Thursday, November 5, 2015

Using Walmart Savings Catcher to Save for a Vacation

Since I quit my job in the corporate world, I've studied various strategies for saving money on groceries. I've shopped for basics at Aldi and cut coupons from the newspaper. I've used online grocery coupons and comparison shopped at every major grocery chain in the area. Sometimes, I spent more time getting my savings strategy to work than it was worth.

In the last year or so, I've settled on one grocery savings strategy, and it's simple: I get my groceries at Walmart. I've done enough comparison shopping to realize that Walmart's prices are usually the lowest. And I don't have to spend time cutting coupons or driving around to different stores.

I heard about the Walmart Savings Catcher app from a friend on Facebook, and I finally got around to downloading and using it. Walmart has a policy of matching sale prices of competitors (if you bring in the ad and show the cashier). I've seen people do this, and honestly it's too much of a hassle for me. But the Walmart Savings Catcher app does it automatically for me now.

After each grocery shopping trip, I take a photo of my receipt and enter it into the app. I've gotten in the habit of doing this in my car in the parking lot immediately after exiting the store, just don't I don't forget.

If you don't have a smart phone, don't worry--you can manually enter your receipt number online at the Savings Catcher Website. The app then checks sale prices from local competitors (which takes a couple of days), and if a lower price was found, it gives you the difference back in the form of a Walmart store card. A few caveats: you are limited to 7 receipts each week, and it doesn't work on store brands, bakery and produce items.

I just started using the Walmart Savings Catcher in mid September, and I've uploaded 12 receipts over the span of about two months. My refund account just spilled over $25, so I decided to cash out. I transferred my loot to a Walmart store egift card:

And then I printed it out and purchased a $25 Disney gift card at my local store.

While my local Walmart has a lot of gift cards, the ones that interest me most are Disney and Southwest, since I can use both for my favorite pastime, vacations.

I realize that using the Walmart Savings Catcher is not going to pay for an entire vacation, but it is like grabbing "low-hanging fruit." So easy. I didn't have to change what I was doing--I was already shopping at Walmart for my groceries.

Based on the money I was refunded in two months, this could add up to be around $150 a year in "free" money. $150 could get you a round-trip ticket to Denver by purchasing Southwest gift cards, or a free night at Disney World by purchasing Disney gift cards.

 Are there any other Savings Catcher fans out there? What do you do with your rewards?

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