How to easily save 5% on your groceries

Groceries are one of the largest costs in most people’s budget, costing around 17 percent of average household spending. Did you know you could easily and legitimately save five percent on your groceries without changing your shopping habits? That would be over $500 per year for the average family. Both of the two large supermarket chains in Australia provide means to purchase their gift cards at a five percent discount to the card value. In this article I share two ways to get those discounted cards.

Supermarket shopper with trolleyGroceries are one of the largest costs in most people’s budget, costing around 17 percent of average household spending. (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics Household Expenditure Survey.)

In my experience with clients, families easily spend above $200 per week on groceries –that’s over $10,000 per year.

Did you know you could easily and legitimately save five percent on your groceries without changing your shopping habits? That would be over $500 per year for the average family.

Both of the two large supermarket chains in Australia provide means to purchase their gift cards at a five percent discount to the card value.

At Coles

Across Australia you can purchase a copy of the Entertainment Book that contains hundreds of discount vouchers. In addition to the vouchers you can purchase Coles gift cards through the Entertainment Publications website at a five percent discount.

The way I do it is to buy a quantity of gift cards worth the equivalent of about one months groceries. Since I pay on my credit card which also has a monthly cycle there is no impact on my cash flow from pre-purchasing the cards. Then at the checkout I pay for my groceries using the cards.

In Western Australia the Entertainment Book costs just $65. Given that you can save hundreds of dollars per year on groceries with the discount it is a no brainer to buy a book.

If you want to get a copy of the Entertainment Book investigate your local charity, school P&C, sporting club or work social club as many of them distribute the books as a fundraising activity.

At Woolworths, Big W and Caltex

As a member benefit the RAC of WA provide the ability to purchase Woolworths Essentials gift cards at a five percent discount.

[Updated Nov 2011] You can easily purchase the gift cards in the RAC Online shop. Just login using your member number. RAC post the cards to you for free! The potential for lost mail may concern some but when I asked the RAC about their process in this circumstance I was very reassured. For added security you could use a post office box (like I do) or ensure you have a padlock on your mailbox (which is essential anyway in protecting against ID theft.)

Currently you have to visit a member centre to buy the gift cards and there is a maximum limit of $500 per member per day. Whilst it is not as convenient the savings make it worth the extra effort.

The Woolworths Essentials gift cards can be used at Woolworths supermarkets, Big W and co-branded Caltex Woolworths petrol stations. You could therefore save hundreds of dollars per year especially if you are the regular chauffeur to hungry, growing teenagers.

If you live in Western Australia, regularly shop at any of those three outlets, own a car and yet are not a member of the RAC then join up. At just $87 per year for standard roadside assistance it is a no brainer. You will end up in front.

Know any other sources?

I have heard on the grapevine there are other ways to legitimately purchase Coles and Woolworths gift cards at a discount. If you know of any other way please share your secret in the comments below. (You can be anonymous if you need to.)

Save your Easter eggs for success

In a study conducted at Stanford University children were left in a room, each with a marshmallow, and given a choice of eating it then or fifteen minutes later, when they were promised a marshmallow as an extra reward for waiting.

Imagine you are your five year old self – what would you do in that situation?

Two thirds of the children ate the marshmallow – some immediately, some after many minutes had passed.

The study is clearly an examination of the children’s ability to delay their gratification, which is a key trait in creating wealth.

The significance of the study was shown when the progress of the children was analysed over a decade later. The one third of the children who had held out the fifteen minutes to get their reward were assessed to have become more successful adults.

The study and its implications for success are discussed in the book “Don’t eat the marshmallow … yet!” by Joachim de Posada.

Watch Joachim de Posada briefly discussing the study in this video (6 mins). It’s worth it for the hilarity of watching the children resist eating the marshmallow. (It could be an entrant in “Funniest Home Videos”)

So, Easter Sunday may be the only day it is ok to eat chocolate for breakfast but do you have any eggs left today, just three days later?

To increase your ability to create and keep wealth start by saving some of your Easter eggs.

What do you think of the study and its thoughts on delayed gratification? Share your reactions inc the comments below.

Latest Research: You Save More by Paying For Financial Advice

Want to save more money? Then pay for financial advice. That is the one of the findings revealed in this latest research by KPMG/IFSA. Clients of financial planners on average save over $2,400 per year more.

To some people it is a statement of the bleeding obvious to say that getting financial advice is an investment not a cost; you make more than you pay.

However, I know from talking to people after my seminars that when they are struggling to save money they also mentally struggle to pay for support in creating better behaviours.

What we professionals and our clients have know for decades has today been confirmed by research – clients of financial planners save and invest more for their future lifestyle.

On average clients “save an additional $2,457 each year, compared to a similar individual who does not have a financial planner.”

Source: KPMG Econtech research for IFSA (Investment and Financial Services Association).

Personally, I charge less than that amount for my Cash Flow Coaching program, which is just like having a personal trainer for your saving. Clients typically get control of where their money goes, accelerate their debt repayment and start saving for important lifestyle goals.

When you consider how much interest you save on your credit card and other debts then cash flow coaching delivers a very immediate return on investment by boosting your savings.

So if you are a little financially unfit enlist in a boot camp for your saving. Call or e-mail me now to join my cash flow coaching program.