Alright, we all know I’m not into hyper-frugality. My approach to finance is all about optimising what you earn and what you spend, to be able to have as much of exactly what you want as possible. I won’t ever suggest sacking off your favourite restaurant in favour of a dicey Groupon, but I might use an app to get a free coffee if I’m not fussed about where I get my caffeine hit that day. You get the picture.
This blog is going to be a regularly updated list of all the apps, hacks and tricks I use to save a few bucks here and there. None of these are sacrifices or frugal replacements for things I’d rather have. They’re just things that very naturally fit into my usual consumption, and save me some cash along the way.
Also side note: this blog is not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the mentioned apps or companies.
Our home internet is with Optus, so we have access to Optus Perks. I use this to get discounted Hoyts movie tickets, and occasionally they have special access or discounted prices for sports events or concerts. I think the movie prices depend on the cinema you’re at, but we get to go to the brand new one near our place, and tickets are usually about $12 instead of $20. It’s a decent saving!
Updated: The new home for HOYTS discounted tickets is through My Optus app.
America’s favourite food delivery service has come to Melbourne, and you can get $15 off your first order at the moment. I also think their restaurants are more exciting, and the delivery fees are much less than other providers.
I have the Shopback extension installed on my Google Chrome, meaning anytime I’m shopping somewhere that offers cashback, it automatically prompts me. I also stay well in the loop with Shopback’s emails, as they’ll let you know when stores are offering upsized cashback. I recently stashed $25 back from an Asos order, $40 back from a Lululemon order, and about $100 in cashback from hotel bookings in America. It all adds up! Sign up here for a $5 bonus.
Our work team has recently gotten into the habit of Friday drinks…and occasionally Wednesday, Tuesday or Thursday drinks. We work in a fairly buzzing part of the city but instead of throwing away cash on expensive pseudo-deals at happy hour ($7 wine isn’t THAT GOOD, people), we order our own with Tipple – or occasionally get a slab online if we’re stocking up. It’s delivered in 30 minutes which is ace for when you’re running out and you’re not ready to call it a night just yet! Get $10 off your first order here.
I collect Velocity points by connecting some of their partner services to my account (eg. Sendle, Ola Cabs, and BP fuel, Expedia, etc). Virgin Australia’s handy Points + Pay function means you’ll be able to use your points for a flight or upgrade sooner than you think. I’ve upgraded my work flight to business class next week, and flew Melbourne to Brisbane return in biz class completely free in August.
I love using Ola cabs as an alternative to Uber. They usually have some kind of discount on, like 30% off fares or flat rate $25 to and from the airport. Use code AFCP9AU for $20 off your first ride!
ANZ Credit Card
I have all my direct debits paid from my credit card, and pay for big things on it too so I can collect more points. My card accrues ANZ Rewards points, which I can either spend in their reward store, or convert to Velocity points to boost my balance even more. If you’re going to convert points to a partner system, wait for bonus points promotions. In May, Velocity usually run a 50% bonus promo. With my credit card, I also get free travel insurance, a free return flight with Virgin Australia every year, and two lounge passes.
This might sound simple, but as a regular flyer I always compare flight prices on SkyScanner, and then do a separate search on STA Travel (as they’re not listed on Skyscanner’s comparisons). I’ve got flights so cheap by monitoring prices here and signing up for price alerts!
Airtasker is amazing for getting things delivered or picked up, drivers, and odd jobs you need doing. If you haven’t used it before, you can get $25 off your first task booking over $50 with this link! I recently posted on Instagram about the winery tour we did with an Airtasker driver! It was less than half the cost of an official winery tour, and tons better! We got collected from home (3 different addresses), taken to as many wineries as we wanted all day, given snacks and water on board, and dropped home when we were done – for $360 all up, which we booked with 2 days notice.
Skip is an app that lets you skip the line at your favourite coffee shops, by ordering ahead on the app. They often have 2-for-1 promotions of percentages off, and loads of my favourite coffee shops are on there.
Liven usually has a decent sign up offer (like a free burrito at Mad Mex or a free burger at 8Bit), and after that, you get cashback when you pay using the app. I usually get a few bucks off my MadMex order from paying with the app every time. Use code UQWM9M for their current sign up offer of $10 credit. That’s basically a free lunch!
Op Shop Loyalty Cards
The Uniqlo app gives you a $5 voucher every time you make a purchase, and sometimes have bonus offers too.
7-Eleven Fuel App
The 7-Eleven fuel app can be used to lock in fuel prices, but it’s also got tons of freebies on it! I check the app every time I’m passing one in case there’s something up for grabs, and often there is. Whether it’s a free coffee, free banana bread or a freebie of the new flavour or kombucha, it’s literally free stuff waiting for you!
I mention this on Instagram ALL the time, but if you’re with Rest Super, you can download the app and join the AIA Vitality program and get rewarded for hitting your step goal each week. For every week you achieve your goal, you get a $5 voucher from Woolworths, Hoyts, Boost or iTunes. The more you move, the higher your status, and once you reach Silver you go into the draw to win a share of prize pools each month. You can also get discounted gym memberships from Fitness First, Virgin Active or Anytime Fitness.
When booking hotels, I find Trivago the best for comparing prices from all the different third parties.
Alright alright, but hear me out. Sometimes the world just gets the better of ya and you need a nug stop, or a frozen Coke, or a coffee, or a chocolate sundae (or if you’re me that’s just an average Friday night). The MyMacca’s app stores your loyalty points when buying McCafé coffees if that’s your thing, and has some tasty deals in the offers section. Sometimes it’s literally a free frozen Fanta on a stonking hot day – winner!
I will continually update this blog as I discover (aka remember) more nifty hacks to share!