5 Ways to Buy Discounted Gift Cards So You Can Save Big on Black Friday

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5 Ways to Buy Discounted Gift Cards So You Can Save Big on Black Friday
Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We provide you with accurate, reliable information. Learn more about how we make money and select our advertising partners. The concept of buying discounted gift cards is simple enough. You “stack” your savings by combining Black Friday sales with discounted gift cards as payment.  And most retailers let you use their cards in-store or online.  Here are five ways you can buy gift cards for less than face value. 1. Online Gift Card Vendors Sellers that specialize in gift cards normally sell them at face value, but they do have sales.  Typically, quantities are limited and the deals sell out fast, so check often. You can sign up on Doctor of Credit to receive phone notifications of these types of deals. 2. Discounted Gift Card Sites Many websites help you buy discounted gift cards with unused balances. Discounts vary according to demand, and from site to site.  Gift Card Granny currently shows that a Cold Stone Creamery gift is available for 14% off and a 1800Flowers gift card is available for 8% off.   3. Local Store Promotions I once bought gift cards for several retailers at Dollar General for 15% off. To find these deals, check weekly ads online for various stores near you. Gift card promotions are usually on or near the last page.   Gift cards at Sam’s Club (online and in-store) often sell at a discount, but the selection is limited and the best deals are usually for restaurants. You can currently get two $25 cards for Olive Garden, Subway or Starbucks — a total value of $50 — for $39.98 online. 4. Use a 5% Cash-Back Category Reward If you have a credit card that pays 5% cash back on certain categories, you can use it to get 5% back on gift cards for non-category retailers.  For example, Discover’s 5% categories currently include Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Target. Discover doubles your cash back after the first year, so you actually get 10% back if you’re a new card holder. Chase Freedom is another card with rotating 5% cash back categories (new ones every three months). Just remember that with both Chase and Discover, you have to activate your 5% bonus online at the beginning of each quarter. 5. Use Amex Offers If you have an American Express card, take advantage of Amex Offers to get discounted gift cards. Just watch for offers at places that sell gift cards. For example, my offers (each account theoretically gets different ones) once included a $10 statement credit for spending $50 at JCPenney. I can go to JCPenney, find their gift card rack, buy a $50 card for some other store, and get $10 back.  American Express says they’ll credit your account within 90 days, but it has never taken more than two weeks for my credit to appear.  You might even get gift cards for free. I used an offer of $10 back for any purchase at Newegg to buy a $10 Home Depot gift card — three times. There was no shipping charge, so I got $30 in Home Depot cards for free.  Get Ready for Black Friday   To prepare for Black Friday, you may have to guess where you’ll spend the most money, and how much, in order to buy the right gift cards in advance.  If you’re uncertain, just buy cards for places where you usually shop. That way, you can easily “liquidate” them after Black Friday if you haven’t used them all. If you wait until the last moment (or are reading this on Black Friday), you can still buy digital gift cards as necessary and print them out at home. Most vendors say it takes up to a day to email you the link to print your “card,” but I’ve always received it within two hours.   If you’re a scientific shopper, you’ll prepare a list of doorbusters and other items you plan to buy, and where. Then you’ll find the necessary gift cards at the best discounts available. You’ll also use… More Advanced Gift Card Strategies Paying for Black Friday purchases with discounted gift cards is a simple way to “stack” your savings.  But you can save even more if you add additional savings tactics, like using the right rewards credit card. Here are some examples of how to really stack up those savings. Example #1 Suppose Gap and Old Navy gift cards are currently on sale for 20% off at Staples. Buy a $50 card with a Chase Ink or American Express Simply Cash Business card (I have both), to get $2 cash back on the $40 purchase (5% back at all office supply stores).  Spend $50 on half-priced gifts on Black Friday, and pay with the gift card for a total net cost of $38 for things that would normally cost $100.  That’s how you stack three savings tactics: a sale, credit card cash back and a discounted gift card. Example #2 You plan to spend $140 on gifts at Michaels, so you do this: Go to Cashback Monitor and enter Raise to see which cash-back portal pays best for shopping at that discount card vendor. At the moment, the best rate is 5% from Mr. Rebates. Go to Mr. Rebates and set up an account, because they offer 5% cash back if you shop at Raise through their link. Use the Mr. Rebates portal link to go to Raise. Search through the many Michaels gift cards. As I write this, a card with a balance of $202.25 is listed for $174.95, a 13.5% discount. Buy the gift card with a credit card that gives you cash back, like Citi Double Cash (2%) or Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard (1.5%). Buy stuff at Michaels for at least 50% off on Black Friday. Here’s the breakdown on what you would save on the first $140 of purchases, if you buy only Black Friday deals that are 50% off: Half-off sale savings: $140.00 Gift card discount: $27.91 Portal cash back: $3.36 Credit card cash back: $2.24 By stacking four savings tactics, you save $173.51, and pay just $106.49 for gifts that would have cost $280 at the regular prices. Example #3 Add a coupon to the last example to use five savings tactics for one purchase. I once a five-level stack recently (not for Black Friday).  I earned portal cash back (1) when I bought a discounted gift card (2) with a cash-back credit card (3), and then I used the gift card and a coupon (4) to buy items already on sale (5) — all just to get cheap cat food at Petco in that case, but the strategy can also work at all of your favorite Black Friday stores. Steve Gillman is the author of “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and creator of EveryWayToMakeMoney.com. He’s been a repo-man, walking stick carver, search engine evaluator, house flipper, tram driver, process server, mock juror, and roulette croupier, but of more than 100 ways he has made money, writing is his favorite (so far). This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Want to have a stress-free December?

