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I warn you my list is LONG!
Member Name: Jerbi
Date: 05/01/13, updated on 05/01/13 (65 review reads)
Advantages: A long list of how to save money and get things back from your products
Disadvantages: Some answers may be a little obvious
Over the years I've tried LOTS of things to try and save money or get things back from products that I've purchased so I thought I'd share below to hopefully help others do the same!
If you're a big lover of Coca Cola then you've probably noticed that they advertise CokeZone points. This is one of the ways you can get something back from the product that you have purchased if you take the time and effort to save the codes and visit the website.
Each specially marked pack will give you the following:
A single 330ml can will reward you with 1 point (usually found on the ringpull)
A 375ml bottle will also reward you with 1 point (found printed under the label on the bottle)
A 500ml bottle will reward you with 2 points (also found printed under the label on the bottle)
A 2litre bottle will reward you with 3 points (also found printed under the label on the bottle)
A 10/12 fridge pack of cans will reward you with 10 points (i think these are found inside the pack on a card)
The code can be entered online or via text to 88555 (however the latter option will most likely cost money) and your account will be rewarded with the points in correlation with the can/bottle size. The website also gives you the chance to get 2 bonus points with its poll.
Rewards on CokeZone
You can then go onto the websites rewards page and browse through the selection of products, experiences and competitions that you wish to spend your points on. These range from 2 points +.
I know this isn't a saving tip but it means that if you drink A LOT of coke as a few of my friends do, you'll atleast be getting something back from your purchase!
The Student Panel: http://www.opinionpanel.co.uk/community/student/
Whilst at University I signed up to The Student Panel to give try and gain a bit of pocket money in the form of an Amazon voucher however during that time a lot of the survey's had already been fulfilled to the quota that the panel needed so to get enough points you had to be fast! You manage to get £10 worth of Amazon credits just for signing up and can receive between £1-2 for each survey and can be redeemed at £25.
Springboard UK: https://www.springboarduk.com/PORTAL/default.aspx
More recently after finding out about Springboard on another money saving review on here I signed up straight away. Most survey's reward between 25p and £2.00, once you've reached £25.00 you can cash it in to your paypal account, receive a personal cheque or make a donation to a UK charitable organisation.
Brand match/ offer vouchers / savings coupons.
I manage to save quite a bit on things that I buy through making sure I save vouchers that are given to me at the till during a purchase. I shop at Sainsbury's as I have a colleague discount card (I work in Sainsbury's first Hospital pharmacy) so each week upon payment I receive a 'Brand Match' voucher telling me if I've saved money or saved money and along with that often receive extra bonus nectar points or money off coupons. These used to be accepted at Tesco but I think they run their own similar scheme now as do Asda.
In the hospital my pharmacy is in there's a WHSmith's next door and every week they have different coupons that they hand out, most recently for a free Graze box. These offers may seem like a good idea at the time but I often have to warn patients that sometimes you have to put your debit card number in which can mean they can charge you at a later date.
In Boots as well as gaining advantage card points you sometimes also receive vouchers at the till. Whenever I am given one for £5 off No.7 products I always treat myself to a pack of their face wipes that usually cost £7 for £2.
I'm a HUGE fan of complaining if something is wrong with a product or a service that I'm receiving. Here's a couple of examples:
I went last year (In August) with my friends to the branch in the Metro Centre for a meal before we saw a film. To cut a very long story short the waitress misheard mine and my friends order and we were brought the wrong meal 3 times before we decided to explain that we didn't want to wait. I went up to another member of staff and asked to speak to the manager and he directed me to the toilets. At the time we had our drinks taken off the bill and were given 20% off vouchers for our next visit (basically he handed them out a day before they were supposed to be given out with the bill). I got home and emailed the complaints department and only really got a response in December. When the manager of the branch called me up I explained how disappointed I was at the time but now also at the length of time it had taken to get a response. I was then told that I could just be offered a voucher but that would limit my friends and I to a certain amount we could spend. I was then offered a complimentary meal at the restaurant at any time I wished, all I had to do was ring and let them know I was coming. We're planning on going and ordering A LOT of food!!
As my review on here states I had a terrible time with Tesco Broadband. My problems finally got sorted out this week however and I was finally cut off from the company! I went through the complaints department however and explained to them how unhappy I was that I have had to spend more money calling them from my new provider. All I have to do is send them evidence of my bill and I will have the money reimbursed.
A couple of years ago I bought some Sainsbury's Chicken strips, whilst eating them I choked on a piece of plastic that had been in the middle of the strip. As gross as this is, I put it in an envelope and took it into the store along with my receipt and the packet which included the 'TRY promise'. I was laughed at at the time as I was a member of staff but they soon realised that I didn't find it funny. I was given a £20 voucher for my inconvenience!
