Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas (On A Budget)

Last Minute Gifts on A BudgetJust because you waited until the last minute to purchase some holiday gifts, doesn’t mean you can’t find a great deal. In fact, one deal website is predicting great last minute deals tomorrow for Super Saturday… fingers crossed!

Here’s a few last minute gift ideas that won’t break the bank:

1. Gift Cards

It’s an obvious one, I know, especially since you can purchase eGift Cards around the clock, even on Christmas! However, there’s a lot of great gift card deals happening right now:

2. Daily Deals

Daily deal sites offer a wide variety of gift ideas from local activities, restaurants, goods, and more. Some purchases can be printed from home which make for an easy last minute gift

3. Give an Experience

Do you have a person in your life that you have absolutely no idea what to get them. Every year my aunts gift my great aunt tickets to a show for January or February. They all get together after the holidays are over, go out to eat and then go to a show together. My great aunt loves this and looks forward to the gift yearly!

Giving an experience is a great gift for someone who has everything or for someone you love to get together with after the hectic holidays are over with!

Goldstar Boston has a lot of different shows and experiences to choose from, and tickets tend to be half off or deeply discounted… sometimes, even free! There’s even free tickets to a comedy show at Laugh Boston on NYE ;)

Also, if you know a skier or snowboarder, you may want to consider a gift card or lift tickets through Liftopia which offers discounts lift passes.

Even better, you can give a gift of Boston Sports… tickets to the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and more might go over very well, and can be a good last minute gift idea!

I love the idea of sharing an experience as a gift, and nobody needs to know you waited until the last minute to purchase the tickets :)

 

As I’ve said before, I really like shopping on Amazon and taking advantage of 2-day free shipping with Amazon Prime. The deadline for 2-day shipping is Monday, December 22, 2014 so you don’t have to hit up the stores in person this weekend if you want to avoid the crowds!

Do you have any tips for last minute (and budget-friendly) holiday gifts?

Did you wait until the last minute to start/finish your Christmas shopping?

*This post does contain a few affiliate links, please see my disclosure policy if you have any questions.

 

Cheap Weekend Fun in Boston for December 20-21, 2014!

Cheap Weekend Events in Boston

We are getting so close to the holidays!! If you have a little extra time for some events and fun things to do in Boston, here’s some suggestions!

2014 Caroling Mob: Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 4pm. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear: spread some holiday cheer in JP with some carols!

Cultural Survival Bazaar: December 19-21, 2014 at the Prudential Center. Enjoy a cultural festival and a chance to buy work from all over the world.

4th Annual Cookie Swap for a Cause: Sunday, December 21, 2014 from 1-4pm. Bake and swap cookies at this fun cookie swap. Admission depends on how many cookies you bring.

The “Some Like it Hot” Everyone Loves Latkes Party: Saturday, December 20, 2014 from 1-2pm. Enjoy the most delicious, most creative and best-looking latkes and condiments around!

Harvard Museum of Natural History: Massachusetts residents are admitted free every Sunday morning from 9am to Noon year-round with proof of residency.

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology: Massachusetts residents are admitted free every Sunday morning from 9am to Noon year-round with proof of residency

Free Holiday Movies at Assembly Row: Every Saturday through December 20, 2014 at 9:30am at AMC Assembly Row. Enjoy a free holiday movie favorite on the big screen at AMC Assembly Row on Saturday mornings this holiday season. Tickets will be released at 9am, one per person, on a first come, first serve basis.

Free Holiday Movies at Showcase Cinemas: Every Saturday through December 20, 2014 at 10am at participating Showcase Cinemas. Head to Showcase Cinema with a canned good donation to see popular Christmas movies on the big screen for free.

Blink: November 22, 2014 to January 4, 2014 at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Enjoy a light and sound extravaganza with music of the Holiday Pops.

Jordan’s Enchanted Village Begins: November 15, 2014 from January 5, 2015. The Enchanted Village is up and running for the season so come relive childhood memories! Free.

There’s also FREE PARKING this weekend in Boston during the holiday season on Saturdays; however, time limits are still enforced.

