9 Easy Ways to Cut the Cost of Holiday Shopping

These tools and tricks -- from browser add-ons to shopping on the right days -- can help you rein in spending on great gifts for loved ones.

Purchase — or earn — discounted retail gift cards

Gift cardAndrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com

Websites such as Cardpool and Raise sell gift cards at a discount. Plan to buy a Christmas gift for Fido? We recently saw Petco gift cards discounted for up to 13.5 percent off.

Over at Raise, we saw discounts of up to 12.2 percent for gift cards that can be used to purchase a computer or other items at HP.

Price breaks are great, but free is even better. Some sites ask you to perform specific tasks in exchange for points that can be cashed in for free gift cards.

For example, fill out surveys and participate in other activities at Swagbucks and you can earn free gift cards for popular retailers.

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