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Want to have a stress-free December?
Want to get a head start on Christmas? Would you like to feel less stress and more joy this Christmas? Already feeling a little overwhelmed thinking about December? I’ve invited Kaley Ehret to join me on Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 12 p.m. CST/1 p.m. EST to teach us three strategies for having a stress-free December.  Kaley used to dread the arrival of Christmas because of her giant To Do list and all of the expectations of the season. But she discovered some techniques that have transformed her approach to the holiday season and it has helped her to love Christmas again. She’s going to give you the tools you need to head into the holiday season with a sense of clarity and calm, rather than stress and frustration. Does that sound good to you? I know it does to me! So what are you waiting for? Go here and sign up for this special class — it’s FREE! photo credit [...]
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Ready to Leave Your Bank? How to Make the Switch in 5 Easy Steps

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Ready to Leave Your Bank? How to Make the Switch in 5 Easy Steps
Love them or hate them, there’s no escaping the fact that you need a bank to keep your money safe. But if your current bank isn’t cutting it, you may be wondering how to switch banks and if switching to a new one is more trouble than it’s worth. If you’re looking to change banks but aren’t sure where to start, this step-by-step guide will set you in the right direction. What to Consider Before Switching Banks Before you do anything with your current bank account, you’ll need to choose a new bank. Here are some things to consider. Bank or Credit Union? The first decision you’ll need to make: credit union vs. bank.  The main difference between the two is how they are run. Banks are designed to make a profit by investing their money and growing their business. Credit unions are owned by members, who receive dividends on annual profits. Each have their pros and cons. Online or Traditional? Many credit unions are local organizations, so you’re likely to have an ATM close by you.  Banks can be trickier. Local banks and larger national banks may have physical branches in your area so you can stop by and speak with someone in person with any questions or issues. But if you choose a bank without a physical branch near you or an online bank that doesn’t have brick-and-mortar locations, you’ll need to ask your questions online or over the phone. That can be stressful if customer service isn’t up to scratch. You could also end up paying ATM fees if your bank doesn’t have a location near you, but many online banks will reimburse these fees. Perks and Benefits When you choose a bank, consider how much interest your money will earn, as well as any perks or benefits offered. You might be eligible for a cash bonus just for joining.  But you’ll also need to weigh the perks against the fees, including overdraft charges. Also be aware of any minimum balance requirements. Read Reviews You might find a bank or credit union that looks perfect for you, but what do current customers think? Look for reviews online and ask your friends or family members to share their experiences. You might be put off by bad reviews and continue your search, or you might find good reviews of your chosen bank that put your mind at ease. How to Switch Banks in 5 Steps Ready to say goodbye to your bank? Here’s how to switch banks in five easy steps. 1. Open Your New Account Once you’ve decided on a bank or credit union, you can start the process of opening a bank account. Whether you do this online or in person, it’s important to be prepared with the right documents, including a photo ID. You’ll want to open your new account at least a few weeks before you want to make the official switch. This will ensure that your bills will be paid and you won’t be hit with late or overdraft fees. 2. Redirect Automatic Payments You probably have a lot of your bills set up to autopay from your bank account. It’s vital that you switch these automatic payments to your new account as soon as