Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Making the Most of Mother's Day Gifts (JC Penney)

A Collection of Posts About My Most Precious Mother's Day Ever

Well, after I'd devoted some time to the possibility for non-profit fundraising, I moved on to do what I could with what I had to give to help get kids blankets, pillows, and toiletries with something to carry them in. Also needed were craft items to keep kids busy while they were going through such a stressful time. I have a car payment and rent an apartment, and like everyone else, I've got limited funds. But not everything seems so bleak. It was the Saturday before Mother's Day, and I realized that I had more going for me than I thought.

Retail Therapy

I don't go as far as some people do with all of this, but I do take advantage of certain opportunities when I can. I wait for semi-annual sales that I know I can count on, and this year, I decided to sign up with Ebates. I saw an ad on TV a few times, and I decided that if I was already purchasing the same stuff, if someone wanted to give me money back, I'd take it. Lots of the stores that I used to order products online are part of the program.
What I found to be nice about this was that though I added some money on top of the bonuses, a sizable amount of the money I spent was basically free cash through this and other loyalty programs. And there were RETAIL SALES a-plenty just before Mother's Day.

Rather than dragging around and thinking about what it was like not to be able to share a gift with my mom and recalling the lectures and the looks of disdain from religious people who judged us as defectives for having no kids, I found a creative project that could help both mother and child. I went bargain hunting (a tradition I especially enjoyed with my mom before our estrangement), and I used all of the loyalty program credit I'd accumulated. (FREE MONEY!)


After watching a couple of TV commercials about it, I decided to check out this Ebates business. It's much like the Discover Card Shop Discover cashback program – and at different times of the year, you are offered cash back if you link in through their website. I always made Dell and Apple computer purchases through the Discover Card which seems to beat Ebates. Over Valentine's Day and for Mother's Day, 

Ebates offered some really good incentives by boosting their usual cash back percentages. I'd taken advantage of them over Valentine's Day, used coupons and sales and bought new shoes and t-shirts. I'm as giddy as a little girl over this money back deal.

The first thing that I did was check on who offered the best deals and the best coupons and the best Ebates rebates. Kohls seems to offer some good extra incentives there pretty regularly, but given what I learned about the needs of the families, I really cleaned up at JC Penney this time around. Ebates offered 15% cash back and a 30% off coupon which applied to all items including the fantastic sales. (Usually, they offer just 3 -6% cash back.)

This is interesting, too. If you've never used Ebates before, if two people sign up using my referral code, I get $50 in my account (either put in PayPal or sent to me as a quarterly check through the mail). I think that whoever signs up gets some incentive, too. Anyone who wants to sign up using my referral code, I promise that I'll use that money to get another deal for the urgently needed survival items for these displaced families. You just link here and sign up.

Be my guest and use the code to link here and sign up for Ebates.

Operation Short Creek
P.O. Box 840848
Hildale, Utah 84784

Gift Voucher Incentives

I hunted for the best online deals for different items and when I signed in to Ebates, not only did JC Penney offer a great discount code and a much higher than usual cash back incentive on Ebates, they offered to take whatever bonus I'd accumulated to date that I hadn't yet used and added 5% more to the amount if I rolled it over into a gift voucher. I opted for more money from JC Penney.  (I used that gift for a separate purchase, as you need pillow cases for pillows, plus they had some clearance blankets.)

There are a few online companies that sell discounted gift cards. Ebates links to a company called which offers extra incentive cash back on gift cards on weekends and holidays. So now, I check there for what kind of deals I can get on gift cards. On the day that I did my shopping, I found that the best deal on a gift card for Penney was offered by That card I purchased at an 11% discount, adding to my savings. Then I realized that I had not used the $35 dollars from my first Ebates cash back, so I still had that to spend.

Long story short, I bought brand new JC Penney's pillows for just under $4 each when I priced them out based on the sale and discount code, cash back that I would get later from Ebates, the Ebates payment in my PayPal account, plus the money I saved by buying a discounted gift card. I bought pillow cases on sale as well. I could only use two gift codes per order, so I processed to separate orders so that I could access all of the money that I had.

Though it's out of context, I kept thinking about pillows, recalling that Jesus had said that foxes have their dens and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head. And then, I could not help but think of the parable that drives so much of my ethos that when we care for others in need, it is just like caring for Jesus. 

 I'm not so interested on getting rewarded for that as I am brokenhearted by the idea that I could have put a pillow under someone's head and given them a blanket, and I didn't. If my Faith proves right, I have the personal goal to never have to look deeply into the eyes of Jesus to hear him say that I left Him without material comfort.

Memorial Day is On It's Way

I'd hoped to have all of this stuff written up by Mother's Day so that others could do what I did, but I spent so much time trying to get non-profit help and confirming with others that the needs were genuine, I'm now catching up. But there are Memorial Day sales on their way...  Maybe you can find it in your heart to help with the needs of the hundreds of homeless children?

My next post will talk about

how I cashed in my credit with Walgreens.