Last Updated on 12 July 2021 by Dan
Hello everyone! Today I wanted to talk a little bit about the concept of stacking from a deals perspective, which can be a great way to save money – and I’m going to use your friendly neighbourhood Co-Op to do so.
What is stacking?
Stacking is basically a fancy name for working out ways that we can combine offers or services from multiple companies together in a way that lets us take advantage of more than one deal or optimisation opportunity at once.
It’s one of those things that honestly gives me a bit of a sense of personal satisfaction – feeling that all your bits of financial engineering are working together is nice.
I’m going to use the opportunity of a Co-op shop to guide through how I made approximately 18% of savings on a recent shop and have used this illustrate some of the kind of things to think about.
This is just a representative example – the benefits of stacking can be applied to all kinds of shopping but can require some research. However once you’ve done it everything is usually easily repeatable once learned, as
(I realised at the end of writing that given the positivity about Co-op this article sounds a bit like an advert at time – for avoidance of doubt I’m not working with the firm or receiving anything from them!)
Stacking offers during a Co-Op shop
This is an example of applications to making a considerable saving on a £50 shop
1 – Multibuys and Offers
Now I’m not going to spend too long on this one as frankly anyone who’s ever set foot in a Supermarket will where appropriate target multibuys and offers. Still, it can be easy to become tricked with these into going the other way and buying too much, so have a think about 1) If you need it and 2) if it’s actually good value.
I’m not even going to deduct these savings from my shop so I’m still at £50.
2 – Student Discount (Not just for students)
Co-Op also offer a student discount – great if you are a student but alas I’m beyond those happy University years now.
However what a lot of people don’t know or don’t take advantage of is that a lot of professional study courses will also qualify you to receive a TOTUM PRO student card – you simply need to check if you place of study is eligible but there are lots of organisations on there.
The savings on TOTUM PRO are variable – Co-op and Amazon are excellent, some of the others you can get better deals on elsewhere, but nevertheless having the card offers good benefits to most. You can read more on TOTUM PRO at their website here.
Happily, shopping at Co-op gives you a really superb 10% student discount, so I’m able to take advantage of that here. The lure of that has caused me to change who I do a lot of my shopping with!
Saving from this: £5 (10% of £50)
New ongoing total: £45.
3 – Use of Co-op app offers
By joining the Co-op membership scheme and downloading the app, you’ll receive two offers per week which you can choose from.
What I particularly like about these is that you can activate the offers right before using them – so you can fill up your shopping basket and then work out which offers will give you the biggest advantage. They’re usually on relatively staple goods as Co-op are keen to get you through the door.
In this case I got £1 of a £10 shop, and 75p off a packet of bagels, so that’s another little bit of save.
If you’re not a Co-op shopping most supermarkets offer some form of offers on products – you can check out our
Saving from this: £1.75
New ongoing total: £43.25
4 – Co-Op Membership Cashback
And the offers aren’t the only thing we can get from our Co-op membership!
When shopping and using your Co-op membership card, you’ll also earn some cashback on your purchases. Sadly this was until fairly recently at a hefty 5% for any Co-op own-braded goods (including fresh stuff) but is now at a still competitive 2%.
You’ll get this as cashback in your membership account which can be used for a future purchase.
On this shop, I’ve assumed 80% of my shop is own branded for ease.
Saving from this: 70p (80% of my £43.25 shop value takes it down to £35 being eligible for the 2% cashback)
New ongoing total: £42.55
5 – Shopping online with TopCashback
If you’re a regular reader of the site you know I absolutely love TopCashback and think it’s just about the easiest way for anyone to make a significant saving when you’re shopping online anyhow.
I’m not going to repeat myself here on how it works but if you’re not already a member, it’s well worth taking a look at this article here which explains it all.
At the time of writing, TopCashback is offering cashback of 2.2% for orders done through their website, which also handily can be picked up in 2 hours. So I’m making a further “save” of the time in the supermarket (although I’m actually one of those people that genuinely enjoys the physical act of grocery shopping).
Saving from this: 94p. (2.2% of £42.55)
New ongoing total: £41.61
6 – Paying with American Express
I’m then paying my outstanding balance by using an American Express Cashback card, and being late year am at a point where I’m earning 1.25% on all purchases through it.
If you are eligible and importantly feel comfortable paying off a credit card in full each month I’d suggest that using a rewards credit card or a cashback credit card (those links are to our reviews of the best) can provide a little extra. If you won’t pay it off in full, steer clear – not enough benefit compared to the cost.
Saving from this: 52p
New ongoing total: £41.09
What save is that overall?
Taking the relatively easy steps to chain these things together has left me with a saving on £8.91 on my £50 worth on groceries, which translates to a save of approximately 18%.
Now you might be thinking that this sounds a much more impressive amount in percentage terms than in monetary value – but the point really is the easy repeatability of this on something that’s a weekly shop.
Do that every week and it’s a £463 saving for the year – you’re not going to be retiring on that, but it’s a pretty chunky save to most households.
Have you got a good stack? (Ahem)
I’d love to hear about your experiences with stacking offers, or if you’ve found anywhere is particularly good for this kind of arrangement! Let us know how you get on.
Jane at Shoestring Cottage also has a great article on how you can make some additional money through your shopping receipts.
And that’s it!
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