Picking up Nickels

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I spent $1200 (again) on groceries yesterday

Just like I did last May, I went to Shaw's Supermarket last night and took advantage of their Refund Rewards Program:

Under the refund rewards program, customers who purchase grocery gift cards in either $250 or $300 increments will get another $20 or $30 added to the card, respectively. The refund rewards program is available March 15 through April 15, 2009, at the following SUPERVALU stores: Acme(R), Albertsons(R), bigg's(R), Cub Foods(R), Farm Fresh(R), Hornbacher's(R), Jewel-Osco(R) and Shaw's/Star Market(TM).

Once again, Shaw's made the process pretty simple. I went to the service desk and said that I wanted to do the refund rewards gift card promotion in the amount of $1200. The cashier asked for my Shaw's reward card, filled out a form, loaded (4) gift cards with $330 each, charged $1200 to my Penfed Visa Platinum Gas Cash Reward card, and then handed me my gift cards.

This deal means that I basically prepaid $1200 for $1320 worth of future grocery buying power at Shaw's (a 10% tax free return on investment), which should take me about five months to spend based on my experience with the similar promotion last year.

Once again, I think this is a great deal that everyone who is eligible should take advantage of. And while you're at it, check out some of my grocery shopping strategies for some additional ways to cut grocery costs.

One interesting side note: I received a "routine security check" voicemail this morning from Penfed's (apparently outsourced) Cardholder Security Department asking for a return call at (888) 918-7313. After seeing that this was a legit number (from "Contact Us" at penfed.org), I called them back and verified the last few purchases I made on my Penfed VISA. Apparently, my spending $1200 at a supermarket triggered some sort of potential fraud alert and they followed up accordingly. I'd expect nothing less from a solid institution like Penfed.



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