No, I’m not planning to go fishing while wearing fancy unmentionables. Though it would make for one heck of a stock image photo, don’t you think? So, as some of you know by now, my parents are coming down to visit us here in Florida. Their airfare and hotels are covered with miles and points, and I’ll have a breakdown of it in a near future.
I wish I could say that most of the expense ends there, but it would be a lie. Our savings are going poof as I’m typing this post! Of course, it’s my family, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. They are flying from another part of the world, so it’s only fair I treat them to a nice vacation. Fortunately, I have a wonderful husband who doesn’t mind it one bit. He even let me take out a loan once so I could pay for my parents’ roof.
Gifts, gifts, gifts…
I’ve mentioned before that gifts are a huge part of our culture. So, I had to figure out what to send back to my sister and her family. Fortunately, I didn’t have to guess. She emailed me the other day and asked for some fancy Victoria’s Secret underwear. She even sent me photos of specific items. Don’t worry, nothing risqué. But still, I won’t show them because it’s a family blog. Of course, when I saw the prices, I almost choked on my Cheerios. My sister offered to pay me back, but how could I accept? So, I just told her it would be my official gift to her.
Of course, being the cheapskate that I am, I debated on whether to do current VS promo where you can potentially get each pair for only 99 cents. Make sure to follow all the rules to the letter if you decide to particpate. Unfortunately, I would not be able to utilize the coupons until after my parents left for Europe. So, it seemed super cheap to tell my sister to wait for her gift until I redeem the offer and mail fancy underwear a month later. But I am a cheapskate and that’s what I should have done.
Instead, I went to Giftcardgranny and bought a Victoria’s Secret gift card for 25% off. So far so good. I’ve written about buying gift cards from third-party resellers, and highly recommend you read that post. In spite of potential pitfalls, it’s an excellent way to save money on upcoming purchases where you don’t need credit card protection. VS underwear definitely falls in that category.
One thing to keep in mind: it’s probably best to stick buying them ( gift cards, that is) for your own use because something can go wrong, and you may not have a chance to fix it. Imagine giving it as a gift and the value gets depleted (read my post for more). That person may not tell you because people usually don’t complain about gifts. Most folks are not like miles and points hobbyists. It feels awkward to approach someone and say: Hey, the gift card you gave me is worthless.
But when it comes to non-major purchases and dining, it’s often very hard to beat reseller prices. I just bought Olive Garden gift card for 15% off. We plan to take my parents there anyway, so why not save a few bucks? I can still use coupons and would otherwise pay with a credit card that earns 1% cash back. So, why not use that very same credit card and save 16% instead? You can even go through portals like Topcashback (my referral link), click to resellers like Cardpool (also my link) and save even more.
My dad mentioned that he wanted to go by Bass Pro Shops store to look around. Right. I knew we would end up buying stuff, so I got a $75 gift card at 18% off. He is a fishing fanatic and is totally obsessed. He once spent 1 hour telling me about various fishing equipment. I couldn’t care less, but politely listened anyway. Then it dawned on me: that’s probably how people feel when I talk about miles and points!
Back to this whole Victoria’s Secret (big) business
So, I bought the stuff at the tune of $94, all-in. You may wonder what I got for this exorbitant price? Well, not much. The purchase consisted of 8 pairs of underwear. I was staring at the stuff and kept thinking: I just paid a ton of money for a bunch of cr$p made in Sri Lanka. Guys, if you are looking to buy special stuff for your lady, stick to Amazon and Ebay. Trust me, she won’t care.
I made a huge mistake in telling my mom about it. Her reaction and I quote: “Are these panties made of gold???” Naturally, she said it in Russian. Then she called my sister and got on to her, so the gift is now a bit tainted anyway. Should have stuck to those darn VS $10 mail-in cards.
Oh, almost forgot. They included this “free” fabric lingerie travel case (value of $70). Because when you go on a trip, you need a special bag for your underwear, you can’t just pack it with the rest of your clothes. It’s not classy, and none of Victoria’s Secret Angels would ever consider doing such a thing. Take a look at this $70 contraption. My kitchen table is “shabby chic,” in case you are wondering. Yes, really.
What do you think? Maybe $3 to make, max? Funny thing is, my sister will probably love it. Plus, it has VS label on it. Few days after the purchase, they sent me an email saying that I’m now subscribed to their special newsletter. Of course, there was a photo of twenty-something scantily clad model taunting me right from the screen of my own computer. Unsubscribe. I’m filling out those cards and taking VS corporation to the cleaners. Who is with me?
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.