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  • Writer's pictureKirk

Travel Tip - Free Groceries with your Travel? Yes, Please!

Well, this is travel related anyway. It’s a bonus from other travel manufactred spending activities to generate points and miles from free travel. I kind of just stumbled on this one accidentally.

If you read my ten part series on How I Travel for Free starting here:

You know I generate much of my travel through manufactured spending. More specifically, through the purchasing of gift cards that can later be turned into money orders.

There is a cost to this as the gift cards can cost up to $7 in fees and then an additional $1 for the money order. So, on average, I figure about a 1.5% loss due to these fees. So, the miles generated by putting this spend on my credit cards must exceed this to make it worthwhile. I must find gift cards sold in places where bonus miles are given, which often is in grocery stores. Some cards give over 5% (in miles or points) in grocery stores which make it lucrative.

When I started to buy these gift cards in grocery stores I learned of the stores own rewards programs. I learned I could get back another half percent in groceries by buying these cards. Doesn’t sound like much, but if you’re buying $200,000 worth per year it represents $1,000 in groceries each year. Nothing to retire on but helpful.

But here is the kicker. I discovered one particular type of Visa gift card offered bonus grocery points when they offered bonus points once each month. Up to 6% in grocery money. So, when buying $20,000 worth of gift cards per month, that can represent $1,200 in free groceries in one month. That’s more than I spend each month on groceries.

After I filled my freezer with high end steaks, and overloaded my pantry, I came to the conclusion I needed to up my game on the groceries. I started buying lobsters and crab. The pantry was loaded with asparagus and canned oysters. I developed a strategy of buying the most expensive items per volume to consume this money. The steaks now are high end angus ribeyes too!

I even buy non grocery items there where I never would before. Cleaning supplies and even gifts are now purchased there.

But, this is not a transferable currency. Before any readers ask me to come there to buy their groceries, it’s not possible. Because this program is only with one particular grocery chain in the Southeast.

I expect this can be done at other grocery stores around the country, but you would have to get lucky and stumble upon that one particular gift card that works with the bonuses they offer(if they even have bonuses at that grocery store).

I’m sure many of you who read this to the end are bored to death by now, but if you can make this work for you, it can be quite lucrative. Imagine $1,000 per month of free groceries plus free travel (or free cash, I just choose point and miles instead of cash because I like to travel).

This is not a game for everyone, but if you take the time to learn it, it can be a profitable hobby. Something to do in retirement anyway.

To give you some perspective, I can easily do $20,000 worth of gift cards in a day at grocery stores. Now that’s a full day counting the liquidation of the cards, but easily doable. Now if I average 5% back in grocery money (bonuses are usually either 4 or 6% so I’ll use the average), and if I average another 4% on my credit cards (can offer even higher but I have one card I get a consistent 4% on), that comes out to 9% cashback in grocery money and other currencies combined ( I get 4% on my GM card to make over 100% of my car payments…in fact I’ll pay off my new Chevy Traverse in just 18 months using this cash back).

If I subtract out the 1.5% it cost in fees for the gift cards and money order, that leaves 7.5% net cash back (same as cash to me but not actual cash). So at 7.5% net of $20,000 in cards per day, I make $1,500.

Now do that just 4 days each month over 12 months and it comes out to $72,000 that is not taxable. If you’re in just the 10% bracket that’s the equivalent of $80,000 per year for working an average of about a day per week. Not many jobs out there paying that for a day’s work or even a full week. It certainly pays higher than my ex engineering job on an hourly basis, because if you did this 5 days per week every week, that comes out to $390,000 per year (after taxes!)!!!!!!

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Mike Wells
Mike Wells
May 04
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I commend you for this. I think it's great how you do this and it's all free money.

May 04
Replying to

Thanks Mike!

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