Also, don’t forget to check out Mayor’s Holiday to find many holiday events in Boston with discount event tickets too as well as Goldstar Boston’s discount holiday events (affiliate link).

Hope you have a great weekend and get everything done you need too :)

Shaw’s Upcoming Gift Card Promotion + More!

Shaws Gift Card Deal 2014

If you’ve been patiently waiting for some gift card promotions through retail stores, you may want to take note of this gift card deal starting on Friday, 12/19/14 at Shaw’s!

Buy $100 in (select) gift cards and get $10 when you purchase $25 in groceries. The deal isn’t a sweet as it has been in past years since there is a minimum you need to spend on groceries, but it will definitely help if you have a lot of holiday groceries to buy! It’s always nice to get a little something for something you are going to buy anyway.

Also, don’t forget to check out Boston on Budget’s list of Gift Card Promotions and Deals for gift card deals straight from restaurants and retailers!

Amazon is also doing a Gift Card promotion this week with a lot of great deals popping up as lighting deals and more! Head here (affiliate link) and scroll down the page until you see 12 Days of Deals in Gift Cards!

Are you taking advantage of any gift card deals this holiday season?

*Reminder: If you have been collecting the Cuisinart stickers, this is the last week to collect them as the promo ends on Christmas Eve! (You still have a few days afterwards to redeem your free pots and pans).

241th Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party!

Today is the 241th Anniversary of the Boston Tea party!

In honor of the Anniversary, the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum is offering free tours today, December 16th, 2014 from 10am to 3pm!

Tickets to the reenactment at the Old South Meeting House this evening is sold out. However, you can still join in front of the OSMH at 6:30pm to hear news of the meeting via the town crier, engage in a debate and join the parade down to the waterfront!

For more information, please head here!

Will you be attending the free tour and/or reenactment tonight?

Money Saving Monday: Take Advantage of Free Shipping!

Money Saving Tips

*Every Monday throughout 2014 I will be sharing Money Savings Tips to help stick to and expand your budget!

Free shipping is a great way to save on online purchases and holiday gifts.

Thursday, December 18, 2014 is Free Shipping Day with many participating retailers. This is a great way to get last minute holiday gifts straight to your door! Even better, look for promo codes and deals to get even more out of your holiday gifts.

There are over 900 participating retailers (with more added daily!) and you can find the giant list here.

Also, Amazon Prime members can get free two-day with their membership (or free trial membership). The free shipping deadline for Amazon Prime is December 22, 2014 with free shipping for non-prime members coming up soon: December 16th!. For all Amazon shipping deadlines, please head here.

Do you do a lot of online shopping? Are you taking advantage of free shipping this holiday season?

*This post contains affiliate links for Amazon to help support the site. If you have any questions, please read my disclosure policy.

To find more Money Saving Tips from Boston On Budget, please head here.

Holiday Gift Card Promotions for 2014!


Today I wanted to feature Holiday Gift Card promotions as a great way to give holiday gifts and get a little something back for yourself!

If you do consider making a gift card deal purchase, please make sure to read the full terms. Many of the promotional perks mentioned have to be used by a certain date time frame (typically the first few months of 2015) and/or other terms.

Update: After posting I realized that Amazon is doing Gift Card deals as well part of 12 days of Christmas. It runs similar to lighting deals, so more gift card deals will be posted so keep an eye out on those!

Below is a list of local Boston restaurants and national restaurant chains that offer a little something extra this holiday season.

Al Dente Ristorante in the North End: For every $25 purchased in gift cards, receive an additional $5 gift card

Applebee’s: Buy $50 worth in Applebee’s Digital Gift Cards online and receive a free $10 Digital Bonus Card.

The Aquitaine Group: Receive a complimentary $20 dining certificate for every $100 you spend on Aquitaine Group Gift Cards. The Aquitaine Group includes Aquitaine, Gaslight Brasserie, Metropolis Cafe, Union Bar and Grille, Cinquecento Trattoria, and Greenlight Cafe.

