Grocers ‘bonus cards’ make

Kurt Jakub

One of the essentials to college life is saving money — and it can be easier with bonus cards.

Bonus cards for grocery and drug stores are a great way to save some extra cash, and many stores in Kent and the surrounding areas offer them. They are free to obtain and they save money — it’s a win-win situation.

Giant Eagle offers the Giant Eagle Advantage Card — which offers savings on hundreds of items in their store, according to their Web site.

The Giant Eagle at 1416 S. Water St. is one of the stores. The card can also get you gas discounts via the GetGo program — every $50 dollars spent in the store will result in a 10 cent discount on every gallon of gas purchased, according to the Web site. Of the three Giant Eagle stores in the area, the only store equipped with a GetGo gas station is the Ravenna location.

The Acme Fresh Market Savings Card works in a similar way. Shoppers can save money on hundreds of products at any Acme Fresh Market, including the one at 1709 state Route 59 near campus.

Shoppers can also use their Acme Savings Card to earn deals at the Akron Zoo, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Regal Cinemas and Akron Aero’s games, according to Acme’s Web site.

To test the usefulness of the bonus cards from both grocery stores, identical items were purchased from both stores. The items were the college student essentials: An 18-pack of Miller Lite (or whatever brand you prefer,) a five-pack of Kraft Mac and Cheese, a six-pack of Ramen noodles, a half gallon of milk, a dozen eggs, a frozen pizza and a 3-pound bag of chicken breasts.

The total at Giant Eagle came to $26.70, with savings of $10.35 or a discount of about 28 percent. Acme Fresh Market totals came to $28.97 with savings of $3.39, a discount of about 10 percent.

Another store in the area that uses a bonus card is CVS Pharmacy. Customers with an ExtraCare card can save on specially marked products and can earn back 2 percent of every purchase, according to its Web site.

Customers can also earn back $1 for every two prescriptions purchased at any CVS or off their Web site. Every three months, “Extra Bucks” will print out on the back of receipts, offering customers money redeemable at any CVS.

Another store close to campus is Sam’s Club in Cuyahoga Falls. Sam’s Club is a wholesale retailer where shoppers must be members. Memberships cost $40 and can be obtained at any Sam’s Club or online at

Aldi, is a retailer that offers “high-quality products at the lowest possible prices,” according to its Web site. But remember to bring grocery bags to Aldi, because they charge a fee for grocery bags but allow shoppers to bring their own.

Contact general assignment reporter Kurt Jakub at [email protected].