Sunday, August 23, 2015

"Free Groceries" Time

This past Thursday when I opened my mail I found something that makes me happy 4 times a year. It's not a surprise but makes me smile nonetheless. 
We get these checks every 3 months for using our Kroger Visa card. 

They are the results of the rewards program. The other significant benefit is getting a discount "per gallon" at Kroger gas stations. 

This time we got a total of $120 in reward checks. They can be used just like cash at any area Kroger store. So basically it's a week's worth of free groceries. 

The way the program works is that you get a "point" for each dollar you charge to the card. You get 2 points for each dollar you spend at Kroger and 3 for every dollar you spend on Kroger brand products. 

We take advantage of the program by charging all our fixed bills and a lot of other things on the card. 

Gas, groceries, household utilities, car repairs, and just about anything else we can charge, we do. The result is a rather significant accumulation of points during each rewards period. 

But here's the key to making the whole program benefit work. I pay off the balance each month; no "ifs, ands or buts" about it. 

This requires some single-minded determination. We don't want to get back into credit card debt. As anyone who has a credit card knows, it's easy to fall into the " I'll just pay the minimum payment" trap. Especially when you have several rather large expenses during a particular month.

But if you can do it and keep yourself accountable, you will really benefit from the rewards program. 

I have a "Toys R Us" credit card I maintain the same way. That helps me keep my monthly spending on Legos in check (I don't buy any more than I can afford to pay off in that month) and gets me some "free money" to spend at the store every once in a while.  

However, only you know yourself and your spending habits well enough to decide if you have the discipline to make this work for you. Some people can't or don't feel right doing it

Now I know not everyone who reads this blog lives in an area with Kroger stores. But I'm sure you can find something similar at a grocery store in your area. Everyone knows how costly it is to feed a family. Every little bit helps. 

So there you have one of our little money saving secrets. It is really fun when you can fill your grocery card with stuff you need and then pay "nothing". 

Do you have anything you do that helps make ends meet? Are you part of any rewards program with a credit card? Do you clip coupons? I'd be interested in hearing about your financial secrets. Send me a message on Facebook or Twitter. I look forward to reading them.     

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