Savings guide to freebies and discounts in 2020

Young women with confetti celebrating savings, freebies and discounts

It’s no secret that Aussies love a bargain. But with family finances tighter than ever, saving on the fun stuff has never tasted sweeter. 

Whether it’s a free Whopper burger on your birthday or 60% off a pair of Apple Airpods, there are plenty of places to save. 

To make life easier, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of savvy ways you can snag discounts and freebies on everyday items, including food, drink, fashion and entertainment.

Birthday freebies

Businesses certainly make it easy for you to pamper yourself on your birthday, with a large number of outlets across Australia offering treats in the form of free food or gift vouchers. To score the freebie or discount, you’ll generally need to join their loyalty program - either by downloading their app, grabbing their loyalty card in-store, or signing up to their newsletter/marketing communications. 

Hot tip:
Tempting as it may be to use a birthday gift voucher you’ve received from David Jones, Country Road or Dymocks, it’s best to think twice before buying that maxi dress or pretty notebook. You’re actually spending more than you’re saving, if the only reason for your purchase is to get the $10 or $20 off (plus, you might find an even cheaper deal by shopping around online rather than sticking with the store you got the voucher from). 

As for birthday offers that are actually free, most are food or drink related. To redeem these offers, remember to bring along your loyalty card, app or email voucher. You may also be asked to show your photo ID.

StoreFreebie*Valid datesAny conditions (besides signing up)?
Baskin RobbinsFree scoop of ice creamUnspecifiedNo
Boost JuiceFree juiceUp to 2 days before or after your birthdayNo
ChatimeFree bubble tea from their standard permanent menuAny time during your birthday monthMust buy 1 full-priced drink in the three months before your birthday
GelatissimoFree scoop of ice creamOn your birthday, and 4 weeks after thatNo
Hungry Jacks
Free Whopper burgerUnspecified (but you’ll receive the offer 3 days before your birthday)No
Krispy Kreme
Free four-pack Original Glazed doughnuts + $10 off your next online orderUp to 7 days after receiving the offer emailMust join the loyalty club 4 weeks before your birthday
Muffin Break
Free muffin
Any time during your birthday month
No
Mrs Fields
Free Soft Baked Signature Cookie
Up to 7 days before or after your birthday
No
Nando's
Free regular meal
Any time during your birthday monthMust verify your email before the start of your birthday month, plus make a transaction in the 6 months before your birthday month
San ChurroFree churros for 2 people
Any time during your birthday month
Must sign up at least 1 month before your birthday month 

From 1 Jan 2021:
must make a full-price purchase in the 12 months before your birthday month
Zone BowlingTwo free games of bowling
On your birthday only
No

*Note that while these offers are available at the time of writing, they may be subject to change.

Discount websites

Gones are the days when shopping around involved keeping an eye on catalogue discounts every week or trekking from store to store to compare prices. Nowadays, bargain hunting can be done from your computer desk, with online communities like OzBargain and marketplaces like Catch.com.au offering the convenience of searching for discounts from a single browser.

These sites are updated constantly, but if you aren’t bothered monitoring them every few hours for new offers, you can opt to have daily emails delivered straight to your inbox. OzBargain also lets you set up search alerts for particular items or brands. 

Meanwhile, other discount websites cater to specific product types. For instance if you’re looking to treat yourself to a greasy comfort meal or a dinner out with family, then Frugal Feeds or Groupon might have special deals you wouldn’t find just by heading straight to the restaurant or ordering over UberEats.

Browser extensions

Not too eager for your inbox to be flooded with hundreds of promotional emails? The good news is there are handy features you can add to your browser that will do the heavy lifting of sifting through discounts for you. 

Once installed, extensions like Honey and RetailMeNot Deal Finder will scour the net for any relevant coupon codes or cashback offers and then automatically apply them to your purchase at checkout. Easy as! 

Both these add-ons work for Chrome and FireFox browsers, while Honey is also available on Safari, Opera and Edge.

Price match

‘Big ticket’ items like smartphones, cameras and fridges could leave you thousands of dollars out of pocket, but this is a trick to ensure you never have to pay full price again.

