All my life I have been a bargain hunter. It may be the 25%Scottish blood, it might have been spending good amounts of time with my grandmother, who lived through both world wars, but I cannot endure spending too much for an item that I need, and especially when I could purchase it at a much better price elsewhere.
Having lived alone for many years and survived on a teacher’s salary, I grew accomplished at finding how to save cents, rands and look for good ways to look after my cash. The sweet relief of a global move to frugality, especially around the time of the financial crash in the world allowed me to at last go public… I am frugal, I look for bargains and I am proud of it.
The great thrill of loyalty programmes arriving in South Africa brought huge joy to my cent-saving heart. Whoohoo! At last! Shops that recognize that I buy there, often (… only because the prices are so good, you understand!) and they want to see me regularly! Because I am such a nice person, because I bring joy to the cashiers when I pay (that’s my best time to practise Zulu!) and maybe because I spend my money there…
I just LOVE coming back to SA for shopping. The malls are, well, malls (not individual crammed stalls in the market!), and there is the wonder of variety, choice, the world of the known, and POINTS. It is wonderful going to a store where I have to buy medication, toiletries, household items, dried fruit for Deon, a chocolate, or even the day to day groceries that I would have bought anyway and know that I will not just be saying goodbye to all my sweet money. I will be winning something in the exchange… I win POINTS. Wonderful, delightful POINTS. That get exchanged into money-back vouchers. So I can go buy more, and get more POINTS.
I know that it may get a little frustrating to be shopping with me: I cannot go into certain stores, even if they are nearby, because they offer no rewards. So I make my mental lists, head for the pointy-stores and spend with a far clearer conscience. If I want a little luxury item, it is not so bad… I am getting POINTS for it.
Aah. And I save us so much money, because I get back all the money vouchers, that I use to buy really essential items.
If I have fallen for the marketing baloney, then so be it. As long as I get the winning feeling of points when I walk out that store…
All my life I have been careful with the use of whatever money was available. I learnt that the best way of saving is keeping the money in the bank. When you must buy something, pay cash and keep the transaction simple and straight forward – without any thrills or side shows. Do not fall for any marketing trick and buy only what you really need like a car that suits your lifestyle, a boat, musical equipment, a paintball gun, woodworking tools and of course good food – preferably at a nice restaurant.
I met and married a beautiful lady who is the love of my life. We get on very well and can discuss and laugh about all of life’s little jokes … except ONE…
Shopping for POINTS!!!!!!AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!! The hated evil retail giants at it again – leading our gentle, loving, docile, gullible women-folk into another financial trap. The worst is how they camouflage the trap – telling her that she gets money back that she can spend on anything in the shop. This of course sounds to her like a very good deal – money for shopping – how good can it get?
But then we sturdy, strong, unyielding (in any case not when it comes to the evil games of the evil retail giants) menfolk comes along and try to explain to our women that:-
1)you have to spend a LOT of money at the evil retail giant to get much back;
2)you then have to give it back to them by purchasing some useless item that you would never have thought of buying were it not for the evil workings of said retail giant;
3)if the evil retail giant had your best interests at heart they would simply have reduced the price by the amount they give you in points plus the amount they spend on administrating their evil scheme plus the huge amount they paid an actuarial scientist to design the scheme to their benefit.
But of course this is lost on our starry-eyed money savers who still believe that the world is good and that you can actually save money by spending it.
Please note: no persons were hurt in the production of this article.
We take all these POINTS of discussion with huge doses of love and we laugh about it all… Dear Deon has not yet stopped me going into my pointy stores, and I do allow him to buy (a few) items at non-point awarding stores. But it does not stop either of us from expressing our thoughts. And we thought we might just share these with you.
So what do you say? Do loyalty points make you all starry eyed? Or are you in the “bah, Humbug, it’s all brain washing ploys” camp? It would be great to hear the thoughts of others.