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Discount divas big week on a song

CHOICE says hunting for bargains can save hundreds on your household budget

4 July 2014

A CHOICE journalist has saved an impressive $1143.65 on entertainment, household bills, wine, clothing, beauty and everyday bills in one week by using vouchers, finding discounts and buying items on sale.

“We sent our discount diva Zoya Sheftalovich on a seven day shopping spree, with the goal of living a champagne lifestyle on a cheap sparkling budget,” says CHOICE head of media Tom Godfrey.

“Zoya managed to get a free haircut, colour and blowdry, free makeover, half price theatre tickets, and more. Best of all, anyone can do it and you don’t have to sign up to a ‘loyalty’ or ‘reward’ program.

“Zoya saved hundreds of dollars on groceries, banking, clothing, dining out and entertainment by finding online deals, last-minute tickets and coupons from group-buying sites.”

Our discount diva shopped at The Iconic, Coles, Woolworths, VinoMofo, StrawberryNet, Gumtree, Lasttix and Groupon.

“Whether it’s clothing, groceries, credit card fees, beauty, massages, wine, dinner or the movies, there’s no need to pay full price,” says Mr Godfrey.

“While you often feel like there is very little you can do to save money each week, the reality is savvy consumers can save hundreds of dollars by hunting for good deals and avoiding the ‘lazy tax’. 

“It’s also worth asking your bank to waive your credit card annual fee, comparing energy providers for the best deal, and never auto-renewing insurance without getting new quotes.

“Our research has shown there is money to be saved on both every day and luxury items by taking the time to compare prices and not staying loyal to one supermarket or retailer.”

For more information on how our journalist saved over $1000 in one week, head to

Money saving tips

  1. Don’t pay the lazy tax by auto-renewing insurance without getting a new quote
  2. Compare energy plans by heading to the government-run site Energy Made Easy
  3. Look for a free bank account and a free credit card with low interest rates
  4. If your credit card company charges you a fee for late payment, ask them to waive it
  5. Stock up on genuine supermarket sale items
  6. Always check the unit price at the supermarket. Just because something is on sale or in a bulk package, doesn’t always mean it’s the cheapest option
  7. If an item scans in at a higher price than it should, you can get it for free so long as the supermarket has signed up to the Scanning Code of Practice
  8. To save money on your hair, check Gumtree for hairdressers looking for hair models
  9. Beauty and massage colleges provide discounted or free facials, waxes, massages and more
  10. Sign up to coupon and voucher sites using a new email address so you don’t get bombarded with temptation
  11. Look out for discount movie tickets from health funds, the Entertainment Book and some telcos
  12. Before you shop with sites like Asos, check their social media pages for discount codes

What our journalist bought

Item Amount paid Full price Saving
Groceries $221.95  $320.22 $98.27
Haircut, colour, blowdry 0 $310 $310
Credit card annual fee 0 $89 $89
Massage $30 $90 $60
Movie tickets $11 $19.50 $8.50
Wine $99 $300 $201
Dinner - The Rocks Teppanyaki $69 $160 $91
Mojo - Sydney Theatre Co $101.50 $195.50 $94
Dress $49.95 129.95 $80
Mascara $26.12 $38 $11.88
Makeover 0 $100 $100
TOTAL $608.52 $1752.17 $1143.65

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