So how does price matching work? Once you can find an item for a cheaper price, just show the deal to an employee in-store and they should let you purchase that same product at the lower price. Many electronic and white goods retailers such as Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi have a price match policy, while Officeworks takes things to the next level with a promise to beat the competitor’s price by 5%. 

To successfully price match, look for a competitor offer that’s:

  • In stock
  • Australian (grey or direct import products not sold through an authorised Aussie-based reseller won’t be accepted)
  • Not part of a cashback or coupon offer
  • Not a clearance item (but items on sale should be acceptable).

How much should I budget for the fun stuff?

That depends on a range of factors, including your income, expenses and savings goals. While every household’s budgets will look different, a useful method to follow is the ‘50/20/30’ rule:

  • 50% of your monthly paycheck goes into essentials (e.g. rent, utility bills, debt repayments, groceries)
  • 30% goes into ‘fun’ (e.g. entertainment, eating out)
  • 20% goes into personal savings.

However this rule-of-thumb can be adjusted according to your needs. For instance, if you’ve recently experienced a pay cut or you just want to buff up your rainy day fund, you may instead decide to dedicate 35% to savings and only 15% to fun. 

Wondering where to stash those dollars you’ve spared, thanks to discounts and freebies? Your best bet may be a savings account with a high interest rate and monthly conditions you can realistically meet. Scroll down below for a snapshot of what’s on offer right now, or for a more comprehensive list, head over to our high interest savings accounts page.

Compare high interest savings accounts - last updated 11 September 2021

Search promoted savings accounts below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure
  • Boost Saver with Go Account
    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    1.50% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)
    0.10% p.a.(for $0 and over)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Intro bonus rate of 1.50% for first 3 months, reverting to 1.20% after. Deposit $2,000 each month and make 5 eligible payments from your Go Account. If you are between 18 and 25 deposit $1,000.

    Enjoy a savings account bundled with a spending account. No monthly fees. New customers can earn up to 5000 bonus Virgin Money points on purchases (conditions apply). Benefit together with a joint account

    Details
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Bonus Saver Account
    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    1.20% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)
    0.10% p.a.(for $0 and over)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus rate when at least $20 is deposited each month and five Visa Debit transactions are made each month using linked Everyday or Glide transaction accounts.

    Winner of a Mozo Experts Choice Award 2021 in the Regular Saver category. No monthly account fees and no minimum balance requirements.

    Details
  • Online Saver
    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    1.10% p.a. (for $0 to $500,000)
    0.35% p.a.(for $0 and over)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening

    No account keeping fees. No minimum balance required. Unlimited phone and internet transactions.

    Details
  • Grow Saver
    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    0.65% p.a. (for $0 and over)
    0.10% p.a.(for $0 and over)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Make at least 1 deposit and no more than 1 withdrawal, including internal transfers or external payments.

    Earn a maximum interest rate of 0.65% per year. Pay no monthly fees. Set up in-app savings goals. Benefit with joint account options.

    Details
  • High Interest Savings Account
    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    1.35% p.a. (for $0 to $250,001)
    0.25% p.a.(for $0 to $250,001)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening

    Kick start your savings with the 4 month introductory variable rate. No fees, no minimum balance, no minimum monthly deposit and no minimum term.

    Details
  • Savings Maximiser
    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    1.35% p.a. (for $0 to $100,000)
    0.05% p.a.(for $0 and over)
    Yes up to $250,000

    For customers who have an Orange Everyday and in each month deposit at least $1,000 into a personal ING account, make at least 5 settled card purchases using the linked ING debit card and grow the account balance.

    No ING fees. Great variable rate every month when you grow your balance each month in addition to other eligibility criteria.

    Details

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Savings Account Awards

Mozo provides general product information. We don't consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and we aren't recommending any specific product to you. You should make your own decision after reading the PDS or offer documentation, or seeking independent advice.

While we pride ourselves on covering a wide range of products, we don't cover every product in the market. If you decide to apply for a product through our website, you will be dealing directly with the provider of that product and not with Mozo.