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Are you generally building and need bricks for that or do you have a moc idea?
I've just finished my first large project. It's Christmas themed. I started by setting an eBay search to pick out Winter Village themed sets that were used and I was particularly interested in incomplete sets. I found I could pick these up really cheaply when minifigures were specifically missing and in these cases I was often the only bidder or could negotiate a fair buy it now price.
I also spent ages looking at set inventories cross referencing the Brickset database to BrickLink to see which sets were also a good source of pieces. The Frozen palace was a good set for me and I found a few eBay sellers who had split the minifigures to sell separately.
Then I began the long (and sometimes quite expensive) process of Bricklinking the specific parts for my design. I must confess that this was the best bit as it was so satisfying when a box dropped through the door with all the pieces I needed for a specific phase.
I also split my build into a couple of phases to split the cost. One phase meant the model could be considered as 'an acceptable finish' - it was a complete model and looked good. But phase 2 was to embellish and buy the pieces that really made it special.
As I say, it was my first project. I did enjoy it although it wasn't cheap.
I don't have masses of parts left over either so I'd say I bought effectively.
Also, join a LUG (Lego User Group). This will allow you to meet others, and most LUGs normally share details of local deals etc between themselves.
Keep an eye on the clearance aisles in Walmart and Target, and use Brickseek to check your area when people post great finds. Use the Walmart app to scan prices in the store, as I have found the tag in the clearance aisle is often higher than the price scanned at the register. I've also had great luck at Walgreens a couple of times, finding sets at 90% off.
Try to keep an eye on what your building goals are, and start sorting before things get out of hand.
Fairly sure double points does not count toward VIP points (at least pretty certain it was not recognized during my last visit to [email protected] Either way, while bricks and pieces is a good way to get bulk new pieces (well 200 of a part), the prices usually are fairly high compared to BL or BO or things like garage sales flea markets or other ways like craigslist/facebook.