Every year around Thanksgiving and Easter, grocery stores have great sales on Turkeys, turkey breasts and Ham. What’s even better is that some stores actually give you a free turkey when you purchase a certain amount of groceries within a certain amount of weeks up to the holiday.
I always find that I have a great momentum at the beginning of the qualifying period but, of course, the sales start to lag around the end of the qualifying period. That usually causes shoppers to panic and buy lots of full price items just to qualify for their free meat. When I first started grocery shopping, I was one of those people. Then I discovered couponing and tracking sales and I easily attained a turkey every year. Some years I do find that I am just a little short a week or so before the end of the period. This is when I turn to gift cards.
Luckily, when the Thanksgiving qualifying period comes around, Veteran’s Day is right in the middle. Every year, Applebee’s gives a free meal to Veterans so we take advantage of this and plan our bi-weekly dinner out. Since I know that we will be paying a bit for our whole meal there, I take advantage of the gift cards that are sold at my grocery stores. The best part is that this purchase qualifies towards my Turkey. Since I know we will be spending the money anyway, it just makes sense to spend it a little earlier and have it count towards something.
If we ever opt out of doing the Veteran’s Day at Applebee’s, I also like to buy the 15.00 starbucks gift cards. My Mother-In-Law is a Starbucks junkie, so I’ll save the gift card as part of her Christmas gift along with a new travel mug. This has been a yearly gift from us to her and she anticipates it every Christmas. Some stores are even cool enough to allow you to purchase that store’s gift card and have it qualify towards your meat. My ShopRite used to let us buy ShopRite gift cards to qualify, but they’ve recently changed the rules.
I also love to take it one step further and pay for it with my debit card. I made sure to sign up for a great program that gives us points every time we use the card, so I can have that one purchase qualify towards my Turkey AND towards the rewards on my debit card. I’ve used the points from the debit card to get free hotel rooms, gift cards( a few that were given away right on this blog), and even cash back to our checking account. I’d call that a win-win.
One thing to remember when getting gift cards from your grocery stores is that they may not activate right away. Some take up to 36 hours to activate, so plan accordingly.