One of my favorite daily reads, Life As Mom, asked a question today as part of her Frugal Friday series – simply, how do you save money?
Clipping coupons is great, but I have found that signing up for the free rewards programs at my favorite retailers can really save our family money. If it is somewhere you shop regularly anyhow, you can only benefit.
For Christmas my 12 year old daughter kept asking for a fleece North Face jacket and I kept balking at it – especially with a $60 price tag. I knew I could find it at Dick’s Sporting Goods and right before Christmas (after I had already decided not to buy it) Dick’s sent me my monthly rewards envelope. Inside was a $10 rewards certificate and a stack of coupons. When I took the jacket to the register I handed the clerk all the coupons and the rewards certificate. Some of the coupons were “stackable” meaning I got a dollar amount off because the item was over $50 and I also got a percentage off because the other coupon was for 20% off outwear. Between the two coupons and the rewards certificate, I brought the jacket down from a $60 purchase to a $26 purchase – a number I was much more comfortable with – since I don’t think my daughter is done growing.
My youngest daughter wanted the latest bear from Build a Bear Workshop - the 16 in. Pink SpeakerStarz™ Bear in Fuchsia – that has a cable built in that plugs into your iPod and the sound comes out the bear’s foot. Cute, but worth $25? Questionable. Enter the Stuff for Stuff program at BABW. I always keep the rewards certificates and the coupons they send through out the year. I had 2 $10 rewards certificates left and one coupon for $5 off and animal $10 or more (sent as a birthday reward since my daughter’s birthday is in December). They took the $5 off then I applied the rewards certificates leaving me to simply pay for the sales tax of $1. SCORE!!! A $25 Build a Bear for $1.
Most grocery store chains now have rewards programs of some sort. One of our local grocery store also sells gas. The more you shop their store for groceries, the more you can save on the gas for your car. Not a bad deal, really, especially since the gas station is right in front of the store.
As long the store or restaurant is one you use frequently AND there is no fee to sign up for the rewards program it really is a great way to save money! And rather than having all those little cards on my keychain, I just have a separate little zip bag in my purse where I keep them all. It works for me.
Have you found rewards programs to be worthwhile for your family?