We're all used to being asked at the register if we have some sort of special card that makes us an "insider" at the store, and probably equally practiced in politely saying "thanks, but no thanks." But think again, because joining the club, becoming a preferred customer, or getting your ticket to store rewards might be a terrific way to save your family some money -- or even get cash back.
Consider chain grocery stores like Safeway or CVS pharmacies, which will actually give you a cheaper price on items if you have a (free) club card. Even better? Some grocery stores have deals with gas stations that allow you to get cents off your tank fill up if you belong to their preferred customer group. Other stores, like Fred Meyer, offer you "points" for every dollar you spend, that you can essentially redeem as a gift certificate. Spend at least $500 within 13 weeks, and you're probably on your way to a free shopping trip. What's more, being a member of a "club" can allow you easier returns, as the store can look up your purchase by reward card instead of needing a receipt.
We'll talk more about grocery shopping later, but read on for a few hints to finding coupons and online deals for the family for food, entertainment, and whole lot more.