Updated: Jan 27, 2021
Being a savvy spender is a good aim for everyone, however a lot of people end up paying more than they should. That might be because they have don’t know about the tricks and tools that can help them find better deals.
You can easily learn how to be savvy with your hard-earned cash. By simply making some smart choices and using your smartphone, you’ll be making savings in no time.
Sure, at first it might take a bit of work, but once you’re all set up, you can let your strategy, technology and savings take care of themselves.
Here’s a quick overview as to how you can do it.
Sign up to supermarket club cards and loyalty programmes
This might sound obvious but signing up to loyalty programmes will add up over time. Sure, we all belong to one or two reward schemes or clubs. However, most big brands have some kind of loyalty scheme. So, if you shop somewhere regularly, why not get rewarded for it?
‘But I don’t want a wallet stuffed to the brim with bulky cards!’ I hear you say. Well this brings us on to my next point – store them on your smart phone instead.
Use the StoCard app, Apple or Google Pay to digitally store loyalty cards
Our smartphones are well on their way to replacing our wallets anyway. And there are some handy apps which allow you to store all your loyalty cards on them like StoCard. To load your loyalty card to StoCard you simply scan your card's barcode via the app. Then use your phone to redeem every time you shop.
Alternatively, if you use Apple or Google Pay then you could add your loyalty cards here too.
Get organised – arrange your shopping apps in a folder on your phone or set up an email address for offers
Becoming a member of a loyalty scheme usually means signing up for email offers too. And you may be hesitant to jam up your inbox with what you might consider to be annoying spam.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way if you open a new email account specifically for all your offers. That way you can browse for deals in your own time, instead of being bombarded with irrelevant offers. Similarly you can group together apps that help you save on your phone. I organise mine in a folder. It means I can easily access deal sites to get money off when I need to make a purchase.
Always look for money back or a discount code – add the Honey extension to your web browser
We can be shy about this in Ireland but the time for this cultural foible is surely coming to an end. There’s no harm in asking for a discount or deal, no matter what you’re purchasing. What’s the worst that can happen; they say ‘No!’
Again, technology can help you here by using browser extensions on Chrome or Firefox such as Honey. This handy smart tool will scour any online site for current deals and coupon codes. You then simply add the code when you checkout.
For example, my partner recently decided to send some Mother’s Day flowers and by using Honey I got her a discount code for 15% off with Interflora. €9 off for a few seconds work.
Sign up to deals sites – Groupon, Pigsback, Vouchercloud
Although Pigsback has been around for a few decades, the last recession in 2008 saw the popularity of discount sites really take off. With another recession looming, we can expect to see them being readily used again.
You’ll find lots of deals for all sorts of products on these sites from hotel breakaways to fitness equipment. You should be able to select specific areas you’re interested in to minimise the number of daily emails.
Earn cashback with credit or debit card accounts
There are a number of credit and debit cards that allow you to either earn cashback with each purchase at a merchant or else receive cashback offers regularly but with the featured merchants alternating.
· An Post Money Current Account – offers cashback for brands like Lidl, Intersport Elverys and even family friendly places like Supermacs.
· Avantcard Reward + credit card – this gives you 1.25% cashback on your grocery, petrol/diesel, restaurant and entertainment spend. On top of that their Avantages rewards program has regular deals and discounts on things like fuel, cinema and shopping.
Look for opportunities to bundle or stack your deals
If you look smartly enough, you’ll soon be able to find ways to combine offers across a couple of providers at the same time.
For example, here, I got a 40% off promotional code from my Avantcard Advantages programme for Snapfish. This gave me €49.10 off. On top of that, I got 10% cashback at Snapfish through my AIB Visa offers which meant an additional €7.86 discount.
And here, thanks to just one shop with SuperValu, I got €8 off my shop and also accumulated €1.25 worth of points to be used later:
1) 0.5% cashback on my AIB Visa credit card
2) 2 points (equivalent of 2%) per €1 spent because I avail of Supervalu’s double-points on Visa debit/ credit cards offers.
3) And I used some of their spend and save vouchers.
Share your digital services with a family member or friend
Finally, a lot of digital services allow multiple users under one paying member. Examples like this include Netflix and Now TV.