Who remembers grocery store stamp books that you filled up to receive a free piece of dinnerware or some other premium? A company with roots in the earliest store loyalty programs is offering an eco-friendly version of this for today's conscious consumer. For free, you can join and start getting rewarded for the smart shopping choices you're already making. I just signed up myself for EcoBonus.com.
Are you searching for value-priced organic foods, coping with a food allergy, or just want products with less wasteful packaging? You can start at the info. section
to help you decide what matters to you. Then you have a way to provide input and customize your experience via the My Priorities
tab on the website.
|Searching for reward codes in my pantry...|
Here's the bottom line: when you purchase eco-conscious, organic or otherwise family friendly products that participate in the EcoBonus program, you earn points toward free products or future savings. You earn points by loading special codes or cash register receipts from the products you've purchased.
Here's what I liked about my first experience with the program: I earned points because I'd purchased Annie's Bunny Grahams and Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid, things I already use because I think they're good for my family and the planet. I thought the website was beautifully laid out and relatively easy to navigate, given how much it covers. I'm excited about being able to save up points toward coupons, fun gear, or even school supplies.
Here's what I didn't like about my first experience with the program: I had a shelf full of Annie's products that I'd stocked up on for school lunches, and only one box had the participation code on it. I had purchased King Arthur Flour, which is a participating brand, but I couldn't find a code on the specific package I bought. While many products in the EcoBonus program are supposed to be eligible for points, via cash register receipt from participating retailers, many grocery stores are not yet in the program. So, I had no way of getting credit for anything on a cash register receipt from Kroger, for instance, even though I had bought some participating brands. I had recently bought three containers of Seventh Generation disinfectant wipes from Kroger as an alternative to the other name brand the teachers request at my child's school (the other kind were connected to my child's reactive airway incidents when she was younger and I'd rather be safe than sorry). But, because Kroger is not on the participating retailer list and apparently those cleaning wipes aren't a participating product, I didn't receive any points for that purchase.
This would seem more like a true loyalty program if more brands included all of their products, not just a select few of them. And while Walmart and Target are leading the way by participating, it would be helpful if more grocery and natural food stores were also taking part. So, you can earn points for buying certain products at certain participating stores even if they don't have a special logo on them, and you can earn points for buying certain products that bear the EcoBonus logo regardless of the store. The official logo looked different on the two different products that I was able to use toward points. I found this all a bit confusing.
Here's what I'm hopeful about: Not only can our clean couponing habits earn us free gear and future savings for ourselves, we can donate our points to our favorite causes or earn supplies for our schools. While I'd like to see this selection
of classroom supplies greatly expanded, it's a start. And if your school is interested in signing up for the program to receive donations, let the folks at EcoBonus know, because they're very receptive to your feedback.
I had some difficulty when playing around with the mobile app to upload a store receipt, and I'm not sure I had one that qualified anyway. If you load your first eligible receipt from a participating store, for a limited time you can earn a free coupon book filled with $80 worth of savings on various products. Watch this My Deals
page tab for ways to earn extra points that can accumulate toward items found at the Rewards
While this growing program still has some details to work out, it offers an up-to-date tool with real value for clean couponing shoppers who learn to navigate it. A good first step is to see if any participating products are something that you already use at your house.
Plus, enter to win one of 10 clever EcoBonus $80 coupon books full of savings on top organic and eco-conscious brands, via the Rafflecopter entry below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Disclosure: I received bonus EcoBonus points and rewards for my participation in telling you about this. As always, my opinions are my own.
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