Those who know me well know that I am not one to make a purchase just because something was free or marked down. My goal is to buy less, spend less time in stores, not just haul home a car full for pennies. But Friday was a day in which I gathered merchandise without spending a cent of our budget.
First stop, Morgan's Shoes at Hilldale Mall. Situated next to my office, foot power delivered me to the shopping center. Tucked in my bag was a coupon for a free pair of Smart Wool socks, sent back in September as a birthday gift. In I went, bee-lined to the sock wall, selected a colorful pair, size Large. At the check-out I was informed that while the free card was a bit old, they'd gladly honor it. The only concern was why someone five foot one inch selected large socks? They are going to be a gift for a college woman in Boston -- she needs a large, much taller than me! And with that I dropped them in my bag and headed to the next stop. $20 gift acquired at no cost to me.
My second stop was at an Aveda salon at the mall that offers pricey stylists, pedicures, and Aveda products. Another gift card that made its way into my life back on September was $65 for the salon. The giftor hoped that for once I'd splurge and get a pedicure. I've never had one, and starting out with one that costs $50 plus $15 tip is just beyond my mental grasp. Especially given our situation of having spent a large sum of our savings, and harboring desire to build it back up. Nope, can't do it. Instead I leave with $62 in Aveda shampoo and color conditioning products. Ones I regularly use, and now do not have to purchase out of the household budget. Tacked to our kitchen bulletin board is that card with the remaining $3 and some odd cents, which I'll use the next time I have an Aveda product need.
Stay tuned for more gift cards transformed into as practical a purchase a possible. Money, whether earned through work or received as a gift, is not something I can toss about without thought and care. And that is what makes me a frugal individual.
Thanks for reading, and if you have a gift card story to share, please do. I'm always inspired by reader comments.