it can't really hurt! I used my $5 off this morning, so I know it works :)

Extra little bonus: if you decide to go all out with your wishlist instead of just adding 1 easy item to get the giftcard, your friends and family will have links to the exact things you'd like for Christmas!

3) Free Holiday Music Downloads!

That's right, Amazon is doing 25 days of free holiday music downloads to help you get into the holiday spirit! The link to the free daily downloads is HERE. Check it out! There are 5 new ones each day to download, so you can expand your Holiday music collection for free daily, and hopefully find some new music and new artists that you love!

4) Major Price Markdowns for Cyberweek!

As you probably know, this week is Cyberweek, which means you can find tons of especially great deals for pretty much everything under the sun on Amazon.com for the next 3 days! Combine that with the free 2-day shipping from the free trial, and get your Christmas shopping done this week for just a fraction of the full cost, without even leaving the house! I've seen stuff marked down as much as 75%, and of course they have customer reviews to help you make an informed decision if you're worried that the low price indicates a poorly-selling or poorly-made product. There are daily deals, gold box deals, deals that are good through the end of the week, good coupons, and lightning deals. Check them all out HERE! I've been able to find some good gifts, as well as some things I want for myself :)

5) Free Amazon Gift Cards through Swagbucks

Ok so this technically isn't as much Amazon as it is Swagbucks, but it's still a great way to save a bunch of money off your Christmas shopping by doing it through Amazon! I'm not going to go into all the details of Swagbucks right now for the sake of being a bit more concise (maybe in a future post), but basically it's a site where you earn money for surveys, playing games, taking polls, using their search engine, printing out coupons for groceries through them, and you even get a percentage of cash back for shopping online at several major retailers - including Amazon! You are not asked to give any credit card information (yay!), and you cash in your Swagbucks in the form of gift cards to pretty much anywhere you want! Target, Amazon, Walmart/Sam's, iTunes, countless restaurants, PayPal, Groupon, vacation getaways, charity donations, and pretty much anything else you can think of.

The cool thing about Amazon is that their $5 gift cards only cost $4.50 worth of Swagbucks, so if you get a bunch of $5 gift cards and can cover your entire purchase, that's like 10% off your item! Not to mention you got the gift cards for free in the first place!! There are a bunch of easy bonus Swagbucks to earn when you're first setting up your account, so it's not unrealistic to have earned at least a $5 within your first week for not too much effort.

I've been using Swagbucks on and off for the past 5 months, and I've easily earned nearly $80. It accumulates slowly, but if you spend even just a little bit of time on their site every few days, it really adds up! Especially if you shop online or make travel or hotel reservations! It's not for everyone, but it has served me well!

If you're interested in signing up, or just learning a bit more, it's linked HERE.

Hopefully at least one of these things will help you make it through the Holiday season a bit easier! I know they've all helped put my mind at ease :) Good luck!

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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