Consumer rights

Consumer Corner: How to save hundreds on groceries, hack Costco’s return policy, and get retailers to refund you

Every week, the Nine Network publishes dozens of articles on how to be better with your money – but they can so easily get lost in the news cycle. So every Sunday, consumer packaging will compile the best and brightest tips to help you maximize your budget.

Nine.com.auThe money experts at have been abuzz for the past week to round up all the financial hacks you need to curb impulse spending and start preparing for life.

In case you missed them, here’s how to take control of your money:

BUY ONCE A MONTH

Naturally, groceries are one of the biggest expenses in any family budget.

But what if we told you that you could save hundreds of dollars – and potentially eat healthier – by only visiting the stores once a month?

Jo Abi at 9Honey shared the story of an Australian mum of six who spends just $230-$350 a week on groceries for a family of eight while shopping once a month:

TOTAL SAVINGS OR GAIN: More than $200 per month

It would take a lot of planning (and a generous freezer) but shopping once a month is possible. (Provided)

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS ON REFUNDS

It’s such a common occurrence that many people never pay attention to signs that say “no refunds” or “no refunds on sale items” during sales.

It turns out that these signs are completely illegal.

Here is Stuart Marsh at 9News with the full breakdown:

TOTAL SAVINGS OR GAIN: Potential lost refunds and knowledge of your consumer rights.

Just because an item is on sale or in a liquidation does not mean that your consumer rights are void. (Victoria consumption)

HOW TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT MONEY

Financial literacy is barely taught in schools, but it may be the most important skill you can have as an adult.

Jo Abi at 9Honey shares the highs and lows of teaching your kids how to be smart with money – especially after you had to teach yourself.

Where to start? A kind of savings account:

TOTAL SAVINGS OR GAIN: Financially literate children

Jo Abi son Giovanni younger
Jo Abi and her youngest son Giovanni. (Provided)

COSTCO RETURN POLICY HACK

We all know that buying in bulk can be a great way to cut costs on products you know you’ll be using – but what if something goes wrong?

Sitting on a mountain of unusable toilet paper doesn’t sound ideal, unless of course you know the ins and outs of Costco’s return policy.

Bronte Gossling Stocks how to hack Costco’s return policy in this enlightening piece for 9Honey:

TOTAL SAVINGS OR GAIN: Know your consumer rights.

Costco store front
Costco has a fairly lenient return policy. Here’s how you can take advantage of it. (AP)

CREATE AN EMERGENCY FUND AND ERASE DEBT

Just a few years ago, Natalia was saddled with credit card debt of over $7,000.

The Australian model and freelance content creator was “intimidated” by the world of finance and didn’t have enough savings for an emergency fund.

Then she honed her skills and cleared all that debt from her name. 9Honey’s April Glover shared exactly how she did it:

TOTAL SAVINGS OR GAIN: Thousands of credit card debts.

Natalia wanted to be debt free before she turned 30
Natalia wanted to be debt free before she turned 30. (Provided)

NEED CLEANING PRODUCTS? TRY THE CHEMISTRY WAREHOUSE

No, this is not paid advertising.

Finance guru Queenie Tan discovered in a TikTok video that Chemist Warehouse is actually one of the cheapest places to find cleaning supplies, despite the store’s focus on medicine, skincare and cosmetics.

Rachael Gavin shares exactly how much you can save in this room for The Block:

TOTAL SAVINGS OR GAIN: Hundreds over the years.

TikTok Money Hack Cleanup
Finance guru Queenie Tan has revealed cleaning products can be found up to 30% cheaper than the supermarket at Chemist Warehouse. (ICT Tac)

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Queen Tan

Top 10 tips for saving money in Australian stores