Going Green Back in the Day

We all have different ways to choose our credit card companies. It may be because of an affiliation with our bank, the cash-back rewards or airline miles given for our purchases, or maybe because it is just the only one who will give us their card.

There was a time when our grocery and gas purchases resulted in a different reward, which was both a reward and an activity. We were given stamps, which we then had to paste into a book. There were 24 pages in a book and 50 stamps on each page. Do the math and you will see that each book contained 1200 stamps.


We would redeem these stamps for gifts such as towels, glasses, jewelry, furniture, and toys at your local Green Stamp Store. It was probably one, if not the, first customer loyalty reward of its time. People would choose their grocery stores based upon the number of stamps one could get for their purchases. It could take close to a year to fill two or three books.

Like the JC Penney catalogs you are all familiar with, the S&H Green Stamp company had catalogs filled with their products, including the amount of stamps needed to get such treasures.

I remember going to a Green Stamp Store with Grandma as a kid, and then later with Dad. He recalled getting Green Stamps when he would rent cars during his business trips. Dad thinks we “bought” a small grill with our stamps.

Although no longer available in the original stamp format, the company still exists and has gone digital in stores such as Barnes and Noble and Sephora, which give Greenpoints. It’s something to consider if you want to go modern retro.


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