My New Favorite Money-Saving Strategy That You Aren’t Using

I just love finding new ways to save money.  It is kind of an addiction really. 😉  And after spending years being a guinea pig with a lot of money-saving tips I created this 3-step process I used to help me save over 50% on almost all of my purchases.

My newest money-saving strategy that you probably aren't using...I just love finding new ways to save money. It is kind of an addiction really. ;) And after spending years being a guinea pig with a lot of money-saving tips I wrote How To Save Money: A 21-Day Challenge to Save $500/month....

So today I just want to share a very simple strategy that is saving me money each month – check it out below!

Buying Used Gift Cards

Did you know that you can buy used gift cards at a discount – sometimes as much as 15% off the face value of the card?  So this essentially means that you can pay $85 for a $100 gift card in some cases.

But the key to actually saving money here is to buy gift cards for stores and products that we will be buying anyway.

For example, my family will be spending money every single month buying groceries, household items, and fuel for our cars.

If we are going to be spending $100 at Target or Walmart each month, why not buy a $100 gift card at a discount?

Discounted Rates available

These are some of the current rates at

  • Lowes  5% off
  • Whole Foods  4% off
  • Starbucks  16% off
  • Target  5% off
  • Walmart  4% off
  • Publix  2% off
  • Kohls  12% off

As you can see the discount rates vary widely, but if you are going to spend money at a store, why not get a discount?

Questions I had about buying used gift cards

There are other sites out there that sell discounted gift cards (, and others) and I can’t speak for all of them, but these answers apply to GiftCardGranny.

Are there any fees?


What if the gift card doesn’t have the correct amount loaded on it?

They verify the amount on the card before shipping it out, but if it ever did happen, they have a 60-day purchase guarantee that it is the correct dollar amount.

Do I have to pay for shipping?


Do they expire?


Do I have to pay sales tax when buying the gift card?


How long will they take to arrive?

They ship them via USPS, so it is normally about 3-5 business days

Can I sell them my unwanted gift cards?

Yes, they purchase gift cards up to 92% of the face value.  So if you have some collecting dust in a drawer, that is a good way to get some cash out of them.

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  1. melissa

    We did this last year when we were purchasing a large shed from Lowes. We saved $1500.00 dollars doing it this we. We also love the electronic, and mobile gift cards. Going to the movies is actually affordable in our budget this way! 🙂 If you have never tried it, please do! Buying gifts for people at a discount is incredible! They come in the mail quickly, our fav’s are and– and they have a bulk feature that gives you an additional discount! Christmas in February- I think so!

    • Bob

      Right on Melissa, it does work particularly well when doing a home improvement project when you can get about 10% off at Lowes or Home Depot!

  2. Jason B

    This is a good idea. I will be trying this soon.

  3. Abigail

    Dont forget that some gift card sites are also on Mr. Rebates, Ebates etc. I know you can get 1% back at Raise on Extrabux and Mr Rebates. I know Cardpool is on one of them, too. Every little bit helps.

    • Bob

      Great tip Abigail!

  4. Beatrice

    Interesting way to save money. Thank you for the tip. I just wanted to share a thought. My mum’s purse was stolen from her hand bag and in less than an hour the thieves had charged over $21,000 in gift cards. Working with the police, she learned that thieves had stolen many women’s purses from their handbags over the past few months a at the two local Whole Foods she shops at (both in affluent areas). This way of shopping sheds some light on why they may have bought gift cards! Though this helps consumer’s, it might be an incentive for thieves to make money too.

    • Lisha

      wow, that’s crazy, Beatrice. Couldn’t they figure out which giftcard numbers were associated with the stolen credit card, and then just deactivate them? I would think that would be pretty easy for the authorities to make happen.

    • Bob

      Wow Beatrice – that is pretty scary! I do wonder how they handle issues like that…

  5. Lisha

    Oh yeah, I did this a few times a few years ago. We were really struggling back then, so I was trying to find any way possible to save as much as possible, and it was awesome to basically go shopping where I normally would at a discount. You’re basically getting a sales price for everything you buy with that giftcard. But I completely forgot about this! Gonna go get some. Thanks for the reminder, Bob! 🙂


  6. Wendy Dresser

    That sounds great. I know every year around Christmas our local stores often have iTunes gift cards at a discount and my husband searches them out. Generally a 4 pack of $15 cards for $50, etc.
    My question is do you know of any Canadian sites that sell discount cards? Even though we have many of the same stores, gift cards are specific to the country they were sold in.

    • Bob

      You know wendy, I haven’t found any yet. But if you do, please share them in the comments for the other Canadian readers!

  7. Michelle

    Good idea but I suppose this is only available in US and Canada. Is this available in Singapore as well?

  8. Jamie English

    Interesting tip! I might try it….makes sense. thanks!

    • Lauren (SeedTime Editor)

      You are welcome, Jamie!

  9. Abigail

    We have Kroger grocery stores in our area. Every gift card we buy through them gives us 2x the fuel points as regular groceries. They often run specials with 4x the fuel points. Since it takes 100 fuel points for every 10cent/gallon off, it may not be as much of a saving as buying used cards. Would have to do the math. We always use gas cans, too, so we can buy the maximum of 35 gallons. The most we can get off is $1.00/gallon (plus 25 cents/gallon for the first year if we buy with a Kroger credit card). That is $35 per fill up we can save using 1000 points each time. With 4x fuel point specials, we can buy a $50 Amazon card and get 200 fuel points. 20cents/gallon on 35 gallons comes to $7 if we only use 200 fuel points.

    Plus, the Kroger credit card earns non-fuel points on all my purchases that translate into coupons I can use for my Kroger purchases.

    It all adds up.

    • Grace Field

      Thanks for the help on this! I shop Fred Meyers as it’s one of two grocery stores in my town. Every tip on how to save $$ is great.

      And, by the way, Bob, thank you for this great tip on buying gift cards for places we already shop. This is going to be awesome!

  10. Kelly

    I had never heard of this, but tried it after reading the article. I decided not to add an alert for every store I occasionally shop at (don’t want to encourage casual shopping!), but only for the ones I use regularly for food and staples. Purchased a CVS gift card for a little over $4 off, combined it with some CVS “extra bucks” I had on hand, and ultimately was able to stock up on $60 worth of paper goods for $29! Awesome idea! Have already shared with some friends and relatives! Thanks Bob.

    • Lauren (SeedTime Editor)

      Great, thanks for sharing Kelly!

  11. Aiden Mc Raft

    Nice one. I will give that a go. Thanks!

  12. Vera Owens

    Bob, I love and read everything you send to me by email. Your suggestions have helped me so much. Would you please send me your list of best credit cards to transfer balances. Thank you so much