$250 American Express Gift Card

The holiday shopping season is in full effect. Have you started knocking out your gift list yet? Have you even started a list lol? I really hoped I could say “one and done” this year by having all of my presents purchased and wrapped by December 1, but I had no such luck! I may not be on schedule, but I will still take the time do my homework and shop smart this, and every, holiday season!

I’ve teamed up with American Express to offer up a “Holiday Shopping Challenge” for a chance to win the gift card of your choice valued at $250! The goal is to educate my savvy readers, and for my readers to educate each other, on the benefits of smart shopping. The following are a few of my tips for staying within your budget this holiday season.

Holiday Budget Shopping Tips

  • Always Know Your Limits – Start with an overall budget and then come up with an itemized spending limit per each person on your list.
  • Track your spending. It helps to have a spreadsheet that subtracts each dollar spent against your total budget.
  • Online Shopping – I find that a lot of times I can get a better deal online as the market tends to offer more competitive prices. When ordering online, wait for free shipping and if possible, free return shipping.
  • Do Your Homework – Most merchants offer price matching. I always search for deals online for the best price and call a merchant to see if they would honor the same price and they usually will to get your business.
  • Membership Rewards – One of my best tips is to get paid for shopping – earn rewards, not finance charges. I put all of my shopping dollars (gas, food, literally everything) on my American Express Rewards Card. I pay it off at the end of the month so that I do not incur finance charges (which is easy by staying within my budget), and earn Membership Reward points on all dollars spent, so they are essentially “paying me” to use their card. The rewards I earn can be put towards saving on future purchases. Membership rewards are an amazing way to stretch my holiday shopping budget even further.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the spirit of holiday shopping with all of the beautiful lights, music and smell in every store. For this reason alone, I try my best to get all of my shopping online so that I do not give in to temptation. In fact, I don’t even bother with Black Friday deals when I can usually get a better deal on Cyber Monday, with free shipping, and avoid the crazy crowds.

My Holiday Shopping Challenge

When I host these contests, I always get so jealous of my readers and wish I could win the giveaways too. Well guess what, American Express is also giving me a $250 gift card and 40,000 membership rewards. My challenge is to cash in my gift card and points on 5 of my loved ones, without going over this budget. Check back next week to find out who won this contest and check out what I picked up for my friends and family, including an item I purchased at Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday is the day we celebrated the “Shop Small” movement that drove shoppers to local merchants across the U.S.

How To Win

Leave a separate comment for each entry below (comments must be approved). US residence only please. Contest ends at 11:59 pm PST December 8th and a winner will be selected at random on December 9th.

Required (once): Share your personal tips for staying within your holiday budget for a chance to win a gift card of your choice valued at $250!

Additional Chances to Win (optional): – Tweet and/or Facebook a budget tip (up to once daily) and comment to this post to let us know you have done so.

Please remember to leave a separate comment for each entry.

Disclosure – this is a paid sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own.


  1. Ria says:

    I structure a shopping list and I don’t deviate. I also keep an eye for deals and coupons.

  2. Josalyn says:

    My personal tip for staying within my holiday budget: Make lists for everyone on your list with different price points and stick to those price points. It’s so easy to add more to carts especially while you are waiting in line or browsing internet sales– if you stick to your budget you’ll make it out of this holiday season just fine!

  3. gia z says:

    I write a list of stuff to buy along with price on notepad.

  4. katie says:

    I put together a list on my phone of who I am buying for and dollar amount so I can check it while at the store

  5. hminnesota says:

    look for coupons on internet. Save on shipping with online shopping.

  6. Crea says:

    I look for coupons on the internet. Use ebates when I can.

  7. CailinMarie says:

    I am a year round shopper. And I love end of season department store sales, so I start in January and just keep an eye out. A lot of those big stores need to clear their inventory and you can find great deals when they do. I also love TJ Maxx and Ross for less, but I still only buy really good deals (really good means 75% or more)
    and ps. I LOVE AMEX points. My hubby travels A LOT and we put it all on AMEX and I cash in points for back to school shopping at Gap & Land’s End (they got to uniform schools) We also keep an eye out for good AMEX deals, they get some good partnership items.

TrackBacks / PingBacks

  1. [...] have a winner for our American Express $250 holiday gift card giveaway! And the winner is… Tabathia B! Congratulations and we’ll contact you shortly to get [...]

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