I was struggling with what to write for my Pep talk this week. I started and stopped, started and stopped. Well, my friend, who is also a Generous Savings reader, had an unfortunate mishap today, which inspired me to write this pep talk. This post is dedicated to her.
I am sure this situation has happened to everyone at some point…I know it has happened to me. You have catalina’s, ECBs, +UPs, or RR’s and they expired before you remembered to use them!!! What to do, what to do?
First-here are some suggestions on what to do if your rewards expire:
- Go to the store ASAP and try to pay with those rewards, when they say they are expired, apologize profusely and beg and plead with them to accept them.
- If that doesn’t work, you can always try another store, if you have more than 1 store local to you. I have several CVS’s that are convenient to me.
- Call corporate. I have never done this before, but if the above doesn’t work, you could try calling corporate and begging them to send you replacement rewards or a gift card. It is a long shot, but you never know….
- Return the items that earned you the rewards. I always save my receipts. I keep them in the back of my store accordian file. Most of the time, I am buying something because I can get it free after I receive the rewards. The items usually go sit on my shelf in my mini drugstore stockpile in my basement. If my rewards expire, I do not feel the slightest bit guilty about returning the product and getting the money back. And the deal will usually come around again and that empty spot on my shelf will be full once more.
Second-Ideas on how to prevent this from happening in the future:
- Stay organized. I highly recommend having an accordian file for your stores, separate from your coupons. Dedicate each spot for a different store and keep your rewards there. Having your rewards handy and all in one spot is the first step to not letting them expire.
- Shop the stores you get rewards from regularly. Try to hit your stores that you get rewards from at least every other week, to use your rewards before they expire. If you receive rewards from a store that you don’t typically shop at, use them right away. I am all for rolling rewards from week to week. I typically do this at CVS and Rite Aid. If there are great deals at Walgreen’s I might make a special trip there. I have learned the hard way, that I won’t have time to go back to Walgreen’s to use my rewards, so I use them right then and there after I receive them. I plan my purchases in advance and decide what is on sale, that I need and have coupons for, but don’t offer rewards. I then use up my rewards on those items, that same day I earn them. Again, this is for stores I do not regularly shop at, and I do not use my rewards on frivolous stuff, but for good deals on stuff I actually will use.
- Set a reminder. Thanks to reader Karen for this idea. Set an alarm reminder on your phone for the day before your rewards expire. Do this before you leave the parking lot of the store at the time you earned them.
- Examine your schedule. Are you trying to do too many deals? Are you shopping at too many stores? You don’t have to do it all! Maybe, you need to cut back on the amount of stores you are shopping at.
Third-What to do if Nothing worked and you are left with expired rewards
- Don’t beat yourself up. Everyone makes mistakes, no one expects you to be perfect. Seriously, let it go.
- Realize how much you have saved or even “made” compared to what you previously spent on things. So a few dollars went down the tubes, on the whole you should be saving much more than you did prior to extreme couponing and focus on that.
- Try some of the suggestions above, in section 2, and learn from your mistakes.