Saturday, March 22, 2014

Frugal Shopping - What Would You Buy ?

What would you buy if you had a "free" money to spend at a pharmacy to the tune of $60 (Canadian, 582 SA Rand, $58 Australian, 32 pounds sterling, 38 euros, $53 American dollars, 124 Brazilian Reals)?

I shop at a pharmacy where you get points for buying certain items. The points accumulate each time you shop and sometimes the store promotes specific items giving you more points to get to certain spend levels more quickly. This money is like "free money" (of course the store is not losing money but they ensure some of their profits goes to these rewards programs to build customer loyalty).  As a consumer, this kind of thing only works like free money if you are careful not to purchase things you don't need just to get points. Sometimes you get lucky and are able to get 20x the points on something you really need. This is the only way to build up points quickly.  Otherwise it can take some time.

I don't like my point levels to get too high because then I have a hard time spending it all at once.  I also would have a hard time carrying my purchases home from the pharmacy which is about a 10 minutes walk away.  I've learned that it doesn't "pay" to spend only part of your points.  You lose out on the full value when you do that.

Since it is close to the end of the month and I intend to spend my all my points and stock up on things I don't usually buy unless I'm spending point dollars.

I looked at the sales flyer and made a list. I came up with the following items

  • ketchup (used mainly in barbeque sauces for marinating meats).
  • creamo (sometimes used in my coffee or cereal though I use it less and less due to fat content).
  • bacon  (again, something I seldom buy but stock up on when the price is right. It's good for breakfast now and with eggs or waffles. It reminds me of holidays with the family or university days when I had an English breakfast once a week on weekends.
  • eggs (I seldom eat eggs for breakfast but use them in baking).
  • bags of frozen fruit (I use these in smoothies mixed with greens and in muffins).
  • butter (I use butter in baking and on the rare occasions I eat toast).
  • coffee (I stock up on cans of coffee when it is on sale. I always have enough. When the price gets too high and sales are no longer good I've decided I will stop drinking coffee).
  • plastic cling wrap (It is used for so many things).
  • dish soap (I have a dishwasher but also do a lot of dishes by hand).
  • dry cereal (sometimes I like to have a few boxes of cereal on hand for when I don't want porridge).
  • ice cream (An item I've thankfully cut down on. A treat now and then is okay).

It is clear that there is very little on this list that you would associate with a pharmacy. I don't actually need paper products, make up, over the counter medicines or much in the way of household cleaning products right now. In the end I eliminated the creamo and bought some toothpaste and household cleanser for my bathtub. I also spent a few extra dollars and purchased a very large bottle of shampoo. It was on sale and I had a dollar off coupon. This will last me about 2 years as I use so little at a time.

This is my receipt after the shop. I spent $5.27 of my own funds & saved an additional $45. and change off the original sticker price plus my $60. "free" money for a total of $145.27 savings.

In addition to all the things you might associate with a pharmacy in North America, the pharmacy also carries lots of snack foods, frozen fish and convenience foods, pops, breads, pastas, spices, specialty food items, sauces and paper products (toilet paper, tissue paper, paper towels).  I am allowed to spend my points dollars on any of these items but I cannot spend them on medications which I do not need at the moment in any case.

Saving funds this way really helps me stretch my dollars so I can send funds to my sponsored children through Compassion International and help people like medical student Elvis.  I also try to help Jonah in Kenya who still assists elders and others with medical costs, food, etc.

Kenyan women I was able to bless one Christmas.

 Elvis will be graduating in August and is getting close to the finish line. We have one more semester to go.

I would appreciate your prayers for both of these men.  
If you feel able to help financially I'd be happy to hear from you.
I hope to say a little more about Elvis next time since I really need to try and help him finish the year

What would you spend on if you had a free $60.00 (sixty dollars)?

I'm looking forward to reading your replies.
Have a wonderful rest of your weekend. x


  1. Awesome deals you got. Praying for both men.

  2. Amazing savings...

    ~Have a lovely day!

    1. Thanks for your visit Teresa. You have a lovely day too :-)

  3. Pharmacy points are lovely. Two of my drug prescriptions cost one hundred dollars for thirty days. I buy them three months at a time, and feel like I hit the lottery if I have ten dollars in points to apply!
    You will find a way for your projects.

    1. Aren't points great! I don't like to call the missions in Kenya "my projects" as they are projects in which I am helping and anyone is free to join in just like me. Thanks for your encouragement.

  4. So nice to see you helping so much with charitys x

  5. Like you I like to save money and get bargains, and that is great you can put some of those savings toward helping Elvis and those ladies in Africa. I have several projects I help too.

    1. Thank you for your visit Terra. I LOVE bargains and savings. I also love helping in Africa and am glad that you have several projects too! I'm always trying to interest people in African needs, especially those in Kenya. Have a wonderful week.

  6. Hello Joy,
    Thank you for visiting my blog. That's one of my dreams for years, I earn money, saving it and then use it for mission trip. I'm not sureuntill when till God allows me to do. It always makes me happy to do this kind of thing. I only could do little mission trip like teaching poor students.
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. God must be proud of you.


    1. Thank you for visiting my blog Delvalina. You have a beautiful spirit and I pray that God would give you the desires of your heart. Blessings and love. xox

  7. Hi Joyful...Donna here...Sally finally did get the link to work. She used the "other" when it popped up. I'm sorry it is such a headache! Google+ has messed things Up!
    Love your blog!

    1. Hi Donna, thanks for stopping by. I'm afraid I don't get the option Sally gets. I'll keep trying though. Have a wonderful week.

  8. I'd definitely buy essentials.

  9. Hi Joyful! Wow, you are a real saver. What fun that you were able to make purchases that will really help you out. I saw the ice cream on your list and wondered if you'd get it home before it melts? But then again, its still so cold outside!

    LOVE the photo of the people you have helped. She looks so happy with her arms full of helpful donations. What a change you are making in real lives. God bless you!
    You inspire me,

  10. I am so with you. When I have extra points, I usually end up stocking up on sales. I find it saves me more in the long run.

  11. We also use this points system and try to shop on Senior's Day to save an extra 20%.
    We do not buy ice cream, ketchup or dry ceral because of their sugar content. We are big on supplements like fish oil capsules and folic acid.

  12. Interesting that your pharmacy stocks food items. Great post. Good to catch up with news from Kenya.


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