Tip of the Day Tuesday: Supplementing your budget with gift cards

If you’ve been reading my blog for long, you know that I use gift cards to supplement my $40 weekly grocery budget. All of the gift cards that I use are ones that I have gotten for “free” for doing various offers. As a working mom with two young children, I don’t have a lot of extra time, so all of the things that I do are pretty easy. I thought I’d share them with you today! Many of them have already been posted at some point on the blog, but I thought it would be nice to have them all in one spot.

*Pharmacy prescription transfers: I dedicated an entire post to this here. It’s worth reading if you’ve been wondering how this works. This is one of the easiest ways that I get gift cards and they are usually $25-30 gift cards. In the Walgreens ad on Sunday, they had a coupon for a $25 gift card with any transferred prescription which is valid until April. There is also a printable version here. In the CVS ad, they had a coupon for a $25 gift card with any transferred prescription which is valid until mid-February. If you have Safeway/Randalls, there is a coupon in the ad this week for a $30 gift card with any NEW or transferred prescription that does not expire until March. The “NEW” or transferred coupons are the best ones to have and I always try to hang on to a few extras because you never know when someone is going to get sick and need to have a prescription filled!

*Lila Guide: I absolutely love this site! If you read my Menu Planning Monday posts, this is where I post most of my crockpot recipes. They have several promotions throughout the year with easy ways to get Target gift cards. You can find all the details about their latest promotion here (hurry because it ends on 1/31).

*Swagbucks: This is becoming my new favorite way to earn gift cards. At some point throughout the day I have a reason to search for something online. Before discovering Swagbucks, I always used Google search, but Swagbucks makes it easy to earn gift cards while doing something I would be doing anyway – searching online! I just cashed out for a $20 Target gift card this week and I plan to cash out for a $25 Amazon gift card soon. If you haven’t joined Swagbucks yet, and you want to know how it works, you can read about it here. For a limited time, get a bonus Swagbuck using the bonus code BeMine (it is case sensitive).

*MyPoints: You will get a few e-mails from this site each week (I usually get 15-20) and in most of the e-mail, there is a link for you to click to “get points” just for reading the e-mail. You can also earn points by shopping through the links on their site, printing coupons from their site, and using the search engine on their site. It is very easy to do and I usually earn a $25 gift card every 2-3 months. If you’d like a referral, you can e-mail me (upper left hand corner of the blog) and I’ll be happy to send you one!

*Epoll: This is a survey site where you earn points for completing surveys. The surveys are usually quick and easy and most of the time are about TV shows. You can cash out your points for a variety of gift cards (Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Starbucks, etc.).

*Credit card rewards programs: I cannot stress enough that you should ONLY do this if you can pay off your card IN FULL every month. If you know that you do not have the discipline to do this, please skip this part because it is not worth it and you will just end up in more debt and more trouble! We have three different rewards cards that we use each month. We have a Discover Open Road card that we use for all of our gas purchases each month. My husband also has reimburseable business expenses each month, and we put all of those on that card. I love this card because there is a cash back or gift card option. When you choose the gift card option, you can usually get a “bonus” reward (for example, a $25 gift card for cashing out $20 in rewards or a $45-50 gift card for cashing out $40 in rewards). We pay for recurring monthly expenses (cable, security system, phone, etc.) on a Citibank cash rewards card (so we don’t earn gift cards, but we do get cash back). All other monthly expenses go on a Gymboree Visa card, and I earn gift cards which I use to pay for clothing for my kids. There are many different credit card rewards programs, and if you are interested in doing this (and again CAN PAY OFF YOUR CARD IN FULL EVERY MONTH), this website will help you to make an informed decision about which card would work best for you.


  1. I just set up my group at LilaGuide. Please join if it interests you!