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Saving at the supermarket: 11 million Australians turn to reward points for cheaper groceries

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Supermarket reward points are helping millions of Aussies to unlock cheaper groceries, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 1,096 respondents revealed more than half (58%) of Australians – equivalent to 11 million people – are using their grocery reward points to shave money off their grocery bill.

The research shows 83% of Australians are part of a supermarket rewards program in 2023, with Everyday Rewards and Flybuys dominating the category.

The average Aussie household is spending $187 per week on groceries in November, according to data from Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker.

Amy Bradney-George, personal finance expert at Finder, said supermarket loyalty programs could be valuable if shoppers jumped through the required hoops.

"Shopping for groceries is demanding a growing chunk of the weekly budget so consumers may as well enjoy some perks or extra savings.

"As the price of food and household goods continues to spike, shoppers are being much more intentional with looking for ways to keep their grocery bills down.

"With Woolworths Everyday Rewards and Coles Flybuys, you'll typically earn 1 point for each $1 spent at the supermarket – and can redeem 2,000 points for $10 off your shop."

Bradney-George said based on Finder's analysis, you could save around $10 on your groceries every few months through a supermarket rewards program.

"Keep an eye out for exclusive promotions run by the loyalty programs too – you can earn tens of thousands of extra points that way.

"But it's important to remember that Aldi and some other supermarkets can offer an affordable alternative without a rewards program, and choosing low prices might end up being cheaper overall."

Finder's research shows 1 in 8 shoppers (13%) convert their supermarket reward points into airline points – saving money on future flights.

Almost 1 in 10 (9%) Aussies use their reward points to buy gift cards through the loyalty programs, while 6% don't use their reward points at all – letting them go to waste.

Bradney-George said loyalty programs generate profit for the supermarket.

"These schemes keep customers coming back and give brands more access to marketing research data. But as a shopper you can still use them to get something back on what you spend.

"Stick to a shopping list so you aren't wasting money on unplanned purchases, stock up on staples when there are point promotions and compare prices of big-ticket items before handing over your hard-earned cash."

How are you primarily using your grocery reward points?
To take money off my grocery shop58%
Toward airline points13%
To buy gift cards9%
I don't use my grocery reward points6%
I don't have any points13%
Source: Finder survey of 1,096 respondents, July 2023

Here's 20 tips to help you save money on groceries.

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