My undying thanks to everyone who wrote and commented with such kind words yesterday. I was really flabbergasted by the show of support, and I appreciate the reminder that Cheapskate readers are the coolest, kindest folks on the planet.
This is an update of a post I did last year around this time.
Well, here we are, just one week to go until the ho-ho-holiday. If you're a procrastinator like me, you might be scrambling to find a last-minute gift for, say, your trusty mail carrier, the kids' schoolteacher, or the office Secret Santa party.
No problem: all you need is a printer. The following stores let you print your own gift certificates for fast, easy, and downright special in-person giving:
Amazon.com On any Amazon page, click the Gift Cards link, then choose Print a gift card. There's no longer a minimum, and you're not limited to increments: your certificate can be in the amount of, say, $27.09 if you want.
iCARD Formerly, Gifts.com, iCARD lets you buy certificates that can be redeemed for merchant gift cards. The extensive merchant list covers everything from AMC Theaters to L.L. Bean to Zappos. Alas, you're limited to a handful of amounts: $10, $25, $50, $75, and so on.
iTunes Obviously you can grab an iTunes gift card in just about any store on the planet, but did you know you can print your own? Just fire up iTunes, click Buy iTunes Gifts, and then choose Printable Gift Certificates. Amounts range from $10 to $50.
Netflix Netflix gift subscriptions start at $7.99 per month (down a buck from last year), and you can choose just about any duration you want: one month, three months, a year, etc. The $7.99 plan is for streaming only; if you want a DVD by mail as part of the gift mix, you'll need the $9.99/month plan.
Restaurant.com Once again, Restaurant.com is offering 80 percent off all its already discounted gift certificates (with coupon code PRESENT). That means you can get a $50 certificate for just $4, a $25 for certificate for $2, and so on. (I know the math seems weird, but trust me, it's right.) Even better, you can send a free $10 gift certificate to anyone and everyone on your list!
By the way, most of these gift certificates can also be e-mailed--perfect for last-minute gifts that can't be delivered in person. You know, for faraway relatives or, oh, beloved bloggers.