Grocery store reward programs that are actually worth it

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Grocery store reward programs that are actually worth it

While it’s typically less expensive to go grocery shopping over eating out for every meal, it isn’t cheap, especially if you are buying for more than one.

Besides using coupons, it pays to check out the rewards programs at your favorite grocery stores for more savings. Here’s a list of some of the grocery reward programs that are actually worth your time.

ShopRite

ShopRite, a grocery store chain with stores across the mid-Atlantic, offers customers a Price Plus card.

The card gives you a number of ways to save, including points for purchases. Shop with the card and earn points towards free turkey, ham, turkey breast, kosher chicken, lasagna or tofurky before major holidays such as Easter, Passover and Thanksgiving. Don’t like the free offer’s brands? You can get discounts on other brands. (Here's how to decide between generic and brand name.)

The amount a shopper has to spend during a period of time to score the free deal may vary by region, so check your local store’s flyer. In central New Jersey, for example, shoppers who spend $400 during that time period qualify.

ShopRite also rewards you for downtime, provided you spend some of it loading coupons onto your Price Plus card. Your card also offers discounts on sale items at checkout. You can also download coupons from the company website.

Giant

Another mid-Atlantic grocery chain, Giant, has a store loyalty card that gives you access to benefits including discounts on gas. Giant customers with a card earn one point for every dollar spent on eligible in-store purchases.

For every 100 points you earn, you’ll get 10 cents off per gallon up to a maximum of 25 gallons of fuel per vehicle per purchase. Points you earn expire at the end of the next month, and you get the option to redeem your points as you receive them, or allow them to add up for more savings. The total discount you receive, however, cannot exceed the price per gallon.

Giant’s bonus card will also get you access to rebates, weekly specials, checkout coupons, double manufacturer coupons and personalized offers via email.

Cards additionally provide savings through a program called Upromise, which saves members money for their children’s college education by partnering with major retailers, local restaurants and businesses to give cash back.

You can also get free food items like holiday ham or Stouffer lasagna with rewards points accumulated through each shopping trip. Check with customer service for details.

Acme

Acme’s “Just for U Deals & Rewards,” offers personalized deals, digital coupons, free items and discounts on gas and groceries.

You must have an account (Club Card or registered phone number) at one of the northeastern grocery chain’s stores. This can be the same account that you use to get your club specials, grocery delivery or for other loyalty programs at a Albertsons Companies’ store.

Albertsons Companies Banner stores also include Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randall's, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's and Star Market.

Every 100 points gets you a 10 cents per gallon gas reward for a single fill-up at participating stations. You can use your points in increments of 100 for a single fill-up at participating gas stations.

BJ’s

BJ’s Wholesale Club, located on the East Coast, allows you to earn rewards on the dollars you spend using your BJ’s Perks Elite Credit Card or BJ’s Perks Plus Credit Card.

You can earn between 1% to 5% cash back on purchases. You can also get a discount of 10 cents off each gallon of fuel at BJ’s gas stations.

Stop & Shop

For every dollar spent on eligible purchases in stores at this northeastern chain (after coupons, savings and exclusions) you’ll receive one point when you use your Stop & Shop Card. For every 100 points you receive, you’ll save 10 cents per gallon up to a maximum of 20 gallons of fuel per vehicle per purchase. There’s no limit to the amount of gas rewards you can receive. Redeem your points as you get them or let them add up for more savings (within applicable expiration dates).

Other benefits of having a Stop & Shop card are: savings on weekly specials, bonus buys, Checkout Coupons®, e-newsletters with special offers, cash rewards for local schools, savings via Upromise and double manufacturer's coupon savings.

Want even more ways to save on grocery shopping? Check out our list of 50 ways to save.

Image: Clem Onojeghuo