Cheap Yet Expensive Christmas Gift Idea

by Jeffrey Kosola on November 19, 2009

We all know Christmas is fast approaching.

Do you have all your shopping done? Better hurry up.

Did you budget money throughout the year to cover the expense? Good, I’m glad you have a Christmas budget.

Marrying into a large family has been a very cool experience. I’ve gotten to be part of some really cool traditions, and some very crowded holidays. Christmas is the best. Usually 50 people are gathered together to celebrate Christmas Eve as a “whole” family. Christmas day is spent with each family doing their traditional Santa presents and visiting the opposite sides of the families. I come from a family of 8 total people so this is a VERY cool part of my life now.

There are way too many people in the family to buy presents for, so we do a “White Elephant.” Each adult brings one $15 gift to the party. All the gifts are wrapped and placed in the middle of the room. Numbers are drawn from a hat to establish the order of the draft. Number 1 goes first and so on.

The person who has number 1 picks a present and opens it for all to see. Number 2 can pick a new present or “Take” the present from number 1. If number 2 takes the present from number 1, number 1 picks a new present. And the game goes on this way until the end. Each present can only be taken 3 times, and then becomes a dead gift. EVERY year there is one gift that everybody wants, so strategy comes into play with every pick. It’s a wonderful way to spend hours of fun with the family on Christmas Eve Night. There have been many fights over the years, good thing Grandma is there to handle the blood bath.

Why am I telling you this? Because I believe I have the winning gift for this year. I’m going to share it with you because it’s a great gift for anyone. The great part about it is the VALUE, keep reading to understand the value part.

I’m a huge fan of Restaurant.com. I use it all the time to save big at my favorite places to eat. Granted I don’t eat out much but we do get $29 each payday to spend on “Dining Out.” We use the gift certificates to help with bill. All the restaurants I’ve used them at allow you use them like cash. That $32 tab then turns into $22 with the extra $7 from the budget for the tip (using the $10 certificate).

Every week Restaurant.com sends out a coupon code that gives extra discounts to their already discounted price.  The normal price for the gift certificates are a $10 certificate for $3 and a $25 for $10. There are other discounts but these two are the most common.  With the coupon code the price can be cut even more, 50%-60%-70%-80%. The current code of GIVE will give you 70% off. I subscribe to CouponMom.com and get weekly updates about the new code. Restaurant.com emails the code out weekly and daily as well for subscribers.

Here’s how my purchase today looked:

restaurant

I picked restaurants that I know 95% of the family have been to and liked.

The total value of the gift certificates is $110. The normal Restaurant.com price is $49.00. After using the coupon code GIVE the purchase price is $14.70.

That’s a GREAT deal: $110 in value for $14.70 in ING Direct Electric Orange money.

This is a great idea for stocking stuffing, relatives in other cities/states, or even yourself. I’ve used these gift certificates over ten times now and have been very pleased with them. Too bad we don’t have these in the pizza delivery world.  Maybe that will be my next business endeavor.

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