Loyalty cards

2018-08-12 CardSo, here’s something I minimalised recently – loyalty cards.

They take up very little physical space – but whoa, the mental energy they take up far outweighs their tiny footprint.

I used to have to rummage through my purse to find my debit card amidst the many loyalty cards I had. The amount of times I tried to pay for something with a supermarket loyalty card! I had so many. And I used to inwardly tut-tut when the person in front of me in the queue hunted for ages for their loyalty card, only for me to do the same seconds later.

And I had major fear-of-missing-out. Missing out of extra points, special offers, freebies … This was my logic – I was spending the money anyway, so I may as well spend it and get the money off or the freebie.  Hmmmm …..

One day, I found myself in a supermarket spending almost £40 extra on things I didn’t need to gain £5. Yes, you read that correctly. I received a supermarket voucher offering £5 off, if I spent more than £40. I had popped in to get a few things for dinner and then realised I had the voucher. How ridiculous, I thought, if I only spent £38 or £39. So, I used the opportunity to get a few other bits and pieces that I ‘needed’. And I was so anxious to spend the full £40 that I lost track and over-spent massively. And before I knew where I was, I was at the till, looking at the register ringing up £78.82!

And all for £5.

Now, I’m not the sharpest tool in the box when it comes to maths but even I can see the miscalculation going on here.

That day, I went home and cut up every, single one of my loyalty cards. And instead of feeling anxious about missing out, I felt freedom. I shopped where I liked from that point. I didn’t go into one specific shop to get the extra points on offer that week. I shopped where it suited me. I didn’t get sucked in to buying things I didn’t want or need. Supermarkets stopped sending me vouchers and offers of money off new products (of course, once I tried them, I continued to buy – and all because I got about 30p off the original product). Oh, these clever marketing people!

I learned the difference between value and cost. When I go shopping now, shop assistants sometimes do a bit of a double-take when I say I don’t have a card or refuse the offer of rectifying that awful mistake by signing up for one there and then. They can’t understand when I refuse something that is ‘free’. But the freedom I have lasts a lot longer than a ‘free’ bag of crisps with a meal deal. And I’m spending a lot less money!

Have a great week 😊

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  10 comments for “Loyalty cards

  1. August 13, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    Lorraine, I love this! I only have one loyalty card for my grocery store and it gets my hubby discounts on petrol, so it seems like a good idea. But I used to have way too many of these in my purse and wallet, and so often they really are not worth carrying around. Once again, a great way to minimize our burdens.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 13, 2018 at 2:57 pm

      Hi Cristy, what an interesting phrase you use about minimising burdens – so true! I often think of clutter as getting rid of the big things and on the face of it, a few little cards wouldn’t make a lot of difference – or so you would think. But they are a mental burden. Thanks so much for reading, Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. August 13, 2018 at 11:34 am

    I love this, Lorraine! I went through a very similar process and have sworn off loyalty cards, too. It’s surprising just how many subscription offers we are getting on a regular basis when we really think about it. They make it sound so easy to sign up on the spot, and of course there’s always an immediate benefit after signing up (beyond that point, there aren’t nearly so many!). I’ve noticed that so often they need a whole lot of information about you – full name, mobile number, email address, even date of birth – to sign you up, and I imagine any money they nominally lose from giving out a small discount voucher is more than made up for by having our precious data. I love your take on value vs cost, Lorraine – we seem to live in an age where we can no longer differentiate one from the other, thinking that making ‘savings’ at the shops actually equates to more money in the bank at the end of the day.

    Liked by 2 people

    • August 13, 2018 at 1:14 pm

      Oh so true, Lisa. I hadn’t realised you had a similar experience – how often has that happened with the two of us!! We have new data protection regulations here in the UK and you’re absolutely right about the intrinsic value of personal data – it’s far more valuable then the tiny discount you may get. And once you’re sucked in to the whole thing, it’s very difficult to get out. That’s why, with me, I couldn’t just reduce the number of cards I had – I needed to get rid of all of them. It had to be all or nothing! As you say, a clever spin is not the same as actually having money in the bank! Lxx

      Liked by 2 people

      • August 14, 2018 at 6:19 am

        It really has! We are such kindred spirits, Lorraine! 🙂 I love your all or nothing approach with this. That’s how I feel about so many things when it comes to leaving my pre-minimalist ways behind. It’s nice to start completely anew with some things. When I think about how much better I feel without all those ‘extra’ things in my life sucking up my time, energy and money, I realise just how much happier I am nowadays. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • August 14, 2018 at 8:50 am

          It’s sounds so counter-intuitive, doesn’t it Lisa, being happier with fewer things – but as you rightly point out, look what you’re gaining instead – time, energy, money! Cristy from Mexi Minnesotana used the word ‘burden’ to describe the clutter we often carry and that just about sums it up! Lxxx

          Like

  3. August 12, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    This is such a great post! A year ago I decided to use a delivery service for groceries. The service has an annual fee and we tip the shopper nicely. Being the nerdy ” is this costing us more” kinda person I am…I kept track for the first 6mos. We actually reduced our shopping costs by 20%…even with the fees and tops. We’ve even found more time to try new recipes,and have just what we need on hand to make them. (not that extra $10 block of cheese that used to jump in the cart via Mr. LBD thinking we need more cheese!) Friends think we are paying more and are eager to “show me” what I could save going to a big box store. I graciously smile, and tell them I will be happy to use the extra large qty of whatever they bought, can’t store or is expiring because they can’t eat quick enough. And the extra 2 hours a week I have not going to the market is absolute heaven!

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 12, 2018 at 1:58 pm

      Loved your comment, Laurel! And look at all the added benefits you’ve accrued – more time, more exciting recipes and less money and food wasted – all good stuff! I can understand your friends thinking you’ve got it wrong but there’s nothing like a bit of data and evidence, is there? 20% is an enormous reduction on your bills. I’m sure you and Mr. LBD have put your extra time to good use too, Lxx

      Like

  4. August 12, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    Hi L! I did this long ago and have no fomo (fear of missing out).😀 Here, cashiers have loyalty cards so if I do pop in for an item and want the sale price that you only get from using the cards, the cashiers use theirs and I’m happy paying less. No need to overpay and have unnecessary cards in my wallet. You’re right, it’s a marketing strategy. I’m still doing fine having freedom from the cards.😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 12, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      Hi Erin, thanks so much for your comment. Yes, I thought I’d have lots of FOMO but actually had none when I took the step. That’s an interesting point about the cashiers and loyalty cards – I don’t think we have that in the UK. And there’s no price on the freedom from worry and unnecessary spend! Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

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