Are you thinking about the cost of holiday shopping? Want to make a little spending money this weekend? Try one of these:
1) Loose Change: You know that bowl of coins that's sitting there waiting for your toddler to discover? Do you really need to wait for your little one to eat/choke/shove a coin somewhere to be moved to action? Let me encourage you. Find a Coinstar in your area that does E-certificates or Gift Cards (click on “Search for Specific Products” on their locator). Your coins are counted FREE when you choose one of these options; choose a store for your holiday shopping (Amazon, Old Navy, Lowe's, etc.). Right now they're running a promo where you mail in your receipt for an extra $10 e-cert when you change $40. You'll see the details at the bottom of your e-cert printout. Thanks to Slickdeals for the heads up.
2) Returns: How many shopping bags do you have sitting around waiting to be returned? I have three as of this morning (so unlike me!). First step–find the receipts you need and put them in each bag. Second–move the bags to the car. Third–go out this weekend and make those returns. You'll have more cash in your pocket, or at least credit back on your credit card. Be sure and check your receipts for the return policy (for most stores, it's 90 days). Wait longer than that, and you're throwing your money away.
3) Gift Cards: Where are yours? I keep mine in my bill-paying drawer, my wallet, on the desk under a pile of papers I haven't sorted…you too, right? Send yourself on a scavenger hunt and find those cards! Get them all in one place so you can see what you have, and make a plan to use them. If you won't use them, plan to re-gift them this holiday season. Also, you may want to check your state's laws on gift cards. If you live in California, did you know that you can cash in any gift card with a balance less than $10? In Maine, Massachusetts, and Montana, you can cash in gift cards with a balance of $5 or under. Yep, just buy that one Starbucks treat and ask for cash back instead of the card.