1. Buy a gift card (on sale). Imagine going to the bank and exchanging $85 for a $100 bill. You do something similar when you purchase a discount gift card. It’s a win-win situation: Gift cards are the most requested gift item each year, and you can buy them for only a fraction of the face-value price. Or you can purchase specific gifts with a discounted card.

To buy discounted gift cards, check out online vendors such as Raise.com and CardPool.com or wholesalers such as Sam’s Cluband Costco.

2. Search online for promo codes. Promotional or “promo” codes  — also called coupon codes — can help you save while shopping online. I love sites such as RetailMeNot.com and BradsDeals.com, but you can also find deals by Googling the name of your favorite store and “promo codes.” And check out NerdWallet’sDealFinder tool for discounts all year long.

3. Use social media. Some retailers offer exclusive savings to people who follow them on Twitter or “like” them on Facebook. Find out if you can save by following some of your favorite retailers. (You can always un-follow them later.)

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