Shopping Saturdays: Discount Gift Cards

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using discounted gift cards to save money on every day purchasesI have used  discounted gift card websites for the last year and a half now to lower the cost of purchases in many areas. I save on average $25 a month using these websites.

How it works is these discounted gift card companies buy cards from people who do not want them at a discounted rate, and then sell those cards at lower than retail to others.

Here are my tips for purchasing discounted gift cards.

1.Create a Gift Card Fund within your bank account

If you are on a cash budget like our family. I find the best way to handle discounted gift cards is to set up a fund within our checking account that I can use to purchase the gift cards on line. I put a lump sum of money in this fund just once.

When I find a gift card for a store we shop at I purchase the card and subtract its total from that fund.

When the card arrives I write down what discount I got on a note card kept in my wallet.

Every time I make a purchase on that card, I work out what the total owed really is after the discount and then transfer money out of my cash envelopes and place it in my “gift card account restocking envelope”.

At weeks end I then subtract the money in the “gift card envelope” from the amount I normal take out in cash each week, and return that money to the proper envelope. I also take a moment to add the total back into the “gift card fund” in our account.

It sounds confusing but it really only takes a couple of seconds to do these extra steps.

2. Make a firm list of the stores you use often and buy only those cards

I only buy cards for stores that my family regularly eats at or shops at. My definition of regular is we shop there at least 4 times a year or more.

3.If you are about to shop online for something check out discounted e-cards

Many of these discounted gift card websites have e-cards available at a small discount, that only take a few minutes to obtain. I have used these for both Walmart and Target.

4. Sign up for Wish Lists for your favorite cards or visit the sites often

I love and I hate wish lists for discount gift card websites. I love them because they alert me to a card I want that might sell out fast. I hate them because they send out a lot of e-mails.

My suggestion is sign up for alerts on only the top 3 cards that your family uses the most.

If you have interest in more than 3 stores, then check the websites once or twice a week.

5. For best selection use more than one discounted gift card site.

One sight does not have it all when it comes to discounted gift cards so I like to shop around a bit. I have had great success with both Gift Card Rescue and  Cardpool.

Looking for more ways to save money? Follow my Saving Money Tips Board on Pinterest.

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Click to read more shopping tips.

 (post contains affiliate links)

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