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Thread: Anyone else find it hard to spend $170, $85 or even $60?

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    Senior Canuck Arjon's Avatar
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    Since I started learning how to work the Optimum program, my wife and I have pretty quickly gone past 95k points in total. The thing is... we managed to do so even though we basically never spend more than $30 except to take advantage of a wus $30 offer, and just getting to $30 has often required buying a couple of stock-up items. As a result, we now have very little left to stock up on anymore.

    Accordingly, it also looks like it will be difficult to redeem more than 22k points at a time without buying things we normally don't. I realize that we can use some or all of the points to "treat" ourselves to things we don't normally buy. So, I'm curious to know how other people redeem your points. Are you able to use most of them for things you normally buy, or do you end up mostly using your points on treating yourself?
    This thread is currently associated with: Pharmaprix, Shoppers Drug Mart


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    Smart Canuck Valerey's Avatar
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    I am one of those who do not use points for "treating" myself.

    I accumulate points buying staples (milk, bread, eggs, TP, etc) and also redeem them on those same items.
    I tend to not hold onto points for too long, even though it's nice to have 95,000 to spend, you may end up grabbing extras to get to your $170 mark, and those extras you would not have normally spent money on to start off with, so the extra value isn't really extra value (IMO).

    What I do buy to make up the difference is simple little treats like cookies, lunch snacks, frozen fruit or veg, frozen pizzas or extra bags of chips, things you would end up buying at some point anyway.

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    I'm the same way, I've managed to get up to the $85 level once before (ended up transferring most of the points to my father so he could use them) but can never spend more than $10 at Shoppers, I believe that even though I'm getting items for "free" with my points, it still isn't the best value that I could be getting, and I don't stock up too much or I'll do it at RCSS where I can get the same thing for a lot less than at SDM.

    Ex. Why would I "pay" $4.29 for a box of Nutrigrain if they weren't on sale that week with my Optimum points when I could go to RCSS and most likely get them for under $2 AND get my Student discount there

    It's just my preferences when it comes to Optimum points.

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    Mastermind Lynn49's Avatar
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    I believe the OP was asking about redeeming points, not accumulating them......?
    barbis9 and Ciel like this.



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    I redeem when I see a fantastic flyer with lots of sale items I want. I shop smart and I redeem smart. When redeeming 95,000 pts I make sure I am getting an item for a future gift (Birthday/Christmas) I buy the cologne sampler sets for $85 for 2 people so usually grab one and then the rest is food/house hold items I want/need that are at a good price.

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    Senior Canuck Arjon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn49 View Post
    I believe the OP was asking about redeeming points, not accumulating them......?
    The way I took it was agreeing that it's hard to spend larger amounts of money at SDM no matter whether the bill is being paid with money or with points.

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    Senior Canuck Arjon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valerey View Post
    I am one of those who do not use points for "treating" myself.

    I accumulate points buying staples (milk, bread, eggs, TP, etc) and also redeem them on those same items.
    I tend to not hold onto points for too long, even though it's nice to have 95,000 to spend, you may end up grabbing extras to get to your $170 mark, and those extras you would not have normally spent money on to start off with, so the extra value isn't really extra value (IMO).

    What I do buy to make up the difference is simple little treats like cookies, lunch snacks, frozen fruit or veg, frozen pizzas or extra bags of chips, things you would end up buying at some point anyway.
    So far, we've managed to accumulate points while pretty much buying like you do. Our exceptions have been pretty minor; e.g. I recently paid $2.49 for some candy that was $1.99 elsewhere in order to push my order above the $30 minimum to get 20x bonus points.

    And yes, it's an interesting question - seemingly one with no universal answer - whether getting things for free that you wouldn't buy actually qualifies as saving.

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    Senior Canuck Arjon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frugalbigmama View Post
    I redeem when I see a fantastic flyer with lots of sale items I want. I shop smart and I redeem smart. When redeeming 95,000 pts I make sure I am getting an item for a future gift (Birthday/Christmas) I buy the cologne sampler sets for $85 for 2 people so usually grab one and then the rest is food/house hold items I want/need that are at a good price.
    Redeeming points for gifts is an interesting thought. Thanks.

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    Yes I was exactly the same way when it was just Dh and myself. Then we had a baby and I used my points to buy diapers or wipes (when on sale and if I had a coupon AND a bonus points offer).

    I also spend my points on basic household items when they are on sale and a facial cleanser that is a bit expensive $34 but that's about it.

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    I have a shopping buddy so we can get to those higher point levels. We are very different shoppers which helps. SDM seems to be encouraging young males into the stores so he gets some awesome offers while mine are more generic ones.
    I keep a running list of needed items that I don't usually buy such as condiments, canned fish, garbage bags, candy, economy sized refills, health section and seasonal items. The items still have to be on sale and I try to use up my coupons and go for bonus points.
    Shopping buddy can spend his entire 95k in seconds since he is a gamer. He buys his normal pop, chips and pizza at SDM on sale and gets free gamer items.

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    Senior Canuck Arjon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joandstef View Post
    Yes I was exactly the same way when it was just Dh and myself. Then we had a baby and I used my points to buy diapers or wipes (when on sale and if I had a coupon AND a bonus points offer).

    I also spend my points on basic household items when they are on sale and a facial cleanser that is a bit expensive $34 but that's about it.
    I can see how redeeming points to stock up on boxes of diapers plus other repeated-use baby supplies when they're on sale would allow you to redeem at the higher levels. For better or worse, we don't have any similar needs. The non-perishables we buy repeatedly and that are available at SDM are pretty small-ticket items that just don't add up to much even if we stockpile a year's worth. I think the most expensive item we've bought there in months was ~$13 for multi-vitamins, and we got them during the recent BOGO sale, so two packages each which is 180 days worth.

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    Senior Canuck Arjon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirandrewr View Post
    Shopping buddy can spend his entire 95k in seconds since he is a gamer. He buys his normal pop, chips and pizza at SDM on sale and gets free gamer items.
    I've been looking at the advertised electronics items for a while, but my serious gamer days are behind me, and since I haven't seen anything we actually "need", I haven't really come close to getting anything. Still hoping something shows up that I / we want enough to pull the trigger though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn49 View Post
    I believe the OP was asking about redeeming points, not accumulating them......?
    They are kind of tied together I think so not sure why people aren't free to mention how they accumulate and redeem?


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    Quote Originally Posted by annedougherty View Post
    They are kind of tied together I think so not sure why people aren't free to mention how they accumulate and redeem?
    They are certainly somewhat related for me. I try to maximize my value when collecting points by, for example, seldom buying things I normally wouldn't or paying more as SDM than I would elsewhere. So, the flip side of this is finding it difficult to redeem points without similarly maximizing the value I get for them.

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    I don't even try. I may not get the max value for my points but I get very good value even if I only cash out at 38,000. Especially since many of my points are accumulated as bonuses and I only bought what I needed.

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