Check out a few of the easiest ways to organize gift cards – this post highlights organization products, a free printable to track your coupon/card inventory, and simple tips to get your gift card inventory system started.
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My family most definitely uses gift cards to save a little bit of money here and there. Not using gift cards in your home is like throwing money away! As we see great deals or get gifts from family and friends, those cards and vouchers go into our gift card inventory system.
Having this kind of system in your home is crucial for keeping up with what you do and don't have – it makes it easier to know what deals to snag as you see them and can be an awesome way to stretch your budget for the month. Set up your own gift card organization system with the tips I've shared below!
1. Have a designated drawer/file/place to organize gift cards and free offers.
Everybody in our family knows that there is really just one place where we store gift cards. This makes it so much easier to keep them organized – you know there's only one place they can be!
We have this small drawer bin (similar here) in our office – that's our designated spot for any gift cards, free offers, or food coupons that are saved (and other random cards we need are stored in the other drawers). I occasionally go through these and purge out the expired offers and reorganize the cards into categories…more on that below. We usually have one or two gift cards for restaurants in our car as well for easy dinners.
2. Organize gift cards by category.
I am such a visual person – so actually seeing how many cards we have in each category helps me so much. That lets me know when we need to concentrate on purging a few of the cards (when the collection gets bigger) or watching for deals (when the collection gets smaller.
I use simple paper clips to keep my cards together – those typically hold 8-10 cards, which is usually as many as we have at any given time. I sort our cards into food/restaurants, other categories, and coupons/deals that aren't necessarily gift cards but can be used for free/very reduced food.
This way, when we know we need a gift card for a restaurant, we can simply pull out the cards in that category and flip through what we have. Another great option for sorting cards like this is an expandable file folder.
3. Document the balance on the back with a sharpie.
I've used this trick for years…it is a must for gift card inventories in my opinion. I keep a sharpie in my car for just this purpose!
When we receive a gift card, I write the opening balance on the back of the card with a permanent marker. Then, when we use a gift card, you'll almost always get a remaining balance total at the bottom of your receipt – take a few seconds after you use the card to document the remaining balance on the back.
4. Inventory your gift card stash regularly.
Every month or two, I go through our gift card drawer to reorganize, clip together like cards, and take out any expired offers. If you want to make this a little bit easier, I have the perfect printable for you!
This printable (available here) is a one-stop-shop for keeping up with everything you need to know about your gift cards. You can document initial and current balances, who gave you this card, and when it might expire.
Keep this in the front of your gift card drawer/file for easy reference! This printable matches my set of calendar printables, The Year of Intent…that's available here.
5. Occasionally, have a gift card purge month.
We like to do this once or twice a year (especially around any big gift-giving holidays). If you see that your inventory is getting a little big, challenge yourself to only use gift cards when you eat at restaurants for an entire month. It's amazing for trimming a budget and makes sure you're using gift cards before they might expire or start depreciating.
6. Keep one or two gift cards in your car for last-minute meals.
We usually try to keep one or two cards in our cars for those times when you need last-minute dinners.
You might have noticed this little nook in my center console in my car organization post – I keep spare change in this spot, as well as a gift card or two. I try to keep the fast food options we have in this space…inevitably, you're going to need a quick and easy dinner every once in awhile. Why not use a gift card you already have? I also keep those fast food cards in my purse for just such an occasion.
7. Pay attention to expiration dates.
Yes, gift cards can have expiration dates too!
Read the fine print on the back of the card when you receive it. If it has an expiration date, use that sharpie trick I mentioned above to put it on the card in big writing so you can't miss it. It's also nice to note that expiration date on your inventory printable.
Alright, I'd love to hear your tips as well – leave them in the comments below! And, for more inspiration, check out my other organization posts here.
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