Our current situation forced us to go over our budget with a fine-toothed comb to make ends meet. We both agreed that we would have to go on a spending freeze, which involved no shopping, no lunch buying, and cooking at home instead of grabbing fast food when we're worn out. I plan on sharing my tips, in hopes that they may help others, as well as motivate me to keep going! Just because we can't afford to go shopping, doesn't mean we still don't "need" certain things, like shoes or dog food. Below are some websites that have helped us with that "extra stuff" that just doesn't fit into the budget. (click each title to go to website.)
There are several ways to earn points through this website. After signing up and filling out ALL of the "profiles", you will start to receive e-mails. Make sure you check ALL of these e-mails, scroll to the bottom of each and click "Get Points". It's usually an orange button. This is the easiest (and FREE) way to earn points. If it is not an offer that interests you, still click the button to earn your points! You won't have to sign up for anything that you don't want to. The points will add up faster than you think, and before you know it, you will be on your way to a $25 gift card.
Now, if you ever do any online shopping, make sure you always check MyPoints to see if they are partnered. Their partners are always changing, but Target, for example, is usually an option. With the holidays coming up, this will save you a lot of time and stress. Last year I did about 90% of my shopping through MyPoints and had a ton of points to show for it. Each website will have a different point value...Shop A may offer 4 points per dollar spent, while Shop B may offer 10 points per dollar.
Once you have enough points, you can redeem them for a gift card. I have redeemed gift cards for Old Navy, Target, Walmart, Marshalls/TJ Maxx, and Panera Bread Co. You can refer 5 friends per month and earn 25 points each if they sign up. I have posted a signup link on my facebook for my friends who are reading :).
One of my favorite online retailers is no longer partnered with MyPoints, hopefully it's just temporary. I have also used E-Bates for my online shopping. Similar to MP, you earn a percentage of your purchase and then they send you a check when you choose to cash in. Earlier this year, I purchased 2 Entertainment books for $20 total, and then E-Bates sent me a check for $7. I plan on using this website with my holiday shopping to get the most bang for my buck. Sign up by clicking on this link.
I have signed up for a lot of "discounted" shopping websites (HauteLook, BeyondtheRack, etc). Their nice, but I haven't saved as much as I have with NoMoreRack. They offer 8 deals a day, all deeply discounted. And shipping is only $2! When you refer friends, you earn points and can cash them in when they have free deals as part of their daily 8, or at any time through friendrack. When you sign up, they give you a $10 gift card to use. I hadn't used mine until recently, and had accumulated several $5 credits that were sent periodically. I purchased 2 items, valued at $75. With the discount plus credits, I paid $1 total. ONE DOLLAR. The credits were applied to shipping as well. You're welcome.
This last website isn't a point earning opportunity. Just a heck of a deal! They offer 5 deals a day, similar to NMR. Heavily discounted, cheap and sometimes free shipping. Not much to say except go check it out!
I am not sponsored by any of these websites. These are my personal experiences and opinions.