Welcome back to Savvy Shopper, where this week we’re going to get actual cash back on our purchases and work out the least expensive way to get our groceries delivered.

Cash back – it’s free money!

Over at Savvy Shopper HQ, we’ve recently discovered cashback sites and, frankly, we can’t believe we’re so late to the party. ShopBack and Cash Rewards are the two that we’re excited about – and you should be too.

Here’s how it works: create accounts with ShopBack (you’ll get $25 just by using that link) and Cash Rewards (new sign-ups get $10) and add the Chrome extensions to your browser so you get notified when cash back is available while you’re shopping. After you’ve purchased, the sites will credit your account with a percentage of what you’ve spent. Once the funds have cleared – from one to 100 days depending on the merchant – you can withdraw it into your bank or PayPal account.

They offer similar percentages of cash back – as well as limited time boost rewards for certain sites – but Cash Rewards also offers the option to link your credit card to claim in-store purchases. Get the extensions for both so you can compare as you shop.

Obviously, cash back on stuff you don’t need isn’t a saving, but if you were going to buy it anyway, every little bit helps.

For example, my sneakers and five-year-old iPhone both died last week. I got 17% back on the sneakers ($11.81) and 1.5% back on the new phone ($14.98). We also got $30 cash back on a Marley Spoon delivery, $10 off an Uber Eats delivery, and $11.91 off dog food. Each one by itself isn’t much, but it’s slowly accruing in my account.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, each week, the average household spends (among other things) $214 on food, $191 on recreation and culture, $117 on other goods and services, $103 on furnishings and household equipment, $66 on clothing and footwear and $47 on alcohol – that’s about $738 a week on things we can readily purchase online. Even if you were only getting 1.5% cash back (about the lowest), that’s $575.64 extra in your pocket a year. Hold out for bonus cash back rates and you could save even more.


Grocery deliveries

Speaking of groceries, the Financial Review reports that the cost of our essential groceries has dramatically increased in the last few months – in some instances, the price of fresh produce has almost doubled – due to labour scarcity, heavy rainfall and pandemic uncertainty.

With more of us choosing to swerve the crowds and pay to get our weekly shop delivered, that’s a double whammy to the cost of our weekly shop. So which of the two major players gives you the best bang for your delivery buck?

(Note: Pricing is fairly consistent across Coles and Woolworths, but they both sometimes charge slightly more for products when shopping online, even before you factor in the cost of delivery. It’s annoying, but that’s a cost of convenience.)

If you spend more than $100, you can get your first delivery free from both stores, so save yourself up to $17 (from Woolworths) and up to $11 (from Coles) by trying them both out.

After that, they both offer free delivery if you spend more than a set amount: $300 for Woolies and $250 for Coles. If that’s more than you need, the cheapest option is Coles, which is $2 for delivery within a six-hour window on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday (min. spend $50). For the same $50 order, you’d be spending $17 at Woolies. If you get a $50 to $100 grocery order every week, it would be $780 less a year to order through Coles. Add your 1.5% cashback and Coles comes out looking pretty good.

Happy shopping!

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