Boston Market: Grab a free $5 Bonus Gift Card for every $25 Gift Card spent

Buffalo Wild Wings: Buy $25+ in Gift Cards and get a blazin’ bonus that could be worth $5-$100 at Buffalo Wild Wings!

California Pizza Kitchen: Spend $100 in gift cards, receive $20 bonus card

Cask ‘n Flagon: Get a $10 gift card for every $100 purchased in gift cards.

CBS Scene at Patriots Place: Buy $100 in gift cards and receive a free $20 gift card!

Chili’s: Buy $50 in gift cards, receive $10 Bonus Card

Earls Kitchen + Bar: Purchase a $50 gift cards and receive a $10 bonus card or purchase $500 or more in gift cards and get a bonus card back equal to 10% of the purchase.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar: For every $100 in Gift Cards purchased, receive a free $20 bonus card.

Haru: Get a $10 promotional card for every $50 you spend through December 31, 2014.

Legal Sea Foods: For every $200 purchased in gift cards, get a “Lobster Dinner Reward” voucher redeemable between 1/2-3/31/15 for a 1-1.25lb steamed lobster with a choice of two sides.

Maggiano’s Little Italy: Buy $100 worth of Gift Cards purchased, receive a $20 off $50 promotional Bonus Coupon and a one year subscription to Food And Wine Magazine.

Margaritas Mexican Restaurant: Buy a $50 gift card, receive a $10 bonus card, and/or buy $100 worth in gift cards, receive a $25 bonus card!

Morton’s Steakhouse: Purchase $250 in gift cards and receive $50 reward card

Not Your Average Joe’s: Receive a $10 bonus card for every $50 spent in gift cards

Olive Garden: Purchase $50 in Gift Cards and receive $10 offer for yourself

Outback Steakhouse: Receive a free $20 bonus card when you buy $100+ in gift cards

P.F.Changs: Receive a $20 bonus card when you buy $100 in P.F.Chang’s gift cards.

Regina Pizzeria: Buy $50 in gift cards and get $10 free!

Rock Bottom: Spend $25 in gift cards and get a $5 bonus card

Ruby Tuesday: Purchase $50 in Gift Cards and receive a $15 Bonus Coupon or buy $25 in gift cards and get a $5 Bonus Coupon

Smokey Bones: Buy $50 in Gift Cards and receive $10 for yourself.

Texas Roadhouse: Receive a free $5 eGift Card on a future visit when you buy $30 or more in gift cards online.

T.G.I. Friday’s: Get a free $5 Bonus Bites Card for every $25 you spend on Gift Cards.

Yardhouse: For every $50, receive a $10 bonus card on future purchases.

Also, through 12/13/14, Groupon is offering 20% off local deals with promo code GIFT20. Brookstone Gift Cards, Apparel Gift Cards, Calvin Klein Gift Cards and and Spa Wish eGift Cards should work with the promo code to make these deals a little sweeeter! (Limit 3 with promo code).

Please let me know in the comments below if I missed any local or national gift card deals. Happy Holidays!

*This post does contain some affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy if you have any questions.

Cheap Weekend Fun in Boston for December 13-14, 2014

Cheap Weekend Events in BostonThere’s a lot of fun and cheap things to do this weekend in the Greater Boston area, especially holiday and craft related! Here’s some ideas:

Free Pizza from a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Truck: Sunday, December 14, 2014. Look for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Truck for free pizza and donate unwrapped toys for the Boys and Girls Club in Harvard Square and Faneuil Hall.

SoWa Holiday Market: December 13-14, 2014 at the Benjamin Franklin Institute. Check out holiday gifts and more from New England crafters and designers! $5 admission, children under 12 free.

Holiday on Ice Celebration: Saturday, December 13, 2014 at Community Ice Skating @Kendall in Cambridge from 11am-9pm! Enjoy free admission all day at the ice rink (regular rental rates do apply). There is also a free ice skating show at 2pm with former Olympians and international competitors!

Christmas Parade at Puopolo Park: Sunday, December 14, 2014 at Puopolo Park in the North End. Head to Commerical Street at 1pm to see Santa Claus arrive by helicopter! Weather permitting.

