Paul Mitchell, Wren Sterling’s Director of Corporate Solutions, has been recommending discount shopping portals to his clients for many years as they’re an easy way to help employees make their money go further and it demonstrates investment in people on the employer’s part.
Common objections Paul encountered included “we set it up and nobody used it” and “I can’t be bothered to do all that to save a few pennies.” About a year ago he set out to immerse himself in the benefits he has access to, supplied by Sodexo, to see just how much he could save and turn the pennies into pounds.
Here’s how he’s been getting on.
“First of all, I thought I would go after my big financial commitments – in my case, with my partner and two children under the age of eight, the weekly shop is an obvious place to start. I put £300 on a reloadable card each month to cover shopping there and because of the 5% discount, that means we get an additional £15 a month to spend – or £180 a year.”
Similarly, energy bills are typically a big source of household expense.
“This was something I had been meaning to do for some time. I used USwitch to compare my British Gas dual fuel deal. I found a deal with Octopus Energy, which saved me circa £400 a year. But as I went via the Sodexo site to get to USwitch, I received a £25 Amazon gift card voucher.”
In a morning, Paul had saved nearly £600 on his essential items and pocketed a gift voucher.
Another member of Paul’s household is his Rottweiler, Stanley. Unfortunately, Stanley was an excitable puppy last Christmas and he smashed the screen on Paul’s TV days before the holidays.
“I researched TVs and found the one I wanted in Curry’s, which is a retailer available on our discount shopping portal. It was priced at £600 so I purchased an E-Voucher on the Sodexo Site for £600, but as we get 8% discount, this voucher only cost me £552. I paid for it on the phone, and then the E-Voucher was emailed to me moments later. I then presented the E-Voucher at checkout and saved £48.”
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Entertainment is another area Paul targeted. Regular trips to the local cinema with his family have saved roughly £30 a month and he recently browsed through Virgin Experience Days to find a gift for a friend.
“I purchased an Only Fools & Horses lunch for a friend’s 50th Birthday from Virgin Experience Days. The advertised cost on the website was £120, but with the discount code I got from the Sodexo site, this then reduced to £96.”
Another £24 saved.
Paul says getting into habits on the essentials can really add up over the course of a year and big-ticket items are where the big money is saved. Holidays is an area Paul is going to focus on next with airport parking, hotels and booking.com discounts available, the cost of a family summer holiday could be made a bit more bearable.
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