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Friday, April 1, 2011

Don't throw away those Green Stamps!

I hadn't thought about Green Stamps in years, till I found a Georges Briard ice bucket on eBay still in the original box with a Green Stamps sticker on it. I decided I'd do a little nostalgia piece for the blog, so you readers old enough to remember them could reminisce and you younger bloggers could smile and good-naturedly roll your eyes about my "back in the day" story.

The History: S & H Green Stamps were popular in the United States from the 1930s through the 1980s.  Part of a rewards program operated by the Sperry and Hutchinson Company, they were given away with purchases at grocery stores, department stores and gas stations. Stamps were pasted into booklets and then redeemed for merchandise shown in the company's catalog called the Idea Book. In the 1960s, the Idea Book was the largest publication in the country, and the S & H Company issued three times more stamps than the U. S. Postal Service.

The Surprise: S & H Green Stamps are still valid! They can be traded for the company's new digital currency called S & H Greenpoints, which can be redeemed for merchandise or gift cards to major chain stores and restaurants. The old Green Stamps can also be redeemed for cash. Yes, you heard me. Cash.

If you have a drawer full of books of Green Stamps, you might want to check out the instructions for redeeming them on at the Greenpoints site. You will receive $1.20 for every 1200 Green Stamps you submit, or you will receive 1 Greenpoint per stamp. Of course, they make you jump through so many hoops to redeem the stamps that it's almost impossible, but, at least technically, they're still worth something.

From and

S & H Green Stamp

1959 LIFE magazine ad

Green Stamp saver books over the years

Green Stamps Idea Book


  1. I had NO idea they were still valid. What a trip down memory lane. When I was first married and perpetually broke my mom and aunts would give up their green stamps, which I dutifully stuck in booklets - it bought our whole Christmas one year! Thanks for the happy reminder.

  2. I still have some green stamps, and a catalog of the items you can get with it from the very early 60's.

    Very cool they honor the stamps! But $1.20 for 1,200? Sounds like they decreased in value!

    Now, if only they still had the cool stuff in their catalog!!!

  3. @DearHelenHartman: I collected them too and bought all kinds of things. I even put flatware in my "hope chest" using Green Stamps.

  4. Damn! I saw drawers full of these at an Estate Sale last month. No one had touched them either. Now I'm in the know. Of course they also gave me a great idea for a craft project...

  5. @1950sarh: I looked through the items you can buy with Greenpoints, and they looked pretty decent to me, and I like the idea that you can buy gift cards now. It would be interesting to compare how many stamps it took to buy an item in the 60s with how many points it takes to buy a like item today.

  6. @monogirl: I saw on the ehow site that the company is only redeeming stamps you collected yourself...not ones bought on eBay or an estate sale. My question is, how the heck would they know?

  7. I didn't know about these, but I think we had something very similar in the UK... can't remember their name; they must have been phased out sometime in my childhood!