Holiday Open House: December 13-14, 2014 at Taza Chocolates in Somerville from 10-6pm! Head to Taza Chocolates for holiday tours (by reservation), entertainment, samples, and more! Free.

Caroling in the Park: December 14, 2014 from 3-4pm at Hayes Park. Head to the South End for some caroling and cider to get into and spread the holiday spirit!

Free TRX Suspension Training class: Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 333 Nahanton Street Newton, MA at 9am. Head to Boston JCC in Newton for a free TRX Suspension training class free and open to everyone!

Harvard Museum of Natural History: Massachusetts residents are admitted free every Sunday morning from 9am to Noon year-round with proof of residency.

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology: Massachusetts residents are admitted free every Sunday morning from 9am to Noon year-round with proof of residency

Free Holiday Movies at Assembly Row: Every Saturday through December 20, 2014 at 9:30am at AMC Assembly Row. Enjoy a free holiday movie favorite on the big screen at AMC Assembly Row on Saturday mornings this holiday season. Tickets will be released at 9am, one per person, on a first come, first serve basis.

Free Holiday Movies at Showcase Cinemas: Every Saturday through December 20, 2014 at 10am at participating Showcase Cinemas. Head to Showcase Cinema with a canned good donation to see popular Christmas movies on the big screen for free.

Blink: November 22, 2014 to January 4, 2014 at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Enjoy a light and sound extravaganza with music of the Holiday Pops.

Jordan’s Enchanted Village Begins: November 15, 2014 from January 5, 2015. The Enchanted Village is up and running for the season so come relive childhood memories! Free.

There’s also FREE PARKING this weekend in Boston during the holiday season on Saturdays; however, time limits are still enforced.

Also, don’t forget to check out Mayor’s Holiday to find many holiday events in Boston with discount event tickets too as well as Goldstar Boston’s discount holiday events (affiliate link).

A little reminder… select Red Sox tickets go on sale Saturday, December 13, 2014 (usually April, May, September games) if you are looking for a holiday gift for a sox fan (or yourself).

Hope you all have a great weekend with whatever you decide to do!

Save $100 off 2-Night Hotel Stays with Promo Code!

Darn, looks like it is now sold out! :(

Wow! If you are looking to stay at a hotel before June 30, 2014, you may want to check out this hot hotel deal from Orbitz and Visa Checkout!

Save $100 on select 2+ night hotel stays when you pay with Visa Checkout and use promo code VISACHECKOUT. (If you are not familiar with Visa Checkout, it is very similar to PayPal and you do not need to pay with a Visa credit card to use it).

The Terms:

Book a qualifying standalone, pre-paid $100 or more hotel stay for two or more nights with travel occurring between December 10, 2014 and June 30, 2015 via Orbitz using Visa Checkout as the payment method and promo code VISACHECKOUT, and receive $100 off your booking.  Most major chains are excluded; to find participating hotels look for the “PROMO CODE ELIGIBLE” message on Orbitz.com hotel listings.

I went to Orbitz and selected a random weekend in February (my birthday weekend/during February vacation week actually) to see if any Boston hotels were participating in this deal! Yes!

Boston Hotels Deals

Look for the PROMO CODE ELGIBLE underneath the rate, which makes it easy to find a participating hotel! After the promo code, you would be spending less than $70/night (+ fees) in Boston which is a really good rate for hotels in Boston. (There were Boston Hotels cheaper too, especially depending on your dates).

If you live in Boston, you can definitely check out hotels in other locations through Orbitz.

Essentially you’d want to find hotels that are close to $50/a night, which may be easier in another city than Boston (like Las Vegas or most other cities). If so, you’d be paying pretty much nothing for a two-night stay, which would be awesome! :)

Keep in mind this is a while supplies last thing, so I’m not sure how long the promo code will be valid for. For more information or to book a hotel through Orbitz, please head here.

Let me know if you find anything really good! Happy (cheap) Traveling!

H/T, Dans Deals!

*This post does contain affiliate links, which means I do get a small percentage if you end up making a purchase through my link above. Thank you. Please see my disclosure policy if you have any questions.