Monthly Challenge, Instant Payoff!

This morning I got a voice mail from Trader Joe’s. I knew, as soon as the dude said he was calling from Trader Joe’s, that it could only mean one thing.

I finally won.

After some dozen plus years of Trader Joe’s shopping all over Los Angeles, each time diligently filling out the raffle ticket and dropping it in a box, sometimes three or four times a week– I had finally won. It was like winning the lottery! Except for doing something I would already do anyway!

The Winnings

The Winnings

So I went to Trader Joe’s and picked up my prizes. Unfortunately the prize was two new plastic items- not the most auspicious start to Plastic Free July– but although I only use cloth bags for my groceries I can still use this as a beach/library/pool tote. I have two kids, I never run out of crap to schlep. And the $10 gift card doesn’t hurt. (Of course being the world’s biggest YNAB nerd I promptly created that card as a cash account with $10 in it and then budgeted that $10 to groceries. I guess I could have kept it off-budget and spent it on something totally frivolous but accountability is the new fun, right?)

I wonder, though, who gives the better rewards for bringing your own bags? Whole Foods gives you 10 cents a bag, Trader Joe’s gives you a chance at prizes. I shop at Whole Foods an average of once every 1-2 weeks and use 1-2 bags, on average. At that rate it would take me about 89 weeks- just over a year and a half or so- to “earn” $10. I shop at Trader Joe’s once a week and use 3-5 bags each time. If they paid me $0.10 a bag, I would “earn” $10 in just 28.5 weeks or so. Instead it took me over 12 years!

Obviously I don’t bring my own bags for the cash and prizes. But still, math sure manages to take the fun out of that big win.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Amy S. on July 22, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    yay! You won! I personally like the WF 10 cent reimbursal but it is so fun to win.


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