life shopping

free weekend? not quite …

I’d been carrying around gift cards in my wallet for months (years, in one case), so the husband and I decided we’d have a ‘free’ weekend and redeem as many as possible.

First off, a certificate for ‘$25 off a meal of $35 or more’.  We made it to the restaurant out in the middle of nowhere, and were the only people there.  For a whole hour.  No other customers showed up.  At all.  They better have some crazy Wednesday night crowd or something, or they’ll be going out of business real soon.

We asked the waitress if they’d accept the certificate, and she said they would.  So we proceeded to order appetizers (cheese fries and fried pickles, mmmm), sandwiches and dessert.  When it came time to pay the bill however, she came back from the back room, and said the manager/cook claimed they didn’t accept the certificate.  He was kind enough to offer us 50% off.  Which brought us to the total of what we would have spent anyway had we not been aiming for $35.

Strike one against our free weekend.

We made it to Sears, where we looked and looked for something to spend $25 – and only $25 – on.  We looked at video games.  I looked at purses.  The husband looked at wallets.  We finally decided on the oh-so-exciting choice of $22 worth of socks.  I was so proud, we didn’t spend any money!  On our way out, I handed the now $3 gift card to a lady perusing Sears goods – who insisted on repaying my kindness by offering me a coupon to Gap – which just so happened to be where we were headed next, as I had $8.10 remaining on a gift card.

The coupon was for $15 off a $50 purchase.  Subtract the $8.10 … and that’s $50 worth of goods for $27!!  How could I possibly resist that?  And so I didn’t.  Instead of being practical and buying a $10 clearance shirt and spending $2 of real money, I went for a $50 sweater for $27.  I mean, really, did I have any other choice?

Strike two.

We meandered on over to Best Buy.  I’d been carrying around a $100 Visa gift card for months, and Best Buy seemed like our best bet to use it all in one fell swoop.  The husband had been eyeing a new laaaaaaaser mouse, as his current laaaaaaser mouse is on its last legs.  The price tag?  $99.99.  With Best Buy’s tax-free weekend, that left us with a penny on the card.  I tossed the card on the way out … just didn’t seem worth trying to redeem that last penny.

So, we managed pretty well – we spent $50 for about $200 worth of goods.  We’ve still got another restaurant certificate (to a different restaurant, maybe this one’ll accept it), an Olive Garden gift card, and $26 at Costco (and an expired membership).  Maybe we’ll try for a 75% off weekend next weekend. 

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