The burden of receiving a gift

Recently my work place gave me a gift card to Target for some extra effort work I did.
(This is neither here not there, but the extra effort wasn’t that much.  I think they set the bar too low, but I still appreciate it.) 
Anyway, it’s for $200, and I’m going crazy trying to figure out what to do with it.  I’m obviously watching my consumption, like always, but this is “free” money.  It was given to me.  And what should I get with it?  That’s the first idea that pops into my head.  
I could buy a CD, but I’m not much of a music person.  In fact, the last time I bought a CD was probably 2 years ago after I watched Walk the Line.  I thought about a handheld stick blender, but my wife raised a valid point of how much I use our current blender.  A food processor then.  I’ll surely use that, and a lot.  But, I’m not so sure.  My friend doesn’t seem to have a problem letting me borrower hers (probably because of the items that come back with it as a thanks), and borrowing is better than buying something, even if the money is free.  My wife put in a claim for some weights for when she works out, but I think we can find those used somewhere else, not new from a store.
So what then?  What’s left?  Should it just be used for boring everyday items that I need to buy from the store anyway?  Should a gift like this cause me so much stress?  My co-worker gone one also, and her opinion is that a little should be used for a splurge that you wouldn’t normally allow yourself, but the rest should be for every day items.  Maybe that’s the route to go.  Either way, the company will get their money.  If it’s not used in a reasonable amount of time Target will take it and that will be all there is. 
Who would think that a gift would drive me so crazy?

15 responses to “The burden of receiving a gift

  1. I just got a gift card from my boss too. For Target. Weird. And I too have no idea what to do with it.

    Maybe sell it to somebody who does want something from Target? Donate it to some soup kitchen or something? Maybe get something durable but practical, like non-Teflon pots & pans or a pressure canner? Boring, but it’d probably be useful for a long time. I just don’t know the answer…

  2. Perhaps use it to buy some preparation items you’ve been putting off? Containers for storing bulk food or something along those lines.

    This isn’t just like spending money needlessly. You can’t invest it in anything other than goods. Also there’s a time limit and then the money goes poof.

  3. I agree with the co-worker and Aaron(yes,I do). Go with 1 nice splurge(maybe family splurge) and then the rest as needed for the garden or storage items for your bulk items. But you can also use unused jars and lids for some of your bulk items. Bet Wifey would not have a problem. Find out what the time limit is (call the number on the back) Enjoy it and do not fret so much over it. If only……

  4. My husband’s boss gave him $100 cash at Christmas. We donated it to Heifer International, but obviously you can’t do that with this gift.

    We were also gifted a $25 card to Border’s but have instituted a book buying moratorium for six months :), and several gift cards to Target. There’s nothing we need at the moment, and so we’ll hang on to them until we do need something. Here in Maine, gift cards can not, by law, have an expiration date, and so the ones we have are good forever. Most of the time, though, you have like a year to use it before incurring a penalty. There’s no huge hurry ;).

  5. Hey Matt, knowing you, I am guessing that Hot Tamales, Mike & Ikes, and/or Razzles will be among the purchases on the card. I still can’t figure out why we ever liked Razzles, or why you still do. What flavor they have is gone in the first minute.

  6. I think Target sells FoodSavers or similar products…

    Otherwise, if there’s a SuperTarget near you, $200 will buy groceries, household supplies or kids’ clothes, etc… I never seem to have a problem spending money at the Bullseye Boutique, but that’s just me.

  7. Good ideas by you all. I’m going to use the gift card to slowly replace the plastic items in my house with more durable metal, glass, wood or bamboo items.

    I think some food saver bags will be good (already have the food saver) and I’m eyeing a glass storage jar for flour.

    Sadly, they don’t have Razzles. Only Bed, Bath and Beyond does in the whole city!

    I already have enough cast iron and metal stock pots to choke a horse. But maybe one non-enameled cast iron pan in case I want to use it over an open fire.

    They sell my organic flour there too so I might just use the card to build up my stockpile of flour too.

    Thanks for the ideas all!

  8. I really do think that it’s okay to splurge on things you normally wouldn’t buy with a gift card. Weights and Food Processors seem okay to me. Being able to borrow/find secondhand is great too though. We have a glass flour jar from Target that we love.

    Another idea is to sell it on E-bay if there’s really nothing you want. You often get close to the total dollar value. People are suckers for the slightest deal–it’s really rather silly. Also, there are gift card exchange websites out there if there’s another store you would like a giftcard to.

  9. maybe you could get a bigger bike?

    i instantly thought of canning supplies also. the last thing we bought from target was a wand blender. yeah i know the conspicuous-consumption and all but that thing is great. we have already made tomato soup from our own canned tomatoes. it cleans with a simple rinse.

  10. The other thing you might consider would be some extra shoes – that’s one of those things it is hard to get along without, and ours do wear out. New boots and shoes for kids and adults, including larger sizes for kids might not be a bad idea – if things don’t tank, you’ll use them anyway, and if they do…

    Warm blankets and long underwear are good ideas too – IMHO. Target makes blanket sleepers in really large sizes (up to kids 14) – my kids sleep in a minimally heated (that is, there’s only ambient heat from our (cold) house, no direct heat, and the temps get quite cool, but they are toasty with long underwear under a blanket sleeper.

    No reason to feel guilty here – enjoy!

    Razzles?!?! They still exist? Although I’ll happily eat hot tamales, so I shouldn’t talk.


  11. Everyone has good thoughts on this. Given the direction of our economy I think I’m going to use it to stock up on some durable items we need. Some flour seems right.

    I like your suggestion Sharon of long underwear and shoes. I think I must keep my house too warm since my kids sleep in their skivvies. I’m going to do something about that. And, having those undergarments will help if I ever have to decide to keep the house even more cold in the future.

  12. Congrats to you and F. on the “gift.” It’s the thought that counts.

  13. Matt: If you haven’t spent it yet, you might consider buying things you need at Target but only if they meet your standards for organic/sustainable/Fair Trade/whatever so you are voting with your dollar and impacting their inventory numbers in a small way that may just make a difference.

  14. Matt: An idea: vote with your dollar when you use the Target card. See if you can find something there that is recycled, sustainable, local, Fair Trade, or at least organic! Every little impact on their inventory that shows that consumers want these types of items matters!

  15. As an FYI, most shelters accept gift cards to places like Target; they give them out instead of cash so folks in need can buy toiletries, clothes, and cleaning products, but not booze.

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