1. Sell the card for cash. Go to GiftCardGranny.com and see which secondary market will give you the most for your unwanted plastic. You can expect up to 94 percent, but some will bring a lot less.
2. Trade the card. Sites like GiftCardZen.com and Cardpool.com let you trade vs. sell.
3. Regift! Not everyone believes in the practice, but in the case of a gift card who’s gonna know?
4. Use it elsewhere. A card may be usable at a different store owned by the same company. For example, the parent company of Gap also owns Banana Republic, Old Navy and Piperline.
5. Stack it with a sale. Stretch that scrip by watching for low prices online or in-store. “Getting as much value as possible is a great way to honor the gift you received,” Johnson says.
6. Give it away. A shelter, a foster home program, a senior center – whoever you think can use it.
7. Workplace incentive. Make it a prize for a great business suggestion, or stage a random drawing during a staff meeting.
8. Young person incentive. Hang on to the card until the next report card is handed out. If your son, daughter, niece, nephew or grandkid surprises you (in a good way), you can surprise him or her with a reward. (That is, if this is a card a child would covet. Don’t expect excitement if you hand over $25 worth of Lane Bryant purchasing power.)
9. Teacher present. No, it’s not required to give a holiday or end-of-year gift to your child’s teacher. But it’s a nice gesture. (Hint: Teachers have enough mugs and “Hug a teacher today!” plaques.)
10. Door prize. Belong to a service group, the PTA, a neighborhood watch organization? People might be more likely to show up to a meeting if there’s a chance to win something.
11. Graduation gift. Anybody in your family de-matriculating in the spring? A general-interest card, or one specific to the grad’s needs, would likely be welcomed.
12. Help somebody. Got a relative or a friend who’s having tough times? Offer the gift card or maybe just drop it off anonymously.
13. Blog prize. If you’re trying to build readership, have giveaways. I can personally attest that response to gift card giveaways is pretty epic.
Source: Donna Freedman
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Soft Sugar Cookies- by Bakerella
Makes 30 cookies
4½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup unsalted butter
1⅔ cups granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream
1½ teaspoons vanilla
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
1. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy.
4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until combined. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined.
5. Scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 10–12 minutes.
6. Cool completely and decorate with frosting and sprinkles.
7. For frosting: Beat butter and vanilla using a mixer until creamy and smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar mixing until combined. Add milk and continue mix until combined. Tint icing and mix thoroughly. Decorate tops of cookies with frosting and sprinkles.
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