A huge part of budgeting and saving money is the switch from unplanned purchases to planned expenses. You are forced to sit down in the beginning of the month and think about realistically if you need new shoes, toiletries, or will be eating out with friends that month. This is really important because it allows you to print out coupons for stores in advance and it give you the opportunity to buy and use discounted gift cards. While we will always post if we see a gift card to a general retailer discounted close to 50% or more (in the past year I have seen these kinds of deals on Amazon, iTunes, and Starbucks cards and got them all right away), there are actually always discount cards available. Probably the biggest and best hub is Cardpool.com.
Cardpool.com has discounts that vary by retailer, and has cards as they come in, but if you know that you are going to be buying shoes at DSW, or going out to eat at PF Changs this summer, then I really recommend checking them out! While some more popular, general retailers like target have savings of only 3% or so, Urban Outfitters gift cards (big denominations) are currently 25% off. It’s especially worth checking out after the holidays when everyone is trading in cards at once, so I’ll put out another reminder then!
Note: I’ve also sold a card to them in exchange for Amazon credit before, and even though it was less than the card value, I knew I could get stuff I needed at a better price than I could at the store, and I was really happy with how easy they made the process!