Gift-Buying Tips from the Savings Mom

Christmas is less than a week away, but "GMA's" savings mom, Stephanie Nelson, says there's still time to save big on holiday gifts using online coupons and other tricks of the trade:

Give the gift of a good dinner at a discount. Web sites like restaurant.com allow you to buy a $25 gift certificate at participating restaurants for just $10. Additional coupon codes at Web sites like couponmom.com and couponcabin.com can save you even more.

Find the best deal for anything and everything online and off. Start with a shopping search engine that compares prices, such as shopzilla.com for online shopping and shoplocal.com and cairo.com for brick-and-mortar stores. These sites will even calculate the cost of shipping by retailers. Before you buy, go to the lowest-price retailer site and look for additional savings like rebates and promotions, then check an outside code site for additional savings. Be sure to look for free or low shipping costs; 80 percent of online retailers are offering free shipping when specific conditions are met.

Read product reviews. Reviews will let you know whether or not discounted items are worth the lower price.

Think about magazine subscriptions. You can find discounted subscriptions at Web sites like bestdealmagazines.com and netmagazines.com. The price can go even lower when you use online coupon codes to save more.

Give the gift of charity. Two Web sites -- whatgoesaround.org and justgive.org -- make it easy to make several donations for different people in one place. Buy a card for that person to let them know you made a donation to a charity in their name. If you prefer, these sites will also notify the recipient via e-mail that you made a donation.