History is repeating itself again. As has happened many times throughout history, one merchant takes a chance with a new idea while other merchants sit on the sidelines and watch to find out if the idea will work before they get on board. Clearly customers jumped on board with this concept because more retailers are offering this service. This tip might not be for everyone; however, it’s worth looking into this option.
Another way to increase your savings is by ordering at least some of your groceries online and then picking them up at the store. You realize additional savings by logging into a cash back or rewards program that networks with the supermarkets and grocery stores that you use.
Below are some examples of merchants that tried something new while their competitors waited and watched to find out if the new idea would work before they jumped on the bandwagon:
- Precursor to mail in rebates: In 1851 when the B. A. Babbitt Company initiated the first marketing technique that was intended to capture the attention of other businesses (encouraged women to mail box tops and wrappers of their soap in exchange for a picture of flowers).
- Precursor to coupons: In 1872, the Grand Union Tea Company was the first to issue cardboard tickets to customers at Grand Union stores, which were redeemed for merchandise in their catalog.
- Precursor to coupons: In 1886, Asa Griggs Candler, a pharmacist who purchased the formula for Coca-Cola, provided handwritten tickets for a free glass of the fountain beverage to encourage customers to try the new product.
- Precursor to trading stamps: In 1891, The Schuster and Company Department Store invented the first marketing system of using trading stamps to encourage customers to repeatedly return. Customers received trading stamps with every purchase that they could accumulate and redeem later for products.
- Precursor to loyalty programs: In 1911 Esso Gasoline gave customers a full color scenic placemat for 19 cents with an 8-gallon fill up. By the way, Esso was a phonetic acronym of Standard Oil: “S” and “O” from Standard Oil (eSsO).
- Precursor to today’s supermarkets: In 1916: Clarence Saunders revolutionized the grocery industry when he opened the first self-service grocery store called Piggly Wiggly, where every item in the establishment had a price on it and customers got the products themselves rather than giving their grocery list to the grocery store clerk and the clerk gathered all the items. All the other local grocers waited, fully expecting Piggly Wiggly to fail and they continued serving customers themselves, as was customary at that time. It was only when their customers gravitated to Piggly Wiggly so they could serve themselves that the other grocers rushed to do the same thing.
Fast Forward to Today
Have you noticed that some stores have new “drive through” sections of their stores/parking lots? The idea is to let consumers order online and then go to the store to pick up their order. Clearly this new technique is being well received by consumers because I am noticing more supermarkets and drugstores have added “drive-through” windows to their stores.
Many items are also cheaper when ordered online. And, for anyone who takes advantage of online ordering, this is another way to stack savings. You only need to sign into a cash back or rewards program that you belong to and then enter the supermarket or retailer from where you want to order items. Add another layer to increase your savings and pay with a credit card that offers additional rewards points for purchasing groceries. For example, Barclay Card pays double points for purchases made at grocery stores. They want you to use their credit card for everyday purchases rather than just big-ticket items. This works to your advantage when you pay the credit card charges accrued each month in full. When you do that, you earn the double rewards points and you also avoid paying interest fees.
Another trick that retailers are using is to encourage people to set up a reorder, or auto-ship, program. If you sign up for the program, the retailer reduces the cost of the product a little more and the retailer automatically ships the same product to you periodically. If you use a product frequently, this program might work for you. I prefer to avoid the auto-ship programs because I would lose the opportunity to log into a cash back or rewards program to get those items.
Consumers drive change: If you find this opportunity appealing; however, the stores that you frequent have not yet added drive-through options, inquire at the Customer Service counter. Let them know that their store is one of your favorites and you would be happier if they offered the same drive-through option.
Personally, I love this idea because I get many, many free gift cards and cash back checks by using my Online Purchasing Combination Techniques.
Other Ways to Get Rewards Points and Cash Back
There are a variety of ways to increase your savings even more. Select the programs that you like the best and earn the rewards or cash back using their instructions when you go shopping. Some programs can be used in connection with other methods that you use to save money or earn rewards. Below are just a few suggestions to get you thinking. You can use a search engine to find more rewards/cash back programs. Some programs offer different perks and methods of accumulating rewards or cash back. Therefore, before I go shopping, I decide which of the programs I will use.
