With the cost of living in Australia currently on the rise, it's incredibly important to take advantage of every technological tool at your disposable in order to shop smarter and save money. All you need is a smartphone or computer with an internet connection to get access to a variety of helpful resources.
Thankfully, you don't have to go at it alone – we're here to provide you with the tools that will help keep a bit more money in your bank account. Every dollar counts when you're trying to make ends meet, and hopefully these five tech tools will inspire you to save money and shop savvier from now on.
1. Petrol price apps
You've probably noticed that the price of petrol has been consistently high across Australia for a while now, and it can be tough to see more and more of your hard-earned dollars go directly into your fuel tank.
Luckily, there are a number of fuel price comparison apps for both Android and iOS which let shop around for the best petrol prices in your area.
FuelMap is an excellent crowd-sourced option which offers a database of petrol stations across Australia, giving you a large map that displays fuel pump locations and their last known prices at a glance.
PetrolSpy Australia is another handy app which shows pricing and location data for petrol stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Darwin and Canberra, and even gives you the chance to win free AU$25 fuel cards on a daily basis.
These are just two of the Australia-wide options out there. You may also find that there are a number of apps and websites dedicated to finding fuel prices in your state or territory.
2. Price comparison sites
If there's one thing you need to know about buying products, it's that you should never settle for the first price you see. Chances are, you can find that exact same product for cheaper at a different online store.
In order to avoid paying more than you need to, it's a good habit to first look up your desired product on a price comparison site. These are usually updated with near real-time pricing information, allowing you to shop around for the best price with minimal effort.
Our sister site Getprice is one such option, allowing users to both search for specific products or browse by category. The site will provide you with direct links to retailers listed from cheapest to most expensive, making it easier to find the best deal.
Another option is the Aussie price comparison site StaticICE, which is specifically catered towards all kinds of consumer electronics products, particularly computer hardware and camera equipment.
3. Amazon price drop alerts
Global online retailer Amazon is well-known for its competitive pricing, but did you know that there's a way to be notified when the Amazon-listed items you have your eye on become discounted?
This is possible thanks to the free Amazon price tracking website CamelCamelCamel – simply set a 'price watch' on a listed item and you will be alerted via email when that item's price drops. It's that simple!
Additionally, CamelCamelCamel also offers Amazon price history charts, allowing you to see how if your desired product has been cheaper in the past, which will certainly help you make a more informed purchasing decision.
On top of this, you can also install The Camelizer browser extension for Google Chrome, giving you immediate access to all of the above functionality with one single click in your browser.
4. Coupon code extensions and sites
At TechRadar, we always try to make our readers aware of money saving promo codes which can be used on Amazon, eBay and other major retailers. That said, you can swing things even further in your favour by installing a coupon and promo code finder extension for your browser.
The Google Chrome extension Honey purports to do just that, automatically applying coupon codes and rewards for over 30,000 shopping sites across the internet. Granted, Honey seems to lean more towards US retailers, but there are still plenty of opportunities for Aussies to save money here. Honey also offers apps for Android and iOS.
Alternatively, Aussies can browse the website Buckswoop, which offers coupon and promo codes for a growing number of Australian retailers, including The Good Guys, Billy Guyatts, Harvey Norman, Catch and more.
5. Rewards and cash back apps
It's easy to overlook rewards for shopping and receiving cash back for certain purchases, but you'll find that the savviest shoppers are the ones who take advantage of these things.
Thankfully, there are apps available to Aussies which will help set you on the right path. ShopBack is an app that's available for both iOS and Android that helps you discover cashback deals at over 2,000 Aussie retailers, including the likes of Woolworths and The Iconic.
Another app which offers similar functionality to ShopBack is Cashrewards, which lets shoppers receive cashback deals from many of the same retailers, and also offers access to coupon codes as an added bonus. Cashrewards is available on Android, iOS and via the web.
Admittedly, you will have to wait for retailers to approve your cashback rewards for both of these services, but once they do they can be transferred directly into your bank account.