Gift Card Etiquette

Whenever we receive gift cards as a couple, I add them to my collection of coupons, points cards, etc. that I keep stashed for shopping excursions. Depending on the card, I’ll use it for something fun that we’ll both enjoy (like a bookstore card or a DVD store card) but if it’s for a department, discount or hardward store, I hold onto it until we’re buying something we need.

Yesterday, Thomas and I went to a discount store for a few things that were on sale. I had a $20 gift card that we got for Christmas and Thomas was a bit surprised that we were making 20 cans of cat food, 2 cans of salmon and 9 boxes of tissues our Christmas present. Meanwhile, I was thrilled to be taking that haul for a total of $3.32 out of pocket. In the same vein, we bought a shower valve with a hardware gift card we received for our anniversary. Does anyone else think this is odd? My thought is that the gift card purchase freed up money somewhere else in our budget and it might mean a lunch out for two or maybe a movie. How do you use your gift cards?

In other thrifty news, I decided to make dinner with bits and bobs I found in the fridge last night. Using up the last of the black beans, we had beans and rice (seasoned with onions, cayenne pepper and cumin) and cheese quesadillas made with leftover tortillas from so long ago I’m a bit disturbed that they have remained relatively fresh and unchanged in the fridge (that can’t be good). With some salsa, it was the cheapest meal we’ve had all month.

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2 Comments

Filed under Food & Meal Planning, Frugal Living

2 responses to “Gift Card Etiquette

  1. Great use of your gift cards! A little bit of an odd gift, but hey… 😉 LOL!! If we “need” something we”ll use gift cards for that, or hold onto them and put them towards something we’d like together. We received $40 GC from Canadian Tire for Xmas and hubby ended up using 3/4 of it on a pr of new gel knee pads he needed for work. So that saved us out of pocket too! 🙂

  2. If someone gives us a giftcard for a restaurant, a movie theater, or some place slightly frivolous (ie – cooking supply store, bookstore, etc) we use them for fun. But if we are given a discount/department store giftcard, then I use it as practically as I can. I assume that if someone gives us a wa.lmart-type of card they know that we will use it for what we need.

    And in regards to your dinner… sounds great! I’ve had those moments too, where I wonder at how something has lasted looking/tasting fresh for an above average amount of time.

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