No coupons thanks, we’re Australian

docket-deals-at-colesI’ve read money saving and debt payoff blogs and forums and often heard the complaint that ¬†Australia doesn’t have coupons.

But really, bonus points are just the same as coupons, it’s just that you get the money off later, once you’ve pooled the minimum amount needed to collect a gift card. In the Coles (Flybuys) program that amount is $10, or 2,000 points. At Woolworths, it’s $5.

But how do you get the bonus points? Supermarkets provide coupons for use against your next shop on the bottom of your till receipt – they call them docket deals. Last week on my Coles receipt there was 100 points if you buy a Colgate toothbrush* or you might find something like 500 bonus points when you spend $10 on cheese **. They also send out paper vouchers in the post every quarter and electronic offers via email, which you need to activate. There is nothing to stop you using multiple vouchers during one shop. From what I’ve seen, Coles appears to offer more bonus points opportunities than Woolworths, but I am still getting to grips with the Woolies Everyday Rewards program.

To be fair, the kind of extreme couponing you see in the US where people walk out with $500 worth of toilet roll and cat food for 50c couldn’t happen here but there are reasonable savings to be had. To calculate the $ saving equivalent from the points, you halve the points and then divide by 100 (put a decimal point in front of the last two numbers).

For a bonus of 500 points, divide by 2 = 250, then divide by 100 = $2.50

For a bonus of 1,000 points, divide by 2 = 500, then divide by 100 = $5.00

If you are given a 1,000 points voucher and then do a qualifying shop (usually $100) at Coles but don’t use your voucher you’ve thrown away 5 bucks. Make sure you claim it!

The product specific bonuses are just like regular money off vouchers in another way – they only bring you a saving if you usually buy that product! But if you work it correctly, you’ve basically got the bonus points at no extra cost to your normal shop. If you also buy at sale prices or find clearance items, it’s a double win.

Happy grocery hacking!

J

*uh, no thanks, Coles brand is about a quarter of the price!

** mmm, cheeese.

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