Gift Card Weekend 2017

If you’re like us, you have a drawer where gift cards go to die.

Enter Gift Card Weekend 2017. The goal: Fight back against the unused gift card epidemic and spend as many as possible in one rainy weekend. The results: There were some wins, some fails and some surprises. Here’s how Gift Card Weekend 2017 went down:


  • Two Mystery Gift Cards to Lunds & Byerly’s: I picked up a few necessities like gelato, fresh flowers and bacon. Gift Card #1 had a $0 balance. Gift card #2 had a $5.00 balance. #GiftCardFail. Bought it all anyway.
  • $25 to Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants: Big Bowl Express inside Lunds & Byerly’s is a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant. I planned to get the Friday Family Dinner deal for $22. The gift card did not work at the register. #GiftCardFail, again! Bought it anyway, again.


We regained some confidence after Mike successfully bought two BBQ sauces with a $10 Kitchen Window gift card. Feeling ambitious, we arrived at the Mall of America with a stack of gift cards in hand and nothing to lose:

  1. $10 to Jamba Juice: Mike got a $5 Mango A-Go Go Smoothie. I detest smoothies. We gave the remaining $5 to the people behind us in line. Gift Card Weekend is about giving, too.
  2. $10.71 to Barnes & Noble: Sam walked out with Dinosaur Dance and the Animal Alphabet
  3. $25 to Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants: We were so excited for crepes at the Magic Pan Crepe Stand and to redeem ourselves from the Friday Lettuce Entertain You gift card fail. At the last moment, I realized we forgot to bring it. We were too excited about crepes. Bought them anyway without the gift card. #GiftCardFail number three.
  4. $100 to Macy’s: I’m way more excited than Sam about his first dress pants, vest and tie for my cousin Avery’s Bat Mitzvah. Only managed to spend $34 at Macy’s, will save the rest for the next Gift Card Weekend…
  5. $50 to Creative Kidstuff: Sam picked out a birthday present for his friend Ross and of course, a car for himself.
  6. $136 to Anthropologie: My most anticipated gift card. Found a new dress. Was feeling pressured to leave by some nameless members of our family who were more than done shopping at this point. Bought the dress. Have since decided the dress isn’t quite right. Taking the dress back.
  7. $100 to D’Amico: Enjoyed some killer braised short ribs, scallops and an amazing Butterscotch Budino at Campiello in Eden Prairie. We blew through the gift card and then some after Mike ordered a glass of 40-year old port. You only live once.


  • $100 to Target: Sam scored again with some new bacon & egg-themed PJs. We used the rest to restock our medicine cabinet and cleaning supplies. Super glamorous lives we lead.

The Bottom Line: Gift card shopping bonanzas aren’t as easy as you’d think. I think we may need to practice our technique again soon…

Until We Eat Again,

Two Happy Cooks

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