52 Money Save Ways, Week 5: Reap the Rewards
Welcome back to another weekly “Money Save Way” tip.We are past the first month of the 52 Week Money Challenge. This series accompanies it so you can find even more ways to save money as you follow along with the challenge. If you are following along, you should deposit $5 into your savings or $48 if you are doing the challenge in reverse.
Last week, I wrote about practicing the waiting game when it came to making purchases. This means not making purchases that may be impulse buys and instead waiting on them. The info I will give you this week may seem contradictory to this advice, but hear me out.
52 Money Save Ways, Week 5, Reap the Rewards
When I say, “Reap the Rewards”, I mean sign up for as many rewards programs at stores as you can and strategically use them. This may mean buying things you don’t need right now in order to gain rewards to use later for stuff you do need. This is called not only a good way to use the rewards programs, but also, stockpiling.
CVS, Walgreen’s and Rite Aid all have rewards programs. So do many of the chain grocery stores. Many stores you encounter have these programs available. While some will not add up as fast as others, they are all worth looking at and signing up for, even if the store offering it is not somewhere you shop on a monthly basis. For instance, Famous Footwear has a rewards program that gives you coupons and discounts the more you shop via email. This could mean great news for you around back-to-school time in the fall.
The basic idea behind rewards programs is, they give you an incentive to keep shopping via points, store dollars or discounts (percentages off). Some store, like grocery chains, give you points you can redeem for cents off gas purchases at participating service stations. This reward in and of itself is a great deal because you can not only save money by building a stockpile for later use, but save at the pump, too when gas prices are high.
The rewards programs at pharmacies offer either points or in store “money” you can use on future purchases. They will usually let you use coupons when you use your points as well, so you could end up with freebies if you play your cards right.
One example I will give is one I did not too long ago at Walgreen’s. I went in with coupons in hand for some deodorant that was on sale for 2 for $4. I had a coupon that made it $2 off two so each one was $1. On top of that, the deal included 3,000 reward points (each 1,000 points at Walgreen’s is worth $1) per 2 products I purchased of that brand. I bought 6 deodorants for $6 and got 9,000 points. so I essentially got the deodorants for free and made $3.
Using rewards points can be tricky, but by joining groups on Facebook and online, you can master each store. Just be sure to know the rules of each place before you go in to get a mega deal or you might be disappointed.
On a side note, while I told you not to make impulse buys for things you don’t need right now in last week’s Money Save Ways post, buying 6 deodorants was a great thing even though it will take me a couple months to use them. I now don’t have to worry about budgeting that into my monthly self care items and have a stockpile to use from.
If you missed the previous weeks, you can find the links below: