Almost a free lunch

I love getting something for nothing. If you haven’t already, you should sign up to both the Coles Flybuys and Woolworths Everyday Rewards loyalty programs. First reason: if you shop there anyway, you’ll get something for nothing. Second reason: if you shop at both, it encourages the supermarkets to increase their incentives to shop with them (i.e. the discounts they will offer to you).

The basic level rewards are nothing to write home about and there will be another post to explain the differences and which is better. I am just here today to say SIGN UP!

At a basic level, Coles will give you 1 flybuys point per $ you spend in store. You can also earn points at Coles Express fuel stations and a bunch of other places including Target, AGL, Kmart, Webjet and Liquorland. Woolworths will give you 1 Qantas point for every $ you spend over $30 and the only other places you collect Everyday Rewards points on your shopping are Big W (again only above $30), BWS and Cellarmasters. I’m not going to get into the value of a Qantas point vs a Flybuys point just now, but I think the minimum spend is a bit tight of Woolworths!

If you spent $6,000 in one year at Coles, you might get 6,000 Flybuys points, which would buy you $30 worth of Flybuys dollars (similar to having a gift card). That doesn’t sound all that impressive. The real rewards lie in weekly deals like money off vouchers and bonus points on certain products or if you spend a certain amount. For example, Flybuys recently sent me a bunch of vouchers for $8 when I spent $100. Well, that sounds like a good deal to me because I can do a big shop one week for staples (on special of course) and then balance that with a cheaper shop the following week when there’s no incentive to spend more (but probably bonus points on certain products). Another week I got a bonus 1,000 points when I spent $100 and this week I got 500 points for spending $80. So in three weeks I received bonuses and discounts to the value of $8 + $5 (1,000 points) + $2.50 (500 points) = $15.50. If you play it right you’ll get bonuses most weeks, so if you plan your spend carefully you could get hundreds of dollars of savings a year, just for flashing a card at the checkout you were going to stand at anyway. And this is before you add on any points you got using a rewards credit card. I told you I was a supermarket geek.

The picture on this post is my receipt after a particularly good week. $100 of savings came from a one off flybuys incentive (spend $90 a week for 4 weeks and get $100 off your next shop) and $56 of savings came from shopping the specials. I went home with $156 worth of groceries for $4.20!

The exact incentives that are offered vary between members, probably based on the average socio economic background of your home suburb and shopping patterns. Of course you’re not going to change your suburb to save a few bucks on your shopping but I have a theory that if a supermarket analyses that a family isn’t doing every weekly shop with them, or is excluding certain products like fruit and veg from their shop, then they will offer the greatest incentives to that family. If a second family shows unwavering loyalty by regularly spending $150 or 200 a week across all product categories, there isn’t anything to be gained by the supermarket by offering vouchers to that family. It’s just a theory at this stage but I do shop irregularly at Coles and I do seem to get better Flybuys offers than a friend that spends a solid $250, week in, week out. Woolworths don’t seem to offer me much incentive at all so I need to work on that…

Happy grocery hacking (and sign up now)!


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