Going Gaga for Gift Cards in Dallas

If you get a call from Rich Uncle inviting you to watch Lady Gaga in a posh suite for free, you say yes...immediately! After one quick phone call begging Naughty Grammy to watch the babies we jetted off to Dallas for two nights of babymoon and Gaga fever. This conservative, pregnant momma had absolutely no idea what she got herself into.

That show is ridiculous in every sense of the word. The Monster Ball Tour is a logical next generation of the Madonna/Christina Aguilera legacy--and she brought controversy with ferocity. I was the only chick sans face paint or tutu, but very happy to at least be able to hum along to several sets. For not having to burn a gift card for $350 tickets, it rocked the house.

But spontaneous tripping has its drawbacks. For the Gift Card Granny Challenge, I'm supposed to use only gift cards for all purchases aside from rent and utilities. Sheesh! But our desire to get out of Dodge and go to a swanky concert far outweighed the risks. How was I going to pull this off and stay true to the challenge?

Here's the planning behind our getaway:

Sunday Afternoon Shell Gasoline $74.98
Three-hour drives on $3.43/gallon gas is a big ouch, so we whip out the Shell Gas gift card to fillerup. I'll really have to be careful with my driving allowance for the rest of the month.

Sunday Night $0
Cookout with family at uncle's house. We had amazing skirt steak prepared a la Argentina (far better than Ruth's Chris) plus balsamic vinaigrette salad with fresh fruit for dessert made for fabulous, Primal Blueprint approved fare.

Monday Morning Starbucks $6.45, Ann Taylor Loft $70.31
Hit up Starbucks for morning latte and sandwich. We ended up sleeping a bit late (thank you, time change) and sticking with beverages to save up for early lunch. The Starbucks we checked into was nestled in an outdoor town center shopping area so I scored a great deal on three maternity (yet also cute post-prego) tops from Ann Taylor Loft with my fabulous 20% off gift card. And since the balance was less than $5 I got $4.82 back in cash.

Monday Midday Maggiano's $24
This upscale Italian joint has always been one of our favorites since we lived in Dallas, so the fact that it is a part of the Chili's restaurant family makes it a perfect choice. Our Chili's gift card is also valid at On the Border, Maggiano's and Corner Bakery. We picked lunch for more economical pricing and decided to splurge on their classic lasagna. The Hubs and I split it after starting with house salads, so we didn't totally pig out. 

Monday Evening Gaga Monster Ball Concert $0
No, this has nothing to do with gift cards. We just have a benevolent family member who enjoys sharing the wealth. Concert experiences from leather seats in a suite are much different than standing near the mosh pit. We ate heavy appetizers, an all beef hot dog link and soda water on someone else's generosity.

Tuesday Morning Breakfast at home $0
Home cooked turkey sausage patties and a fresh pot of coffee sent us away on a high note. Plus our huge gas tank got us home with no trouble.

If I could have added anything to the weekend I would have purchased a Morton's Steakhouse gift card for 17% off from Plastic Jungle plus a GiftCards.com Massage Envy deal for 14% off. Most gift cards only take 2-5 days to arrive. However without having these places in town I didn't want to risk not getting them. But for making it work without much adjustment, I'm happy with our Gagalicious, spontaneous getaway!