Extra Bucks and Rewards Cards - Frugal Fall

Reward Cards, Extra Bucks and Gift Certificates Oh My!

There is no doubt that we are still in a tough economy, the signs are everywhere - but for those willing to put on their thinking caps this can be great time to save some money.  Being smart with Extra Bucks, reward cards and even gift cards can get your further ahead than you ever dreamed.

Now I am not talking about shenanigans like those crack addicted women who shop with 500 coupons and stock pile a life time supply of deodorant and salsa for $4. Frankly that is  just a displaced episode of hoarders in my not so delicate opinion and  not something I want to be part of.

I am talking about  a technique I call  "Saving it forward"  and it works with any sort of gift card, extra-buck or rewards program such as the $5.00 sent to me by the good folks at Ace Hardware. 

The principle in simple, when you are given "free money" your goal is to leverage it in a way that creates a rolling savings for you over the long haul. That way the original money keeps making you/saving you money well past the first transaction. 

This concept can be hard to grasp for some and is best explained by example.. 

Our dogs eat a lot of food! 

I have to buy pet food each week so shop at one pet store that has good prices and also offers a reward program, each quarter I get a in-store gift card ranging in amount but usually around $20 ( we buy lots of pet food). Of course I could just buy more pet food with the $20  but to MAKE/SAVE money on that money I instead decide to invest that money toward a pair of dog grooming clippers. I watch for them to go on sale, they do.. $40 clippers on sale for $22. I use my $20 gift card and buy the clippers of $2. I then am able to clip the Westies at home saving $90 per grooming visits all on my $2 investment. So each time I trim the pups thereafter I am paying myself/saving significant  amounts of money- sweet!

One more...

Local office supply store  gives rewards on purchases and 10% back on Ink and toner- I go through a lot of ink... so end up getting a nice rebate from them of close to $65 bucks since I had also bought office furniture in that reward cycle.   That $65 could only cover  1 month of ink but put towards a new printer that uses lower cost ink this would be more bang for that original bucks-- get it??

So what about that Ace card you ask?... well this weekend my local store is have a re-grand opening and a little bird told me that there Purdy paintbrushes will be on sale 1/2 off. Anyone who paints knows how good and expensive these brushes are. So my $5 will go towards expanding my selection of Purdy brushes which enable me to paint my house in a professional manner there by saving the cost of having painters come in... and that's how I roll!

Your turn!.. if you have a great tip share it - if you want to share these tips please click the Facebook or Twitter buttons below. I would really appreciate it!


Audrey Pettit said...

Great thinking here, Maddie! Love your ideas of investing in the future. TFS!

devorageller said...

Rewards programs through checking/credit card accounts can be a great way to accumulate points, which can be redeemed for cash or gift cards. This can be especially profitable if you frequently pay with plastic: rewards points accumulate quickly, and even if there's a fee for the program, you can still get rewards that are several times the fee (if you shop through the bank's rewards site you can sometimes get 'extra' points on purchases). I tend to use my rewards points to help with my gift budget throughout the year, but in the past, I've also redeemed for restaurant/entertainment gift cards, thus generating a (nearly) 'free' date night with my boyfriend.

Kelly said...

You have a Dane!!??!! Aren't they the best? We had to say goodbye to our Dane, Penelope, 4 years ago, and I still miss her. She was just so sweet. We still have Princess (don't judge the names, they came with them :) LOLOL) she is a Mastiff. Love the large breeds!
oshnpashn at gmail dot com