Skip to Content

Why I Don’t Buy More to Save More


Sorry to be so late posting today. My husband has a day off from work, which means that we were most certainly not up and out of bed at 4:40 am. 😉 I might be an early bird, but I am not insane!

Today, the six of us made our grocery shopping rounds (report on my second cash-only week to come on Saturday), and a current Weis promotion reminded me of this topic.

Several times a year, there is a Weis Rewards program. Over a 5-week period, you earn one point for each dollar that you spend, and depending on how many points you earn, you get a percentage off of your next purchase.

Here’s how it works:

Spend $200, get a 5% discount
Spend $400, get a 10% discount
Spend $600, get a 15% discount
Spend $800, get a 20% discount

Because I usually spend less than $400 a month, and because I spend the grand portion of that money at Aldi, I barely crest the lowest level, and so I only come away with a 5% discount. This bothers me not a particle, though. I’d much rather keep more of my money and get the lower discount.

Suppose I spent my whole $400 budget at Weis. I’d get a 10% discount off my next shopping trip, which would save me about $10 (I spend $100 a week on average).

If I spent $800, I’d get a 20% discount, which would save me $40 (20% off $200) but I’d be in a much worse place overall. I’d save an extra $30, but I’d have had to spend $400 more to save that $30. That’s not a good deal, no matter how you slice it.

So, even when the rewards program is running, I buy groceries just as I normally would. If I end up getting a 5% off coupon, great. If not, I’m just pleased because I managed to spend less than $200.

If I was already going to need to spend $800, then I’d look at the 20% off as a nice bonus, but there is certainly no point in me purposely spending extra in order to get that discount.

This seems fairly elementary to me, but based on how often Weis runs this program, it seems obvious that a large number of people out there DO change their shopping habits when the rewards program is running. If it wasn’t profitable for them, they certainly wouldn’t offer it multiple times a year.

Weis isn’t the only retailer who uses this form of marketing, of course. Department stores and credit card companies do it all the time. I think it’s fine to participate in the rewards offered by these sort of programs, certainly, but if you are serious about saving money, don’t spend more to save more! The party that benefits from that sort of behavior is never going to be you, I promise (no matter how delightful the rewards program seems).

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Kristia @Family Balance Sheet

Saturday 14th of November 2009

I was surprised by the 49 cents a pound. The last two years, Weis has had turkeys on sale at .29 cents a pound if you spent $25 or more. Although maybe that is coming next week right before thanksgiving.

I shop at weis occasionally for their loss leader sales, but not enough to get a discount. I do a lot of my shopping at Giant of Pa and they have a free turkey promotion at this time of year. You have to spend $300 within a time frame to do so and it is about a month. I end up donating the turkey though.


Friday 13th of November 2009

I am the same way. Good post.

Ruth Burge

Friday 13th of November 2009

The 49 cents per pound turkey was a good deal though! We just cooked ours last night. Makes you wonder about the poor turkey farmer.

Frugal Liz

Thursday 12th of November 2009

What I find cool is that the turkey at weis is only $.49 a pound!


Thursday 12th of November 2009

they run a program here at the local grocery store that has you earn "premiums". it used to be you earned a premium for every $50 in an order, but for the latest one, they've lowered it to $35. anyway, you earn premiums within a certain time frame (something like 6-8 weeks) and then when you turn in your premiums, you get a gift card for a certain amount, depending on how many premiums. then you have a certain amount of time to use it. i usually never get enough to get anything.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.