Step by step guide to saving 5% on groceries, petrol and alcohol

Published on February 5, 2017 10:19 am, by

Most of us would consider them essentials – groceries, petrol and alcohol – and we spend a lot on them. In fact, the average person spends about 10% of their monthly budget on these items. Luckily there is an easy way to get a guaranteed 5% off our grocery, petrol and alcohol bills and it’s as easy as using the gift cards from major retailers.

In this article, we describe how to save 5% on any spend at Woolworths-owned stores – that includes Woolworths, Big W, Caltex Woolworths Petrol, Dan Murphys, BWS, Cellar Masters and Thomas Dux. If you shop at Coles group stores there is a way to save 5% there as well which we will cover in another article. Stay tuned for that one shortly.

The trick is to use the membership benefits programs of any of the following organisations:

  • NRMA (NSW residents)
  • RACQ (QLD residents)
  • RACV (VIC residents)
  • RAA (SA residents)
  • RAC (WA residents)
  • AA NT (NT residents)
  • RACT (TAS residents)
  • AGL

to purchase Woolworths gift cards – Woolworths call them WISH cards – at a 5% discount to their face value. That means you can buy a card worth say $100 for $95 and get $100 worth of groceries, petrol or alcohol for $95. You can also use the Entertainment Book to purchase WISH cards at a 5% discount.

If you are sceptical about doing this (I was!) – it’s actually easier and more convenient than you probably think.

How do you do it?

1. Go to the website of the organisation you belong to and log in. Here are the links:

2. From there you will have to navigate around to find where you can purchase the WISH cards – every site is different – but you should be able to find it fairly easily.

3. Purchase your WISH cards by completing the appropriate online form. Generally, you will be able to purchase either a “Classic Gift Card” (which is a plastic card that will be posted to you) or an “eGift card” (which is an electronic card that will be emailed to you). We think the eGift card is the most convenient option and would generally recommend you use that option. Having a gift card posted to you may also incur a charge which defeats the purpose really!

4. After you purchase the card you will receive an email confirmation of the purchase from Woolworths. Your gift cards will then be delivered (by email if you chose eGift cards) and by post, if you chose Classic Gift Cards.

5. When you receive your card you simply take it shopping with you if it’s a plastic Classic Gift Card or print it, write down the number or enter the details into your phone if you chose the electronic eGift card.

6. For maximum convenience and if you are going to make regular use of eGift cards you should probably download the Woolworths Money App and load your cards onto the app. You can download the app from the app store (Apple phones) or the play store (Android phones).

7. Once the app is installed you can add the eGift card details to the app. The app will track your card balances and store the card numbers and PINs.

How do I use the card?

Using the cards is quite easy. When you are in store at a checkout you simply enter the card number and PIN instead of paying with cash or a credit card. If you are shopping online you simply enter the card number and PIN instead of your credit card details.

Remember there are two different card numbers – one for use at the checkout and one for use online. Slightly inconvenient but manageable.

Things to be careful about

There some things to keep in mind:

1. The cards expire after 12 months. We think this is quite unfair of Woolworths, but that is what happens. So don’t buy more cards than you can reasonably use in 12 months or you will find yourself splurging on things you don’t need immediately before the card expires.

2. Woolworths will not replace lost or stolen cards – so treat them like cash. Use the app to store the card details to reduce the chance of losing them and always keep the original email confirming your purchase.

3. Don’t buy cards too far in advance of when you will use them – otherwise, you lose any opportunity to earn interest on the money you use to buy the cards and Woolworths earn it instead. The best approach is to simply buy the cards as you need them each week or each month.

Related articles –
Groceries: how low can you go?
The top 10 ways we saved in 2016
10 tips to being MoneyBrilliant

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Peter is the CEO of MoneyBrilliant. He has over 20 years experience in banking, insurance and accounting. Peter has three sons, ranging in age from 16 to 3, is a sport and fitness fanatic and a volunteer firefighter. He is passionate about improving people's lives through making financial services more accessible.

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