Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Shopping for Gifts: How to Save Time & Money

When my daughter was a toddler, she got invited to her first birthday party. In my excitement, I made some serious errors.
Shopping for Gifts: How to Save Time AND Money  |  Best Birthdays
First, I brought her with me to the toy store. "She'll love to help choose a gift for her friend," I thought cheerily as we entered. Three hours later, I left the toy store grumpy and disheveled, dragging my toddler with one hand and our bag of 800 new toys with the other.

Lesson 1: Don't bring kids to the toy store. 

They want to play with everything, and they want to buy everything. You want to choose something and then go home and watch TV. Carnage ensues.

Lesson 2: In fact, don't go to the toy store.

Next, I tried heading to the toy store without my daughter. This was better, but still not awesome. I kept taking out my phone to look things up online and price-check. Then I thought, "Why am I doing this here instead of on my couch?"

Lesson 3: Shop online.

There are so many great places to shop for presents online. Many websites offer free shipping, and you can look around for the best prices, which will save you money. Websites also tend to have a much better selection than toy stores, because their stock space is not limited by the walls of a retail space. 

BONUS: You don't have to leave your couch. I like to actually lay down and wear jammies, like so:

Yay, couch!

MORE BONUSES: You don't have to put on a bra. Faster than going somewhere. More time for TV.

Lesson 4: Work the points system.

A lot of stores have "points" cards, but I've found the easiest way to earn rewards for shopping is with my RBC Visa card. I get points every time I buy something, and I don't have to stuff my wallet full of cards. I forget all about the points, then one day I remember, and suddenly the points have racked up enough for me to get a gift card to one of my favourite stores. It's like MY birthday! 

Lesson 5: Reward yourself.

There are a few different websites that will give you bonus points for logging in through their site before you shop.

For instance, I just found out that if I shop online through the RBC Rewards eMall page, I get up to TWELVE TIMES the points on my card. WHAT. I shop online all the time! I have totally been missing out! It looks really easy - you just login on the RBC site and then click through to the store you want to buy things in, and shop as usual. 

So you can buy presents for other people, get a ton of points, then cash those points in on something for YOU. Come on, you deserve it. You've worked so hard doing all that gifting!

To get you started, I'm giving away a $25 gift card to Indigo, Best Buy, Esso, or Target! To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment below, prior to midnight August 30th.

Fine print: you may enter to win across multiple blogs, but can only win on one. You must be 18, and live in Canada (excluding QC). You can expect to receive their prize 4-6 weeks after the contest closes.

Full Disclosure: I am part of the RBC Rewards Back to School Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own. I really do forget about points and then get excited when I remember.


  1. I love the picture Katie. You are adorable :)

  2. Awesome giveaway, who wouldn't want a gift card

  3. lol True tho Don't bring kids to the toy store!! LOL

  4. Great lessons! I love using reward points to buy gifts.

  5. Great tips! Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. Great idea. I think the biggest melt down my sin has ever had was in the Walmart parking lot on a trip to buy a birthday present for a friend. I would have been smarter to shop online!

  7. Great tips & Great Giveaway! (Judy Cowan)

    1. Judy, you're my winner, as chosen by a random number generator! Please contact me at ASAP!

  8. I'd love to win the Indigo card, I love their home collection. Thanks for the chance!

  9. Such good ideas. And you look so cute on your couch!

  10. I've started shopping online more as well. I try to use Ebates when I can, so I get a few dollars back. A lot of companies offer free shipping, so saves me on gas, time and hassle as well.

  11. Thanks for the great tips ...and the awesome chance to win

  12. awesome tips and thanks for the giveaway

  13. I hit the good sales, especially 2 weeks after Xmas and at the end of summer. Stores like superstore and Walmart put their toys on mega discounts. I buy items I know will be popular and I stick them in a Large rubbermaid tote in my garage. Then every birthday party I shop my tote. The kids give GREAT gifts and I never pay full price.
    WE ALL WIN. :)

  14. I like your tip on not bringing your kids to the toy store.

  15. Thanks for the great article. Shopping online is something I do all the time. I find great deals and many places even offer free shipping.

  16. I love shopping online. Taking kids to the store is a nightmare. I am soooo over it.

  17. They should offer childcare at the mall. I usually strap one kid to my person and the rest in the stroller


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