How to save money on things you already buy
Saving money doesn’t have to involve a whole lot of effort, and it also doesn’t have to mean going without the things you enjoy! There are some super easy ways to save money on things you already buy that involve hardly any effort at all. Use this list anytime you make any purchase and you will be maximising your savings on everything you buy, in no time at all!
Find the cheapest store
There is no point paying more than you need to for anything, especially if all it takes is a quick Google search. Before I buy anything, particularly big ticket items, I always do a little research to be sure the price I found is the best price available. It can be as simple as typing the product you want to buy into Google, and having a quick scroll through the results to check for any better prices.
I’m not a massive fan of price matching, I think it would be an easier process if all stores would offer their best price up front, but they can be a useful store policy at times. For example, a certain store might be offering a cashback if you buy a particular product, so it would make sense to ask that store to price match any cheaper stores.
Check for any coupon or discount codes
Now that you have identified the store offering the best price on the product you want to buy, it’s time to do another search to see if you can any further discounts. Get started by typing the store name followed by ‘coupon’ or ‘discount’ to see if any current coupon codes can be found. There are also some great sites around that aggregate coupon codes, such as Retail Me Not.
Stores often also offer codes themselves on their website, which will usually be displayed on their home page. Be sure to also find the sign up form for the stores email newsletter to see if they offer any discount codes when you become a subscriber. If you have already subscribed the the stores newsletter, check your inbox for any recent emails containing discounts or codes.
Use a cashback site
While a cashback site won’t save you money directly off your purchase, it will give you money back a month or so after your purchase, if the store you are making your purchase from is listed on any cashback sites. If you are not familiar with these sites, you click through to the online store through the cashback site, which then tracks your purchases. Once your order has been confirmed, the cashback site will give you a percentage of your purchase back in cash, a month or so after your order date.
If you are in Australia, some local based cashback sites include pink.org.au (which supports the National Breast Cancer Foundation) as well as Pricepal. Another alternative if you are a FlyBuys member is to shop through their eShops to earn FlyBuys points rather than cash. If you are a Qantas Frequent Flyer member, you can do much the same thing through the Qantas online mall, earning you bonus frequent flyer points.
You might also be interested in:
- Why you should be disloyal with your loyalty cards
- Woolworths Rewards vs Coles FlyBuys comparison
- Aldi comparison – is it the cheapest supermarket?
- 8 Ways to stay poor
Join the loyalty or rewards program
If you are making a purchase, and especially if you regularly shop at that particular store, it might be worth signing up to their loyalty or rewards program. Most programs will give you something in return for spending, whether it be points to spend on future purchases or exclusive discount codes and vouchers.
Supermarkets are a great way to gain reward points which can be used toward future shopping trips. I especially love the Coles Flybuys program, which offends sends out vouchers to get bonus points when shopping, along with vouchers for bonus points which can often be found on the ends of their receipts.
Use discounted gift cards as payment
Discounted gift cards are everywhere these days, many organisations offer them, including the Entertainment Book. You purchase the gift cards at a discount to their face value, such as 5% off, then use them as your payment method in store. This effectively gives you a further discount on your purchases, in the case of most gift cards a further 5% off your shopping. These gift cards can be used for supermarkets, petrol stations, departments stores and I even occasionally see discounted gift cards to be used at travel agencies.
Use a rewards based credit card
This last way to save money is not for everyone; it’s best used by people that have excellent control over their finances, and it’s a trick I have been using for years now. I have a credit card that gives me a decent amount of Qantas Frequent Flyer points every time I spend, so I put absolutely every purchase I can on these cards (just be sure you are not making purchases just for the sack of earning points, that defeats the whole purpose). I then pay off my credit card in full every month, meaning I gain a huge number of frequent flyer points, and pay absolutely no interest. You can then convert these points to products or store gift cards, but the best value is in redeeming points for international flights (I’m saving up my points for an overseas family holiday).