Since we are all about saving money but not withholding and sparing ourselves from having fun (see related post: How to Have an Awesome Weekend Without Spending too Much) this week’s post is how to enjoy living in Dubai, Middle East’s cosmopolitan city without surviving on paycheck-to-paycheck.
1. Accumulate those MyClub Points
Every weekend is grocery day for any OFWs. It is also the day to catch up on the household chores and complete several errands that were put off during busy weekdays.
OFWs in the GCC who shops weekly must avail of Carrefour’s MyClub, Carrefour’s free of charge loyalty card. Being a member entitles you to earning points every time you shop and once you earned enough points, you could redeem vouchers worth AED 25 or AED50. It is easy to earn points since Carrefour offer lots of promotions to earn extra points. It is also easy to track your points using the app or by checking your receipt since it is reflected at the bottom your current points and the points you earned.
My current points
MyClub members are also eligible for discount vouchers which the cashiers will hand out to you after every purchase or you will see in your app.
Bonus: The app also stores your personalized MyClub loyalty card number. No need to bring the physical card. Just show it to your cashier and after scanning the bar code, points will be automatically added to your account.
One of my discount vouchers
2. Flip those Carrefour Receipts
Benefit from Carrefour not just for the points. Don’t throw away those receipts yet! Flip it and check for discounts printed at the back.
Bonus: If you are a fan of fast food chains, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Texas Chicken, then you are in for a treat. Treat the kids (and the kid in you) for an hour or two at Magic Planet. Carrefour also often offer voucher for this family destination of games and fun.
3. Smile with Etisalat
Etisalat is one of the leading telecom providers in UAE and I have been a subscriber ever since I got here. But I was not aware of this deals and rewards programs. I often receive notifications that I earned “smiles points” every time I pay my monthly phone bill online. Little did I know that this smiles points could be used to avail of discounts and promos from over 1000 Etisalat partners.
Download the app to monitor your points and the partner establishments you could use them points. There are several categories you could choose from. Offers vary for Shopping, Dining, Entertainment, Wellness, Travel and Devices. I mostly use if for food and I have availed of several discounts in the past. 250 Etisalat smiles points got me buy 1 get 1 free assorted 6 pieces of Krispy Kreme donuts and 625 points got me a buy 1 get 1 free main course at Little Manila.
My Etisalat smile points always make me smile
Recently, the addition of Jollibee as a partner is good news for OFWs.
Today as I’m writing this, and I explore the app more to provide you our dear readers with more valuable information, I discovered the rewards program also has a raffle draw (why I only know of this is based on my laziness and stupidity). Hopefully you all fellow OFWs will be my lucky charm and I will win a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 at the expense of two raffle tickets, 100 Etisalat smile points each (yes, I’m a cheapskate. I only gambled 200 points. I don’t want to have a gambling problem in the future. It would be much better for me to just spend those points buying Chickenjoy.)
Pick me! I need a new phone to catch up on my K-drama
4. Read the News
Offices here in Dubai often have daily newspaper subscription. Be a diligent and resourceful OFW and check those papers. More often than not, there are vouchers slipped between the pages. I already managed to score some vouchers for Tim Horton’s.
Another perk of reading the news. Not only will you be more informed, you’ll have discounted cups of coffee and pastries to eat while reading the news.
5. Avail of the Monthly Pass at the Dubai Metro
My very used (and abused) metro card
Monthly pass at the Dubai Metro is advisable especially for those passengers who ride it on a daily basis. Even if you don’t have any money in your wallet, you could still go home, provided your home and your destination is in the same zone or in the zones in which you have registered your monthly pass. For example, my workplace and my home are within zone 5 (monthly pass fare is AED 140 for one zone). No matter how many times you ride the metro or the bus (with routes that are within the same zone) there will be no deduction in your Nol card.
Talk to your friendly RTA attendant and they will inform you which zone/s you need to register your Nol card to avail of the monthly pass.
Do note that you have to register your Nol card first before availing of the monthly passes. First time registration is AED30 + the monthly fare for the zone.
6. Clean out your Closet
I’m not yet successful with this venture
Ehem, ehem, ehem. This is for you ladies with bulging closets and who are stealing hangers from their husbands’ side of the closet. If you have some clothes, accessories, bags and shoes you don’t need anymore, download the app Shedd and sell them.
Shedd is an online marketplace for your second-hand or wrongly purchased items. Once you download the app, you will have your own profile where you could upload photos of items you want to sell. The app even has guidelines on how you could take more appealing photos for your items.
It is also possible to meet a fellow “Shedder” and to just swap items free of charge.
And there you have it. Some few tips and tricks to save a buck or two. Of course, these life hacks will not make you any richer but at least it will help during those months when it feels like your pocket is always empty.
Disclaimer: OFW talks did not receive any compensation for the mentioned brand. If you are a representative for any of these brands and you want to reward us for the good words, please feel free to do so. *wink wink ✌ ✌ ✌