Are you looking for more ways to save money? Think you have tried everything? How about using gift cards to save money?
One of the money saving strategies that I like to use is to buy discounted gift cards and use them along with coupons and sales to get the best deals possible. A lot of times when I tell people this they are not sure what I mean or how to even go about doing this.
After getting many questions I decided to write down my exact strategy and show you how I use discount gift cards to save a bunch of money.
How to Use Discounted Gift Cards to Save Money
This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure here.
Where do I get discount gift cards?
First I want to go over where to get discount gift cards and then how to organize and use them to save the most money. When buying your gift cards you want to think about which stores you shop the most and maybe even which stores you will shop for holidays and special occasions.
For most stores, gift cards don’t expire but you will want to check if the one you are buying has an expiration date before you stock up for future purchases.
Buying Discount Gift Cards Online
Gift Card Granny is a portal which will find the best deals on discounted gift cards from a bunch of other websites and route you to them. What I love about Gift Card Granny is that you can earn rewards for every gift card you buy on top of the discount you are already getting!
Image source: Gift Card Granny Website
Another website I just recently reviewed is called Shop Seashells. Seashells will give you instant cash back on gift card purchases and is super unique in what they do. You can use the Seashells website to buy digital gift cards and instantly earn up to 20% cash back.
What’s great about Seashells is that you can buy gift cards right when you need them, so if you are shopping online you can buy your seashells gift card at that time in the exact amount you need.
I cannot tell you how many gift cards I have laying around with change on them so being able to grab a gift card for exact change is perfect!
If you’re going to join Seashells use my referral code BKnStMud and we will both get $5! You can sign up here.
You may also want to check out my full Shop Seashells Review to watch a video of how it works and see how I used it to buy a Staples gift card.
Buying Discount Gift Cards at Your Drugstore and Grocery Store
One of my favorite ways to get the biggest discounts on gift cards is at my local drug and grocery stores. This strategy takes a little more work because they aren’t always available when you need them so you will have to plan ahead. You have to wait for promotions and sales to use this strategy.
It will depend on the store and current sale what type of discount you will get. Most stores will give you a discount in the form of rewards or points for their store but if you are shopping that store anyway its a great deal.
Rite Aid recently had an offer where if you buy a $50 Best Buy Gift Card you get $8 back in Plenti Points which is basically money that can be spent at Rite Aid and certain other places where Plenti rewards are accepted. You will need a Rite Aid card to get the points but if you shop there you most likely already have one.
Each deal will have a limit. The limit on this particular deal was two so I bought two $50 Best Buy gift cards, spent $100 and got $16 back to spend at Rite Aid!
You will want to check your weekly sales flyer to look for deals like the one pictured below.
I basically saved 16% on a $100 Best Buy purchase! That is a huge discount for a store like Best Buy. Combine that with sales and coupons at Best Buy and you can save a whole lot! Remember Best Buy doesn’t know you already saved 16% so say you had a 10% off a $100 purchase coupon you would save an additional $10! That’s $26 in savings on a $100 purchase!
Let’s break this down:
Two $50 Gift Cards = $100
Plenti Rewards Back = $16 ($8 per $50 gift card)
10% off Best Buy Coupon = $10
Total Savings = $26 on a $100 purchase!
Keep in mind you want to read the offer, for this offer you cannot buy a $100 Best Buy gift card and get $16 back. You would have to buy TWO $50 gift cards to get $16 back ($8 for each). Make sense? If not leave a comment and I can clarify!
I used this strategy to stock up on Home Depot, Sephora and Best Buy gift cards. Sephora gift cards were on a promotion at the same time where you buy a $25 Sephora Gift Card and you get $5 back in rewards. I bought two gift cards for Christmas gifts. Doing this deal saved me $10 in total and I had two gifts already done for Christmas.
Now Rite Aid seems to have these deals often but I have also stocked up at Shaws, CVS, and other stores. My grocery store sometimes gives out extra gas rewards for buying gift cards so be on the lookout for those deals (although I find you don’t save as much).
Buy During the Holidays
Finally, my last gift card buying strategy is to buy during the holidays. During the holiday’s many stores will offer discounts and bonus gift cards for making a gift card purchase. Restaurants are most popular for this strategy. I have stocked up on gift cards for myself this way.
For example, my local pizza shop offered a free pizza for every $25 gift card I purchased. I bought a few $25 gift cards and was able to use the free pizza coupons I got for each gift card to eat dinner a few nights and save the rest of the gift cards for future purchases. Again for this strategy you want to buy in increments of what the deal is so multiple $25 gift cards instead of a $50 gift card.
Some retail stores will offer a bonus $5 gift card for each $25 gift card. When sales like this are offered, you want to think about how many you will actually need and use and stock up.
Keep Your Gift Cards Organized!
If you are going to use my gift card strategy to stock up on gift cards, you will have to be organized! You don’t want a wallet full of gift cards. There are plenty of ways you can save your gift cards digitally and store the originals so you don’t lose them and so that they will be easily accessible when you need them.
To digitally organize your gift cards you can use an app like Gyft. Gyft is a digital gift card platform that enables you to buy, send, and manage gift cards. I mainly use it to manage my gift cards but often they will actually have promo codes to buy discounted gift cards! I get notifications on my phone when they are having a sale and can snatch up more gift cards this way.
You can also use Google Wallet and Passbook so use what works for you or save them in a few places. Just make sure you mark them as used when you use them.
So what do you think? Will you be using this money saving strategy? Leave a comment and let me know.