I’m guessing that most readers will already know of this site, but for those who don’t, you might want to consider joining Fatwallet.com before you start shopping for those presents this year. The site offers cash back for a huge range of online stores. (Do it right, and you could “double dip” by getting cash back with a reward-based credit card as well as through Fatwallet).
The only catch is that you have to join up as a member (free) and visit the online store via their link before making your purchase. I’m not a big shopper, but I’ve used them in the past for Orbitz, Expedia, Zappos, and some online sports stores. Your account is credited within about 60-90 days depending on the merchant, and once you’ve accumulated over $10, you can request them to send you a check.
Fatwallet also just introduced something in October called Charity Bucks, where they give you 10% of your earned cash back out of their own pocket and allow you to donate it to one of their listed charities. (Of course, you can also opt to donate your cash back earnings to a charity.) They’re also looking for suggestions for charities to add since it’s a new program.
Finally, Fatwallet has a slew of useful forums, many of which readers here will already have heard about:
- Free stuff: I had a fun little post a while ago about all the freebies I received from reading this forum. It’s a frugal way to stave off shopping temptations, and many products (especially beauty-related) might make good stocking stuffers if you can get them in time.
- Finance: This is the home of the famed Treasury Bill thread, plus discussions on the best credit cards, CDs, and a myriad of other personal finance-related items. Just be sure to search for your question before posting there.
- Other forums: I don’t visit these as often, but some popular ones are hot deals, one-time use coupons, and travel deals. They can all prove very useful for the holiday shopper looking for a bargain (there’s even a thread on taking advantage of Black Friday deals), and the hot deals forum is a favorite haunts of tech geeks looking for ways to stack up deals and rebates to get “free after rebate” or even “paid” to purchase an item, if you’re into that sort of thing.
So, while it’s not really frugal to go on big shopping sprees, if you have to do it for the upcoming holidays, why not do it smartly? Get cash back, find great deals, possibly get some freebies, and maybe even donate to a worthy cause. It’s seldom I find a service that I can recommend, but Fatwallet is one of them (and no, I don’t receive any compensation or benefits from touting Fatwallet), so check ’em out.