During the holidays it's easy to go over your hard-earned family budget.  Enlist the power of cash back shopping to make sure everyone on Santa's list is well taken care of, including your pocketbook.

Cash back shopping allows consumers to make online purchases and earn a percentage back on their total purchase. Earn bonus bucks when buying household essentials, clothing, even electronics and automobiles! Even better for us KCLs, many sites offer coupons that can be used when making a purchase to boost the savings.

Participating shopping sites get paid for sending customers to online merchants, and these sites turn around and share their commissions with customers who purchased through their site.

Most cash back shopping sites offer printable coupons for everyday store use; daily, weekly or exclusive deals; online promo codes; free shipping on many items; and the ability to use a coupon to sweeten the cash back shopping transaction.

It's a very simple process: Register and log in to a cash back shopping site and then click through to the online merchant where the purchase will be made. After checkout, get a percentage of the purchase price in a cash back account. These percentages are usually 1% to 7%, but many are even higher.

Here are a few of my favorite cash back shopping sites:

  • BigCrumbs. This site offers familiar retailers like Beauty.com, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, and even eBay, which offers a hefty 36% cash back. They also have special offers, including discounts up to 80% off, free shipping, plus rewards for referring friends. Cash back is paid monthly.
  • Ebates. Users can earn cash rewards by shopping at 1,200 online retailers. Instead of going directly to Sephora or Gap, visit Ebates first then jump to a favorite retailer. This allows Ebates to track shoppers and give greater savings and coupons. Shoppers can also apply online coupon savings on top of the cash back when using a merchant through Ebates that offers those extra coupons. It is even possible to earn $5 when making the first purchase. Ebates is currently paying out former Cashbaq members. Cash back rewards checks are mailed quarterly.
  • ExtraBuxUsers can comparison shop and view all the merchants selling the item with prices, valid coupon codes, and cash-back amounts ranging from 1% to 30%. They have over 2,500 online stores. Cash back earnings are paid at any time by check or PayPal. Earn a welcome bonus of $5 just for becoming a member.
  • FatWallet.com. The cash back earned from FatWallet typically ranges from 1% to 40%, and there are more than 1,000 partnering stores that often increase their cash back percentage at various times with cash back sales. They also offer online and store coupons, promo codes and daily deals. After earning $10, receive money by check or via PayPal.
  • MrRebates. This site has cash back offers of up to 30% from almost 2,000 partners, including Best Buy, Staples, Overstock, and Dell with no spam or spyware. The “Store of the Week” section offers a temporary increase in the cash back percentage, and “Weekly Deals” features incentives like free shipping and discounts. Get a $5 registration bonus just for signing up, plus earn rewards for referring friends. After earning enough rebates, cash out and receive a check or Paypal payment.
  • Pennyful. Comparison shop, save on exclusive deals, and shop at over 1,000 online retailers. When shoppers pick up household staples or gifts, there is an opportunity to be rewarded. Refer a friend and earn 20% from their purchases for one full year! Earnings are paid back via check, Paypal or donated to a selected charity.
  • QuickRewards. This site offers up to 30% cash back from over 1,000 retailers including Marriott, ToysRUs, and Macy's. When shoppers don't want to redeem rewards for cash, there is an option to choose gift certificates or prizes. The site has the same options as other cash back sites, including the option to redeem cash back after earning just one penny, or opt for a gift card payout after earning $5.
  • Shop At Home. Receive 2% to 12% back from over 2,000 online retailers including Walmart, Bath & Body Works, and Ralph Lauren. Print coupons for everyday store shopping, save on exclusive deals, and stack coupons. Earn $5 for downloading their browser app. A check is mailed after earning $20 in savings.
  • Upromise. This site has been around for many years. Its major focus is college savings (saving for a 529 account). Upromise offers 1% to 25% back on purchases and has more than 600 retailers like Sears, Target, and the Home Depot, making it easy to find a favorite retailer and save money for college.

This is a guest post by Deborah from San Diego, CA
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Jingle Jangle: Get Cash Back on Holiday Shopping