I am not a shopper. I go to a store with a list in hand and usually get what is on the list. So Christmas and birthday shopping throws me for a loop.
In the past few years gift cards have made an explosion. I can't go through a line in the grocery store without seeing a dozen different gift cards in a dozen different denominations for purchase hanging on the rack beside me. Gone are the days of buying a "gift certificate" anymore, unless it is at a local mom & pop type story that doesn't use a gift card.
I have to say that gift cards have made my shopping just a bit easier. Natalia needs a birthday gift for a friend? We get a Jamba Juice gift card, stick it in an insulated Jamba Juice reusable cup, fill it with M&M's, and we have a cute little (consumable!) gift.
Brian wants music for his birthday? itunes or Best Buy, Amazon, or even a Wal-Mart gift card. These are cute packaged with a set of speakers for the MP3 player or ipod.
Give the gift of a Sonic gift card in a decorated 4-pack drink holder with other little gifts or snacks included. Perfect for happy hour! Chocolate Cherry Diet Coke, anyone?
Restaurant gift cards are a great gift, especially when sending a gift long distance. Gift cards cost very little to send. Pop the gift card into a greeting card and mail!
When we lived in Missouri I bought most of my gas at the local Wal-Mart store. If I used a gift card to pay for it there was a 3-cent discount. Every penny counts, and I would almost always get the gift card to get the discount.
Since being involved in SocialMoms I have earned enough Amazon gift cards to buy myself a birthday present: a Blendtec Wheat Grinder that I've had on my wish list for some time. I love it! And I love that I could buy it with my gift cards, and no money out of pocket.
Gift cards have definitely put a different spin on shopping for me, and I have to say it has been a positive spin!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Gift Cards Rock blogging program, for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.