Saturday, November 15

Holiday-time money saving

Every year, Red Robin has a holiday gift card special: Buy a $25 gift card, receive an extra $5 GC. I believe Chili's or Applebees has a similar promotion.


These promotions are meant to lure people in to buy GCs for loved ones by providing them with a little bonus. I've always wondered, though, isn't this a little strange? These are well-publicized promotions. So if you give someone a $25 GC, they know you kept a $5 GC back. Perhaps I'm overestimating people's greed here, but isn't there an inherent awkwardness in the situation?


Moving beyond that, though, I guess I wonder how many people take advantage of these promotions for themselves. If you know you're going to eat there in the future, why not buy up a little in advance?


This isn't a new idea, of course. Plenty of retailers offered 10% bonuses if you spent your stimulus check on gift cards.


Still, if you can plan ahead, I wonder if it isn't the smartest way to go. Has anyone made a habit of taking advantage of offers like this? Are there other "bonus" programs out there?


*****


Update on my 30-day challenge:


In early September, I downgraded my Blockbuster Total Access account. Or so I thought.


For whatever reason, the change never went through -- something I did not notice until a week ago. And, naturally, by the time I noticed, we'd already been charged for November.


So I called up Blockbuster to make a fuss. My account is now downgraded (a savings of $15 per month) and they are giving us December for free, saving another $19.99.


That brings savings up a little:


Selling:

Dishes: $40
Printer ink: $7
Poker set: $5
Misc baby items: $7.50
Selling Total: $59.50


Saving:

Internet: $41
Returned items: $20.07
Blockbuster: $19.99
Saving total: $81.06


Earning:

Vindale: $7
Cash Crate: $8.40
Earning Total: $15.40


Total so far: $155.96


I am going to try to focus more on earnings now, since a decent chunk of my stuff sold. I still have to sell some of my books, though, so I am hoping that will net me a decent sum. And I have two people interested in items I listed on Craigslist. If both end up buying, I would end up with $30 more.

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