Tara Crooks
Limitless Contributor

Recently, I was watching a money feature on the TODAY show and they were talking about why we should already be thinking about Christmas shopping. I am immediately half listening because the thought of seeing Christmas ornaments and lights in the Wal-Mart aisle last week triggered a mini anxiety attack.


I'm a shopper. I love to find the perfect gift. I love a good relaxing trip with girlfriends to the mall - please note that this is NOT the same trip that I take to the mall with my ten year old daughter. I love a great sale. If you're anything like me - i.e. you're a military spouse - the military has put a significant obstacle course like challenge around your shopping. Being stationed one hour from a Target, Kohl's, or Bed, Bath & Beyond has perfected my online shopping abilities.

Nowadays the convenience of internet shopping has made it to where a lot of shopping is done online and it isn't as "odd" and definitely not as expensive as it used to be. It really has opened up doors where people like me living in remote or "not as retail developed" locations can have access to just about anything in the world.

I caught the few buzz words they were throwing around as I finished my morning routine.

They asked, "Do you normally search for "(store name) coupon code" or "(store name) free shipping" before you process your online transaction? " Yes, duh. But then I realized if they were covering it maybe many people didn't do this automatically. If you don't - you should. This simple few second search can net your pocketbook a bundle.

Some great places that I frequent for online discounts are:





Then one of their suggestions stopped me in my tracks - purchasing online gift cards through online gift card exchange. I honestly don't know where I've been - hiding under a rock? Because after a bit of research I've found that this is very commonplace and can save you some serious cash.

Check these few websites out to see what you find:






My favorite, and coincidentally one of the ones they were featuring was Plasticjungle.com. They seemed to have the best deals and the easiest way to purchase. The way I see it this can net me some serious dents in my Christmas budget. Oh rats! There we go with that Christmas talk again.