Getting Our House In Order

My name is Meg and I live in Buffalo NY with my husband Andrew and our cat Jake.
We are working on getting our house in order by saving money, getting organized, and simplifying things.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The $100 Walgreens Gift Card Challenge

I received a $100 Walgreens gift card in the mail yesterday.  I got it by cashing in some air miles that were going to expire. I didn't have enough miles for a free flight, and they were on an airline I rarely fly (American Airlines and I had a falling out last year, but that is a story for another day!) so I did a bit of research and discovered I could convert the miles to a gift card through  When I saw that Walgreens was a choice I decided to get the card and see just how long I could go at Walgreens without paying anything out of pocket. I also want to see how much merchandise I can get for the $100 by using coupons and hitting the sales.
I am not really going to set any "rules" for the challenge, but I am going to try to keep to my normal shopping habits.  When it comes to coupon shopping I try to:
1. Only buy items we have personal use for, or have a plan for (maybe a gift or donation for example)
2. If I already have enough of an item to last 6-12 weeks , I leave it on the shelf, unless it is a money maker with a long shelf life. I won't buy things I will never use (ie blood sugar monitors) just to get register rewards. I don't have a problem with those who choose to do that, it just isn't right for me, so I leave those for the people who need them!
3.I won't waste my time or gas running all over town trying to get an item if it is out of stock at a store I normally shop at. I'll ask for a raincheck if it makes sense, but if I miss something with register rewards, I don't stress about it. Most deals come around again!!

For the purpose of this challenge, I will count register rewards when I earn them. They will go to the declining balance of the gift card. Usually I count them when I spend them, so this will be a slight departure from my normal "accounting system". :) Same goes for mail in rebates. If I submit for one, I will add the amount I'll get back to the card balance. I just started to dip my toe in the rebate pond, so we'll see how that goes.  Since I'm really spending no money (the card was free, unless you want to count my blood sweat and tears as a road warrior!) I need to just add them to the balance.  I also don't typically break my orders into multiple transactions, but I may consider it if it makes sense to stretch my card further.

I don't really have any idea how this is going to go, but I am setting a goal of  making the card last 3 months and getting $500 worth of products.  If it goes longer, or I get more stuff, great! I'll keep a running tally of both what is left on the card, and value of products with each shop.

Wish me luck!!

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