Bring on the Points!
How many of you only shop at stores that offer a point system? Do you find it a little addicting? Do you buy double or triple of an item because it has a sale on or extra points that week?
Michael and I are quite fond of the points system. There’s a major grocer in town called Superstore that offers points on selected items each week. Some things are in-store. Others are digital offers that connect to your points card. The store monitors your purchases and then tailors the points to what you frequently buy. Are you running out of frozen blueberries? Get 1,800 points on every $9.00 you spend. That’s a $1.80 in savings on a bag of blueberries that cost $13.00.
Since the points are typically tailored to our frequent purchases, our points can grow quite quickly. This has allowed us to get a free BBQ and cover. We got it on a tax-free day as well, so we walked out with $250 BBQ and the cover for it for free!
My brother and his family came to visit at Christmas a couple years ago. They stayed at our home one night. Since we knew they were coming in advance, we saved up our points for part of the year, and then paid for all the groceries that week on points. Free groceries? We’ll take it.
It’s super handy to build up points and use them when your grocery bill is higher than your budget allows. It’s great when you have guests coming and you need some extra meals that week. It’s also beneficial if you need to update some kitchen appliances.
But I say all of that with caution. Though it can be beneficial, it can also hinder you. It’s a lot more tempting to buy multiples of an item to get those extra points. Beef might have some points awarded to it. I mean, you’ll eventually be eating beef. So why not buy extra now for when you do? The next thing you know, every cupboard, drawer, fridge, and freezer are beyond stocked. Your budget goes out the window and you wonder how you’ve spent so much, all in the name of savings?
As tempting as it is, remind yourself that the savings will come again. Whether it’s on that item or another one. Be reasonable and make sure that you’re just getting what you need. Don’t overstock on fruits and veggies that are going to rot before you can get to them. Because, you can only make so many soups, stews, and salsas before your freezer is bulging and it’ll take a year of not buying any groceries to clean it out. Though that may seem convenient, I have a feeling you’ll grow pretty tired of eating the same thing for a year. Reminds me of a little story about manna and quail.
Another word of caution is to only go with points systems at places you buy essentials from. You have to eat, so grocery store points are handy. If you have a vehicle, gas station points are a good one as well. Think about your basic necessities and look for free points.
Don’t do a points system that costs you money. You’re defeating the purpose. Unless you’re typically shopping at places like Costco every week, that $60 charge per year isn’t worth it. Same goes for Visa and travel points. If you have to pay for the Visa card, you’re already losing. You also have high interest payments on that as well. So, if you fall behind on payments or only pay the minimal balances, it’s not worth it. I would only recommend things with grocers and gas station points. If you must, you could also do things like Aeroplan. But again, I caution, watch the temptation to buy more than you need in the name of points!
Savings are only as beneficial as the spender’s discipline.
So, if you’re smart about it, you could do really well. Combine the Flipp coupon savings for present discounts, along with the points awarded for future reductions, and you’ll be saving bundles in no time.