A food lover's guide to getting rewards out of your groceries

Mar 4 2021, 12:10 pm

As a food-lover and amateur home-chef, looking up new recipes and hitting up the grocery store in search of all the required ingredients can feel like a fun quest. And this year’s challenges have only deepened my relationship with food — allowing me to fully appreciate it as a source of comfort, entertainment, and vigour.

While there are some aspects of the grocery experience I truly miss — like the sensory experience of touching and smelling produce to see if it’s ripe — I’ve shifted my focus on finding new and creative ways to derive joy from stocking my fridge and pantry. Lately, it’s been all about assessing how I can get the absolute most out of my grocery bill.

Scavenging flyers for deals, knowing which items are worth saving and splurging on, and cashing-in on loyalty cards have all proved effective means for getting the best bang for my buck. Most recently, in an earnest attempt to fully adult, I also signed up for the AIR MILES Reward Program.

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If anything, this was long overdue. Spending on food is such a permanent fixture of life and earning Miles towards things I want — from a new Dyson vacuum to a trip to Europe — just makes sense. Alas, my journey began with a sign-up (surprisingly easy) followed by a particularly enthusiastic trip to the grocery store to test it out.

After masking-up and grabbing some recyclable bags, I made my way there — lingering in the produce section (my favourite) and perusing the aisles in search of ingredients to make a hearty curry and some weekday smoothies.

When it came time to check out, it was strangely gratifying to answer “yes” for the first time when the cashier inquired about AIR MILES. Since my Card hadn’t yet arrived in the mail, I was able to download the app (available on Apple App Store or Google Play Store) and access a digital version.

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As she scanned my barcode, it felt good knowing I’d make my shopping trip more efficient and valuable. Doing groceries might look and feel a little different than usual these days, but knowing there are still ways to elevate the experience feels optimistic. Fantasizing about the trip I’m going to take once all those Miles add up (post-pandemic, of course) also helps.

Amidst the pandemic, AIR MILES has provided more value to Collectors. Since the way we shop and spend our leisure time has changed, they’ve enhanced the program by adding a slew of sought-after brands to their roster, including more Rewards brands (like Spotify and Playstation), and more local Partners where you can get Miles. 

Even if travel abroad remains off the table, for now, benefits like Dream Miles can also help you save up for a big future purchase you’ve been saving your pennies for.

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Once I burst through the door — bags overflowing — I couldn’t resist sprawling my haul and sorting through all my fresh goods. Lately, I’ve been gravitating towards citrus and ginger, which are great for tea and can help boost immunity.

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Carbs being one of the primary things that have helped me get through the pandemic, I also couldn’t resist getting some Montreal-style bagels and a squishy baguette — both of which I intend to enjoy with copious amounts of cheese.

Knowing that my purchase is a small step towards rewarding my future self, I’m willing to bet everything will taste extra good, too.

If you’re looking to get the most out of your groceries at stores like IGA — or general purchases, for that matter — you can visit airmiles.ca to learn more or sign up.

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