Friday, April 24, 2015

Getting the most out of Loyalty Points...


 
I got all this for nothing....and you can too!
 
I have some exciting things to share today.
 
I'm not a dedicated Coles shopper as some of you probably know. I skip between Coles, Woolies, Aldi, the local fruit market, and even the deli, depending upon where I am geographically that week, and what our requirements are.
 
When I shop at Coles and Woolworths though, I make sure I use my loyalty cards to accrue points. I have to say though, that I'm a bit vague about actually using the points. I don't plan spending them, or accrue points with a loyalty points purchase in mind. Nine times out of ten, I get to a stage where the newsletter arrives, and I blow them on gifts for friends and family, that I probably could have bought for less on sale or on eBay. Although I guess I'd have to use 'real money' then, wouldn't I ;-)
 
Nothing really wrong with that, but my choices are limited to what is on offer, and not what I might genuinely choose in any other buying situation. So really, I'm tailoring my points spending, according to what I'm being told to buy.
 
So, yesterday, Annabel and I were discussing on her blog, her idea of collecting the $5 voucher that Coles offers for giving them feedback on your shopping experience. You can claim one of these a month, when you spend over $100 in a single transaction, and they can be redeemed on any further spend of over $100. Although it doesn't sound much, that's $60 a year, so worth having.
She's often made the point, that by buying items that are discounted, you can actually double the value of that $5 spend. I'd read this before, even back when Annabel has made this comment here, but it never really gelled.
 
But yesterday, between her saying that, and the arrival of the latest Flybuys catalogue and statement, I had a light bulb moment. Bear with me, I am getting to the point...lol!
 
My statement had a big teaser on the front, that told me that I could convert my points to $169 worth of Flybuys dollars. Now remember, I'm not even really trying here. I shop there when it suits me, and not otherwise, so accruing those points hasn't been hard. I do fuel up at the Shell servo though, so I think that helps.
 
I also saw on Wendy the Super Savers blog, that the one litre Imperial Leather body was on special at Coles this week for $4.50. I checked the catalogue online, and discovered that several items we buy regularly were 1/2 price this week. Can you see where this is going?
 
The items were Finish dishwashing tablets 48 pack, 1 litre Sorbolene cream, Pantene shampoo and conditioner, Palmolive dishwashing liquid,1 litre Imperial Leather Body Wash, and for upcoming Parent Teacher interviews, boxes of Celebration chocolates.
 
Soooo...
 
I first converted my points to Flybuy dollars. These were loaded onto my card within 30 minutes, and I received a confirmation email.
 
I decided how many of each item I would buy, doing my best to use as many of the Flybuys dollars as possible, not because they expire (they don't), but to take advantage of the discounts on these items that I would be purchasing anyway at some stage. All items had to be things we already use, and non-perishable or useable in the near future.
 
I then went to my local Coles, and had my little buying spree. I had to ask for the Sorbolene as there was none on the shelf, and I had to visit a second Coles this morning to get two more of the 48 pack Finish tablets as most of the ones on special are only packs of 40 (different varieties). But ultimately I found everything I needed.
 
I kept waiting for someone to say ....no you can't do that with the 1/2 price specials, but it didn't happen. Not only that, but I collected more Flybuys points on the purchase, AND got another $5 off coupon to use another day. What the heck??? Crazy....I mean good crazy!
 
My dockets tell me I saved $176.21 on buying these items when we'd normally require them, and paying full price. I've also done my survey, and will get $5 off my next shop AND accrued further Flybuys points!
 
Sorry, I know that was long winded, and I probably could have said it more succinctly, but you see why I'm excited!
 
So the secret is to ONLY buy items that are being offered at 50% off. I was tempted by a few that were 25% or 30% off, but I wouldn't be getting maximum value for my points then, would I?
 
 Fortunately for me, I was able to do that all in one hit, and that's just luck of the draw. Next time, I might have to make the spend over several shopping expeditions, but that's okay because the Flybuys dollars do not expire.
 
I won't change my shopping habits just for this, but I have a new incentive to collect my loyalty points, that's for sure!
 
$352.42 value, without parting with a single solitary cent out of my own wallet.
 
Good, huh?
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22 comments:

  1. Excellent work! I've recent swapped my banking over to the ING Everyday account, so receive 2% cashback if I use PayWave for purchases under $100. We bought mark-down items on Wednesday night (better than takeaway) - paid $8.80 for what would normally cost $58.80, then received a further 18c back today!

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    1. Rebecca, all these things sound insignificant, but they're so easy to do, and really mount up over time. Love those bargains...seriously $8.80 for $58.80 value? Awesome! Mimi xxx

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  2. Oh Mimi this is fantastic! That is A LOT of free shopping!
    You know the movie My Fair Lady? And when they sing "by George I think shes got it!" well, that is the tune in my head when I have a light bulb moment, realization or when I read something as good as this! As a service to humanity I dont actually sing it lol
    That is a good days work! This is just thebest read and I hope it inspires everyone! xxx

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    1. Isn't it Annabel! I kept looking at the Terms and Conditions on the Flybuys website and thinking 'no this can't be right, it's just too good to be true'. I even rang them just to make sure I wasn't going to make a goose of myself at the checkout. But no problem...all fine. You just can't use Flybuys dollars on a home delivery purchase as they can't process the card. You also have to register on the Flybuys website, and choose a PIN for your Flybuys card to be able to redeem your 'dollars' at the checkout. I'm still shaking my head and wondering WHY it took me so long to work this out! I have to say you helped more than a bit. I'm glad you're as excited as I am. I thought you might be ;0) Mimi xxx

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  3. How good is that Mimi? No wonder you are smiling :)

    I have a flybuys card, but don't really know how to use it to my advantage lol, other than scan when I go through the checkout. You have my curiosity sparked now, I am going to see how much I have in value on my card.

