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.

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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.

    Reply

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