Do you prioritize experiences, travel and dining out? It can be a difficult balance of trying to live your best life while being financially responsible.
This article will not be a vague article telling you to create a budget or eat less avocado toast. I will share all the tools I use to save money without a significant change in my lifestyle or the products I use.
Where do I start with saving money in Germany?
You do not have to be cutting little coupons from a newspaper to save money in Germany. Nowadays, there are various apps and platforms that help you save money and your time. These are all free!
For those who want to get straight to the deals and read the article later, here are the links:
Get money back on your online purchases
If you enjoy online shopping, do not miss out on online cashback websites like TopCashback They are an easy way to get some money back from your regular online purchases. I enjoy using these because they are quite simple to use and you do not have to remember activating them. They also work with all the reputable online stores, from MediaMarkt to Dell. Members on average can earn over 200 euros back of cashback per year.
How do cashback websites work?
- You will first have to create an account with a chosen provider like TopCashback so that you can track your purchases and collect your cashback.
- You will get access to a list of participating online shops and the current promotion or amount that you will get refunded after buying a product. The deals are constantly rotating, so check them daily.
- You can install their Chrome extension that will remind you about a deal or campaign when you browse an online shop. For example, let’s say you browse Nike.com, TopCashBack will have a reminder telling you that you will get 10% back if you activate the offer.
- You can choose to click “activate” and it will keep track of your purchase, the checkout amount will determine how much you get back.
- Always activate a deal. If you do not do this, your purchase will not be linked to the portal and you will not get your money back.
- You can always cash out your amount directly to your PayPal or a bank account.
Why is your balance from Shoop so high?
- I recently took part in a Deutsche Bahn cashback campaign by buying the special promotion First Class Bahn50 card which cost me €65. Not only did Deutsche Bahn have a promotion, Shoop also added cashback of 3% and an extra €3. It sounds like little right? But when you consider that, I would have “anyways” bought the train ticket, getting money back was worth it.
- I also had to buy a laundry machine on Saturn when they had a 10% cashback bonus. You can imagine then, if someone wanted to buy a phone for €1000, they could easily get €100 back.
- Shoop’s website states that an average user saves about 300 euros a year.
Where can I sign up for these websites?
These two websites are quite similar. I use both websites since they have similar promotions. Using these websites is a 100% free, you can get more details on the links below:
One benefit of using TopCashback over Shoop is that it usually has a shorter processing time to get your money back. Shoop sometimes takes an upwards of 12 weeks to process your money back
They currently have an amazing deal on Made.com furniture, you get up to 6% back on buying furniture pieces (June 2022)
Once you activate an offer, make sure you accept cookies. The links you click allows the website to confirm your purchase and calculate the percentage you get back. You can read the details on the individual websites.
Get cashback for your groceries using cashback apps and points
For grocery shopping or buying household items, stick to an app that works at the shops that you go to often. I mainly shop at Rewe, mainly because I often have the best deals there and can combine the options below with Payback points.
A good app to use is Scondoo. I have gotten multiple deals from the website for ordinary products that were already in my shopping list. I get cashback for buying normal groceries that I would have bought regardless of the app.
- Type “Scondoo” in the App Store. There are a few 100% deals running at the moment, get a free bottle of coca cola, chocolates and various food items.
You can look at all the offers that come up before you go to your weekly shopping supermarket. Afterwards scan a photo of your receipt, and you should receive cashback in a few days/weeks. Each promotion has different terms but I have never run into issues getting my money back.
Grocery shopping to earn free flights
You actually do receive a free, physical Payback Card. I prefer to use the app on my phone. I do not even know where my car is.
This is one of the most rewarding programs I enjoy using. You earn points as you shop. They have hundreds of “payback partners” which means you can use your card online/offline in stores like DM, Rewe, Nike, etc.
You can redeem payback points for coupons or cash to shop. However, the best value for me is being able to transfer them into airline miles. They have a 1:1 transfer deal with Lufthansa Miles and More which essentially means every time I shop I can eventually use these miles to book flights or upgrade my flights to business class. I also do this in combination with Miles and More promotions. I can cover airline miles and earning points in Germany in the future.
Where can I sign up?
- Get your Payback card here –
- You will notice there are great options like signing up for a new Wi-Fi contract with Telekom, will earn you up to 8000 points. If you plan well and buy your major purchases at the right time, you can easily earn enough miles to pay for your flights!
- Do not worry about what branded Payback card to get, all of them will work!
How do these apps make money?
You may wonder how these apps and websites make money. They work with other businesses to promote their products and earn a small commission which they share with you as a user. For example, if you wanted to buy a new TV, and knew that you had a 100 euro discount at MediaMarkt, you will most likely make your purchase through them. It is a way to attract customers back.
If you’re comfortable with online shopping and online banking, you can use these websites. One thing to note is that Germany has great privacy protection laws, so I value the convenience of online shopping.
Tips on saving more money
- Use apps that are easy to use and you find useful. Stick to an app that supports the place you shop at the most (all cashback apps should work for major retailers in Germany). Keep it light and fun for you to use.
- Spend some time looking at the resources I linked and understand them. Since I am not fluent in German, I use a Google Chrome translation tool to automatically translate web pages for me. Reading and browsing the websites will make it easier to take advantage of the deals.
- You will not become rich, but it’s you will save money. Depending on the time and effort you put in, you could probably eliminate a majority of your living expenses (food / clothes etc). It can be life changing, but if you prefer to keep it light, use a minimum of deals and you can save at least 200-300 euros a year. Find a balance on what you consider is worthwhile.
- Remember to only use the deals when you value the products that you are going to buy. It’s easy to fall into a habit of thinking you’re saving money. Remember, you save the most money when you do not spend money.
- Keep your eyes open for promotional stickers on products. A few days ago I was buying dishwasher tablets. Finish had a promotional sticker on the 18 dishwasher pods vs 16 pods. Just by choosing the correct product, I could get it for free. I noticed that the surrounding people did not notice the yellow stickers. Always keep the receipt! You need to take a photo of it when you apply for the cashback.
Where can I level up my skills to save money in Germany?
Follow me on my TikTok account.
I will share regular deals and lessons I come across. My goal is to share as much information as I learn. I want all of us to travel and have more experiences.
I am 100% sure that over 100 new deals popped up as I was writing this article. Have fun exploring and optimizing your finances!