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Published August 17th 2011
DON'T LIKE PAYING FULL PRICE, LOVE A SPECIAL BARGAIN? Insider tips & secrets for discount vouchers - cafes, shopping, weekends away. Buy one get one free, completely free no strings attached, invitations to sales, don't we all love a bargain. You just need to know where to look, Never pay full price again.
In other countries coupon clipping has been perfected to a fine art by some. In Australia we don't have quite the widely used 'voucher' resources YET, but we are certainly getting there.
You may have noticed those discount coupons that appear on the back of your shopper dockets (the ones that print out with your receipt at a supermarket). They are a terrific start, often you will have a buy one get one free deal from the pancake parlour, san churro chocolate cafes, theobromas chocolate lounge along with many pubs, cafes and restaurants.
There's deals on saving money on buying tyres for your car, weekends away and nights out. All handy, but you end up with heaps you don't want or perhaps there are 4 of you wanting to go to the pancake parlour.
What do you do: Keep buying things at the supermarket, harass shoppers for their receipts, scrounge in the rubbish bins? Well yes, all of those would work, but it may take up more time than it's worth.
Another idea is to jump on to your computer and visit the docket websites directly. You can enter your details or where you are or where you are going and select the type of offer you are after.
Print out as many vouchers as you like and off you go for a free coffee. Take care, each voucher can only be printed and used once as they have unique barcodes, but if you refresh the page and select the docket again it will give you a new code which you can print out and take 2 vouchers with you.
Some places will only allow a certain number of vouchers, last time I used one at the pancake parlour it said max of 4 vouchers per table. Still fine by me!
If you love the pancake parlour, they also sell colouring in calendars at the end of each year for just a couple of $'s as well as being used as a calendar, colouring book, the kids can tear off one free meal item each month. These are usually included in our kids christmas gifts each year. Then when I'm pooped at a shopping centre, we pop in, they both have a free pancake and soft drink, I buy a cup of tea and we're all happy for around $3.50 pancakeparlour
DISCOUNT VOUCHERS: A couple of places for you to begin your online voucher search
This is the site I use most often for local cafes and restaurants.
They will often have a buy one get one free hot chocolate or drink offer which is great to have in your purse for the local shopping centre.
Another site (which I find a bit harder to find my way around) is: ilovecoupons
If networking, chatting with others and sharing information on great deals is more your thing, you may like ozbargains-hotdockets
It's basically a forum where people will share their discount bargains with you. Not so much vouchers, but certainly some chats on some great deals. From mobile phones to household items. I have just taken a look and today theres a bit of a buzz on Free Microsoft Press eBooks - Now Available as EPUB and MOBI. Anything you are looking for, someone will post here.
If printing out vouchers and searching for local deals aren't your thing and you'd like someone to deal you each day about special offers, there are a number of sites that will do just this.
You enter your details and email address and each day they will send you a special offer. The way it works is the company making the offer, discounts their prices as a promotion, they are hoping to receive their payment either by way of bulk sales or through you loving their services so much that once you have tried them you may remain loyal.
Generally there's a price offered, you jump on and agree to pay this amount, once a certain number of people have agreed to buy, the deal becomes 'live' and then there is a maximum of purchases available after this time for a specified time period. You generally have 6-12 months to redeem the offer. I purchased a chocolate high tea with Mamor chocolates for 5 friends for around $50 total, a sea plane ride over geelong for 5 people for $69 total and just this week bought my husband and I a 3 hour pampering massage, pedicure, facial and reflexology session for $79 total.
Some companies offering these deals include: stardeals livingsocial cudo ourdeal whypayfullprice deals jumponit spreets
(today spreets are offering Five Nights for TWO in Whitsundays Breakfast, Cocktails, Activities & MORE just $499! Valued at $1,330!)
I have also seen deals including: harbour cruises for 2 including buffet lunch for $27, magazine subscriptions for half price, convert your favourite images to wall canvases for $29 & many more.
Remember organisations that you may already be a member of often offer discounts.
If you belong to the RACV (or the names they go by in other states) by showing your card, there are a number of discounts in varying places.
Most places now have loyalty cards.
I have purchased a small little wallet that I keep all mine in and just flash through them at each location, you'll usually get a free coffee or meal once you have purchased a few with them. Often these are places you would be frequenting anyway, so definitely worthwhile asking if they have a loyalty card.
We have just been given a red energy card (I think from our electricity company) it came with a book of discount vouchers and ideas for reduced prices, definitely worth a look.
On the back of the card it says redenergy.frequent-values.com.au
It seems to be linked in with the entertainment book that offers many discounts and vouchers.
COUPONS IN TOURIST BOOKS
Another idea - if you find yourself at the airport or in a tourist destination is to pick up a "What's on in Melbourne" book, it has several vouchers in the back you can tear out and use (I've even seen some entrepreneurs selling these vouchers on ebay)
If you find yourself in the position of having to care for another (child with a disability or adult, including aspergers, mental disabilities, or physical disability). You may be eligible for a carers card.
The Carer Card is a recognition of the value of carers to society. It will provide many discounts and benefits from businesses, local government and community organisations as well as free travel on public transport (Sundays) plus two return off-peak travel vouchers each year.
Going to the movies, a carers card will entitle you to entry for $1 carercard
On a similar topic to above, if you or someone someone around you have a diagnosed disability, they may well be eligible for a companions card. This will entitle free entry for the person who accompanies them. Whether it is public transport, theatre, movies, exhibitions, it assisty the right of people with a disability, who require a companion, to fair ticketing at Victorian events and venues. companioncard
MONEY SAVING WEBSITES
If you love reading about ways to save money this website may be just the ticket for you easywaystosavemoney
Would you like some tips emailed regularly to you as to ways to save money simplesavings
I love this website, I have picked up some really great tips here and if you wish to access them all you can have a paid subscription, or simply use their free emailed tips.
FREE - NO CATCHES
If you prefer to get your items completely free, well that's another review, which I will write up soon.
SAVINGS FOR THE IT SAVVY
Do you love to be up with all the internet savvy savings, OK, I have 1 last shopper tip for you: Redlaser
Search for it through the app store on your i phone or smart phone.
Download it to your phone, scan the barcode of any item and it will tell you if any of the stores surrounding you or online are offering the same product more cheaply.
It will change the way you shop.
Enjoy your discounts, let me know what treasures you find by adding a comment here. We'd love to hear your savings experiences. Perhaps take me out for a coffee with you (hey, the 2nd one will be free anyway)
Great article Lesley, especially the Redlaser app you mentioned. Just wish I had read your article earlier; it could have saved me so much time and running around in the hunt for the best prices on Christmas gifts. Will be logging in to find the app for future present buying expeditions. Thanx.
By Tabatha - senior reviewer Wednesday, 21st of December @ 06:27 am
This is quite comprehensive and it gives shoppers a full idea on how to go about saving money through vouchers in any country they may be. In Australia, there are also deal aggregators - it is like a daily deal site but it compiles a couple of deal sites in one website. For example, vouchersin.com.au. Some other countries have deal aggregators too, you might want to add this part to your article. :D
By Anonymous Wednesday, 1st of August @ 06:07 am
I'm a sucker for Groupon! I buy restaurant vouchers almost every week haha.
By Mallory - senior reviewer Friday, 8th of August @ 02:45 pm