How to Save Money on Cigarettes

Save money on cigarettes

We all know smoking can be quite expensive and many times people think about ways to reduce the costs associated with it. While the easiest and most effective way to reduce costs is to just quit smoking, this is not a viable answer for those who don’t want to quit but would like to save some money. Fortunately for them, there are a few tips that can greatly reduce the cost of smoking without giving up on neither quality and quantity of cigarettes.

If your goal is to reduce costs but keep smoking the same brands and the same numbers of cigarettes than you should read forward as you will be surprised how much money you could easily save by following two basic economic principles:

1) Buy from cheaper suppliers

2) Buy higher volumes to take advantage of discounts

Now I will go into detail about both techniques and show you how they can work in your favor and save you thousands of dollars with clear examples. In order to understand the benefits of being what I would call a “smart buyer” we should first look at the costs of buying your cigarettes from the regular convenience stores and gas stations. The costs differ greatly by state (if you leave in the United States) or by country. We will consider the price of one pack of 20 cigarettes from premium brands like Camel, Marlboro, Lucky Strike or Rothmans.

If you live in the United States, the prices vary greatly depending on the state you live in, since taxes and duties make up the most of the price. The cheapest cigarettes are sold in the states of Virginia and Missouri where they cost an average of $5.25 per pack. In most states the prices are around 6 to 8 dollars per pack but the high cost states can go as high as $11.5 in Illinois and a whooping $12.85 per pack in New York.

In other countries, prices are also very high. If you live in the United Kingdom you will pay an average of $11 per pack. Canadians pay around $10.5 but the worst prices are in the southern hemisphere where New Zealand’s cigarettes average at around $14.8 and Australia tops the list with the most expensive cigarettes in the world at $17.4 per pack. All prices mentioned in this article are in USD to avoid confusions generated by exchange rates between currencies.

In this article I will take five examples to show the difference in savings depending on your country or state, so we will first start with an estimated monthly price. Let’s consider a regular smoker consuming one pack of 20 cigarettes per day. The average price he will pay for his monthly consumption will be according to the place of residence:

Virginia = 30 x $5.5 = $165

New Jersey = 30 x $8 = $240

New York = 30 x $12.85 = $385

United Kingdom = 30 x $11 = $330

Australia = 30 x $17.4 = $522

It’s really expensive to be a smoker in Australia… Now, as I have set the initial cost of cigarettes for regular smokers I will show you how to greatly reduce your costs, so I’m going back to apply the two basic principles described above.

1) Buy from cheaper suppliers – This is the most important technique of reducing your costs, and the answer to this one is much simpler than you could imagine. The cheapest cigarette suppliers are selling online because they are duty free. Some of them ship worldwide at no cost. This means that you can legally buy duty free cigarettes without leaving your country and going into airports or other duty free zones. You can “travel” online and buy duty free cigarettes directly from your computer and save a lot of money while doing so. After checking the offers of the biggest online retailers I finally settled with Duty Free Depot which offers some of the best prices but also very good customer support, fast and free shipping and only genuine quality cigarettes. I buy from them ever since and have never been disappointed so far.

The price for one carton of premium cigarettes at Duty Free Depot is only 38 dollars, and since one carton contains 10 king size packs you will get a pack for the price of only $3.8! That’s right, only $3.8 per pack, which means 31% cheaper than in Virginia.

Now let’s see how much you save using our first cost saving technique considering you are buying 30 packs of cigarettes per month as described in the initial example:

Duty Free Depot = 30 x $3.8 = $114

Depending on the place of residence you will save:

Virginia = $165 – $114 = $51 (you save 31%)

New Jersey = $240 – $114 =  $126 (you save 52%)

New York = $385 – $114 = $271 (you save 70%)

United Kingdom = $330 – $114 = $216 (you save 65%)

Australia = $522 – $114 = $408 (you save 78%)

As you can see, you save from 31% to 78% depending on your country of residence only by being a “smart buyer”. Now let’s see how much more you can save with my second technique.

2) Buy higher volumes to take advantage of discounts – Duty Free Depot offers the following volume discounts: buy 6 get 1 free, buy 10 get 3 free and buy 20 get 5 free.

The best of their volume discount offers is the middle one (buy 10 get 3 free) as it offers 30% more cigarettes. Buying 10 cartons will give you 3 additional cartons for free so you will buy a total of 130 packs of cigarettes paying for only 100 packs (they also offer a small discount on the price on top of the free packs so you will get an even better deal by paying $370 for 10 cartoons instead of $380). The resulting price per pack will be the following:

130 packs = $370 -> one pack = $2.84 (you save 25% compared to the regular price at Club Cigarette)

With an average price of $2.84 per pack you will pay only $85 per month on your 30 packs of cigarettes. Now that’s what I call saving! Let’s see how much money you’ll save being a “super smart buyer” on a monthly basis:

Virginia = $165 – $85 = $80 (you save 48%)

New Jersey = $240 – $85 =  $155 (you save 64%)

New York = $385 – $85 = $300 (you save 78%)

United Kingdom = $330 – $85 = $245 (you save 74%)

Australia = $522 – $85 = $437 (you save 84%)

Price of cigarettes chart

Price of cigarettes comparison chart

After applying my both techniques you end up saving between 48% and 84% depending on where you’re living. As you can see, it doesn’t matter if you live in the state with the cheapest cigarettes, you can still save half of the money you spend on cigarettes.

Alternatives: cheaper and healthier!

You probably know that there are cheaper and healthier alternatives to smoking. Vaporizers are excellent substitutes to regular cigarettes with many added benefits. They are much healthier, they come in with more flavors and they are much cheaper.

Since this article is about saving money on cigarettes, we will discuss about the price benefits of choosing vaporizers over regular cigarettes.

The liquids used for vaping are sold in 30 ml bottles. Studies have shown that one pack of regular cigarettes is the equivalent of 2 ml of e-liquids, so a 30 ml bottle is the equivalent of 15 packs of cigarettes. Since the 30 ml bottle sells for only $16, the equivalent price of e-liquids is of only $1.06 per one pack equivalent. Vaporizers and E-Liquids can be bought from VaporFI.

UPDATE (October 2017): Unfortunately Duty Free Depot no longer sells cigarettes.