Creative Ways to Tip This Season: Free Gift Cards and More

How many people do you have in your life who are on your tipping list for the holidays? The hair stylist, school bus drivers, teachers, the trash man, the postal clerk or delivery person (there are rules on type and amount), the baby sitter or nanny, the coffee barista and anyone else who provides you a regular service, may all be expecting a holiday tip. At least one service provider of ours actually leaves an envelope just for the purpose.

Most of us forget to add tipping expenses into our budgets and may be left with a surprise when we realize that tips are needed. Here are some creative ways to tip this season.

Free Gift Cards

If you look out for store deals, you can quickly accrue a number of free gift cards. For example, Target currently has a deal that gives you a $10 gift card when you purchase a certain brand of toilet paper. The toilet paper also happens to be on sale.

At this time of year, there are also a number of gift card deals on electronics, such as a $75 gift card to the store when you buy an iPad. Stores offer these deals because they aren’t allowed to lower the actual price on some of these products.

Sign up for newsletters, “like” the stores and products on Facebook, and check in daily with deal sites to find new free gift card opportunities.

Homemade with Love

Homemade gifts can be just as appreciated as cash or gift cards for tips, especially if you have a warm relationship with the person you are tipping. In some cases, they are the only form of tipping that some providers are allowed to accept. Just make sure you find out ahead of time if there are any allergies or aversions before you provide food gifts.

Collective Tipping

Get a collection together from several people who use the same service provider. This will allow you to provide a decent tip and still allow those who may be budget strapped to participate. The recipient will still get a large tip than he or she might have otherwise through individual tips, since those who might not have tipped could still contribute a little something.

What is your favorite way to tip? Tell Mary Ann on the Facebook page!

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT or visit her personal blog