Extreme Couponing Strategy #12 – Use Rewards Programs
One of the new trends in Extreme Couponing is the development of rewards programs. While rewards programs have been around a long time they are also becoming more and more personalized which makes them slightly more complicated than the traditional programs. Some of the most common rewards programs are from Drugstores and Grocery Stores, I’m going to cover a few of these today and how you can use them to save money.
Drugstore Rewards Programs –
CVS has a program called Extra Care that allows you to earn points called Extra Care Bucks when you make specific purchases at CVS. You can also earn points and coupons by filling prescriptions at CVS and by scanning your card at the Coupon Center located inside each store. When you purchase specific items featured in the weekly ad you can earn Extra Care Bucks which print after you check out and can be used towards any future in store purchase.
Here’s an example of an Extra Care Bucks Deal featured in the CVS Weekly Ad:
Spend $30 on Bounty, Charmin or Puffs Products Shown, Get $10 in ExtraBucks Rewards
CVS has a 98% Rule that allows you to purchase 98% of the $30 total and still qualify for the rewards (Read more on the 98% rule here)
So in this example you could buy 3 Bounty Paper Towels and get the $10 in ExtraBucks Rewards Back.
Buy 3 – Bounty Paper Towels, $9.99 Each
Spend $29.97 and get $10 in ExtraBucks to use on a future purchase at CVS
That’s like paying $19.97 for all 3 or just $6.65 per package!!!
Since there are 12 rolls of Bounty Paper Towels in each package that’s like paying just $0.55 per roll which is an awesome price on Bounty and there weren’t any coupons required. All you have to do is remember to redeem your $10 in ExtraBucks Rewards on a Future offer or on something else that you need. I like to save the Extra Bucks from one week to spend the next week, that is the best way to keep your out of pocket expense low and avoid having a lot of Extra Bucks that expire.Rite Aid has a program called +Up Rewards that allows you to earn up to 20% off the entire store for an entire year!!! There are different levels of the Rite Aid +Up Rewards Program that you want to be aware of. All members have access to special pricing and +Up Rewards Bonus offers that are featured in the store.
These offers work very similar to the Extra Care Program listed above. When you purchase specific items featured in the weekly ad you get rewards after your check out transaction (Normally on your receipt) That are good on a future in store purchase.There are different levels of the Up Rewards Program, you can earn 1 point for every 1 you spend at Rite Aid, and the more points you earn the more you save! Here are the different levels:
As you can see when you get to the Bronze Level you get a one time use 10% Shopping Pass, and you save 10% on all Rite Aid Purchases every day for a year. With the Silver Level (When you have spent $500) You get a 10% off Pass for an entire year, and when you spend $1000 or reach the Gold Level you get 20% off the entire store for a year! You can read all the Details on the Rite Aid Wellness Program for more information.Walgreens has 2 different rewards programs going on right now. They offer the Register Rewards that have been a part of Walgreens Shopping for a long time now, and then there is a new Walgreens Balance Rewards Program which is a more traditional store loyalty program.
Register Rewards are similar to Catalina Coupons, they print out of the Catalina Machine at checkout and are good on your next in store purchase. Watch the local weekly ads for Register Rewards offers because you can typically get items for Free or very cheap using register rewards.
In this example shown above you can Buy 1 Mt. Dew Kick Start for $0.99 and get $0.99 in rewards! That’s like getting the item free after you factor in the rewards.
Mt. Dew Kick Start, $0.99
Buy 1 Get $0.99 in Register Rewards
FREE after Register Rewards!
The second Rewards Program is the new Balance Rewards Program, you will need to sign up for the Balance Reward Card in stores to get the sale prices featured in the ad. Every 1,000 Balance Rewards Points equals $1 towards a future purchase. You can redeem the Balance Rewards Points at checkout so you don’t have to worry about loosing the coupons. These also don’t expire for a long time as long as you shop at Walgreens at least every 6 months.
In the image above you can get Sure Deodorant for $1.99 on sale + there is a $1 Coupon and you will get 1,000 rewards points (worth $1). That makes the item free by stacking the rewards points and the coupon.
Sure Deodorant, $1.99
Use 1 – $1/1 Sure Deodorant Coupon
Pay $0.99 and get 1,000 Balance Rewards Points ($1)
That’s like paying just under $1 and getting $1 back in points! Since you’re getting as much back in rewards as you are spending we call that like getting your purchase for free.
Grocery Stores and Retail Stores are also starting to personalize rewards program. Ask your local store if they offer a Rewards or Loyalty Program. Restaurants also offer these type of incentives where you can get a free lunch when you buy 6 or something like that. It’s important to keep your eyes open for rewards and loyalty opportunities at the stores you frequent the most.
Many stores are starting to offer coupons exclusively to rewards members so it’s important to join any free programs that might have savings attached to them. Also, remember that if you are worried about your email address you can always create a separate email address for offers and newsletters. That way you can take advantage of the savings without having to fill your personal email with newsletters and offers.
Don’t Forget: You can Download the Stockpiling Price Sheet to see all of the estimated prices you could expect to pay for the basic items we buy each month. There is also a place to compare unit pricing. This is just a guide, but a great way to help you learn the prices of each item.
Tomorrow we will be talking about another strategy for getting the most out of your coupons!
View all the posts in the Extreme Couponing Strategies series.