It’s the law of diminishing returns: I no longer shop enough to benefit from store rewards! As posted here, I used to earn rewards from Air Miles, Canadian Tire, Chapters, and Shoppers Drug Mart, to name a few.
So far this year, here’s my tally of discounts and free stuff that I’ve redeemed:
- Air Miles – redeemed for grocery gift certificates – $60
- Fast Fuel – earned $32 in grocery discounts (can be applied to any purchase)
- Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum points – redeemed for $70 in personal care items
- Manufacturer’s coupons – saved $10.50 (no coupons for real food, just cleaning supplies and pet food)
- Canadian Tire Money (earned at hardware store to use on future purchases) – $10
- Chapters book store Plum Rewards – $5
- Mark’s Work Wearhouse clothes discounts – $20
Total free money used for things I actually needed: $207.50 in 7 months
Sounds good, right? However, almost all of this was generated by last year’s spending when we were a family of 3, ate packaged food, and stocked a freezer full of meat!
In 2012, our grocery bills are 31% lower than last year’s. This includes all food, personal care items, paper goods, cleaning supplies and pet supplies. Our child had not been “eating us out of house and home” before moving out. Most of our housing, cleaning and pet costs are the same over time. I would guess that half the difference is from having a household of 2, and half is from eating Real Food and reducing/eliminating meat. We could save more if we didn’t buy things like goat cheese, pesto and nuts!
For the rest of the year, I expect to accrue very, very little in store rewards. I’ll use what I get, but I won’t have those big perks to look forward to. I’ll have to get my satisfaction from everyday discounts like buying in bulk and cooking from scratch.
Isn’t it funny that I am spending less, but I have been conditioned by retailers so much that I will miss the “rewards” gained by higher spending?