One of the best feelings is taking advantage of discounts. While some people turn their noses up at cut-price goods, saving money in this economy is nothing to be sniffed at.

It can be rewarding getting a premium product or service for cheaper, without much effort. With the right mindset, looking after your rands and cents can also be fun.

Entering the festive season does not have to mean big bills. You can save hundreds of rands if you’re strategic…

Parking fee waiver

While flicking through the V&A Waterfront’s free magazine, I noticed a voucher for 3-hours free parking until the 15th December. Usually we go to the parking garage that is a bit further away because it is cheaper and offers a good opportunity to develop calf muscles. Small parking amounts quickly add up so my boot soon had 10 of these magazines! It became quite an activity. I would park while my husband hauled a mag from the back and tore the voucher out. We saved a minimum of R10 for each visit.

Some retailers at shopping centres offer parking vouchers if you spend a certain amount. If you’re at the pay station and see some of these vouchers on the floor, don’t be afraid to pick them up and check if they have already been scanned.

Food specials

Our eyes are always open for food specials. Obviously one has to be careful of establishments offering a surf and turf buffet at unheard of prices. No one likes food poisoning. We often take advantage of the 2-for-1 burger special at Spur, relishing a saving of R70 on a burger while looking out at the sunset over the harbor and Table Mountain. Every now and then, we use a R50 voucher on our Spur Loyalty Card (which you earn after spending R1 500).

If you are spending regular amounts of money at places, why not be rewarded for your loyalty? One thing we never skimp on is a proper tip for the waiter. They need to earn a living too.

Grocery shopping is a minefield

I always scan the week’s specials at major retailers. Decide whether you will really benefit from bulk discounts. Where the special is something like “five veggie packs for R100”, check whether you have to buy all five or can get one pack at the already discounted price of R20. Although I have not tried it, some people take advantage of bulk offers and split the price with friends, family or neighbours.

Because I have a Woolworths MySchool Card, I recently got an email with vouchers for basic food items we use anyway. We saved R30 in total, equaling 10% of the grocery basket. Not bad.

Movie time

When going to movies, check whether you qualify for discounts with a medical aid card, Clicks Clubcard or other loyalty programme. We have a bunch of 3D glasses from previous outings that we re-use.

An added bonus to our discounted movie tickets was winning a VIP ticket and 2D ticket in a Nu Metro competition. The promotion, which is running until January 6, requires you to send through your movie ticket number for different prizes.

All that saving requires is a keen eye and a bit of savviness. You don’t save money by spending it. We are never too proud to get something for cheaper if it is legit and legal.

What are some of the biggest bargains you’ve found? Or how are you planning to save money this festive season? Send us your story and get published.

*Please note that the above is an independent opinion piece. None of the mentioned establishments paid for advertising.

Disclaimer: All letters and comments published in Fin24 have been independently written by members of the Fin24 community. The views are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent those of Fin24.

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One of the best feelings is taking advantage of discounts. While some people turn their noses up at cut-price goods, saving money in this economy is nothing to be sniffed at. It can be rewarding getting a premium product or service for cheaper, without much effort. With the right mindset,...