Unlocking Savings With Jo Munro: The Savvy Shopaholic’s Insider Tips

Lucy Broadbent


Mar 11, 2024

Jo Munro’s excitement is palpable.  Her words accelerate.  She is very nearly salivating. “This is such a bargain,” she coos, her eyes set on some expensive skincare products.  She has paid less than a third of their price tag for them and living up to her reputation as a modern-day Robin Hood, she will now share where to find these bargains on a podcast for her fans. “A lot of people are going to be really excited about this.”

Chatty, relatable, and apprised of every shopping trend, Munro has become the shopper’s hero, someone who shows the little guy how to get a win in a world dominated by corporate giants and rising prices. Her tip-offs to tame grocery and other bills explain why she’s a frequent guest on Channel 9; and how her book The Savvy Shopaholic became the go-to bible for thrifty consumers. “These days with interest rates so high and people struggling to make mortgages, we all need to be saving significant money if we can,” she says. “And I love value for money, whether that’s a high-profile brand or a supermarket product.”

Being a careful shopper doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s just a question of strategy, according to Munro.  “One of the things I recommend people do is make a list of things they spend a lot of their money on regularly. Let’s say olive oil, which is an expensive item, or batteries, coffee, or vitamin pills.  I never pay full price for any of those products.  We have two major supermarkets here in Australia who release a catalogue of thousands of products at half price on their apps every Tuesday.  People can save hundreds of dollars by downloading those apps.”

Given the usefulness of Munro’s tips and recommendations, it’s not surprising that she is frequently stopped when she’s out shopping for her advice. She says she’s got used to that now, but it makes her laugh.  “All I’m doing is teaching people to use tools that they might not know are available to them,” she says simply. “And we’re not cheating anyone. I just happen to know a lot about retail and how corporations like to shift products.”

bargain shopping online in November

After her husband left her, clearing out their bank account and leaving no money to even pay the rent, Munro learned to be a savvy shopper because she had to be.  She also took a corporate job at Telstra at a time when the mobile phone industry was exploding. There, she learned everything about the way corporations work and how they pushed their products. “I was so lucky. I absolutely loved all the new products that were coming onto the market, and I dedicated myself to learning everything I could about retail, tech, marketing, how to launch new products and how to sell them.”

All of which became her qualifications when she started her own small e-commerce business on eBay fifteen years later.  She had found Jamie Oliver cookbooks greatly discounted at Costco, and had the idea to bundle the book with several other cooking related products and sell them on eBay, passing on the savings to her customers, but also making a profit herself.

Her business grew. By the time her book The Savvy Shopper came out, Channel 9 was regularly inviting her onto shows to talk about shopping trends and make product recommendations. “Look, I love new products. I’m interested. I’ll do research on it. I’ve always been what they call an early adopter and I love looking around for bargains,” she says. “Channel 9 started asking me if I wanted to talk about all sorts of things, saving money on travel, or electronic goods, fields which I didn’t know much about at first, and all of that broadened what I did.  Soon I had lots of brands wanting to work me and include me in their influencer programmes.”

Jo Munro is the savvy shopper

Years on, she remains cautious about what brands she will align her name with.  Quality is important to her.  Being paid to promote products is treacherous terrain and she scoffs at the suggestion she might be an influencer.  “I’m not twenty with false eyelashes and a stick figure model.  I’m just a cheery middle-aged lady that likes shopping.”

On that note, she likes to tell the story of being invited onto Channel 9 to explore best value jeans for under $50, only to find a studio full of size 8 models wearing them.  “I said to the producers ‘We need to get some plus size jeans and some plus size models in here.’  Most of us are not stick-thin.  I like to be honest and real. The producers told me afterwards how grateful they were for that suggestion because the feedback they got from viewers was terrific.”

As she prepares for her latest podcast, surrounded by the kind of skin care products a beautician would envy, her authenticity seems to come alive.  She has no airs and graces. She is precisely what she says she is – a self-confessed shopaholic who can’t resist a purchase.  But also a super savvy one.

The Savvy Shopaholic’s Guide Podcast can be found wherever you get your podcasts or you can watch on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/@TheSavvyShopaholic/podcasts).  For more Savvy Shopaholic tips go to  https://savvyshopaholic.com.au

Five Top Strategies from The Savvy Shopaholic to Help You Save Money

  • The Boxing Day and after Christmas sales can present fantastic bargains, but don’t just buy things because they are cheap.  Don’t end up with five lipsticks that you only bought because they were half-price.  Instead, think about what you are going to buy before you go out and set a budget. Plan for birthdays, anniversaries, and anything you’ve got coming up where you might need a gift.
  • Start getting ready for Christmas in September.  Lots of food items in jars, or nuts, dried fruits etc have a long shelf.  Presents can be bought way ahead of time too.  By the time December comes around and prices are at their steepest, you should have got the bulk of your shopping done.
  • Celebration wine should be bought in October before The Melbourne Cup. Bottles of champagne that might typically retail at $35 can be bought for $19.  So buy a case of it at $19 a bottle and enjoy the year round.
  • Get the supermarket apps that announce their weekly half price lists.
  • Use the internet to comparison shop.  It allows you the opportunity to explore warranties and read reviews about quality.  Don’t get overwhelmed, especially at sales time. Focus on what you want or need, look for the best prices and warranties, let your fingers do the research before you hit the shops.


By Lucy Broadbent


Lucy Broadbent is a British author and journalist based in Los Angeles. She has written about some extraordinary people, many of them Hollywood’s most famous, as well as writing reportage as it relates to social and cultural reality. She was also a travel editor. She has had two novels published, one of which was short-listed for a prize. She is a contributor to The Carousel, Women Love Tech, The Los Angeles Times, The London Times, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, Stella, Style, The Daily Mail, Marie Claire (US, UK, Australian editions), Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Net-A-Porter, and Happy Ali



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