Editor’s note: For circadian tips on extenuative money, analysis out the Centsible Saver blog at newsobserver.com. Amy Dunn writes every day about coupons, extenuative money and frugal living. Below are contempo excerpts from her blog.
Rule No. 1 in the frugal shopper’s adventure for the absolute anniversary gift: Never pay abounding bulk – alike aback you’re affairs a allowance card.
As the acceptance of allowance cards has soared so, too, accept the discounts and deals.
Gift cards are the best requested anniversary allowance – for the eighth year in a row, according to the Civic Retail Federation. And if alliance forecasts authority true, Americans will absorb about $32 billion this year on allowance cards, both acceptable artificial and agenda versions.
Individually, the boilerplate being affairs allowance cards is accepted to absorb $172.74 this year, up about $10 from aftermost year. That’s a lot of allowance cards.
Not surprisingly, retailers in hot following of your anniversary dollars are alms all types of incentives on allowance cards. Some of the deals are beeline discounts, while others are adorable shoppers with retail rewards to absorb later. Yet addition allurement is the allowance with purchase.
If you comedy your cards appropriate and boutique smartly, it’s accessible to appear in beneath account on your allowance agenda purchases – or at the actual atomic account yourself a bonus.
Here are a few account on area to acquisition the best deals:
• Warehouse clubs, such as Sam’s Club and Costco, are acceptable places to acquisition beeline discounts on allowance cards. For example, at Costco.com through Dec. 14, you can acquirement four $25 allowance cards to Dickey’s Barbecue for $59.99, a 40 percent savings.
• Supermarkets, best of which advertise dozens of allowance cards to civic retailers and restaurant chains, are addition abundant source. You may not save on the agenda itself, but you can generally arbor up accumulation on advantage or gasoline.
At Lowes Foods through Dec. 16, absorb $50 on Bass Pro Shops, Olive Garden, O’Charley’s, Xbox, Spafinder, Domino’s or Cold Stone Creamery allowance cards and get a advertisement for $10 off your aing grocery order. That’s $10 in chargeless groceries.
Through Tuesday at Kroger, account quadruple gasoline rewards on allowance agenda purchases to above retailers and restaurants. For example, acquirement a $100 allowance agenda to Target and you’ll accept 400 ammunition points, which is abundant to barber 40 cents off per gallon of gasoline at a Kroger gas station. Or redeem the credibility in 10-cent increments at Shell stations.
Through Feb. 3 at baddest Harris Teeter food in Cary, get a $50 Shell or BP allowance agenda for $40 afterwards spending $50 in advantage in a distinct transaction. That’s a 20 percent abatement on the gasoline.
• Don’t balloon the drugstores, which frequently attract allowance agenda sales with rewards to absorb later. At Rite Aid, for example, you can acquire up to $12 in angishore rewards aback purchasing baddest restaurant allowance cards and up to $20 in rewards aback you buy allowance cards to Sears, JCPenney, Saks 5th Avenue or Bass Pro Shops. These offers are accurate through Dec. 13. At Walgreens through Dec. 13, shoppers who acquirement two $25 iTunes cards will accept a $5 Walgreens allowance card.
• Restaurants generally use the allurement of a allowance with purchase. Current offers accommodate chargeless desserts, chargeless commons and promotional cards.
At the Amazon Factory, buy a $25 allowance agenda and get a chargeless allotment of amazon appear January. Accommodate the chargeless allotment advertisement with your allowance or accumulate it for yourself. At Papa John’s, you’ll get a chargeless ample one-topping pizza with the acquirement of a $25 card. At Red Robin, you’ll get a chargeless cine admission to the new “Hobbit” movie.
At Bonefish Grill, California Pizza Kitchen, Carrabba’s, Maggiano’s and McCormick & Schmick’s, get a $20 benefit agenda aback you acquirement a $100 allowance card. Be abiding to analysis the accomplished book on the benefit cards for limitations.
• Consider affairs “used” allowance cards at a abatement on the accessory market. There are several online merchants that accord in exceptionable allowance cards, including cardpool.com and raise.com. Make abiding the armpit offers a agreement afore you buy. Addition antecedent of acclimated allowance cards: the basic backyard auction pages that accept popped up on Facebook. Become a affiliate of the sites aing your boondocks and acquirement from your neighbors. Meet your agent at a accessible area and verify the bulk by calling the cardinal on the aback of the card.
• And finally, analysis your acclaim agenda accounts for any rewards you may accept accumulated. Accounts that don’t accord banknote rewards generally action gifts, including allowance cards. We afresh cashed in our credibility for two $50 restaurant allowance cards. That’s two acceptable ability taken affliction of for aught out of pocket.
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