1. Every time you post about the $200 per month grocery bill, I’m so amazed. We’re going to have an Aldi close to us in our new house, though. You better believe that I’m doing a shopping experiment to see how little we can spend by just shopping at Aldi! I mean, could we get sub $500 for our family of four hungry humans? I don’t know. I can’t even imagine it. But we’re going to try!

    We used to have a Citi card with bonus categories, so I’d manufacture spending, but I ultimately decided it was too much work so we now just use our Barclay and get 2.25% back on all our expenses. I may investigate the Discover this summer, though, since I’ll have some more time.

    • I probably should do a breakdown of our shopping. In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve gotten a little lax and we’re hovering around $225 now. Though this month looks like it will be significantly lower. Possibly even sub $200 because we’re both home to eat more cooked meals. I’m so pumped for you that you’re close to Aldi!

      If you do decide to investigate Discover, I just added the upcoming 2018 categories to this post!

  2. I haven’t done much in manufactured spending yet but taking note of this hack!

    We have been focused on travel cards so far and haven’t done much cash back hacking yet – looks like there are some good bonuses out there so I’m sure it will happen sooner than later

  3. This is so interesting! My husband and I are waiting to pay off my student loans before we get a CC. That way I can do research and make sure that we’ll be good if we accidentally overspend. That’s my biggest worry with them, and why we’re waiting for the extra cash flow being loan free will give us before we experiment. But I love this idea of manufactured spending! It’s so cool how you used it, and that you have a goal for where the money is going.

    • Props to you for waiting! And major props for working on paying down your student loans! Woohoo!

      Like the little granny-in-training I am, I balanced a checkbook until a few years ago. So I would deduct every CC purchase as if it was a check or a debit swipe. That way, I knew exactly how much I had! It helped so much knowing that I could pay my bill at the end of each month. I think there’s so much good that comes from using a credit card *if* it’s right for your situation.

  4. Ohhhh Penny this is genius! I was thinking of buying grocery store gift cards before the end of the month on my Discover card, but same here in that it would take me ages to go through those gift cards because my grocery spending is pretty low. I think I’ll add some Amazon cards into the mix as well!

    I’m absolutely not going to max out the $75 cashback this quarter (doubled because I’m still on my first year with the card so I get the match) because $1500 is a lot for me, but every bit counts, and best of all this is EASY manufactured spending, which I don’t usually do (other than strategically opening cards when it’s time for annual charges).

    • Yup! Amazon is a great filler. I’m super pumped for the October-December category. My mom has a Sam’s membership, and I know they sell discounted gift cards (we like to give gift cards for Christmas gifts). And Amazon is so useful!

  5. I can honestly say I had never heard of manufactured spending before reading this post. It sounds like an interesting though! I’ve never gotten into the travel hacking game, but that might be because the credit card landscape is different in Canada than the US (and because the thought of owning more than one credit card makes me nauseous).

    • I’m already down the bazillion credit card rabbit hole. I do think that we are lucky (if you can call it that!) in terms of the offers that are available to us in the States.

  6. Jover

    I got dropped by Discover, but rarely used the card since I got I to travel hacking. My Chase Freedom has the 5% grocery category this quarter, too, so I’m trying to max out the $1,500. Beat part, the “cashback value” I earn can be transferred to my Chase Sapphire Reserve and increase that value! Gonna stock up on gift cards before June 30, because gas stations (and the convenience stores connected to them!) are Q3 on Freedom! Woo hoo

  7. “$3000 in grocery gift cards would take me clear through the next calendar year”
    Yeah us too haha. We need more humans in this family to help us eat!

    This is one reason why we can’t churn as much as I would like. I did find out you can prepay on your utilities in the PNW and that’s another way to manufacture spending.

    For Discover, don’t they double your rewards the first year you sign on? It’s basically 10% whatever you get if you get it at 5%. Soooo juicy *_* but it’s only for new sign ups.

    • You’re right, Lily! I think they do that now. Sadly, we had a Discover card before they created the Discover It card, so we didn’t get all of the perks. That’s awesome that you can prepay your utilities. I should look into that for other churning!

    • That’s such a bummer! But I can definitely see why. I just get carded LOL I have to show an ID any time I put more than $50 on a gift card (Visa gift card or regular store cards!).

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