Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Math is Real Life - December Edition

It's that time of the month again, and I am eager to once again join up with the fabulous linky hosted by Miss Math Dork, 4mulafun, Fourth Grade Studio, and Teaching to Inspire in 5th! 
So here we are, the first Wednesday of December and I am definitely in Christmas mode.

Shopping season is upon us, and no matter how much I try to get things bought ahead of time, I am usually scrambling at the last minute to pick up those last few gifts. Christmas can be a very stressful time, especially on your wallet!

I've already informed you of my bargain hunting abilities, and the variety of ways I have discovered to save money. But one of the best things I learned about while researching ways to save money while I was on mat leave, was to take full advantage of any reward programs out there. Almost every store offers points for this and points for that, and I admit it gets annoying carrying around 10 different cards in your wallet. However, I came across one in particular that is an AMAZING program. It's called the Shopper's Optimum Program and it is run through Shopper's Drug Mart. Now I actually had one of these cards in my wallet since I was 18, but never thought much of it, until I starting seeing people post about $200 shopping sprees for free! That's right, I said $200...for FREE!

Normally, collecting enough points to really get anything substantial can take years. The average way to earn points is 10 for every dollar spent. However, if you keep an eye on the flyer, once a month they offer a one day special of 20X the points. If you shop on these days you can rack up enough points with a only a handful of shops in a year. This has been one of the best things I learned from all the other cheap mommas out there!

So I am here to say that it is possible to get something worthwhile from rewards cards in a short amount of time, you just need the right strategy. This is the third year in a row that I have gone on a shopping spree for FREE and I am hooked!!

Now normally this is the points redemption they offer:

But every year before Christmas, they offer a "Super Spend you Points Event" and they increase the amounts. I had over 100 000 points, so I was at the max redemption, which is normally $170, but for this weekend only they were bumping it up to $210!

So here I was holding the flyer in my hands, getting excited for my shopping spree, but before I could do that I needed a plan.

In order to redeem my points I needed to have at least $210 in products before taxes, so I needed to compile a list including prices...and of course I want to get the biggest bang for my buck so I also had to subtract any coupons I could find to match-up with the items I was buying.
I learned the need for a plan from experience. The first year I was all excited and thought I would go in and wing it. Needless to say I am standing at the till $40 short while my husband is throwing me anything he can find, and the line grows behind me. Not my finest moment.

So, the day of arrives and I have my shopping list in hand, my coupons organized in my purse, and an empty shopping cart. It's time to shop!

Normally most people use the points to buy electronics, but there was nothing in particular we needed, so I opted to fill my pantry instead and pick up a few presents at the same time.

So here is what I got..

A few items are missing, as they went straight into the fridge or freezer.

Now that I look at the picture, it doesn't look like a lot, but the best items were a few Christmas presents, including this digital camera for my 4 year old nephew and a cookbook for my sister-in-law.

...and here is what I spent...

The total cost of the items before taxes was $210.58 (we had to throw on a pack of gum at the end to take me over)

The total with taxes was $227.24

I redeemed 95000 points totalling $210.00

I paid.............. $17.24 (which I had a gift card for, so it really did feel FREE)

So there you have it, another example of one of my favourite ways to use math in my real save money!

Happy shopping this holiday season, remember to keep an eye out for those deals!



  1. Oh girl! What an AMAZING deal you worked out! LOVE it... and I'm a *weee* bit jealous! Thanks so much for linking up and sharing the love! <3

    Mathematically yours,
    Jamie aka MissMathDork!

    1. Thanks for giving me a outlet to brag about my bargain hunting abilities Jamie! :)