MY MONEY

The Australian women joining the cashback revolution

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Bargain hunter joins the revolution

Rachel Leech (pictured) signed up to cashback website ShopBack around four months ago when the platform first launched in Australia.

"Since I already do a lot of online shopping, my thinking was 'Why not?' I'd be stupid not to, really.'?"

Since June she's primarily used the app to purchase clothing and accessories through online fashion retailer The Iconic (at a promo rate of 20% cashback) and for Deliveroo takeaways (5% cashback, plus free delivery), seeing around $120 paid back into her bank account.

cashback website

Rachel, 24, says the experience has revolutionised the way she shops.

"Previously, I'd waste a fair bit of time on bargain hunting, going to all these separate sites, typing in individual brands. Now I've got everything in one spot, the experience is closer to an online shopping mall. I just click on what I want and it takes me right there."

She's yet to experience any real downsides to the process, other than occasionally forgetting to shop through the cashback website and missing out on potential cash.

"I've told almost everybody I've come into contact with to try [cashback sites].

"If you are someone who lives to online-shop, it's definitely worthwhile signing up and checking if a product you want has cashback available.

"Because, if you did buy that elsewhere, you're pretty much losing out on money that you could easily have gotten back."

Fiscal Mum shares her saving tips

As a working mother of two, Rebecca Maher - aka The Fiscal Mum - is no stranger to nifty ways to save when shopping online.

Here are her top five tips:

Subscribe

"Signing up for mailing lists for your favourite online stores directly can see you entitled to 'subscriber-only' pre-sales ahead of, or on top of, bigger sales like EOFY or Black Friday [November 23]. Many will often throw in a 10% discount for your first purchase too," says Maher.

Supermarket apps

An increasing number of us are doing the weekly shop on our phones and tablets and having it delivered.

"The financial benefits of supermarket apps are quite simple: not only can you stick to a budget, but you can search for special offers, filter products by value and unit price, and also compare deals across all other supermarkets."

Price alerts

"People often associate getting a good deal with doing a lot of work but price alerts can do the work for you," says Maher.

These can be especially handy when looking at bigger-ticket purchases like overseas flights, she adds.

"Setting alerts at airline or comparison airfare sites, such as Skyscanner, is easy. Simply select your flight route, set an alert price and you'll get a notification the minute that price drops down. Plus they're free to use and can be cancelled at?any time."

Coupon code websites

You needn't hang on to your old receipts or cut vouchers out of the paper, says Maher.

"Browse for discount coupon codes at sites such as Finder, and take them directly to the retailer's website," she says.

"For example, Finder just listed 35% off a Dyson cord-free handstick vacuum through David Jones. At $349 [RRP] that was a saving of $122.15. What mum wouldn't want that deal?"

Browser extensions

Seeming to combine price alerts and coupon code sites, money-saving desktop browser extensions such as Honey or Coupons can alert you to any potential deals while you're shopping online.

These are available for certain cashback websites too like Cashrewards, says Maher.

"As you shop around, the browser extension will flash up in the bottom right corner, telling you what percentage cashback is available. All you have to do is hit 'Activate now' and any purchases made will be linked to your cashback reward account details instantly."

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Richard Scott is an English freelance writer based in Queensland. A former sports reporter for The Times in London, he has written for Australian Geographic, Australian FourFourTwo, Virgin Australia Voyeur, The Courier Mail, Junkee, AWOL, FHM and Cleo in Australia.
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