Friday, October 8, 2010

Gift Card Granny helps consumers use gift cards for savings on everyday purchases

As the name suggests, gifts cards were intended to serve as a hassle-free present to give and a welcomed gesture to receive. Yet one web site, which serves as the most comprehensive listing of discount gift cards on the Internet, is striving to change the way consumers use gift cards. Aptly titled Gift Card Granny, the newly redesigned site encourages shoppers to save money by using gift cards for everyday purchases.

“The ultimate way to save money is to combine gift cards with coupons,” said Luke Knowles, who created Gift Card Granny, which is one of his multiple frugal living-themed web sites. “Every penny counts, especially right now, so gift cards are a perfect way to stretch a dollar. You can save as much as 20-50 percent by getting gift cards on Gift Card Granny.”
Commonly used items such as food, gas and clothes can wisely be purchased with discount gift cards. For example, if you are shopping for groceries, buying Wal-Mart or Safeway gift cards will save money for the short term and over the course of a year. Say you are a contractor and looking to reduce expenses for materials. Home Depot gift cards would accomplish this. Instead of paying full price when eating out, gift cards for a restaurant like Olive Garden make sense. If you are in the market for a computer and want to save some extra dough, a Best Buy gift card will suffice.

Examples of gift cards currently on Gift Card Granny include everything from a $50 Chili’s gift card for $31 and a $75 AMC Theaters gift card for $63 to a $140 Wal-Mart gift card for $110 and a $100 PetsMart gift card for $89.99.

Knowles has implemented the strategy of combining gift cards with coupons himself several times.

“When we were furnishing our office, we needed a new refrigerator. The in-store price was $1,200,” Knowles explained. “We bought $1,000 worth of Home Depot gift certificates for $920 and found a coupon on Coupon Sherpa for $150 off. We bought the fridge at HomeDepot.com using our gift cards and coupon code for a total savings of $230. The final purchase price ended up being $970.”

Gift Card Granny also has a section that instructs readers how to sell gift cards they don’t want.

“Sometimes you get a gift card as a present that you will never use. Say someone gives you a Starbuck’s gift card and you don’t drink coffee or tea, for example,” Knowles said. “You will likely not get full value when you sell the card, but at least it gives you the opportunity to get a few bucks instead of letting the card gather dust in a drawer.”

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