This sounds bizarre, right? However, it's finally dawned on me that I can "make money back" money by shopping at Fred Meyer and Costco. I shop at Freddy's every week and receive a 1% cash back check every quarter. Plus, I shop at Costco 2-3x a month and we have the executive membership where we get 2% back every year, which should almost cover the cost of the $100 membership. You probably already know what I buy at Costco every month from this post where I listed prices in our local area.
For those of you who are familiar with Fred Meyer you know that they have nearly everything. On top of groceries, they have a great natural foods section, clothing, shoes, toys, games, garden, household, kitchen, bedroom, crafts...and the list goes on. So, if I'm going to spend the money on shoes for Miss A, why not make 1% back? I will say that Freddy's has a nice shoe selection and often has great clearance and good coupons too.
So, back to Costco; we spend about $200 month there, so $2400/year. 2% of that is $48, but I'm going to start buying things there that I've usually bought at Shopko/Target/etc. Things like light bulbs, greeting cards, workbooks for the kids...you get the idea. I estimate that our 2% reward will end up being about $75/yearly.
Yes, I still try to buy as much as I can used...especially clothing for all of us, but sadly there are a lot of items we need that are non-grocery items.
As for gift buying, I have found Heartsy, which is like Groupon for Etsy, but safer because you can use Paypal. They have a handful of stores they feature every day and you can purchase "gift cards" for usually 60% off. I have purchased 4 items so far, which are all gifts and I'm planning to purchase as many gifts as possible from here :)
Do you shop at stores that give you cash back?
Are you an Etsy shopper?