I imagine there are many others out there, like me, whose finances are tight and there really isn't money in the budget for DIY projects and decor. So, I put together a list of ways to save money in everyday living. Even little bits add up to big amounts eventually, so why not take advantage of every discount you can get! Each thing I discuss in this post will be free to join or take advantage of.
Just a little heads up, being a Canadian resident, I can only provide what relates to me. However, for my non-Canadian readers, I would love if you would share your tips for saving money in your country in the comment section below. (And my Canadian readers, if there's something I have missed, PLEASE share that also!) Let's help each other. It'll be fun!
/My top favourite gas station is Fast Fuel. For every litre of gas/fuel you buy, you get 3.5¢ back in a voucher to use at Sobeys grocery store. Those add up quickly and it is so fun to go fill up a cart of whatever I need at the grocery store and hand in my vouchers and get it all free! Yes, I let them stack up. Its more fun that way! Also, Sobeys themselves often have promotions where for every certain amount of groceries you buy, you get a voucher for money off your gas at Fast Fuel! Its a double win during those promos!
Superstore gas stations currently offer 35 PC Plus Points per litre purchased. More on PC Plus Membership in the grocery store section below.
If you have a Costco membership and a Costco gas station in your area (which I do not), it is reported to be less expensive than the surrounding gas stations.
Ultramar has a Valumax card that gains you savings on gas/fuel. It is available at any Ultramar gas station, free to sign up for, and immediately available to use. Here is how the savings work: For the first 25 litres, you get 1¢ per litre off, on the next 10 litres you get 2¢ per litre off, on additional litres past 35 you get 3¢ per litre off. Buying supreme gas gets you 1 more cent per litre off when you buy more than 35 litres.
Petro-Canada gas stations offer a Petro-Points membership card. It is free to join. You can join online or you can get a membership card at the gas station and activate it online. You get 10 points for every litre of gas/fuel purchases and for every $1 spent in-store or on a car wash. 1,000 points equal $1 off gas/fuel, in-store, or a car wash. There are quite a few other perks to this membership and promotions offered quite regularly. Currently you get 2,500 bonus points just for signing up! Check it out by clicking 'here'.
Esso gas stations offer an Esso Extra membership card. It is free to join, also. You can pick up your free card in-store or join online "here". With Esso Extra, you earn points for gas/fuel purchases, in-store purchases, and car washes. It is not a simple straight-forward earning system however. There are base points earned plus bonus points as well as promotions that are always running. The full details can be dug out on their website. It does seem to be a great system, just too complicated to detail here in this post. There is currently a sign up bonus of 250 points. Additionally, there is a Extra Privileges promotion you can sign up for that gives you 2.5¢ per litre discount on your first 100 litres purchased.
Sobeys participates in the Air Miles Reward Program and offers 1 air mile for every $20 you spend. There are bonus offers every week and are advertised in the local flyer as well as in-store on the shelf. Also, as mentioned earlier in this post, Sobeys offers vouchers for discounts at Fast Fuel at least once per year for a period of time. I think its usually 1¢ off per litre voucher if you spend between $50 and $100 on groceries and then 2¢ off per litre if you spend over $100 on groceries, etc. It gets higher as you spend higher.
The PC Plus program is available at quite a few grocery stores in Atlantic Canada. Atlantic Superstore, No Frills, Save Easy, Valu-mart, and Independent Grocer are just some of the participating stores. To join, you can either download the free PC Plus app onto your cell phone or you can pick up a free card in-store and activate it online 'here'. You can also read all about the program through that link. Once you register your app or card, you will be sent offers for which if you buy certain items, you get a certain amount of points. With the card, you have to manually load the offers onto your card online. With the app, you can even load your offers when you get to the store. I find the app more convenient as I forget to load the physical card. For redemption, 1,000 points is equal to $1 and 20,000 points is the first increment you can redeem at (to receive $20 credit on your purchases). Additional points that you have accumulated can be redeemed in increments of 10,000 thereafter.
In my personal opinion, it isn't the greatest reward system but it will accumulate after awhile and free is free after all!
