I've written about having rental properties before. I've also written about saving money with gift cards. Today, I'm going to Reese's Peanut Butter Cup these two great tastes together.
One of our rental properties is in need of kitchen repair. It wasn't a great kitchen in 1985 and nearly 30 years later the cabinets are falling apart. They need to be replaced.
Fortunately, it's a small space, so the project isn't nearly as expensive as it could have been. The whole project should cost around $6500 and that includes a quartz counter. That premium counter may seem like a curious decision for a rental in an area that is not particularly high income. Our thinking is that it is going to be extremely durable and attract higher-end tenants. We might be able to boost the rent from $1250 to $1300 if the project goes well. That $600 a year isn't exactly a windfall, but it helps pay for renovations like this.
When renovating our rental properties, we almost always go with Home Depot. The properties are far enough away that I don't want to spend 3 hours driving to and from them. With a Home Depot close to me and close to the properties, I can work with my local store and have them transfer all the plans and ship product to the store near the property. So while I hate Home Depot for promoting RainSoft, I like them for other things.
A few days ago, I was able to purchase $4000 in gift cards at Home Depot for $3570 via the website, Card Cash (I got lucky that they were running a promotion with some additional discounts). Many people might be nervous about giving them this amount of money, but I've bought a lot of cards from them over the last year or two and I haven't had a problem. I used a credit card, Fidelity's Retirement Rewards, that gets me 2% cash back... equal to around $70.
There's a saying that it is better to work smarter than harder. That's part of where the "Lazy" came from in this site. I want people to see the value of working smart. When you add up the gift card savings and the credit card cash back, I saved myself $500 simply by offering different forms of payment. Once we get firm pricing on the project, I may have to get some more gift cards.
One of the great things about using gift cards is that you can stack it with other discounts. If we had a coupon we could use that first. I am hoping that we can use my wife's military discount to save another 10%, but the project is so expensive it may not qualify. This stacking of discounts has helped us buy quite a few appliances at a significant savings.
Last week, I did a similar thing at Petco stacking a gift card that I bought at 25% off with a Friends and Family 20% off promotion. My dog has food for quite a while now.
If I can do a little planning, it makes no sense for me to use any other form of payment at these companies.
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