It’s really expensive to be a parent.
Scratch that, it’s really expensive to be a grown-up. I still remember the shock I felt when I moved into my first proper flat and realised I’d have to pay Council Tax as well as my rent: I was heartbroken to learn that a precious £100 out of my clothes-and-beer budget would go to the local council instead of H&M and Wetherspoons. Welcome to adulthood, Alice!
As a Millennial (just – a 1985 birthdate counts, right?!) I count myself as one of those who’ve had to learn some hard lessons about finances and budgeting. Big student loans, soaring house prices, redundancies and London rents alongside working in the consumerism-heavy media industry has meant I’ve made some mistakes when it comes to money. And funnily enough becoming a single mum – as scary as it was to become financially independent – was really the making of my fiscal self.
Although my wallet is in a much more comfortable place than it was in my first flat 13 years ago, there are some things I’ve learned along the way that I think will never leave me. Meal planning for a start, and obsessively hunting down online voucher codes as well. But one of the most important ways I look to add value to my finances is by store reward cards, with our favourite (and most beneficial) being the Tesco Clubcard.
Tesco Clubcard was the very first points programme I ever joined so it’ll always have a very special place in my heart (and my budget). I always liken it to a frequent flier points programme: the more you spend, the more points you collect and the more fun experiences you can have!
The card offers a generous 1 point per pound spent in store or online, at Tesco Direct, F+F, on wine by the case and Tesco Mobile. Buying fuel at Tesco garages will give you 1 point per £2. You rack up your points when buying the boring things you need to survive – fruit, vegetables, nappies, wine – and then exchange your points for really great experiences.
As one of our favourite things to do as a family is eat out we usually exchange our points for restaurant vouchers. We’ve eaten out at many a place this way: Pizza Express, Chimi Changa, Cafe Rouge and Ask Italian. At time of writing £2.50 worth of Tesco vouchers will get you a £10 spend in these restaurants and it’s been a wonderful way for us to enjoy time as a family – for free!
It’s not just restaurants you’re limited to, though. Clubcard vouchers will also get you fun days out to places like Chessington World of Adventures, Colchester Zoo or West Midland Safari Park (we love Woburn Safari Park or ZSL Whipsnade Zoo – search attractions close to you here), or just like airline points you can put yours towards family holidays, hotel stays and airplane tickets. You can even use them to go shopping or to treat yourself to a magazine subscription: I read Living etc for the whole of 2016 thanks to mine.
Tesco have just released a new contactless Clubcard and app so now it’s even easier to #CollectWithClubcard. Working just like a debit or debit card, at checkout you simply touch your card to add your points, present your app or (my personal favourite) hand over a key fob. Simple!
Our Clubcard points have afforded us some great experiences this holiday where we would have otherwise been hunting down experiences that were either less exciting or cost us a lot of money. The programme is just as valuable for my family now as it was as a broke early twenty-something: we’ll be collecting our Clubcard points for many years to come.
Thanks to Tesco Clubcard for working with MTT. This content is sponsored and we are delighted to work with a service we have used for such a long time.