From A Parent OP Alum - Money Saving Programs
In these uncertain times, it can be challenging to afford club soccer. Dale Stritar, an OP Soccer father alum, found some great ways to combine programs to save money. The programs mentioned below are listed on the Rewards program page, under “Parents Corner”.
Dale’s son Matthew & daughter Brittany are both OP alums. Matthew has played in three National Championship games in a row, 2017 with OP and 2018-19 with OSU FC. Fun fact: Dale went 13 months without paying for gas for 3 vehicles using the method below!
Thank you for taking time to share your money saving tips with us. The cost of club soccer can be significant, what are some of the ways you saved money on fees?
Glad to help! Yes, club soccer can be costly probably not more costly than other club sports, but the cost of traveling, tournaments adds up. One thing I like about OP is that, for the most part, fees are inclusive. Some soccer clubs charge extra for indoor practice, etc. but that is included for OP.
The program I used the most to save money is the gift card program through Great Lakes Scrip Program.
So how does the Great Lakes Scrip Program work?
It is a gift card program. Great Lakes has a large selection of gift cards from different retailers you can order, and each card has a different rebate percentage, most between 4 to 12%. Of that rebate, 75% goes towards OP fees.
For example, you order $1,000 in gift cards for your grocery store, in my case it is Giant Eagle. The rebate for Giant Eagle gift cards is 4%, so I would earn $40 a month towards reducing the registration fees, easily saving $500 to $600 a year.
But I also had another couple of angles that made it even more fun.
Yes, I combined the Great Lakes program with Giant Eagle fuel perks! So, I would order Giant Eagle gift cards from Great Lakes and then use the Giant Eagle gift cards to buy gift cards from other retailers and earn fuel perks.
In the example above, if I bought $1,000 in Giant Eagle gift cards, I would earn the $40 towards OP. Let’s say I used $400 of the Giant Eagle gift cards to buy gift cards from Lowe’s because I was going to do a project.
Giant Eagle gives 10 cents off every gallon of gas for every $50 in gift cards you buy, so in this case, I would receive 80 cents off per gallon, maximum 30 gallons, for a savings of $24. Over the course of a year, I saved $1,600 with Giant Eagle’s gift card program, combining this with the $500 to $600 I saved on OP fees, it worked out ok.
Something else I would do is purchase $300 worth of Great Clip gift cards through Scrip in October, so they arrive by November. That rebate at the time was 16%, so I would get $36 credited to player fees. Then when Great Clips runs their holiday promotion, where you can purchase gift cards for $9.99 haircuts, I would purchase a full year of haircuts for my son and I using the Scrip gift cards. using the remaining scrip gift cards to pay for the tips at each visit. This saved an additional $120 a year. The bottom line is, when you have purchases you know you have to make, buying gift cards can save money towards fees.
That is so impressive! Any other cost saving advice you would share as an OP parent alum?
On travel, there are so many things like sharing hotel rooms, taking turns with other parents going to tournaments and driving rather than flying that can make a huge difference.
Thank you, Dale, for your time!
Please check out the Great Lakes Scrip program as well as other programs under Parent’s Corner, Rewards programs.There are two additional programs that may be of interest, like Kroger’s Community Rewards and Benefits Mobile, an easy way to earn rebates while shopping at places like Starbuck’s, Amazon, Nike and more!