    Thank you sincerely for the tip.

    xTania

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    1. Tania, I'm actually just chuffed to have found a useful way to redeem the blinkin' points too. You can only have so many throw rugs and kettles, after all. I'll be dying to hear how you go. Let me know? Mimi xxx

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  4. I've been redeeming for flybuy dollars for years and using for half price or markdown stock! Our store has lots of bakery or fruit and veg specials up to 90% off and it takes no time to accrue $10 from 2000 pts. I do the same with gift cards from Woolies. It is fun to see how far they go! I stocked up on croissants for 59c pkt one time and love getting super cheap aka free stuff! Aldi are not as competitive price wise now the big deal two are doing endless promotions. I still like Aldi for certain products though, but shop more at Coles and local shops now. Watch the bottom of your docket also for extra flybuy points. I think in terms of every 1000 is five dollars. Bonus points on Telstra credit etc sure add up quickly as well.

    You have done well with your free haul this week Mimi! It is exciting to make these discoveries.

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    1. Hi Kaye. Clearly you are far cleverer than I on this topic! It's a brilliant way to make the post of those loyalty points, isn't it. Your 90% beats mine hands down. I agree that Aldi aren't quite as competitive now, although it's still my preferred 'big shop' destination for ease of negotiation of the store and price overall. I've taken note of your advice on checking the bottom of the docket too, thanks. I also need to make better use of the vouchers that Coles send out to triple your points on purchases or get bonus points as I don't usually bother. I'm newly motivated now though! I guess for me, it's that ability to stock up on the non-perishable items that would usually be a bigger chunk out of the budget that is so appealing. Dishwasher tablets at full price for example are $28 although the discount stores often have them for around $20. But even then, that's a sizeable chunk out of anyones grocery spend, so this is an ideal way to stock up. Same goes for the body wash, Sorbolene and so on. I could always find a dollar or two for some croissants (if we weren't gluten intolerant...lol!), but finding $28 for dishwasher tablets is a little harder. You must fill me in on the Woolies rewards because I don't avail myself of those at all....I know....shameful. Thanks for popping over from Annabels blog. I always read and love your comments there. Mimi xxx

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  5. Mimi, the everyday reward deals usually come in their emails. Today I deleted one which was spend $100 and get a $15 voucher to spend in store in the following week. We used these types of deals when we went to Merimbula last year. I bought Telstra credit as part of it. I'd probably consider activating that offer if I wasn't in the middle of qualifying for the Coles offer. It was great when we were away as Woolies are the only supermarket there.

    We will all have to have a think about how to derive the best value out of these points won't we? That is the joy of sharing our strategies. ;-) I'm like you, only buy from those stores if they are great buys and useful. Do you get the offers from Big W? I activate everything and try to utilize the best deals for our family. I think there are other ways to maximize the points I haven't even thought of! I learn something new every day. ;-)

    Really enjoy following your blog Mimi. xoxo

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    1. Really? I don't think I've ever had an email from them. Must rectify that! Thankyou. I'll look into the Big W ones too. I've always been a little envious of our U.S. friends and their coupons, but maybe we're not so badly done by after all...lol! Thankyou so much for those tips Kaye. I really appreciate it. Mimi xxx

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  6. Hi Mimi, that is great that you were able to save and to get everything for free. I love saving money on items for the house. Have a nice weekend.
    Julie xo

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    1. Thankyou Julie. It's a good feeling to have a little something in reserve, isn't it. Mimi xxx

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  7. I'm not a big Coles shopper but with the little we spend on groceries, we still manage to get " free " money from Flybys. My husband Darren does the survey every month. There is no minimum spend to get the 500 points from the survey but you can only do it once a month. Darren gets excited when the Flybys letter comes in the mail with the coupons. He plots and schemes to get the most points possible without spending more than we usually do.
    I'm very good at spending the free money on half price bargains.

    I have the Woolworths points card but rarely spend enough to get much in the way of points. Coles and Flybys are more user friendly..

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    1. Hahaha Wendy....what a great husband! Spending someone elses money (without consequences!) always feels good ;-)

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  8. I'm totally blown away, Mimi!

    Congratulations!
    Kelley~

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    1. Thankyou Kelley. It feels good to have a win :)

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  9. I'm going to go watch some Extreme Couponers episodes on youtube! xxoo

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    1. Love that show Kelley. Also Extreme Cheapskates.

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    2. You know though, this wasn't 'extreme' in any way, shape or form. Just planned :)

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  10. A great informative post, Mimi. I do activate the offers from both Woolies and Coles when they come. I only recently discovered the discounts further down on the docket but keep forgetting to check them. I usually try to shop at Woolworths to get Frequent Flyer Points to use when flying to visit my grandchildren. Even though I don't have enough points to pay for the whole trip I can use the points I do have to get a little discount on the extremely expensive fare.

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  11. Dear Mimi, I forgot to mention how you could possibly redeem your flybuy dollars in the future when Target have their good sales on Manchester or clothing etc? I'm thinking the 50% off or more times or even end of season clearances? You can also use them for K-mart. You just nominate for each store the dollar value you want when you get into your flybuys account online and choose your rewards.

    We will all drive our flybuy dollars further, won't we? :)
    Kaye xo

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    1. Kaye that is sheer genius! I know that at Target, things get marked down to $3 and $4 at the end of the season. What good fortune it will be to use Flybuy dollars AND buy those heavily marked down items and get them for FREE. I wonder what sort of value I could put on the Flybuy dollars then. Thankyou! This idea just keeps growing and growing! Mimi xxx

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I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx