‘Tis the season for gift cards. Even though they’re plastic, if you play your (gift) cards right, you can really stretch them beyond their noted value. The trick is to treat them like cash. Would you be so quick to spend a $50 bill sitting in your pocket? Probably not. The smart shopper uses their gift card in conjunction with store discounts, coupons or sales. By doing so, you can quickly increase its value – even doubling it. The best example is restaurant gift cards. I never use a restaurant gift card without a coupon, menu special or promo – just as you would, if were paying out-of-pocket. With the right buy-one-get-one free coupons, you can easily turn a $50 restaurant gift card into $100. for some great tips on how to maximize gift cards, visit our sister site, Living on the Cheap.