Friday, December 30, 2011

Being Practical with Gift Cards

For Christmas, some of my people were very generous, and I received some gift cards. My grandma got me $50 from Marshalls, one of my aunts got me $25 to Amazon, boyfriend got me $15 to Starbucks, and my boyfriend's dad got me $40 to AMC.

AMC will obviously be used for date nights. We went once already, and are planning to hit up one of the movies before noon ($6 per ticket) before the break is over to use the balance. Ideally I wanted to use it all on matinees, but we were out in LA the other day and needed something to do to avoid traffic for a few hours, so there went $27 of the card. I can't remember the last time I went to a non-discounted movie, and I remembered why when I saw that balance. BF also has a free ticket from giving blood, so we could combine it with that to go to an evening movie as well.

I went to Marshalls yesterday and got some new kitchen knives (mine are from Ikea and they're ATROCIOUS). These knives are colorful and high quality. I am so enjoying using them already! We also needed new hand soap for the bathroom. I had planned to hit up the Bath and Body Works sale, but instead found two bottles on clearance at Marshalls and used my gift card. They smell good and I like having something nicer than Dial in the bathroom. I snagged a few pairs of underwear as well, and still have $7 left on the card. I think I'll use it to get some scrapbooking stuff I saw. I do a scrapbook project for a novel we read in my English class in the Spring, and it will be nice to spend a little less out of my own pocket on the materials. I like that I got something I've been wanting (knives), something I need (soap), and something that I needed, but that is also fun to buy (cute underwear).

I'm going to combine the Amazon gift card with Swagbucks gift cards, and hopefully buy the Playstation Move bundle from Amazon. This is the starter set so you can play all the dance games on PS3, which would be super fun. Boyfriend mentioned splitting it...I might go with that, or if I can turbo charge my Swagbucking, get it for us for Valentine's Day. I think it's something fun we could do together at home, and I'm dying to try the Michael Jackson game. :) I think this is a good balance of using it for something fun (which I think my aunt would prefer), but also being practical and using it to save money on a bigger purchase/gift.

The Starbucks card? I'm hoping to meet up with a friend to hang out next week, and plan to suggest that we meet at Starbucks. This will save me money because I'm not spending money eating out, like we normally would. I may also use it in the next few days when BF and I go away overnight to go to Magic Mountain together. We shall see.

BF was teasing me, saying they must be burning a hole in my pocket...and it's true, I do tend to spend my gift cards ASAP! I love shopping, and it's fun to do it guilt-free. I've also made a game out of seeing how I can use them to save money from my regular budget.

Did you get Christmas gift cards? How did you use them?


  1. I got a gift card to Walmart, but I am going to give it to my daughter so that she can get some personal items she needs being that her father won't get for her.

  2. @Rhitter, that's VERY practical. You'd probably buy them for her without the gift card, so you're not having to take those needs out of your budget. Good job!

  3. I always use my giftcards really quickly, it's nice getting them!

  4. I got a Starbucks gift card, a Tim Hortons one (coffee shop) and a Subway one so I used the amount I would normally put in my entertainment budget and put it towards debt. I will stretch these cards as far as I can though. I also got some cash which I used to purchase a new external hard drive (at a great discount) and some new undies and shampoo. I still have some money left too.