possible to avoid missing payments. Make a list of all the automatic payments you have. This might include, but isn’t limited to, the following: Mortgage or rent Car payment Student loan payments Credit card payments or other loans Utilities, including gas, electric and water TV provider, including cable, satellite and streaming services Car insurance Internet  Cell phone bill Gym or other club memberships Charitable donations Check previous bank statements to make sure you have all automatic payments listed. Once you have your list, start switching over your autopay information. It’s a good idea to ask for an email receipt for confirmation. Pro Tip Go back through 12 full months of bank statements to make sure you don’t miss automatic payments that you only make quarterly or annually.  3. Contact Your Employer Many employers, especially larger ones, pay via direct debit. Contact your employer ASAP to let them know your new account details to avoid a paycheck delay. Your employer may require you to fill out a form with the new information or provide a voided check. Make sure you ask exactly what they need from you to ensure the switch goes smoothly. If you have more than one employer or receive other direct deposits, such as child support payments, make sure you update that information as well. 4. Transfer Your Money Once you’re sure your automatic bill payments and direct deposits are up to date, move any remaining money from your old checking and savings accounts to your new ones.  Depending on your bank, you may be able to transfer the money to your new account free of charge. If you’re faced with a fee for the privilege of moving your money, you can request a check from your old bank that you can deposit into your new account. 5. Close Your Old Account Once your new account is set up and established, it’s time to close your old account. Wait a month or two to make sure all direct deposits and automatic payments are set up properly with your new bank before closing your old one. The last thing you want is to have your water cut off for non-payment when you thought you’d switched that bill over. Make sure you’ve paid off any outstanding balances on your old accounts before moving funds. Failing to do so could make it harder to open bank accounts in the future. No matter why you’re switching banks, it’s important that you feel confident in your decision. Follow these steps to ensure an easy transition between your old and new banks. Catherine Hiles is a writer, mother, runner and avid reader. She enjoys cooking (and eating), good beer and spending time with her husband and two young children. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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How Much Is Vet School?

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How Much Is Vet School?
The average cost of four years of veterinary school is more than $200,000 for in-state students and $275,000 for out-of-state students, according to the VIN Foundation, a nonprofit that offers veterinarians education and support. Here’s how the most and least expensive vet schools stack up, and a breakdown of options students have for managing the... Ryan Lane is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: rlane@nerdwallet.com. The article How Much Is Vet School? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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What You Can Do When Your Prescriptions Cost Too Much Money

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What You Can Do When Your Prescriptions Cost Too Much Money
Save money on your prescriptions This is a sponsored post on behalf of InsideRx.com. All opinions are my own and were not influenced by any parties. If you look in your home medicine cabinet, you will probably see at least one prescription.  You, or someone in your family, may need to take these medications due ... Read More about What You Can Do When Your Prescriptions Cost Too Much Money The post What You Can Do When Your Prescriptions Cost Too Much Money appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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This Week’s $70 Grocery Budget + Menu Plan

