I came across a cool idea today while I was RSVPing on Evite for my 3 year old son, who was invited to his friends' birthday party. It's the idea of buying a giftcard online for someone. I'm sure this idea has been around for a long time, but I think it fits perfect for foodtidings.
I thought of foodtidings because sometimes when I get an invitation to sign up to bring someone dinner, it just seems like a crazy busy time for us. And the thought of trying to work out bringing a meal (although I totally want to), just overwhelms me. But I could always order a gift card, and have it sent to that persons address or email. Or for friends who just had a baby, and I didn't attend the baby shower, I could send them a gift card and bring a meal if I wanted to. Or for friends or family members who are going through treatment for cancer, or any other kind of illness, gift cards are so helpful for the families. The possibilities are endless.
So I did some research for you all, and here's what I came up with:
gift card mall. This site was cool too. I counted 37 food places you could choose from when purchasing gift cards, as well as many many other merchants. I liked that this site broke the merchants down in categories for you, so it wasn't so overwhelming when looking at it all. I liked that this site allowed me to either have the actual gift card sent to the address of the recipient (free shipping too) or I could do an e-gift card and have it sent to their email address.
Friendgiftr. This site is really well put together and seemed very user friendly. They have over 140 merchants to choose from, and you simply pick the giftcard you want, choose the denomination, and have it sent to the recipient's email address (for an e-gift card). There is only a 99 cent delivery charge. There didn't seem to be too many restaraunts to choose from, but there were many other things. I liked also that the recipient has the option of changing the merchant that was purchased for them- so if someone bought me a Red Robin gift card, I could switch it out for Applebee's. I thought that was cool.
Amazon also sells gift cards. They didn't have as many restaraunt options, but still a great site.
I'm finding that there are restaraunts out there that even allow you to purchase their gift cards from their website, and have them mailed or emailed directly to the recipient. Technology is really changing right before our very eyes. Here's who I found that does this (although I'm sure I've missed some): Disclaimer- sorry these aren't in alphabetical order, I didn't realize how many I would find! Also, some of these have a charge or fee attached to ordering them- be sure to read all that before purchasing!
Brinker- good for On The Border, Chili's, Macaroni Grill, and Maggiano's
Starbucks- not a meal, but nice for some who LOVE coffee! :)
In N Out- my husband will be excited I found this one out! :)
Bucca Di Beppo
Rock Bottom Brewery
Papa John's Pizza
Walmart- lots of options to order different types of cards
Fry's (or kroger)- can purchase grocery store gift card, for groceries, or the recipient can then purchase restaraunt gift card
Gas Cards are always helpful, especially to families that are doing a lot of traveling to and from hospitals and dr's offices. I'm sure they'd be extremely grateful to receive a gas card. Here's a few places that allow you to order gas cards online:
If anyone finds or knows of other places that you can either purchase e-gift cards or have gift cards sent to the recipient, let me know in a comment! I'd be happy to add it to our list. Thanks!