Welcome to part 8 of my year-long series on how to reduce your grocery bill. If you have missed the earlier parts you can find them here:
For this part I am going to focus on reward points. I’m not sure if this is a trend in other countries but here in Canada more and more stores are starting to offer some form of reward or loyalty points to their customers. When used effectively reward points can help you shave off a good amount of money from your regular grocery bill. The following are a few things to consider when planning to start collecting or using reward points.
- Decide on one or two major types of rewards points that you want to collect. If you were to start collecting at 8 or 10 different places the rewards are not as likely to add up as quickly.
- Not all reward point programs carry the same value so make sure to find a way to compare them and choose ones that will give you the best value for your money spent.
- Make sure that you are actually going to be saving money. Just like with coupons the offer of extra points on a product you wouldn’t typically buy may not save you money in the long run.
- Think outside the box in terms of where you look for loyalty points/rewards. One example is the program that Pampers offers. You do not need to have a child or even one who uses Pampers in order to open an account and gain points. The company often puts out codes each month so you can gain points without actually buying the products. Yet, they often have gift cards to my local grocery store as a reward that is available. Another option is credit card rewards. If you are already using a credit card (and paying it off each month) then why not gain some rewards at the same time if your local store offers a card?
- Be picky about when you decide to redeem your points. Make sure to read any small print regarding redemption so that you don’t lose any points by accident such as if they expire after a year not being used etc. Stay up to date on offers and special redemption days when points may actually have a higher value if used at that time.
- Plan what you will use your points or rewards on. Being strategic about what you are working towards will help you to get the most out of each program.
My favourite reward program right now is the PC Plus one. Each week I am sent an email with a number of grocery items (based on what I have recently purchased) that if purchased earns me extra points. When I go through the flyers for my local grocery store I take note of which items are offering bonus points and any special point promotions that are currently being offered. I take both of these into account when planning our meals out each week and making our shopping list. Doing this can really add up as you can see an example of here. This program combined with paying with a credit card that gives us the same rewards points towards food typically gives us $75 to $100 in free groceries each month.
Another of my favourite programs is the Shoppers Optimum one. You may not think of a drugstore as a place to buy food but they actually have a large food section which I can redeem my points for. This is one of those programs where I shop on days when I get 20 times the points and definitely save my points until there is a redemption special in order to make my points go farther. You can see some of the point redemptions that I have done in the past here, here, here and here.
Between these two programs alone we save $1000 to $1400 a year off of our grocery bill! Every little bit helps and it can add up very quickly 🙂
Do you have a favourite rewards program that saves you money off of your grocery bill right now?