First Person: How Joining a Store Rewards Program Has Saved Me Money

I love to save money. My mother once explained to me: It’s easier to save money than it is to earn it in the first place; she was right. To that end when I shop for groceries I always use coupons, try to find the lowest price and try to buy seasonally. One other way I’ve found to save a great deal of money when shopping for groceries is to take advantage of shopper rewards programs.

Larger grocery stores have some form of rewards programs. You sign up and they give you a card or a tag to hang on your key ring. When you are shopping, there are sales prices that are available to rewards members only. At the checkout counter your card or key ring will be scanned and you will be given the discounted price.

I often use coupons along with the rewards programs to get grocery items at an even greater discount. If an item is priced at $1.50 off its normal price and I have a coupon for $1 then I get the item for .50 cents. Doing this I’ve even gotten money back for the item at the register.

Because not everyone uses a stores rewards program there are often store coupons available. These coupons are normally located in the store flyer as you enter the store and in local newspapers. These items are heavily discounted to entice customers into the store. These coupons can be used with the store coupons for an even greater discount to rewards members. Because it’s possible to use a manufacturer coupon with a store coupon and the rewards program, I often get items for free. Doing this gives me more money to buy the items that are seldom, if ever, discounted. These items include fresh fruit, vegetables and meats.

Rewards programs have other benefits as well as saving money on groceries.

There are also online venues such as that allow you to add coupons to your rewards card online. The registration process was quite simple. I just entered my personal data, my card number and then selected the coupons that I wanted to add to the card. When I check out at the grocery store the coupons are used from the card. The only problem is that in many cases I have found that if the coupon is on the card then only one discount will be applied per item. I get either the coupon or the store coupon or the rewards deduction but never all three. In most cases I find it a better deal to use paper coupons and the rewards program separately at the check out.

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