Sharing perks to provide savings


Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

My guess is that everyone on this forum is noticing how the cost of living has risen drastically. If you haven’t, I’d like to know where you live as I may want to join you there. :wink:

As a sitter, I’ve been thinking about unique ways homeowners have helped reduce my costs on a sit. I’ll share those that come to mind, and maybe others will have some tips to share.

USA - Whole Foods - shoppers with Amazon Prime memberships give their phone number at the checkout counter and get significant savings. At the time I didn’t have Amazon Prime, and even now doubt my Canadian one would be effective, and so the owner insisted I use her phone number. It was the only grocery store within walking distance and it provided a considerable savings for me.

UK - Morrisons - When staying with friends (not on a sit) I would take their card and swipe it at the checkout desk. It’s purely a savings card/key; not a credit card. My friend then gets some type of credit for the purchases. Why waste the benefit when I don’t have an account there? Maybe consider asking your homeowner if they have anything similar and if they’d like you to do that.

I’ve used a similar owner’s card in another country (I think it was Australia) but the store applied the owner’s available credit to reduce my bill. :face_with_hand_over_mouth: We laughed over it and I paid them the money. All good.

Does anyone have ideas for similar shared savings & benefits?

Francine,
Volunteer Moderator :canada:

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I wish our UK HO’s would leave their Tesco cards for us, I always forget to ask. Tesco have so many deals for Clubcard members, e.g. £3 for members, £4.50 for non-members… why pay so much more when it’s not necessary?

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We have had a stay in Canada and the owners gave us a national park card to have access to one of the local attractions.

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@Snowbird what a great idea! I’m thinking maybe in welcome guides, owners could list the stores where they are members so sitters can utilize those discounts. Most store perk programs use phone numbers as the way to “log in” so, in the Welcome Guide, it would be great to list those stores and tell them to punch in the phone number when they are checking out. It will save the sitter some money and the owner usually gets perks/points for every purchase. Win/win for everyone!

Another idea I think would be great is to leave the sitter any coupons you have sitting around the house they could use to help with grocery shopping or even restaurants. If you have coupon books that include movie discounts, attraction discounts, etc., It could be a great addition to a welcome basket for the sitter.

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Oh that’s a great idea. I think I’ll be looking for sitters in Ontario later this year and hadn’t even thought of including my provincial parks pass. I’ll definitely offer the use of it!

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We have Costco.please ask, gas and food big difference.

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Grandma, unfortunately with Costco it has your picture on the card and they do look at it when you go to pay.

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Not for gas though.

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I have a card to my grocery store (Save On Foods in BC, Canada) that gives discounts for the purchaser, and points to me. I guess a sitter would be able to borrow it.

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I have been using the card since in US. Never been checked. The las 6 mints traveling, my girlfriend in US has my card. She has to buy gas every week. Never asked. Paper products inside, never checked. I don’t know.

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These are all great ideas as perks to attract sitters, particularly in places like the UK where there are way more sits than sitters. As a sitter who is heading to the UK for 5 months I would really appreciate the offer of the use of the HO’s store discount cards or heritage site membership card for cheaper access. Even better if the HO can accumulate points while I get the benefit of the discounts. That would attract me to sit listings. Its a win win. Something for HOs to think about…

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One home owner left us a parking permit for some local beach car parks. It meant we could take the dogs to a nearby dog friendly beach and not have to pay for parking.

We have had owners offer their National Trust membership cards, but we are also National Trust members so have not needed to take them up on their kind offer.

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As owners though, just remember not to leave a perks card that is attached to your credit card…unless that is something you are willing to accept if items are charged.

In the US although they have different names, many of the grocery chains have common ownership.
For example - Safeway, Albertsons, Randalls are all the same -
Kroger, Harris Teeter, KingSooper, Fred Meyer, Ralphs are all the same.
Lidl also has a membership program in the US but I don’t think it crosses intl boundaries.
and if you have a card for one of them and have your phone number included you can use that to login for points and discount coupons. Or put the app on your phone and bring up a QR code.
Points can be used in the stores and at gas stations for discounts.
I think I’ll ask HOs for my upcoming UK sits to leave any cards. I tried to signup for a Tesco card on a recent stay and it wouldn’t let me because my phone # didn’t begin +44.

@toml, yes it’s a great way to save some money and many stores will not give you the discount sale price if you don’t have a card. You can always get your own, but it seems it would just be easier to let the sitter use your card or phone number, then get the sale prices and owner gets the perks of use in the store.

Thanks for starting this helpful thread, @Snowbird!

For sitters in the UK, you can also ask HOs to provide a close-up photo of their fidelity cards. Be sure that the barcode is clearly visible. Then when you checkout, just ask the cashier to scan the barcode in the photo. We have successfully done this using photos of our daughter’s Tesco and Waitrose cards in the UK. In the rare event that scanning the barcode doesn’t work, the cashier can also manually input the numeric client code on the card.

As @toml mentioned, we’ve found that it isn’t possible to apply for our own fidelity cards in the UK because we don’t have a local phone number.

We also discovered that it’s not possible to upload an app for a store in the UK if you have a phone with a SIM card from another country.

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Just my 2 pence, free of course, even though British sterling is slightly higher than USD, Americans will find that products here, including food cost much less than back in the states. Many products in the US are extremely overpriced, especially health products. Here In The UK and in Europe overall from my experience, these « healthy choices » are not looked at like specialty items but normal choices for everyday life for everyone.
Fresh produce is very inexpensive and much better quality.
Just the other day I saw a large bag of ground turmeric for £2 while in the US one could easily pay $8-12 for that same amount.
So if you are in the US, travel :grinning:

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Even if you don’t have a card ask the cashier if there is a store card behind the counter they can use. Works every time in the US and the savings are significant.
Doesn’t work too well in Canada but ask the person behind you In the queue. You get the savings, they get the points. Win win every time.

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I’d also add to ask the cashier if they have any vouchers. We have a store loyalty card with a chain here in Ireland and get weekly vouchers but can’t use all of them before the expire and give remaining ones to the cashier. We also post them on a FB group specifically created for vouchers.

:scream: :sob: will these help me breathe a sigh of relief as I just remembered there’s a sales tax added after purchase up in Canada!

Off to do some more research on sales tax, farmers markets and stores close to our sits in the eastern us…

Thank you for another good thread!