Living economically: Reward credit cards

If you’re like the rest of us, you might have swooned when you saw the price of bacon recently, sobbed a little over the rising cost of heavy whipping cream, or fainted dead away when your grass fed beef topped the $9/pound mark. You might have even caught yourself eying up the ramen noodles and sighed with resignation.

Thankfully, there are ways to live (and eat) more cheaply than you’re thinking.

One trick we use? A rewards credit card.

Annual savings: $600-800 in groceries

Grocery companies like King Soopers offer benefits for using their credit cards, even when you pay your balances monthly. Buy the store brand from their store and earn up to five points per dollar spent. Purchase anything, anywhere else, and earn 1 point/dollar. Those points add up quickly.

Quarterly, along with valuable coupons good in the store, you’re sent food checks to spend in the store as you would a regular check. This quarter I’m brandishing $180 in free groceries, to spend on anything in the store.

What’s more, King Soopers card holders save $.15/gallon on gas at most King Soopers/Loaf and Jug locations. That’s enough to make you hug your SUV a little bit tighter. And since your credit card also acts as your in-store savings card, there’s no need to fumble for extra cards for in-store savings.

Pay your balance monthly. Carrying a balance means interest, and paying interest tends to cancel out the benfits of the free groceries. Make this a card you see the most benefits from, and you’ll be rewarded many times over.

Use the card for everything you would have paid in cash or check. New windows and free groceries? Why not? You’re spending the money anyway. When we had new windows installed last year, one of our deciding factors for the company we chose was that they took credit cards. Find out which bills you can pay online, and use the card where you would have paid in cash or with a check anyway, from your next car, to home repairs, to medical bills.

Buy what you normally buy. While buying the store brand nets you the most points, you still have to shop with common sense in this economy. If King Soopers sells a brand of bacon for $3 more than the same brand at Super WalMart, buy at the cheaper store. You might only earn a third of the points, but you’ve saved half, too.

Look for no annual fees. If you’re paying hidden costs, it might not be worth it.

Help a friend. If you do sign up for your own card, please let them know if you’ve been referred by a friend (me!). King Soopers gives a cool $10 to good customers like me if you sign up and give my referral code: 49295185344. Simply visit or call 1-866-257-1503, ext. 93918.

Regardless the company, look for your own savings where you would normally spend with cash or a check, pay off those balances monthly, and put money in your pocket for what your family needs most– food.

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  1. Patty Seifert says

    OKAY You got me with the kids. Loved that they are so different but of sound mind. My kids are all grown and I have lots of Grandkids that live too far away…Then, THEN you posted about the groceries and You REALLY kicked it in high gear. I was hooked until I read it was a store that doesn’t exist in my area. So Sad!! Bummer for me. good on you though!! Way to go Jamie!!


  1. […] I have a reward card that I pay off monthly. The result? I score about $800 in free groceries every year. In this economy, while credit cards can be supremely stressful, we keep this one because of the freebies. Here’s more about that card. […]

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