Over the last few years, daily deal sites have grown enormously in both popularity and membership. The largest of these sites - Groupon, Living Social, Woot and Eversave - drew large crowds of virtual shoppers on the hunt for gift deals this holiday season. These deal-of-the-day websites and the many others that have sprung up recently offer consumers opportunities to purchase deeply discounted gift certificates that can be redeemed at both local or national companies. And with so many consumers still on the lookout for savings this holiday season, daily deal sites are an attractive source for great gifts on a tight budget.

My Shore Deals, hosted by The Press of Atlantic City, partners with local merchants to offer great deals throughout the remaining days of 2011, and continuing into 2012. Over 200,000 people are exposed to My Shore Deals each day, offering savings coupons for products and services.

Typical deals offer 50 percent off the retail price of the goods or services and become valid once the number of deals purchased reaches a predetermined threshold. The cost to the consumer is usually between $10 to $40.

Registration is free and the daily deal offers for everything from food, fitness and fashion items to salon services, entertainment and special events. All of these gifts are delivered via e-mail and localized to the South Jersey market area.

If you have purchased a My Shore Deal for someone as a gift, be sure they know how to redeem the deal for goods and services. The instructions will be included on the voucher, which is e-mailed to you once your credit card is charged.

Giving daily deals as gifts generally works two ways. The purchaser either presents the gift certificate itself or uses the deal to purchase the actual gift item. Either way, there are few, if any, drawbacks to daily deal shopping. There are only two things to keep in mind when purchasing daily deal vouchers as gifts: Note the expiration date. Most daily deal certificates have an expiration date, which is often one year from the date of purchase. Especially when purchasing activities, accommodations or services, make sure that the person receiving the gift will be able to use it within the specified timeframe. Read the offer carefully, including the fine print. Some offers come with conditions. For example, a yoga studio or hair salon might limit the use of the vouchers to new customers or specify that the deal can only be used for particular classes or stylists. In most cases, however, daily deals are straightforward and don't require more than one read to decipher.

Also, a daily deal is one that cannot be returned. As with My Shore Deals, all sales are final.