Monday, January 5, 2009

Money Saving Ideas

Happy New Year! Now that the bills are rolling in and the economy is such a disaster, I thought it might be a good idea to share some money saving tips. Chime in if you have great ideas to share!

Remember the commercials in which they were training credit card employees to deny frequent flyer miles? I think I had a credit card with that company. Never, not once, did I manage to make use of frequent flyer miles. Eventually, I changed to a credit card that gave me discounts at one of my favorite clothing stores. Great idea except I moved and they couldn't be used for catalog or on-line orders.

I gave up all hope of ever getting usable rewards and went my merry way. Then one day I was in the grocery store and saw a big poster for a Mastercard or Visa. Why on earth would anyone want a credit card from a grocery store, I wondered? It made no sense to me at all. But I looked into it and made the switch. For the first time, I really do get rewards for using a credit card!

All purchases, whether made at the grocery store, the dry cleaners or the tire store count toward -- free groceries. What more could a diva ask for? Four times a year I receive checks from the credit card company that I can use toward groceries. Add in a few coupons and sometimes I walk out with a cart full of food for $40. Talk about a bargain high!

Of course, you have to use prudence and good common sense as you would with any other credit card. Even when you know you're getting free food as a reward, you have to pay off your full balance on time to avoid exorbitant penalties. But there's no fighting to use rewards that are blacked out or unavailable. I know I'll be buying food so they don't expire before I can use them.

Check with your favorite major grocery store to see if they have a credit card with rewards available. Of course, you'll benefit most if it's the store where you do the majority of your grocery buying. It's a small thing, but if I'm going to use a credit card anyway, why not get something back? Especially if it's food.


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