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Playing the Gift Card Game

Apr 17, 2015 04:15PM, Published by Joani Taylor, Categories: Business, Today, Arts+Entertainment




Joani Taylor

 My hubby is on an organizing quest. Well… let me rephrase. He has decided it’s easier to spring clean the garage than it is to continue to listen to me babble on and on about it. While I maintain that the best way to go about this task is to simply host a yard sale and then take the money we gain to go buy some new shoes, the hubs has put the kibosh on that plan. Instead, he has determined that it will take multiple trips to the home improvement store for pricy organizing solutions, and may even require some specialized tools. 

This past weekend, he came home with a rather long list of supplies needed, with a very high estimate of what it would cost for him, to achieve my dream of an organized and tidy garage. While I don’t see how putting yet more stuff in the garage will solve the problem of too much stuff in the garage, I have hit a state of desperation from the embarrassment it causes when I park my car, should my neighbors get a glimpse inside. 

After much discussion, we compromised on a shorter list of supplies that did not include the purchase of yet another specialized tool, with the stipulation that we use a few of my special savings tricks. So, the hubs was off to get started on his weekend project. “Make sure you use a gift card!” I shouted to him as he headed out the door. 

“Wait a minute, what did you say?” he asked. “What gift cards? No one has given us any gift cards.”

 “Stop by Smith’s first and buy one,” I instructed. “That way, you’ll get gas points for the gift card purchase and we’ll save some money the next time we buy gas. Plus, this week they have a coupon for 4x’s more points. You’ll need to load that coupon on the Smith’s Shoppers card first. You can do that from the mobile app. Oh, and remember to pay for the gift card with our credit card so we can get the travel points,” I added. “Plus, when you walk into Smith’s today, open the Shopkick app; you’ll get bonus points when you do. We are just 100 points away from getting a free Chili’s gift card. That way we can go out tonight for dinner. Chili’s sent out coupons, so it’s a double dip.” 

 “Let me write this down,” my hubby replied, with a confused look. “After loading the Smith’s coupon, I buy the Lowe’s gift cards and remember to open the Shopkick app to get enough bonus points to get a free Chili’s gift card, so that you can use a coupon at Chili’s to buy dip? Why don’t you just buy dip at Smith’s?” 

All kidding aside, learning to play the gift card game can be confusing, but it will save you a bundle and it’s fun when you know how. Next month, I’ll share some of my favorite tricks for getting discounted, and even free, gift cards so you can play the gift card game, too. Until then, I’m off to admire my newly-organized garage. We saved so much money on it, I might use a gift card and go buy that new pair of shoes after all.  Keep your frugal on, my friends.          


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