How to save money on your weekly groceries!

Bargain Boss

I recently wrote a blog on how to score free grocery items due to the Scanning Code of Practice. While there are some conditions, put simply, it means that if the item you are purchasing scans higher than the advertised or shelf price, the item is yours for free. Further information can be found here. Since writing that blog, I’ve had a lot of questions asking if any other ‘free grocery’ policies exist and if so, how they work. There are actually several ways to pick up free items, check them out below:

Fresh or free guarantee – This is a Woolworths specific guarantee, where they will refund AND replace any fresh food that you are not happy with. Woolworth’s definition of ‘fresh food’ as per their website is: ‘any unpackaged products from our Fresh departments and any packaged items marked with the Fresh or Free symbol. Some exclusions may apply.’ This offer applies to both in store and online purchases.

This is such an amazing policy – not only do you receive your money back for the item that you purchased, but you receive a brand-new fresh item at no cost. I have used this with fresh fruit, a couple bags of mixed chicken pieces, and even oysters! I opened the items, they weren’t completely fresh – and with chicken and oysters, I wasn’t going to take the risk! – so I took them back. Received a full refund, and a new product. Win-win!

100% satisfaction guarantee on their own brand items – this guarantee exists at Woolworths, Coles, and Aldi. The guarantee is called different things at each grocery chain, for example Coles refers to it as ‘Try it. Love it. Or your money back’, but essentially the idea is the same. If you are not 100% satisfied with their exclusive brand products, you can return it and receive your money back. This guarantee often allows me to try products that I normally wouldn’t. I have tried baby wipes, nappies, sauces, cheese and more without the fear of being out of pocket – on the rare occasion I didn’t like the item, I simply returned it. The majority of times though, I discovered a great item, saving myself a lot of money over purchasing the brand-named product.

It’s important to remember that being 100% satisfied involves actually trying the product. I’ve had people say to me that because they had used the item, they just threw it out, as they wouldn’t be entitled to a refund. I have had situations where I have returned just the packaging under this guarantee, as it wasn’t possible to return the product itself – an example of this was when I purchased Chicken Kiev balls, but only a quarter of them had filling inside, the rest were essentially just round chicken nuggets. It wasn’t possible to return the item as they had been cooked, and needed to be eaten to discover the issue with them. However, I was dissatisfied after spending nearly $8 for a box of them. I called the customer service line, and was told that just the packaging would suffice for a refund under this guarantee.

Coles’ free hot roast chicken promise – This one is a Coles specific promise, where you can obtain a voucher for a free hot roast chicken if there are none available in store between certain hours. There has been some questions over the free hot roast chicken promise – is it only available at certain stores? Does the promise still exist? Are Queensland stores included in this offer? Is this only valid between certain hours, and do those hours change at each store? I spoke with a customer care representative on the phone, and this is the information I received (please be aware that this info can change at any time):

I was advised that the promise is still in effect, nationwide – so Queensland stores are absolutely included. As for the different hours that this offer can be claimed, according to the customer service rep, they are as follows:

Victorian and most* NSW stores – between 9am – 8pm

Tasmania and NT – between 9am – 6pm

SA**, WA and Queensland stores – between 11am – close

* A few NSW stores are 9am – 6pm, with one specific store, Lake Macquarie, being 11am – close.

** One SA store, Broken Hill, is between 9am – 8pm.

Bag for Good ™ Replacement Policy – Another Woolworths specific policy, where they will replace any damaged Bag for Good ™ for free. Simply take the bag to a Customer Service desk in one of their supermarkets to receive a brand new one. No receipt or proof of purchase is needed, and it doesn’t matter how long you have had the bag. The conditions for the replacement policy are: it does not apply to any shopping bags other than the Bag for Good ™ bags sold by Woolworths supermarkets, including, but not limited to, chiller bags and any other reusable bags. The bags cannot be merely dirty, stained or messy, or worn or frayed due to normal wear and tear. This policy is specifically for damaged bags.

Free samples – Both Woolworths and Coles regularly offer free samples to people signed up to their loyalty programs, Everyday Rewards and Flybuys. These offers are either emailed out or in the loyalty programs apps. Once the offer has been activated, the free item can be picked up in store simply by scanning your Everyday Rewards and/or Flybuys card. Recent items which I have received via these programs are a whole leg of lamb (approximately $35), a jar of Robert Timms coffee ($8), tomato sauce ($3), and Masterfoods spices and seasonings (approx. $3.50 each).

Another way to score free samples is by joining Woolworths Bunch Club, a members-only group for Everyday Rewards members, which you can apply to be a part of at https://bunch.woolworths.com.au. Free samples are regularly added to the member’s Everyday Rewards card to be collected in store, in return for reviews on the items. I have received ice cream, sausages, apples, slow cooked beef ribs, a 3 litre bottle of olive oil, marinated chicken, and more. It often takes a while from applying to being accepted, but it is a very worthwhile program to be involved in.

If you would like more money saving tips, or have any ideas on blog subjects you would like to see in future, head over to @bargain.boss on Instagram and let me know! Happy shopping!

Disclaimer: The author is not a financial advisor and the information provided is general in nature and was prepared for information purposes only. This article should not be considered to constitute financial advice. Accordingly, reliance should not be placed on this article as the basis for making an investment, financial or other decision. This information does not take into account your investment objectives, particular needs or financial situation.

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