There are many money-saving strategies out there, from the cash/envelope system to prepaid debit cards. However, for some people, cash can burn a hole in their pockets, and prepaid debit cards often have monthly fees. A great alternative (especially for those who mainly shop at one or two stores) is to buy a monthly or bi-monthly gift card to use instead. Opt for a gift card, and you won't accrue interest as you might with a credit card, and with a budget limit it’s easier to keep purchases in line. To save even more, check out Plastic Jungle, Cardpool, and Coupon Trade to buy discounted gift cards at retail, grocery, and drugstores!
While browsing grocery store ads, keep an eye out for gift card promotions such as “Buy $50 in gift cards, get a $10 Catalina.” These make great gifts and usually appear around Mother’s Day, graduation, Father’s Day, and Christmas. Stock up and save these for yourself or gifts throughout the year.