Do you like getting things for free? Yeah, me too. Are you pretty certain you won’t find anything you love at Sears or Kmart? I was too. Until I learned how to shop at these stores.
1. Score free clothes, shoes, and more with the Shop Your Way rewards program.
So before we go any further, you should sign up for the Shop Your Way rewards program. It’s free.
Here’s how to get the most from SYW rewards:
- Earn 10 points for every $1 you spend at Kmart or Sears on qualifying purchases (make sure you check the ad inserts online and from your Sunday paper). So 1,000 points = $1)
- Earn points shopping at Kmart.com and Sears.com.
- Use manufacturer’s coupons with your purchases.
- Redeem points on future purchases at either Sears or Kmart.
- Buy when Kmart and Sears run frequent promotions where you earn back 100% of the amount of your qualifying purchases.
- Redeem your points by entering your phone number or email address and PIN at checkout in stores, or sign in to your Shop Your Way rewards account online, and select how many points you want to use.
- Choose whether you want to redeem all or part of your points.
True story: I’ve gotten six pairs of free shoes for myself, three free outfits for my son, free appliances, free winter coats, free underwear, free undershirts for my husband and so much more by using this shopping strategy at Kmart and Sears. All the heart eyes, Shop Your Way.
2. Sign each adult in your house up for a Shop Your Way rewards account, and do each deal multiple times.
I signed both my husband and myself up for our own accounts. Which means that when a deal has a cap on points you can earn, we can do it twice: once per account. You can have one account for every adult member of your house over 18.
So last Black Friday, when boys’ puffer jackets were on sale for $14.99 with 100% back in Shop Your Way points, I bought one with my SYW account, and my husband bought one with his. We both got $14.99 back in Shop Your Way points to spend later.
Now our son has a winter jacket for the next two years in a row, for free.
3. You can use Shop Your Way points at both Sears and Kmart.
This means that you can take those points you earn buying underwear for yourself, and use them to pay for tools at Sears.
Which is exactly what I did when my husband needed a new head lamp for his hard hat. I took the $10 I had earned buying the underwear for myself and used it to pay for that headlamp like a boss.
4. Pick up your order the same day, in store for free.
Select the item you’re looking to buy, and then select shipping options. Check your local location and see if the item is in stock for immediate pickup. If it is, score!
Recently I got three pairs of women’s underwear for free plus a $1.03 moneymaker and picked them up the same day in the store. I literally made money shopping in my PJs on my laptop.
Last year, Kmart ran a promotion where you earned $10 in Shop Your Way points for buying three pairs of women’s underwear. I found three pairs priced at just $2.99, ordered them straight from the store for a total of $8.97, and picked them up at the store on my way home that night.
Don’t have a Kmart in your area? You’re gonna die when you hear this. . .
With all the store closures, it seems like both these stores are harder and harder to find. But there’s a workaround if you still want to shop at Kmart and Sears.
You just need to make sure that the item you’re ordering is sold by both places and in stock.
6. Save your points until there’s a Shop Your Way deal that “rolls,” and then do it as many times as you can.
If you can, you should always try and save your Shop Your Way rewards points until you can use them to pay and still earn more points. Deals that allow you to pay with your points and still earn more points are what you’re aiming for. This can be totally confusing, so I’ll break it down:
- “Buy this item (or X number of this item) and receive X points” = Probably rolls. Which means you can buy a $14.99 item, pay with $14.98 in points, and still earn $14.99 in points to use later.
- “Buy this item and get X percentage back” = Doesn’t roll. This means if you pay for your $14.99 item with $14.99 in points, you’ll get zero points back to spend later. This is obviously not ideal.
TIP: Remember that when you’re paying for a deal with points, to earn more points you need to pay at least $0.01 out of pocket or you won’t earn a thing!
7. You can literally make money when you “purchase” coffeemakers, griddles, and blenders at Sears.
In November 2016, select Kenmore small kitchen appliances were on sale at Sears and paired with a promotion for 100% back in Shop Your Way points.
I not only scored a Kenmore coffeemaker (regular price: $29.99) for free after points, but my husband scored us another $29.99 Kenmore griddle with his SYW account.
8. Wait a few weeks between shopping trips, and Shop Your Way will send you free money (in points).
Seriously. All I have to do is sit on my Shop Your Way account and not spend money for a few weeks, and they’ll send me free points. So far, about every six weeks I’ve received free points. I received one $5 points coupon, a $7 points coupon and a $10 points coupon.
Now, these points don’t stack with other points-back offers but are more than enough money to net you a couple freebies.
9. Enter Shop Your Way Sweepstakes to earn even more free points.
Look for doorbuster sweepstakes with a pink banner. You’ll almost never actually win, but you will usually get between $1-$5 in free Shop Your Way points.
10. If you have points about to expire, don’t wait for a deal to spend them.
SYW points expire in either 14, 30 or 90 days. Very rarely, I’ve even seen some points last longer than 90 days.
Generally points that don’t have a specified expiration date still expire within 30 days, so you need a game plan for spending them.
The best thing to do is wait for a deal that rolls and spend your points on things that’ll earn you more points. But if you’ve got points expiring and no such deal is in sight, buy only things you’d be buying anyway.
Don’t forget that Kmart offers food and paper goods too! Last time I needed to spend points, I bought cereal, goldfish crackers, and a new broom but paid just $1.08 out-of-pocket after spending my points.
That’s sweet, sweet money I don’t have to spend at the grocery store next time I go.
11. Stack Ibotta rebates on top of Shop Your Way rewards purchases.
This makes spending points that are about to expire on items you need even better, because you can combine spending your points with Ibotta for money back on things that are literally free.
For example: Last time I spent my Shop Your Way points that were about to expire, I bought cereal. I combined my purchase with a $1 Ibotta rebate on Cinnamon Pebbles cereal, plus a $0.25 “any receipt” rebate to earn $1.25 off my purchase. Score.