The Travel Professor
Join me on a journey across the broad spectrum of interesting travel topics. We’ll discuss destinations domestic and abroad, some familiar and some off the beaten path. We take a look at suppliers like cruise lines, air carriers and tour operators and find their bargains and special offerings. Got questions? Email

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Shopping loyalty cards

I’m a guy so I am not supposed to care about things like coupons, discounts and frequent shopping cards. I head into the store buy my few items and leave. No browsing of the aisles or strolling through the mall for this guy. I do not shop just for the fun of it. In my mind shopping is not a recreational activity. Golf, volleyball, softball and so forth are.

In guy code it is OK to spend quality time with the wife/girlfriend shopping and pretending to enjoy one self. In this situation I’ll smile and look like I am having a great time but everyone knows this is just an act.

Does this sound like someone you know? Well then it’s time for them to get some attitude adjustment on this shopping thing. I did!

Yes I’m a reformed non shopper with an adjusted attitude. I’m not ready for a prime time shopping gig to Minneapolis’s Mall of America but I’ll go when Ohio State plays Minnesota in football. This is scheduled to happen in 2010 so a Mall of America road trip is on my radar.
I learned my shopping lesson a few years back while on the road escorting a school group with 5 bus loads of 7th and 8th grade students. Imagine trying to keep these students supplied with snacks, soft drinks, fruit, veggies and other staples. It was time to restock and replenish so I headed over to the Gettysburg PA mega supermarket with a fairly substantial shopping list.

It was in that store that I really noticed the price differences. With a “Giant” savings card I’d save $4.00 on a cube pack of Coke plus similar savings were offered on other purchases. Quickly I did the math and discovered the benefit and value of shopping with a loyalty shopping card.

I marched over to the customer service counter and applied for my “Giant” card on the spot. Then I continued shopping. While checking out I overheard one of the store employees comment snidely “why does someone from Ironton Ohio need our card in Gettysburg PA?”

I smiled and told the young lady that I was the Ironton guy and that I had 110 reasons for getting a savings card. She was puzzled so I followed with “I saved $110.00 off of my bill today”. That “Giant” card is filled away in my Gettysburg trip file and travels with me every time I head to that part of PA.