Shopping Challenge Wrap Up

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Holiday Shopping Challenge. We had a lot of great Christmas shopping tips and suggestions.

The winner of the $250 gift card is Jennifer Marie. She was chosen based on a random number from www.random.org.

So how did my shopping, turn out? You can read about it below.

My Dad

The local hardware store was offering a sale on “gear wrench” sets. These are wrenches with the normal open end on one side, but the closed end has a gear mechanism in it that allows it to turn the bolt in one direction, but it “slips” when you push it the other. So it lets you ratchet the wrench back and forth to turn the bolt without needing to take the wrench off and replace it.  I bought this the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so not only was it on sale, but I got the $25 credit from American Express as part of their Small Business Saturday promotion.

My Mom

My mom is a teacher and has an older MacBook that gets a lot of use. She has been saying that it seems to be slowing down. Whenever I’ve looked at it there were noticed dozens of programs open–something that its built in 1 GB of RAM just couldn’t keep up with. Crucial has a nice website for identifying what memory works in what devices. I bought her an upgrade that maxes her computer out at 2 Gigs. Now I’ve cheated just a bit here and gave her the upgrade as an early present and installed it of course. She said it has made a world of difference and she can actually use her computer again to get stuff done.

My Nephew (10 years old)

I got my nephew a small remote control helicopter. He had an AirHog, but it was nearly impossible to fly. I got him an Syma S107 because I have one and know it is very flyable. The biggest difference is that the S107 has a built in gyroscope to keep it from spinning unless you are trying to turn.  I looked at getting him the S110G which is a bit smaller, but I decided to stick with one that I know he will be able to fly.

My Brother-in-law

I got my brother-in-law a remote control helicopter as well. I think most guys wanted a remote control helicopter or airplane when they were kids, but the light batteries have just recently become available at a a low enough price point to put into toys instead of pacemakers. So while this obviously isn’t the most practical gift, I’m hoping he’ll find it very entertaining.

My Niece (13 years old)

What my niece likes to do is go shopping. I considered getting her some gift cards by redeeming some Membership Reward Points, but I’m not really a big fan of giving gift cards as Christmas gifts. My sleuthing revealed that she is really enjoying her art classes, so I got her a nice set of colored pencils, a set of pastels, a set of sketching pencils along with a case to keep everything in.

My Sister-in-law

She reads a lot of business books, so I got her several of my favorites:

Luggage Tags

A few weeks ago I ordered a new dog tag for our dog.  Since the shipping was more expensive than the tag, I went ahead and ordered a few “dog tag” style with my name, address and phone number on them to use as an id tag on my laptop. It turned out pretty nice so I thought I’d get some as small gifts for family members who could use them, three tags that they could use for their keys, luggage, laptops case, camera case, etc.  When I got ready to order them, I realized that it was going to take me quite a while to build the order up by adding the addresses one at a time. Instead I just copied the addresses into an email and sent it off to American Express Concierge asking them to order it for me.

Benefits of Using a Credit Card

I’ve written about some of the benefits of using credit cards before. But lets look at some of the specific benefits in this shopping experience. By using my Platinum American Express card all of my purchases are protected against theft or damage for 90 days. In addition, if a gift turns out to be the wrong thing, but the merchant won’t let me return it, I have coverage through the card for that as well. The purchases are also covered by an extended one year warranty.

Your credit card probably has at least some of these type of benefits and it is worth taking a look at some of the fine print so you know what benefits you have if you ever need them.

Thank You To American Express

A big thank you to American Express for sponsoring this giveaway.

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