Christmas means family, friends, giving, and the whole holiday cheer… yada yada yada. But the best part of this time of the year for frugal people like me are all the good deals just ready for the taking. Our first round of good deals includes gift cards. Quick warning: most of these places are Chicago area only. But I’m willing to bet there are plenty of places in your neck of the woods which have similar deals if you keep an eye out.

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There’s a couple of places in particular where we like to get gift cards because of the added bonus they give you for purchasing one.

Lou Malnati’s – Lou’s is the, yes *THE* best deep dish pizza in the Chicago area. Side note: try deep dish, sausage, butter crust, with extra sauce on the side. Freakin’ sublime! Every Christmas they offer a deal where if you purchase a $100 gift card, you’ll also receive a $25 bonus certificate. We don’t order from Lou’s a ton, so it’s not unusual for the $100 and the bonus to last the entire year and then some. The bonus certificate has to be redeemed by June of the following year. Great deal!

Culver’s – If you have a Culver’s in your area, I’m betting you’ve been there already. Their burgers are in my Top 3 burger joints. And as an ice cream fiend, their frozen custard is great, especially when you add sprinkles. Anyway, they have a heck of a deal around Christmas. Purchase a $25 gift card and you’ll get a coupon for a free value meal (needs to be used by the end of February). We’ve redeemed the coupons for value baskets that are worth $8-$10. For a $25 gift card purchase, this bonus is something else!

Savers – Savers is a resale store ala Goodwill. I really like Savers. They have special discount days pretty often where they offer an additional 50% off regular prices. During Christmas they offer up a bonus for purchasing a gift card. If you buy a $25 gift card, they’ll give you a $5 bonus certificate. $30 goes a long way at a resale shop.

Bulldog Ale House – Bulldog is a local bar/grill that has some really good daily deals. Our fave is Sundays because they have boneless wings for just $.39/each. For me though, it’s the Bloody Mary w/beer chaser for $5 and the $4 domestic 32 ounce beer! For their Christmas deal if you purchase a $50 gift card, you’ll receive a $25 bonus. We didn’t make it in time to purchase last year, but we’ll get one this year!

Noodles & Company – From November 14th until December 31, 2016 every time you purchase $25 in gift cards, you get a $5 Great Giver Bonus Card (bonus card valid 11/14/16 – 1/16/17).

As with any gift card purchase, be sure to learn all the details and/or restrictions that go along with the card and any bonuses. It’s not unusual for there to be some restrictions. Know what they are before buying so you’re able to take full advantage of the offer.

Joe-

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