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Panera is one of my favorite splurges (I LOVE their BBQ Chicken Salad) but it is NOT cheap. That salad is almost as expensive as going out to eat (without the tip of course). While I haven’t found a way to get Panera for FREE there are some ways I have cut back on my spending in the store.
Here is How To Save Money at Panera like the frugal people do!
Frugal People Belong To MyPanera Rewards Programs
Panera Bread offers a customer loyalty card which comes with many rewards you can earn over the course of your visits to their stores. There is no cost to sign up for the MyPanera card, and you’ll be rewarded with a free item when you register. Also the card offers various free items throughout the year and your birthday!
Here’s a trick with MyPanera Rewards: you earn rewards based on the NUMBER of purchases you make- not the quantity. And it also doesn’t care what date your transactions are done. If you buy 4 meals and pay for it all at one time it only counts as one point toward your next reward. If you buy those four meals separately it counts as four. For those who want to earn rewards faster (and the discounts that come with them), splitting purchases can help you earn them more quickly!
Frugal People Shop Their Deal Days
Panera does have special deal days, such as getting 12 bagels for $6.99 every Tuesday. Sometimes their deal days are for such things as $1 off a beverage or other similar items. Most of these deals will not be nationwide but will be at your local store. You may want to keep an eye on your individual stores social media pages.
Frugal People Use Gift Cards Bought Through Discount Programs
Grocery Store Discounts- At many of my local grocery stores they will have sales where if you purchase a certain dollar amount of gift cards you get a coupon for your next transaction at the store. For example get a $50 gift card and get $10 off your next grocery purchase. Keep your eye out for Panera cards (only at certain locations) and this can give you some savings.
Kroger Fuel Rewards- When you buy gift cards at Kroger you get 2X the fuel points loaded onto your card. This can lead to big savings at the pump. Occasionally they will have weekends where they do 4X the points. Buy you Panera gift cards (only at certain locations) and save on gas!
Raise.com: Buy Panera gift cards at a discounted rate! For example I can get a $25 gift card for Panera for $24 on a normal day. It’s delivered via e-mail if you like so there are no other fees. Often times the discount will get up to 8% off.
Frugal People Order On-line To Avoid The Upsell
Do you know what happens when I get in line and order at the Panera counter? There are cookies. Chocolate Chipper cookies and they are GOOD. And the Cobblestone… don’t get me started. Each have WAY more calories than I need and cost more than I should be spending on pastry. But if I go into the store and order I will see them and the cashier will mention them and nothing good is going to happen after that.
So now I can order online and my order is ready when I get to the store. It’s called Rapid Pick-Up. I walk in, the bag with my food is waiting and I walk out. I still get to use my rewards card but I don’t have to worry about buying cookies. Or a soda. Or a bagel.
So this post is as much for me as it is for you- How To Save Money at Panera!