Spare change kitty/ Save the change
I try to take out the money that I'm going to need for the week and only spend what's in my purse. Then on Sunday whatever's left I put it into 'the kitty'. After the month I see how much is in there, depending on the amount I either put it back into my account or treat myself to a little something.
I'm with Lloyds TSB and have signed up to the 'Save the Change'. The scheme runs every time you spend money on your debit card. Every time you spend Lloyds will round the money up to the nearest pound and transfer the amount to your savings account.
Sweet and Crisp competition codes
This is another way to get things back from the products that you're buying. Most chocolate bars and occasionally crisp packets have competitions on them to win a prize or to try and win some money back. Last year during Cadbury's 'Unwrap Gold' promotion I entered the codes from my chocolate bars religiously. I eventually won VIP tickets into Cadbury world in Hyde Park. Unfortunately I couldn't get time off work and would have had to pay for my own accommodation and travel. So I emailed the company back and complained (I told you I LOVE complaining) that I hadn't really won anything as I couldn't get the time off. I was then sent a Cadbury Hamper which included chocolate and two Cadbury Olympic 2012 mugs. It wasn't much but it saved me buying chocolate for a while and the mugs have saved me buying any for the house!
Getting down to a make up products "pan" and making sure you get more from your make up
I have ENDLESS amounts of toiletries however I seem to just keep buying them. So my goal over the next few months is to try and get to the end of all of them to save some more money.
I also find that my skin is best (after years of trying various foundations) when I use MAC studio fix foundation. However at £20.50 a pop it's not a cheap foundation to get through. My trick is when my foundation starts to look like it's running, place the pot into a mug and boil the kettle. Once the kettle has boiled pour a mug of water around the pot-I'm always cautious to let it get above the top of the bottle so leave myself a bit of space. I tend to be able to do this three or four times before I need another bottle and you get so much more from it.
Aluminium tins are recyclable as are most things but these can earn you cash! My Dad saves tins that he's drank from and gets them weighed in at the local scrap yard. He does take a fair few bags and gets about £20 back from them. The more you drink from a can the more you will get back. Scrap yards will take anything-last time I was there I saw someone weighing in old curtain rails!
Turn things off at the wall and DON'T leave things on standby!!!
I have become a little OCD since moving out of my parents. To save on electricity my friend and I have a rule that after we've used something we will turn it off at the wall. We were hugely worried about the bills but after six months of being in the house we have managed to rack up £293.89 (as of 5.1.2013) of credit as we've been using less than estimated! The only things left on in our house all day is the telephone and the fridge/freezer!
I am a huge fan of nectar points! You receive 2 points for every pound you spend and it is a GREAT way to save money at Christmas! My points are gained through getting petrol from BP and Sainsbury's alongside my weekly food shop.
You can however get points from a wide variety of places that you may not have expected all of which can be found on the website. My favourite thing is the Nectar app for my iPhone. It enables you to get bonus points when buying certain products and can instantly tell you how many points you have when you access the app. Don't forget to take your own bags shopping too as you get a point per bag!
At the supermarket it's VERY easy to be dragged into BOGOF offers but take that extra few minutes to make the calculations on how much you're really saving. I watched a programme last summer about how companies can be very misleading with their offers such as 2 for £2. I think the example was on bottles of coca cola that were 99p each. The obvious answer to the sum is 2 bottles would cost £1.98 so you'd end up spending an extra 2p! I always make sure that I look out for these and tell the checkout person to ensure I make a saving!
As obvious as it sounds-go shopping with a list and a budget! My housemate and I managed to get our weekly shop for roughly £13 last week as we planned our meals for the week and made sure each meal would have ingredients that could be used in most meals.
Finally if you find a product on the shelf that is still usable or can still be consumed but the packaging is damaged but the item is not reduced do not be scared to ask. The price on the shelf is there for a product that is in a good condition. Last year my partially sighted friend wanted to buy 2 packets of Cushelle toilet tissues however there were only two on the shelf and one had been ripped right down the front. All the toilet tissues were undamaged however just looked a little dirty. I took them to the customer service desk and asked for a reduction and got 75p off the original price.
It does seem A LOT easier to get everything you need when you go to the supermarket but the pound shops have AMAZING deals in them as do Wilkinsons and other stores. I manage to get most of my cleaning products for a pound and under from Wilkinsons and in the poundshop my favourite purchase is definately 3 tubes of Colgate toothpaste for £2!!
Summary: A few tips and hints on how to save and get things back!