I was planning to write about getting free groceries with PC Optimum this week. Turns out, my timing is phenomenal! This weekend I will be cashing in points to get a whopping $140 in free product from Shoppers Drugmart. Here’s how that works:
PC Optimum Points are available from all Loblaws brand grocery stores, Esso and Mobil gas stations, as well as Shoppers Drugmart, who originated and continues to dominate the program. At participating gas stations you’ll receive 10 points per liter, and Shoppers awards 15 points per dollar spent. There are no dollar based points available at grocery stores. These base points build up slowly, so taking advantage of bonus point offers will really help maximize your gains.
Bonus Points Offers
The PC Optimum app features weekly customized bonus points offers on items you actually buy. This week my offers include bonus points on frozen veggies, butter, mayo, cereal and other grocery items I buy often. I also have a pet department offer, which I wont be using, but in the past I’ve had department offers for meat, produce, no name products among others. Many of these offers can be used at grocery stores and pharmacies, allowing you flexibility in where you shop. I have also had a few gas offers in which filling up 3 times within a time period earned bonus points.
20x Points Events
The absolute fastest way to collect points however, is Shoppers 20x points events. This type of promotion requires you to spend a certain amount of money, but the reward for doing so is great. I try to always shop on days that I have a 20x bonus. I can generally make the minimum spend with groceries and daily purchases. And when we plan to make higher ticker purchases, I wait until I have an offer in the app. This includes stocking up on my partners’ diabetic supplies, as pharmacy purchases count towards the minimum spend.
20x points offers are where the oft forgotten electronics departments shine. If you were planning a purchase over $50-$100, you should definitely time it to get the most possible points back. I have talked to many people over the years that didn’t even realize the variety of things you can buy at Shoppers in particular. They sell TVs, printers, laptop, cameras, ereaders, game consoles and a ton more. In fact, because no one thinks about buying electronics from a pharmacy, sometimes you can snatch up a hard to find new system, and get points back. This often results in the best value from any retailer, even if the cost is slightly higher in some cases.
10,000 PC Optimum points are redeemable for $10 towards your purchase at participating retailers. You can redeem them in $10 increments on most products. It can be done by requesting that the cashier use points towards your transaction, or by selecting “pay with points” from a self check-out kiosk.
Spend Your Points Events
A few times each year, Shoppers holds Spend Your Points events where you can redeem points for higher than their regular value. This is the best time to use the points you’ve collected up to this time. These events will be advertised on the front page of their weekly flyer, as well as in store. There are generally 3 points values that you can redeem for a specific amount that is higher than the $10 per 10,000 points regularly available. And the more points you redeem, the better the value you receive.
How I’m getting free groceries this weekend
When I grabbed my flyer pack from the porch this morning, the Shoppers flyer was right on top as usual. But instead of the typical 2 day sale on the front page, there were bold red flaps advertising a points event. Specifically, from May 6 to 11 you can receive $65 off for 50,000 points, $140 for 100,000 points or $300 for 200,000 points! I have a little over 130,000 points in my account right now, so I am all set to shop!
What I’m buying
Even though I’m getting groceries for free, I’m still frugal by nature. I want to make sure I always get the best value, even if it’s from points. So I will be shopping the sales and stocking up on things I usually buy, plus some extras to keep on hand for the next few months. And I will be doing my shopping on the weekend specifically, because the 2 day sale deals will stretch my points the furthest.
Some of the things I will be buying are Kraft natural peanut butter, Christie crackers, toilet paper, cereal, school lunch snacks, butter, eggs and peanuts. If I needed any supplements or OTC meds, I’d grab those too, and maybe some household cleaners. And I’ll add up the items as I shop to make sure I get to $140 before I check out.
There are plenty of other things you can buy too. They have a huge selection of beauty and hygiene products, books and cards, baby items, and seasonal products and gifts. Getting to the most for your points should be easy and fun.
What if I don’t have enough points?
Shoppers has you covered here too! The second page of the flyer has an offer for 20,000 bonus points that you need to load on the app starting Friday. It’s not there yet, so I don’t know what the conditions will be. But this provides one last chance to bump you up to the next reward level before cashing in.
So will you be joining me in getting free groceries? Do you have any tips I forgot to mention on collecting and spending points? Leave a comment to share your best strategies.