This next one isn't technically a grocery store but they do carry quite a bit and not only are the prices & sales very good, they have THE best reward system. Shoppers Drug Mart is where I buy all my milk & eggs as they are the least expensive in my area period. They have weekly sales and the prices on the following are either the same as or better than the sales at the main grocery stores: cheese, yogourt, frozen dinners, frozen fish sticks, frozen chicken nuggets/fingers, bread, crackers, cookies, cereal, peanut butter, chips, etc. The program is called Shoppers Optimum. How it works is, you receive 10 points for every $1 before tax you spend in-store. There are bonus points offers on various products per week and are advertised in their flyers as well as in-store on the shelves. Also, there are often promotional offers where if you spend a certain amount, you gain a certain amount of bonus points. This point system accumulates quickly. For regular redemption, it works like this: 8k points = $10, 22k points = $30, 38k = $60, 50k = $85, 95k = $170. And at least once per year they have a one week promotional offer where if you redeem in the two highest levels, you get a larger cash amount back. To join, you can either pick up your free card in-store or you can join online 'here' and read all about it.
Naturally, there are coupons to be had from a variety of sources to save on groceries at any grocery store.
Pita Pit, a fast-food-yet-healthy restaurant, offers a free app called More! PitaPit. In-store they offer the free membership cards. I can't remember if you have to have that card before you can register your app or not. Anyways, you get 280 bonus points when you register for the first time. You just scan your card or app each time you make a purchase at Pita Pita and you get 3 points for every dollar spent. If you spend $1,000 within 12 months, you are elevated to Fanatical More status and then will earn 4 points for every dollar spent. Redemption works like this: 120 points to get extra cheese or extra bacon or double meat for $1 or free chips or free cookie or $1 off, 280 points gets you a free drink or double meat or a free combo or a 4.99 pita, 400 points gets you a small smoothie or petita, 500 points gets you a large smoothie or pita. I'm pretty sure they gave me enough points during my birthday month to redeem for a free pita! The app is available through Android and Apple both.
Papa Johns Pizza offers Papa Rewards. You enroll online 'here', and you earn 1 point for every $8 spent in an online order. So, you have to place your order online and then either have it delivered or have it ready for carry-out. For redemption, you see what you can redeem for once you have your membership set up. In mine for example, I see that I can redeem 10 points for a free bread side or dessert, or 15 points for a medium 2-topping pizza, 25 points for a free 3-topping or pan pizza, or 30 points for a specialty pizza. Their app is available through both Android and Apple.
Dominos Pizza reward system is called Piece of the Pie Rewards. Earn 10 points for every online order of $10 or more. Redeem 60 points for a free 2-topping medium pizza! Enroll 'here'. I often just go to my app and order what I want and drive to the place and pick it up through the drive-thru window. Its a great set up. The app is available in Android & Apple.
Boston Pizza offers MyBP. You can sign up 'here'. You get a coupon code to redeem for a free bandera bread appetizer when you join, a free 2-topping pizza on your anniversary, free dessert on your birthday, 15% off your 10th online order, and more.
Montana's Grill Lovers Club offers a free appetizer upon first signing up and a free dessert on your birthday. Then you will get emails of exclusive offers as they become available. Sign up 'here'.
'Join the Family' at East Side Mario's and receive a free appetizer just for joining. They will send out member exclusive promotions at various times throughout the year.
Join Arby's Extra E-Club 'here' and receive a free classic beef n' cheddar just for joining. Arby's will then send you coupons via email throughout the year.
McDonald's has an app available through Android and Apple through which you create an account and there will be weekly offers available through the app that you can redeem at the restaurant (even the drive-thru).
Starbucks Rewards earns you 2 stars for every $1 you spend in-store or online (once you register). There are variety of other 'perks' with this program, too, such as free in-store refills, free birthday reward, member events & offers, etc. To sign up and check out all the sweet rewards, click 'here'.
When I started working on this blog post, I had no idea of the amount of content I would end up finding! Thus, I am going to do this in parts (or series). Wow, eh! If you set aside all the money that you saved by using all these free reward systems, you would have a healthy little savings there to have fun with, eh!
I am in no way sponsored nor compensated for this post. It is of my own idea and out of heart to help that I am doing this. Please let me know if you are enjoying all of this information and finding it helpful. :)