In many ways, clipping coupons is a hobby like any other.
The thing is, couponing is maybe the only hobby — at least the only legal one — where the sole purpose is to get you free money.
Yes, you can sell your knitted goods on Etsy or take your figure skating passion pro… but coupons are free money. It’s a waste not to at least try to take advantage of them.
How Meijer mPerks Helps You Save Money Every Time You Shop
No matter where you fall on the couponing spectrum, it’s always nice when a store makes saving money just a little bit easier.
So we love Midwestern superstore Meijer’s mPerks system, which tracks in-store rewards, coupons and savings with just the click of a mouse or flick of a smartphone screen.
Here’s how to use Meijer mPerks.
1. Sign Up
Signing up is quick and easy — just input your name, email address, password and zip code.
You’ll give the system your phone number and create a PIN to make it easy to access rewards in store — no complicated password memorization necessary!
P.S.: We love that mPerks leaves their email and text alert subscription options UNCHECKED by default! We see your respect toward our Inbox Zero aspirations, Meijer, and thank you.
Prudent Penny Hoarders should go ahead and check at least one of those boxes — signing up for store newsletters is a surefire way to land exclusive savings, deals, and freebies.
2. Personalize Your Rewards
Meijer offers a unique savings opportunity to shoppers in its personalized rewards.
It’s simple, really: Just choose one of the personalized rewards options.
If you spend the set amount on the category within the reward’s time parameters, you’ll receive a coupon for goodies like percentages off your next shopping trip.
For instance, I chose the Fresh Fruit personalized reward.
If I purchase $25 worth of fresh fruit over the next four weeks, I’ll earn $3 off my next shopping trip.
Since I’ll probably spend $25 on produce THIS WEEK alone, this reward is basically guaranteed cash back — just for buying what was already on my shopping list.
You can choose up to three rewards categories, which span everything from electronics to brand-specific rewards — current campaigns include Purina and Unilever.
There’s even a “total purchase” reward: Spend $200 in four weeks to get $7 back.
You spend $50 per week on groceries, right?
Bam. Free money.
3. Fill Your Prescriptions
Under the “Rewards” category of mPerks, you’ll notice a pharmacy sub-tab.
If you regularly fill prescriptions, you’ll definitely want to click on that to get more free stuff.
When you fill five prescriptions at Meijer, you earn a credit you can apply toward a variety of valuable rewards.
For instance, two credits are good for 10% off your grocery, health and beauty product total, or $20 off your entire shopping total next time you come into the store.
Looks like your medicine is good for you… and your wallet.
4. Clip Coupons
Put the scissors down.
Using mPerks, you can now digitally clip coupons. When you enter your mPerks rewards number in the store, the coupons automatically apply to your order.
The digital clipping system itself is awesome — the site recommends coupons based on your shopping habits, and you can also search for coupons by name.
If you see a coupon you’re not interested in, you can let the system know it’s not for you with the “No Thanks” button.
So, you’ll optimize which coupons you see and save time you would’ve spent raking through extraneous deals you don’t want to clip.
5. Pay the Smart Way
Penny Hoarding advice worth repeating: You can make any deal better by stacking it.
Even if you don’t hold Meijer’s proprietary mCard, pay for your groceries with a cash-back rewards credit card to automatically make back a fraction of each dollar you spend.
You can also use sites like Raise to find discounted gift cards that shave just a little bit more off your total purchase price.
But if you are an mCard holder, you’re in luck.
Cardholders accrue points as they spend with their mCards, and you’ll eventually unlock awesome rewards like 15% off total general merchandise and 5% off grocery, health and beauty care.
The card has other rewards, too, like saving you 5 cents a gallon at every Meijer gas station and granting you access to special event days with exclusive savings.
You’ll also get 10% off your first purchase on your new card — so save it for a big one!
6. Stay Organized and Up to Date
Since you’ve already set aside the scissors, it’s time to wave goodbye to the coupon binder, too. And your clunky handwritten shopping list, while you’re at it.
Keep track of your clipped coupons, rewards you’ve earned and rewards in progress in your mPerks digital wallet.
There’s even a built-in shopping list app, and you can either print your list or share it via email.
You can even enable digital receipts to generate digital copies of the shopping receipts you accrue over time, so you can keep tabs on your spending without accumulating a bunch of paper.
The system will also track your total Meijer spending — and savings. Just look for your to-date savings in the upper right corner of the interface.
7. Save Money… AND Time!
MPerks makes it easy to save money every time you shop at Meijer — and you don’t have to factor in an extra hour a week to search the circular and cut along the dotted lines.
Heck, you can even retroactively apply your mPerks rewards toward purchases if you accidentally forget your rewards number in the store.
Clearly, Meijer WANTS to help you save…
And why should you deny them?
Your Turn: Do you use Meijer’s mPerks system?
Jamie Cattanach (@jamiecattanach) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She also writes other stuff, like wine reviews and poems.