Tech news, money saving tips and analysis
August is upon us at last, and in the months ahead, not only does Christmas loom, but plenty of new tech, too.
Android 13 will also arrive, as will Google’s Pixel 7 models, the fourth generation of Samsung’s foldable phones are due later this month, and the security patches will continue being updated.
One thing is for certain – inflation is here.
This inflation has seen Meta, formerly known as Facebook, increase the price of its Meta Quest 2 virtual reality headset by US $100, something that is the opposite of what we’ve seen for existing technology products which normally fall in price.
This will presumably translate into higher prices for iPhones, laptops and other consumer electronics and white goods, which will follow the price rises seen for building materials that has caused a number of construction companies to collapse, squeezed by the fixed prices they charged in the past that have become uneconomic to construct now that prices have risen so much.
So, what is a way to save money? Well, besides spending less, which interest rate rises are trying to engineer, people have used coupons for decades to access special deals.
One way to access deals is to do a search for the name of a company, the month and the year and the word coupon code, to see if the company in question has any discount codes on offer.
For example, type “<Product/website name> August 2022 coupon code” into Google to see a list of discount codes and try them when you’re at the checkout page of the site you’re ordering from.
Another way is to use the Shopback.com.au site, which regularly has deals on a stack of sites and products, be it Amazon, eBay, Booking.com and literally hundreds of others.
Create a free account on Shopback, link your debit card to the site, then click on the link to the store you want to go through via Shopback, and make your purchase. The next day, you’ll receive an email showing you the cash back amounts promised credited to your account, and you can withdraw that money to your linked card in the future.
I purchased some natural nasal decongestant sprays from iHerb via the Shopback site, and from the four products I purchased I receive $10 in cash back, which is a good deal!
Don’t search for an additional discount coupon code when you’re using Shopback though – you need to preserve the link you have with Shopback for the discount to be recognised and applied to you, and you’re already getting what is generally a great deal.
Sometimes there are discounts and cash back on gift cards, cards that can be used at a range of stores, and this is a great way to save money when there is no other way to access a discount.
At stores like Harvey Norman and Bing Lee, you can ask for a better deal, and you’ll often find a discount is on offer – it depends on what you’re purchasing and the amount of wiggle room they have.
Don’t forget Officeworks offers to match prices on identical items if someone else has it at a lower price, even if online, although shipping costs (if any) are added to the total price, but if that price is still lower, Officeworks will even go one better – they’ll add an additional 5% discount!
You can also ask for price match deals at JB HiFi, which can offer discounts too – again, it’s all in the asking.
Buying a $55 Costco yearly membership is a great way to access fuel prices that are usually 20c per litre lower than regular petrol stations, but, at least in Canberra, the lines can be long if you go at peak times, generally speaking though, waiting times are relatively short, as everyone fills up as quickly as the machines allow and drive off.
You can reduce those waiting times to zero or virtually zero if you go at off-peak times, so choose your trip to Costco’s fuel stations wisely.
It’s also worth checking prices online before you buy anything from anywhere. Costco has a reputation for great pricing, but that’s not always the case in my experience, so shop around for the best deal.
Gumtree is also a great place to buy second-hand products at prices that can be much better than buying something new, although as with any second-hand goods, caveat emptor – buyer beware.
Buying second-hand smartphones can be risky, you never know if a device has been stolen and has its IMEI number blocked on one of the phone networks. If someone has the box and a receipt, that can be a good sign the item is genuine, but don’t take anything at face value.
A great way to buy tech affordably is to find a shop that sells seconds – for example, you can get solid discounts on white goods if they have dents that don’t affect operation and can be easily covered up by a fridge magnet.
You can also look for refurbished phones, tablets, computers and more – these are guaranteed to not have been stolen, and to work – and usually come with a warranty, too.
One useful app is called Half Price. It lets you compare the specials at Coles and Woolies. It’s also good to have the Coles and Woolies app on your phone. Many times I’ve seen something at either store, and via checking via the supermarket apps, I discovered the other store is selling it for less.
The Half Price app wants to help you find out what’s on sale, be in 50% or a smaller amount, but especially if you shop in a mall where both supermarkets exist, I always find myself happy to save money if discounts are available.
This list isn’t exhaustive by any means, and if you have any money saving tips to share, please email them to email@example.com so we can share those tips with you next time.
And as always, please check your iPhones, Androids, iPads, tablets, Mac/Windows/Linux computers, smart home tech and all of your other devices. Updates often stop zero-day vulnerabilities in their tracks if a solution has been found, so updates are essential.
That said, the newest Windows 10 update from last month did cause some people to lose access to their printer, and while a fix is coming, there’s always some kind of workaround to get things working again.
So again, if you have any money saving tips, please share them!
See you at the next Club forum meeting – and yes, we’re hard at work preparing what will be a great 2022 Conference – more detail next month!
Cheers and best regards to you all.
ASCCA Director – Promotions and Sponsorship