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This Week’s $70 Grocery Budget + Menu Plan
Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.). For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here. Because of our traveling the last 4 weeks, I haven’t posted our grocery budget + menu plan posts. It feels good to be back to it now that school has started and we’re back into the swing of a more normal routine. Speaking of school starting, here’s a real-life photo from the first day: Kathrynne headed out to a 4-day back to school camp (her school starts with an all-school 4-day camp!), Silas all ready for his first day in his uniform, and Kaitlynn sporting a thermometer because she had a low grade fever and had to stay home. I couldn’t believe this HUGE cart full of egg noodles marked down to $0.69 each at Kroger this week! But I didn’t buy them because Kroger has Private Selection on pasta for $0.50 when you buy 5 participating items. Kroger Shopping Trip #1: Kroger breakfast links — free with coupons from Kroger mailer 2 canisters of breadcrumbs — on closeout for $0.47 each Kroger peanut butter — free with coupons from Kroger mailer A&W Cream Soda — free with coupon mailed to me Quest bar — free with Freebie Friday coupon 1 can Kroger green beans — marked down to $0.29 2 cans of hominy — marked down to $0.29 each Turkey Hill Tea — marked down to $0.39 Kroger broth — marked down to $0.69 3 boxes of Kroger toaster pastries — marked down to $0.59 each 1 bag of peppers — marked down to $0.99 1 cantaloupe — marked down to $0.99 1 bag of onions/avocados — marked down to $0.99 1 can Simple Truth green beans — marked down to $0.49 1 package of egg roll wraps — marked down to $0.49 2 bags of Blue Corn chips — $0.99 each when you buy 5 participating items 1 package of Oscar Mayer hot dogs — $0.99 each when you buy 5 participating items 2 bags of Goldfish — $0.99 each when you buy 5 participating items 4 packages of Private Selection pasta — $0.50 each when you buy 5 participating items 1 box of oatmeal — used $0.40/1 Kroger digital coupon = $1.09 after coupon Total with tax: $18.95 Kaitlynn and I flew to Portland, Maine for me to speak at the Food Allergy Blogger’s Conference. One of the best parts of speaking at food blogging conferences? The BEST gift sacks full of yummy food and snacks from sponsors! Kroger Shopping Trip #2 Kroger whole wheat flour — marked down to $1.69 Brown rice — marked down to $1.19 3 packages of Eckrich sausage — $1.69 each when you buy 5 participating items 5 packages of cheese — $0.99 each with Friday-Saturday deal 2 boxes of Cheerios — $1.49 when you buy 5 participating items — used $1/2 Kroger digital coupon = $0.99 each Bag of grapefruit/lime juice — $0.99 Tub of lettuce — marked down to $1.79 1 dozen cage-free eggs — $2.50 1 back to school brownie bites — marked down to $2.49 Total with tax: $25.09 Sprouts Shopping Trip Bartlett Pears — $0.95 3 18-oz. cartons of blueberries — $1.98 each Peaches — $1.09 Water — $1.98 Total with tax: $10.64 BigLots Shopping Trip 2 bags of chips — $0.25 each 2 double packs of English Muffins — $1.40 each 4 packages of Keebler cookies — $0.25 each 4 to-go cups — $0.25 each 4 bags of peanuts — $0.25 each Total with tax: $7.26 I couldn’t believe the great deals we found at BigLots! It reminded me of the Christian County Discount Freight & Grocery last week! What We Ate This Past Week Note: When you see the meals below, please remember this: I buy ahead often. Which means that when I find a great deal on something I know we’ll use, I buy as much as I can afford in our budget to have on hand. This means that you aren’t going to see all of the groceries my shopping trip that I used to make all of the meals we ate. Please also remember that I’m putting this out there and it’s not a perfectly balanced menu. This is just really what we ate — and I hope that it encourages you to see the real-ness and lack of perfection here. Breakfasts: Cereal, Homemade Granola, Toast, Cantaloupe, Yogurt Lunches: Ham Sandwiches, Granola Bars, Yogurt, Capri Sun, Salad, Leftovers, Fruit, Snacks: Cookies, Popcorn, Ice Cream, Go-Gurts Dinners: Sunday — Chicken Noodle Soup, Oyster Crackers Monday — Fend for Yourself Tuesday — Chick-fil-A Wednesday — Smoked Ribs Thursday — Chicken Noodle Soup, Bran Muffins Friday — Chicken Rice Casserole, Cantaloupe, Roasted Broccoli Saturday — Leftovers Total spent on groceries: $61.94 Cashback earned this week: 308 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards [...]
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Outside Magazine Discount

