Stretching a gift certificate

A couple of weeks ago it was my (27th) birthday, and even this we managed to do on a budget. I made the hubby swear he wouldn’t go over the top this year, he let me pick out the purse he was buying for me and we got it when it was on sale (25% off!), and then he picked out a cute Gap cardigan (there is no such thing as owning too many cardigans, I think I’m up to 10 now!) that was from our son. All in all, gifts were under $100 this year, which is a huge success! Instead of going out for dinner, we went out for lunch (lunch menus are always cheaper!), and we had a coupon for 50% off a second entrée, and then he made dinner that night (mmmm tacos, my fav!). Probably the best part of my day was getting to sleep in, and that cost nothing more than the hubby taking a vacation day from work.

Now I can’t really control what the rest of my family spends on gifts, however, I can control what I do with the mall gift certificate that is my younger brothers’ standard gift for everyone. Christmas, birthdays, that’s what you get from him (at least for the females in the family. He claims we are too tricky to shop for, and we are all OK with that). This year the gift certificate happened to coincide with me getting a 30% Gap/Old Navy coupon in an email (still valid till the 29th, I can forward it to anyone in Canada) so I hit the mall hoping to find something from those stores so I could maximize the certificate. As much as I love my cardigans, I love corduroy even more. I have worn cords all my life, trendy or not, I love them! The last few years I haven’t been able to find them in stores, I was living out my love of cords through an old khaki pair from Old Navy that were too short and about 5 years old. I was THRILLED to see Old Navy has brought them back out for this fall, and in a rainbow of colours. I played it safe, and got them in silver:

I did have to pay full price (which made me angry) because they were new fall stock. I normally wouldn’t because I know in a few weeks they would be on sale, but I had my 30% off coupon, so I made my own sale, and got them for $31 Cdn! And than I hit the Gap, still with the coupon (they give it back to you!). The Gap was busy, like really really busy. Word was out about this coupon, and people were loading up on back to school stuff! I picked up a long sleeve tee that was on the clearance rack for $14.99 Cdn, and paid a little more than $11 Cdn for it (total score for a Gap tee!), I got it in red:

The lady in front of me had a  pile of stuff for her young daughter; I heard the cashier say she saved over $100. What kid needs an entire new back to school Gap wardrobe? Apparently the ones in my neighbourhood, because she wasn’t the only mom in there clearing out the store.

I’m proud that I actually used a coupon, and didn’t really have to go out of my way to use it. If I didn’t have it,chances are I would have bought stuff from those stores with my gift card anyways, so it was even better to save an additional 30%. The way I look at it, I got the tee for free, since without the coupon, the gift certificate would have only covered the cords!

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