Saturday, March 29, 2008

Loyalty cards...Loyally used

Today's entry is inspired by some of the great comments we received last Friday when looking for creative suggestions about stretching our green. CSPgradstudent mentioned that one of her strategies is using loyalty cards issued to her from places such as bookstores, restaurants, and coffee shops. While most people are not diligent to keep up with loyalty cards, those who do save a lot of money by participating in things such as buy 6, get one free; save an extra 15% of all purchases; and earn $5.00 free for every $50.00 spent. That same day (3/21), one of our anonymous readers extended herself to post a long list of restaurants that offer special deals and award loyalty cards to frequent customers.

The seriousness with which I participate in something of this nature is directly related to my ability to manage and, yes organize, the accompanying paraphenalia. The truth is they are not used as frequently as my debit cards, but some of them could be used more frequently than my credit card, so where do I place them in my purse? If I can't figure out how to best organize the loyalty cards, then I will never carry them with me - rendering them useless in the end. All this uncertainty has made me a half hearted user up to this point. I have six or seven cards to Stride Rite, punched only once; four or five Talbots hoisery cards, also punched only once each; a Borders Reward card; a Dick's Sporting Goods card; and my all time favorite Barnes and Noble card.

It all became much more doable to me when last week I was walking through Target and saw a...LOYALTY CARD HOLDER for your purse. It is the simplest thing, yet just enough organization to make carrying these cards seem realistic. As with most things, they seem to come in different price points. The one in Target was priced at about $7.00, while one I saw today while shopping at my sister's favorite indulgence (Brighton) was $35.00. Moments later I was in Claire's with my niece and spotted a wallet-sized picture holder which I also think could work. Cost... .49 cents.

So, I'm warming up to the idea of using loyalty cards...loyally. Maybe this creative solution is just enough to convert you from a luke warm participant to a committed user of loyalty cards. As for Anonymous, (and you know who you are)who posted all suggestions of restaurants offering deals or loyalty cards... the purple card holder pictured above is in the mail to you now. Thank you for investing yourself in the content of my blog. Its' success depends on participants like you.

Signing off until Monday...

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