Why Gift Cards Are Awesome

I have some friends and family members who feel uncomfortable giving gift cards as presents. They feel it’s too impersonal or that it doesn’t seem like much or that it comes across as if they put no thought into the gift. They don’t mind receiving them, but they feel uncomfortable giving them.

I am not one of those people, and here is why- I LOVE receiving gift cards. So why not give them as well?

It’s a practical gift that allows you to get what you really want/need when you need it. And you can combine them with other gift cards to get a really big purchase.

Case in point- shower gifts. After our wedding and honeymoon, I moved into the two-bedroom apartment that Tom and I had picked out (he was already moved in), and I began unpacking shower and wedding gifts. We had so many beautiful presents, and we were (and still are) thankful for each one.

Upon our first full day back, however, I realized I needed to do some shopping. We needed a bunch of small things that seemed like “little” things on our registry, but they were essential for cooking, showering, laundry, etc.

It didn’t seem like a big deal. They were all small things, but I couldn’t believe how quickly they added up. And when I had to purchase those necessities, I had never been so grateful for the gift cards we had received.

I was looking for a job, and Tom was supporting us on his own.

Coming home to tell him I had spent a large amount of money on more things for the kitchen or bathroom or laundry room was something I dreaded. Being able to lessen the amount significantly with gift cards allowed us to get what we absolutely needed.

Now that we are expecting our first baby, it’s the same story. We have been extremely blessed. People have given us shower after shower to start us off well-stocked.

Josey has more clothes than most adults. She has diapers, toys, a nice jogging stroller, a new carseat, and a new crib. She has books, crib sheets, a changing pad, a liner for shopping cart seats, frames, blankets, and more.

This girl even has jewelry, shoes, and a basket full of hair accessories. I feel like I’ve barely begun to describe how blessed we have been by friends who have helped to celebrate the arrival of our baby.

I am SO grateful.

Despite all she received, I couldn’t deny that I still needed to purchase a diaper pail, a pack’n’play, the carseat adapter for the stroller as well as the handlebar console, some nursing items, diaper rash cream, an infant bathtub, baby lotion, baby shampoo/soap, and a whole lot of wipes. These were all things I realized I really needed and did not have.

I was able to purchase all of it, but only because of the giftcards we had received. Now, if you know me, you know I didn’t just go buy it.

I found a pack’n’play on sale. I waited until I received 10% off for the “registry completion programs” at Target and Babies R Us. And I used coupons.

When all was said and done, I had bought items that should have cost close to $500 total, but thanks to some great deals and gift cards, it only cost me $23 out of pocket.

Most of the time, the people who give gift cards don’t have the benefit of knowing how they were used and how VERY appreciated they are.

So I wanted to make sure that anyone who gave us a gift card knew that it was used well, and it was just as appreciated as all the precious gifts Josey received at her baby showers.

I’ll even share a blurry cell phone shot I took of the pack’n’play/changing station in our living room. My sister-in-law, Lana, and I were so excited when I got it that we set it up as soon as we got home from the store.

Tom and I have other things that we have to put our money towards with Josey’s arrival, like banking her cord blood and having her delivered in a hospital. And co-pays on perinatologists visits and visits to her pediatrician after she arrives.

There is no way we could have gotten the rest of the essentials while staying on our budget.

That is why I love gift cards. They are always useful, and, for me, anyway, they are always appreciated.

If you ever find yourself shopping for a wedding or baby shower (or birthday or Christmas) and don’t know what to get, just the store you should be getting it from…get a gift card. Unless that person has an almost moral opposition to them, I promise, they will be grateful!

 ~Meghan

3 thoughts on “Why Gift Cards Are Awesome”

  1. I’m definitely doing something similar by asking people to donate to our honeymoon instead of giving us stuff. I don’t even plan on having a gift registry. I’m stuck having to sort through and toss stuff when me merge our two houses and I know we won’t need any more -stuff-.

    I dunno, I can see how I might be pretty disappointed receiving a gift card from my spouse or a best friend who should know me much better but I am totally fine with getting gift cards from everyone else. 🙂

    1. Well, yeah, Tom and I don’t really do gift cards for each others’ birthdays or Christmas! But I did give my brothers gift cards. One of them loves to shop and loves to fish, so I got him one to Bass Pro Shop. The other loves his Apple products and takes his time picking out things, so he got an Apple giftcard. He can take his time picking out just what he wants! =)

  2. Agreed – gift cards make great gifts. They were a lifesaver when we got married and moved across country 2 days later – there’s no way we could have lugged wedding gifts with us. We had a stack of WalMart giftcards that took us nearly a year to go through – but they enabled us to get things we wouldn’t have been able to afford on our own.

    Now when we visit for Christmas, I always ask for giftcards – they travel so well! 😀
    I am trying to be better at taking photos of what we purchase with our giftcards – especially if I can text the photos to friends/family who gave us the cards.

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