Monthly Archives: May 2016

Free Stuff at the Grocery Store

I was recently traveling for work and a coworker said to me “who checks their receipt when they leave the store, what a waste of time!

No, this is not a made up conversation for the sake of this blog, someone literally said that to me and I was appalled. I calmly replied “well if it saves you money then it was time well spent, right?”

He looked confused, “but what, to save $0.10 on something that was supposed to be on sale?” to which I responded “duh, the Publix Promise? Kroger Guarantee?”

He looked confused and that’s when I realized that many people do not know what these promises are. These promises are a big way to save money when you go grocery shopping!

Here’s how the promise works–say you’re grocery shopping and see that an item is marked $1.99 on sale. But then when you go to check out your item rings up at $3.99.  You get annoyed and check out. Next Step: Go to customer service and point out the discrepancy and mention the “Publix/Kroger Promise”.  Then the item is FREE.

From the Publix website:

Our Publix Promise guarantees that if during checkout, the scanned price of an item (excluding alcohol and tobacco products) exceeds the shelf price or advertised price, we will give the customer one of that item free. We will charge the lower price for the remaining items.

The Kroger Scan Right Guarantee:

Any item that scans at an incorrect price, whether it is higher or lower than advertised, will be given to you for free. Only one item will be given away for free per purchase, however — any subsequent items that scan incorrectly will be sold at the lower price.

This is why it’s more than just a few cents that you are saving when you pay attention to your receipt! If you save $3 one week, $5 the next, etc it adds up. Plus, it’s always satisfying to get your money back. You can take that savings and treat yourself to an overpriced venti-no-foam-extra-shot-latte at Starbucks!

Top 3 Travel Rewards Credit Cards

When it comes to traveling I hate spending money. Yes, even more so than day-to-day life. Every time I dine out while on a trip my brain begins adding the bill to the flight, the hotel bill, the stupid resort fees and valets.

I began doing some research to find out how to make the most out of my every day shopping to put money/points towards vacations because let’s be honest, we all live for an amazing vacation.

I did not want a card that gave me 1 to 1 reward points per dollar spent. That is a waste of credit space and money. I did want a card with a nice, juicy sign up bonus.  I also have to travel for work so I have a couple of preferred hotels and my preferred airline is Delta.

Based on this information I came up with my top 3 travel rewards cards.

  1. Chase Marriott Visa–I may be bias but the Chase Marriott Visa is my favorite in terms of sign up bonuses and points earned. When I was booking my honeymoon, my husband and I each separately signed up for this credit card which has an 80,000 point sign up bonus. With those 160,000 points we were able to book a week at the Marriott resort in Kauai (because with Marriott when you book 5 nights, the 6th night is free!).  You get 5x points on Marriott locations and 2x points per $1 spent on restaurants, car rental agencies and on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline (versus Kayak or something). Everything else is 1 point per dollar.  Not only that, you get 1 Free Night Stay at a Category 1-5 hotel every year. We use this every single year! I travel a lot for work so I am also able to accrue more points that way, too. The first year there is no annual fee and after the first year the fee is $85.
  2. American Express Gold–The sign up bonus for this card ranges from 30,000 to 50,000 points. I waited until the bonus was 50,000 to sign up. The miles earned per dollar are mediocre (1 mile per dollar spent) except when you buy flights through Delta on this card. That’s when you’ll start to see the points rack up. You’ll earn at least 7 miles per dollar spent, You also earn 2 miles per dollar on in-flight purchases and you get a discount on those purchases (seen as a statement credit on your next credit card bill). My favorite features are that you get priority boarding so you feel like a baller and your first bag gets checked for free! So if you and your significant other each have a card, each of your bags gets checked for FREE! That’s huge! The first year there is no annual fee and after the first year the fee is $95.
  3. American Express Hilton- I really like the ROI on this card in regards to pints. With this card you get 7X Hilton HHonors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a participating hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio. This is higher than the 5x points with Marriott. Not only that but you get 5X Hilton HHonors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations. Finally, you get 3X Hilton HHonors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card. While all of this is more than the Marriott, I find that Marriott rewards are easier to redeem. BUT this card has no annual fee which is a big perk!

Keep in mind that I travel for work so I have certain preferred airlines/hotels. These cards might not be the right ones for you but for me and my lifestyle they work.

Stay tuned for more frugal finds!

Never Be Afraid to Ask

This week’s post is a little late and it’s a little more advisory than usual but it something I always do–Ask Questions.

I have a specific example to use here. I use Publix Digital Coupons whenever I shop at Publix.

Publix had a deal for BOGO on this amazing, expensive, overpriced delicious peanut butter called Dark Chocolate Dreams.  If you’ve never had this stuff before, don’t get it, it’s like crack.

So when there was BOGO with a May 30 expiration, I wanted to jump on it! I added it to my Publix digital coupons and went to the store the next day.  When I went to the store, however, it wasn’t there.  It disappeared. I was so annoyed and asked the manager and he told me he had no idea what happened.

So I took to twitter and asked!

Publix

Publix’s answer was less than helpful. They basically said the coupons are there until a certain, undefined number of those coupons are used, after which they disappear. Consumers have no way to know when the coupon is “used up” so it’s a game of roulette.

So I asked the manufacturer themselves.

Peanut

They apologized and sent me coupons. Problem solved, right? Wrong. The deal through Publix was BOGO but they sent me coupons for $0.50 and $1.00 off.  At almost $5/jar, these coupons did not do much.  I reached back out to the manufacturer and they sent me a coupon for BOGO!

Tada! Problem solved…..after a lot of hassle that is. But for me this was worth it! I never got to use the deal through publix and it was a great deal so I am glad I went through the effort.

I always think it’s worth asking when a deal is promised or advertised. The worst case scenario is that you will hear no, but more often than not you will get help because businesses thrive on customer service.

Next week I will be writing a post on my favorite hotel point systems so stay tuned!