T-minus two days to Turkey Day…. which means three days to go until Black Friday.
The latter used to be a sport for me that I eagerly anticipated year after year. Oh, the thrill of waking up when it’s dark and cold outside to go shopping before Starbucks is even open.
Now, at the ripe age of 31, I say, “pass”. I intend to sleep through the sales and relish the extra hours of sleep I will get as my husband watches our baby.

Chaos and shopping do not mix for me- I do not enjoy fighting over parking spaces, nor do I appreciate the holiday ‘joy’ that accompanies many holiday shoppers on the excursions. I enjoy shopping in stores where I can easily navigate the aisles, which is already fruitless with stroller in-tow. The thought of doing this with rude retail renegades at 2AM does not appeal.

With that said, I look back to last year where I scoured the Internet for deals on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Last Black Friday was the day that we ordered our son’s nursery furniture, his stroller, and many other big-ticket items.

I dug through ads, blog posts, and other sources of information to find out who offered the “Three S’s” that I so desired:

  1. Sales,
  2. (free) Shipping,
  3. Subsidies 

The first two “S’s” are self-explanatory, but the third is a relatively new concept in e-tailing. It involves signing up for a third-party service who routes you to stores and online retailers where you would buy from anyways. When you use one of these third-parties, they track your purchases and send you a percentage of your purchases in defined intervals in a check or PayPal transfer.

For example, you sign into Ebates, route yourself to Target and buy a $200.00 crib. At the time, they offered 3% cash back. Along with the killer deal and free shipping, you receive a check for $6 down the road. Sweet, right?

I have made it a point to shop online when I can receive free shipping to my home. I go through Ebates, and love receiving my checks once a quarter.

As the holidays approach, take a moment to think about who you are shopping for. If your family and friends are all local, going to the stores might make sense (especially if shipping is not free). However, if you need to play virtual Santa and mail your gifts across state lines, save yourself the the time and hassle of shopping and shipping, and give yourself the gift of cash back- shop online!

My Ebates referral code is below. I kindly ask you to click on it if you wish to sign up. It’s free, and you will earn some free dough! Tis the season!