Wednesday, November 16, 2011

More on Low-Cost Christmas

This morning's post was on getting free gift cards to buy Christmas Presents, thus saving you money and still buying awesome things for people.

I can hear the screams in protest: But you have to BUY things to get free gift cards!

Ah ha!  Not so!

As I was having my morning coffee, I stumbled over to the My Coke Rewards website.  Today is the day that they restock their gift cards, and offer them at half price.  So, I cleared out the account, logged into my husband's account, and wiped the balances down to Zero.  Over $300 in cards are on their way to me, just in time for Christmas shopping.

Wait a minute... don't you have to buy a whole bunch of Coke products?  Isn't that wasteful to buy a bunch of bottled water or sweetened chemical drinks?

No, not really... nothing says that you have to BUY the Coke products.  All you have to do is remove any sense of shame you may feel and use the codes that other people throw away.  Even the first commercials for Coke Rewards featured a janitor removing codes from an office's trashcan and finding a bicycle.  So, all you have to do is find a legal stash of unentered codes and start entering them.  It's probably easier than you think - a recycling bin next to a Coke machine is a good start.  Plus, since the bottle cap is generally not recyclable (seriously, who knew?  I wondered why our recyclers required that we take them off), you may be doing the Earth a favor.  MCR limits points entered to 120 per week, so you need to find either 6 24 can cases (a church picnic), 12 12-can cases (a fraternity's front yard after a party), or 40 single-serve bottles (NCAA women's volleyball game at a "Coke School").  Even bottled water has points, so cases of water at charity 5Ks will work, and gives you an excuse to volunteer.  120 points over 52 weeks will equal 6,240 points, which on today's half-price gift card day could be redeemed for  $310 worth of gift cards with 40 points left over.  What annoys me is that with 2 people in our house, I could have gotten $620 in free gift cards, so I was really off my game last year.

Oh, and yeah... I delayed this post until after I had secured my own cards.  I guess I'm a little competative this way.

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