"Feed It Forward" Program: Holiday gifts at the right price

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With the economy officially in a recession and thousands of people searching for work, Christmas 2008 has been looking pretty bleak. Even those who are currently employed and relatively stable are thinking about ways to economize, and those who are newly unemployed are wondering how to keep the Christmas spirit going.

Luckily, Restaurant.com's Feed It Forward Program is offering an opportunity for people to give presents to friends and family members who might otherwise have gotten bumped off the Christmas list.

It works like this: every day between now and Christmas, you can visit the Feed It Forward website, choose three friends that you want to treat to a night out, and send them $10 gift certificates. They, in turn, can redeem the certificates at more than 5,000 restaurants. This doesn't cost you any money, and your friends only pay for any food or drinks in excess of the original $10. While you can only send three certificates per day, you can log in every day between now and Christmas. With two weeks remaining in the holiday season, you should be able to send presents to most of the people on your list.

Although Restaurant.com has allocated $30 million for this program, they have only spent 10% thus far. With $27 million left to give, they're sure to make this a brighter season for a lot of people!

Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. He has already sent certificates to his Aunt Evie, his sister Sue, and his wife (hey, he had to make sure that this thing worked)!
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