Free Food!

Did the title grab you? It's almost completely free. I have heard of the show extreme couponing, but I don't have cable and haven't seen the show completely yet. I think I would get depressed watching it, because here in Canada, it just can't be done that well. Oh how I wish! Hear that Canadian businesses? We consumers would like more coupons!

Anyway, there is a way that we can get free food here, besides collecting coupons (which is always beneficial!) Are you intrigued?

I find that sometimes I take for granted the frugal things I do, everyone does, and did so with today's topic also. That was until someone pointed out to me that they weren't aware they could do it and that I should share it with you.

So, with that long introduction, I give you rewards points. You know what I mean; pc points, airmiles, aeroplan, etc.

I am a pc points user, among other reward cards, but this post is about my excitement with my pc points yesterday. I collect points with my bags, purchases and some banking needs. Does it add up? Yes.

Yesterday, I went to get a few groceries and ended up getting more then I went in for. I know, it goes against everything I preach about, but there were some good sales in the store that I didn't want to miss and I knew that I wasn't going to get back in for them later this week.

Another confession- I hadn't had a chance to check the flyers before going in to the store. So I had no idea what I was walking into. You see, I had an appointment in town, borrowed someone else's car and thought I would stop in to get some milk, cheese and some oranges. I didn't even have any of my bags with me to get more points and had to bring plastic bags (gasp) home with me.

My total bill came to $135. It was more than I had budgeted for (as that is a lot for milk, cheese and oranges) and I was truly kicking myself in the pants about it. Then I remembered that I had been accumulating points for a couple of months. I asked the cashier to check and see how many I could redeem and apply them to my bill. I had $100 free in groceries! How wonderful is that? I love it.

I am a big promoter of having these little reward cards with you. Yes, they take up room. Yes, it's annoying to remember them. However, it's great to be able to use these cards in everyday conveniences and get things back.

Now, I won't say what's the best one for me, as something else may work for you, but, if you can use them to get a discount on your insurance, heating bills, groceries, entertainment, why not?

I am not talking about credits cards. Although there are people out there that can do it responsibly, there are others that have a difficult time managing these cards, and so I promote the ones that aren't attached to anything or those that piggyback your regular chequing account. That way you aren't going in to debt to use them.

Do you use rewards cards? What do you them for? Do you have a certain one that you recommend over others?

If you're going to be regularly shopping at a store that offers this, why not let your shopping work for you so that you can use less of your money?

Looking for more ideas on how to save on your food budget? Check out our frugal food posts here or check out this article at

Enjoy your day!


Sue said...

We collected air miles when we renovated our home. I think we had Visa Gold at that time. Can't remember. Anyway, I was able to use the point to fly to Sasketchewan to my daughter's graduation!

Carla said...

I spent $104 dollars at Superstore Friday but when I tallied how much I saved with coupons, sales and taxes (since it was a tax free sale), I saved about $130. So I got about $235 worth of stuff for $104! My family members are always asking my secrets but it's a matter of waiting for sales, saving coupons (and ordering them online) and just being careful. Watching when they ring things in helps too. I got $10 off a pack of pull ups due to my diligence plus I had a $1.50 coupon so I only paid $1.49 for that pack!

I also use PC points and it is how we pay for Christmas and birthdays. Most recently I bought DS a Wii game and barely paid anything. By the time DD"s birthday comes in August, we'll have enough for her present, then by Christmas, we'll have enough for more presents :). I think it's great! We also have air miles and aero plan (but not many chances to use areo plan around here). Shoppers Optimum is another great way to save (we got our Wii free with it, as well as tons of other stuff!). We are very careful in how we spend to make sure we maximize our savings and get the biggest bang for our buck.

Jane said...

I use my PC Mastercard for almost everything and I got an extra card for my partner so he can use it too. Everytime we buy something we then go home and make a payment on the card online. I've never paid a cent of interest and have bought about $300 worth of free stuff at the Superstore. It's so great!!

Visible Voice said...

That show is depressing! I almost called you after one of the episodes but realized it was too late there. I was calling for you to do something...cause you can get mouthy or something to someone out there in the product world right??!!! ;)

Kelly said...

I love this post! I am a big points collector. I collect PC points through my mortgage as well as when I get groceries by using my PC debit card and reusable bags.

I also think Shoppers Optimum is a great program - I currently have a $60 reward just from everyday shopping, and I've redeemed points there quite recently.

I use Petro Points for gas rewards but don't like the program - I'm trying to switch to Esso where I can use Esso Extra and Aeroplan at the same time, but I find it hard switching when I am used to getting gas at Petro. The Petro Points program rewards aren't worth it through - I've had my card for about 7 years and spent over $10,000 in gas purchases and only have enough for about a $100 reward, and I've never redeemed my points before.

The big one for me is Air Miles. I have both a credit card and bank account with BMO, which are both linked to my Air Miles account. I earn 60-100 miles/month just on regular usage and pay my credit card balance regularly so I rarely carry a balance and never pay interest. The best way to use Air Miles is to look for promotions where you buy so many of a certain item and get bonus Air Miles in return. Last year they had a deal on where you got 25 bonus Air Miles for buying 5 cans of Hunt's tomato paste at 55 cents each. I figured out that buying the tomato paste would get me Air Miles at a much cheaper rate than if I bought them through Air Miles (it worked out to 10 cents/mile when the miles are usually worth 30 cents). Long story short, I went to both Sobey's in Charlottetown and bought every can of tomato paste they had. I spent about $270, but earned 2300 miles - enough to fly me back and forth to Newfoundland, where I'm from, 3 and a half times. Not bad, hey?

YourMoney said...

It seems that people are too concerned with the time it takes to apply for a points card to realize the unbelievable rewards they have to offer. Good for you to see beyond that and cash in! Much deserved.