Save with Sarah — Discounted Gift Cards

Public domain picture of a hand holding a money bagIt’s back to school time, and if your family is like mine, the budget’s starting to get really tight.  School supplies, clothes, books, haircuts — there’s a lot to do to get kids ready for school and your normal monthly expenses still have to be paid.

While posting a recipe to my blog this morning, my husband came to tell me that I “had to see this.” Since he was watching the news, I assumed he was going to show me something that would make my blood boil.  What was it now? Name-calling? Partisanned rhetoric? Much to my delight, he wanted me to see a piece about saving money!

Now maybe I’m just out of the loop, but I didn’t know that there were websites that specialize in the sale of discounted gift cards.  This morning’s news blurb focused on http://www.plasticjungle.com and http://www.cardpool.com.  On these sites, you can buy discounted gift cards to places like Kohl’s, Target, Office Depot, and Wal-Mart, and then you can use those cards to help with back-to-school purchases that can stress every family’s budget.

Both these sites sell a myriad of other cards, but buying cards for places I already use makes the most sense to me.  For instance, can you imagine combining a discounted Kohl’s gift card with another discount (like Kohl’s cash) or using a CVS gift card alongside deals that earn you “Extra Bucks”? Not only could this help a family budget during back-to-school season, but it could help all year long, I’d imagine.  And I’m certain it’d help money go further at Christmas time or birthdays.

Now, I have to say that I haven’t used either of these sites yet, so I can’t speak from personal experience about their service and quality, but I intend to give these places a try and share my experience with my readers.  I’d also love to hear from folks who’ve used sites like this to help free up a dollar or two in the monthly cash flow.

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2 Responses to Save with Sarah — Discounted Gift Cards

  1. Sally in NC says:

    Sarah,
    I got to your blog from the Atkins site. I am going to try one of these sites as I have to buy a birthday present for my Brother In Law and he loves Barnes & Noble, so I am hoping they have those giftcards.
    I find your blog very interesting. We live in hurricane territory so we are sort of ready for disaster to hit us. Of course if we hear of a category 3, 4, or 5 hurricane coming we will just pack the car and head out of town! But I wanted to tell you about another community that I belong to called The Women in Red Racers. This is a community of people (both men and woman) that are trying to become debt free. You post your bills (Credit Cards, mortgages, car loans, Student Loans) and then try to pay them off. They loosely follow Dave Ramsey and everybody help everybody and it is all with out names. Now you may already be a member because you would be on the Midwest thread and I am on the South but if not it is something to look into.
    Keep up the good work and all the best to you.
    Sally in NC

  2. Thanks for the kind words, and thanks for the tip about the debt-busting community.

    Regarding B&N, I know that I saw gift cards for them on Plastic Jungle. I don’t recall if I saw them on Cardpool. At this point though, you’ve probably already discovered all the little goodies that can be had on sites like that.

    There’s also a site called Restaurants.com that lets you buy significantly discounted gift certificates to various restaurants around the country. There are strings, so you have to make sure to read the details, but for folks who go out to eat at the restaurants that participate, I’d imagine it could be a nice money-saver.

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