After a little online research helped me pick out a new vacuum, one that happened to be on sale at the time, I called my daughter Kelli and asked her if she wanted to go shopping with me.
We went to the mall, where the department store had one vacuum cleaner left in the model I wanted, and we had to wait for about 45 minutes until the lone salesclerk was available to help us. I might not have been so willing to wait except that the sale price was $80 off the regular price and I had good company while I waited. When the clerk finally rang up the sale, we were surprised when the cash register displayed a message: "This purchase qualifies for a free gift card." I whispered to Kelli that I didn't want to wait another half hour for five or ten dollars, and right after that the clerk finished entering the sale information on her gift-card screen and another message popped up stating that the value of the gift card was $75. The clerk was as shocked as we were and had to check with her manager to verify that this sweet deal wasn't too good to be true.
I now think of my new cleaning appliance as my "lucky vacuum."I must have been back to that store half a dozen times in the two years since then, always expecting to spend that gift card. Each time I left without buying anything, the card still tucked away in my wallet.
Last week Kim needed something from there, so I went with her. Once again I didn't find anything I wanted or needed--until Kim finished shopping and I stood beside her in the check-out line, where I saw Amazon.com gift cards for sale. I bought three $25 Amazon cards with the $75 department store card and walked out with a big grin on my face.
That same afternoon I uploaded all three cards to my Amazon account and ordered two Kindle books that were priced beyond my pre-gift-card budget. The next day I learned in an e-mail that the purchase of one of those books, a best-seller in the mystery genre, entitled me to buy more books in a select group of mysteries and thrillers for the highly discounted sum of $0.99 each. I think I downloaded about ten of them.
Kim called my vacuum cleaner "the gift that keeps on giving." Can't wait to get into those bargain books and see what kind of prize is in there.