- mPlus Rewards: is rewards program that provides you with points when you “check in” to a variety of movie theaters, coffee shops, shopping centers, and a host of other retail stores. You can “check in” to up to 15 different locations within a 24-hour period. Rewards can be redeemed for gift cards and a variety of other things. The mPlus Rewards program for collecting and redeeming rewards is free. You can also buy a paid version of their app.
- ibotta: is a cash back program. ibotta deposits rebate cash back directly to your ibotta account and when you reach their minimum threshold, you can withdraw the cash. You simply register with ibotta, select your favorite stores from their huge list of retailers (supermarkets, pharmacies, restaurants, clothing retailers, etc), before you go shopping, select rebates of interest to you from current list of rebates being offered, and go shopping – just as you normally would. If you get any items from the rebates that you selected, ibotta deposits the cash back directly to your ibotta account (you can link your ibotta account to a PayPal or Venmo account). When your cash back reaches the minimum amount of $20, you can withdraw the cash from your PayPal or Venmo account or choose a gift card.
- Checkout 51: This is a grocery app that lets you earn cash back when you buy grocery items from their current list of offers. Offers change every week on Thursdays and end on Wednesday of the following week. Cashout 51 can be used with other programs. You can also use manufacturers’ coupons. How it works: the same as some of the other apps: download the app, select and buy, upload your receipt, select the claims, earn cash back when your cash back total reaches $20. You can continue building your cash back amount; however, when you cash out, you must cash out the entire balance and then start earning cash back again.
- Walmart Savings Catcher: Scan your Walmart receipt. They compare prices for competitors in your area for the same products that match eligible items on your receipt. If they find a lower advertised price, Walmart deposits the difference to a Walmart eGift card or Bluebird Card.
- mobiSave: Another grocery store app. Shop at any store that provides an itemized receipt and offers the products from their list of offers. Their offers are extremely limited; however, the perk is they instantly deposit your savings to your PayPal account and there is no minimum before they pay out.
- SavingStar: Select the stores that you use most from their list of stores. Check out their current offers and activate the offers that you may use. Go shopping. If you buy any of the items that you selected, SavingStar will provide the cash back. If the store requires a photo of the receipt, you can submit it that way. If the stores you select are connected to a loyalty card, SavingStar is notified by the store with the loyalty program and your account is credited for items that you purchased. When you accumulate $5 worth of savings, you can choose the type of payout you want: cash out to a bank account, PayPal, Upromise account, Starbucks gift code, iTunes gift code, or AMC Theatres gift code.
- Kellogg’s Family Rewards Program: If you use Kellogg’s brands, you can get rewarded. You can connect your loyalty cards from different supermarkets, or take a photo of receipts to prove that you purchased the item(s) and either text the photo(s), email it(them), or mail it (them) via snail mail. Kellogg’s has many brands. Rewards are available in a variety of amounts. When your rewards accumulate to the amount of the rewards category you want, simply order the item by placing it in your shopping cart. Kellogg’s will process the reward and get it to you. Rewards are in a variety of categories: apparel & gear, books, coupons, donations to schools & charities, electronics, housewares & kitchens, magazines, music, gift cards and discounts, toys & games, and more.
- $lickdeals: is different. You do not get cash back or rewards. Slickdeals members find and share deals and coupons for a wide variety of products and retailers. The reason that slickdeals is listed here is they have a grocery section. Their community (millions of members) votes and offers helpful feedback on the best deals. The collaboration of the community and deal editors guarantees the best prices around and makes Slickdeals the best deal site on the Web. You simply register and then download their app.
Stack Your Savings:
In addition to all of the other steps in this 10-Step Supermarket Combination Technique, complete one or more of the following:
- Remember to “check in” at stores that will be in the area of the supermarkets, butcher, etc. Since you will be out and about anyway, why not capitalize on it?
- Download apps that provide the kinds of perks that you like right now so that you begin saving whether it is by getting cash back, earning rewards points, or having money automatically deposited into your PayPal account if you shop at Walmart and other stores sell the same product for less than at Walmart
- Activate potential rebates and cash back items that are on your grocery list
- Order some of your grocery list items online and then go to pick up your order at that store
- Remember to pay the right way so that you accumulate even more rewards
TAKE ACTION: Read “How it Works” on some of the rewards and cash back programs listed above. If earning rewards and cash back for any of the programs fits your lifestyle, register with those programs. Add that note to your own checklist so you remember to activate rebates before you go shopping. Take a photo of the receipts and return to the program within the allotted time so that you get the cash back or rewards points.