Like everyone, I have family members that are a bit challenging to shop for. (For some odd reason, my teenage nephew just does not seem to want me to buy clothes for him anymore? 🙂 ) So, I often rely on gift cards. Now I have developed a strategy in helping stretch the amount of the cards. After all, while you can buy other gifts on sale, gift card face amounts do not lie. And gift cards are not on sale. Unless you know how to shop for them …
First of all, sometimes Black Friday brings gift card sales. For the last several years, Hy-Vee has had a deal where you bought 3-4 gift cards at a time, and you can get $5 off each. Yes, I realize it is too late for this year, but just file that little info. away. Closer to Christmas, stores might again be offering sales on these – worth checking around!
Second, many stores offer a “bonus” if you purchase a certain amount. Usually you can even split the amount on several cards. Either you get an extra amount on the card for free or sometimes a free meal card!
Third, certain places actually give to charity if you purchase a gift card from them. The best example is Raising Canes in Lincoln. If you purchase at least $15 worth of gift cards, they donate 10% toward a charity that buys toys for underprivileged kids! Double the giving!
So, those are a few trips on buying cards to give away. But I will be honest – our family stocks up on these cards during December to use for us. This way in the remaining months of winter, we can eat out for a bit less money. Our favorite place to do this in December was Runza. We bought the $25 gift card, then used it buy our lunch that day, going home with a free meal certificate. We “may” have done this a few times :-), and now we have “free meals” to enjoy after Christmas.
My husband and I recently did this for a date lunch as well. When dining at Dino’s Eastside Grille, we purchased $25 gift card. We received $5 free! We paid for the meal with our gift card, and now we will get to dine there again on another date with our remaining balance!
Happy giving (and eating!)