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Outside Magazine Discount
Snag big savings on a subscription to Outside Magazine!! OUTSIDE SUBSCRIPTION DISCOUNT Now through 8/6/19 (11:59 pm EST), order a subscription to Outside Magazine for just $4.99 per year! That is a savings of 89% off the list price!  You can order up to 2 years at this low price.  Enter the coupon code PENNYPINCH ... Read More about Outside Magazine Discount The post Outside Magazine Discount appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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*HOT* JCPenney: Buy 1, Get 2 Free Women’s Sandals

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*HOT* JCPenney: Buy 1, Get 2 Free Women’s Sandals
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Do you need new sandals for summer? JCPenney is currently offering Buy One, Get Two Free on select women’s sandals! JCPenney is offering Buy One, Get Two Free select women’s sandals! There are over 100 styles to choose from! No promo code is needed. Just add three pairs to your cart and you’ll see the discount at checkout. Choose in-store pickup to avoid shipping costs. Valid through June 26, 2019. Thanks, Freebie Radar! [...]
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Easy 4th of July Recipe | Patriotic Strawberry and Blueberry Muffins

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Easy 4th of July Recipe | Patriotic Strawberry and Blueberry Muffins
Looking for some really easy 4th of July recipes? These Patriotic Strawberry and Blueberry Muffins are SO good and super simple to whip up in a pinch! {Looking for 4th of July desserts? Check out this Patriotic Mason Jar Ice Cream — so much fun for the whole family!} The 4th of July is right around the corner and will be here before we know it!! If you’re looking for creative 4th of July recipes to take to an Independence Day potluck or family gathering, try these fun Patriotic Strawberry and Blueberry Muffins! These Patriotic Muffins are ridiculously easy to whip up and they’re seriously some of the BEST muffins I’ve ever tasted! They’re super moist and delicious — and it’s difficult to eat just one! You might want to make an extra batch just in case. 😉 If you’re looking for easy 4th of July recipes, these Strawberry and Blueberry Muffins are really versatile! You could use them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even snack/dessert! I’d think they’d also be perfect for a brunch gathering! You can eat them cooled or warmed, but I recommend them warm and slathered in butter. YUM! I love the extra flavor twist that the strawberries add to the traditional blueberry muffins taste. But if you love the tart taste of raspberries, you could always substitute the strawberries for raspberries and still have a fun patriotic-themed 4th of July recipe! The best part of these Patriotic Muffins? They freeze really well! Make them ahead of time a few days or even a week before you need them, and then all you have to do is pull them out of the freezer a few hours before serving them! Eat them as-is or pop them in the microwave to warm them up. Oh — and if you’re looking for a dairy free version, just substitute the yogurt with your favorite brand of dairy-free vanilla yogurt. Voila! Patriotic Strawberry and Blueberry Muffins Eggs, 4 large Sugar, 2 cups Vegetable Oil, 1 cup Vanilla Extract, 1 teaspoon All-Purpose Flour, 4 cups Salt, 1 teaspoon Baking Soda, 1 teaspoon Baking Powder, 2 teaspoons Vanilla Yogurt (I used dairy-free), 2 cups Fresh Blueberries, 2 cups Fresh Chopped Strawberries, 2 cups Beat eggs in a bowl, and then gradually add in the sugar. While beating, slowly pour in the oil. Next, add vanilla and then stir in the yogurt. Combine all dry ingredients and then add it to the egg mixture. Gently fold in blueberries and strawberries. Spoon into muffin tins lined with paper muffin liners (I used patriotic ones). Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Yields: 25-30 Muffins Recipe slightly adapted from Taste of Home [...]
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IT Consulting Industry Outlook 2019

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IT Consulting Industry Outlook 2019
The post IT Consulting Industry Outlook 2019 appeared first on ONEtoONE Corporate Finance. [...]
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