We got our Federal Tax Rebate slash Economic Stimulus Check last week. Despite the "best" intentions of the big box electronics stores, we shall not be spending this money on a new, bigger and decidedly more digital television. Or going on a vacation/cruise/very expensive dinner.
No, we had already decided that this "free" money would be technically used to make an IRA payment for 2008. I say technically, because it really seems pretty pointless to hand $1200 over to an investment program this week, because the markets are all still in a mess. Either later in the year we'll be able to hold some value in an investment or things will be A Lot Worse.
However, that leaves us with the question of what to do with the Fed's check now.
The best deal we found was something we initially laughed at. Our local Allendale grocery store is in the Family Fare chain -- truth be told we usually call it Family Failure, just as we shop at Office Despot and Bath Bed & Beyond Belief (grin) -- and they had an offer to trade your economic stimulus check for Family Fare Cash Cards with a 10% bonus.
I saw an ad the other day crowing about a bank CD which would pay 3.57% or something like that. Hmmm... seems that getting 10% on your money, and up front, trumps that. The thing of it is, we already buy most of our groceries at Family Fare in Allendale, and about half of our gasoline. See, they have promotions which in some weeks give you coupons good for 5-15cents off per gallon at the Family Fare gas station. Today I paid $4.09.9/gal instead of $4.24.9/gal for midgrade. And effectively another 9% reduction in the price, due to the 10% free bonus on the cash card.
You can't beat saving another 40 cents or so a gallon, which also trumps the cashback we'd have gotten on the credit card we normally use for groceries and gasoline. So I think we did well.
The question, though, is whether we can buy more cash cards with a 10% bonus later, when we've spent all this money on groceries and gasoline. (double-dipping-grin)