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Tricks for saving money when shopping

Tricks for saving money when shopping
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Saving a few pennies or even pounds here and there not only boosts your bank balance – it makes you feel good too. When I find an item a few quid cheaper on another website, or on sale in a different high street shop, I get a little frisson of excitement. The sense of beating the system is palpable. There is no magic formula to achieving this – you simply need to shop smart. Here’s how.

Know What you Spend

This sounds obvious, but many of us don’t keep tight tabs on all our spending, even if we think we do. It’s terribly easy to ‘forget’ about that latte you grabbed en route to the office, or the sneaky comfort snack you snaffled mid afternoon after a run-in with the boss. Relatively small amounts like these add up. And impulse spending such as this can make an unexpected dent in your shopping budget. Keep a spending diary for two weeks, noting with religious accuracy every single penny you part with – you may be surprised at what you find.

Check out the Special Offers

‘3 for 2’ or ‘BOGOF’ (Buy One Get One Free) offers are tempting, and supermarkets are great at slapping you in the face with promotions like this as you trundle your trolley around the store. But it’s a good idea to check the deal is as good as it seems. With each deal you need to check:

  • Does it actually save you money, or would buying the items separately work out cheaper?
  • Are the sell-by dates nearly up? There is no point stockpiling stuff you end up throwing away.
  • Do you really need 6 toothbrushes at this point in your life?

In a memorable bargain-hunting frenzy I once acquired 12 mega jars of Nutella. I didn’t even have kids at this point, and by the time I hit Jar 5 I was feeling a bit sick and had exhausted my list of ‘Creative ways With Chocolate Spread’ (did you know it tastes pretty good with chilli?). I was also about 2 stone heavier with spots. It WAS a great deal, but as the offending items gathered dust in my cupboard until I finally threw them out a year later I resolved never to get sucked into multi-buy deals again. Until the next time of course. Sucker I am.

Tricks for saving money when shopping

Shop Around and Compare Prices

Yes, I know this is a bit dull and time consuming but it does pay dividends. I’m a little obsessive in nature so when I embark on this activity, especially online, I have to set myself a time limit, otherwise I could easily waste hours (literally) saving myself £2. Still feels good when I do though!

Find an Outlet …

And outlet store for your shopping, that is. Stocks in outlet stores owned by high street retailers are generally manufactured by the same companies which supply the high street stores. The goods may be last season, but the discounts more than compensate.

Compare and Read Reviews

Honest reviews are one of the best aspects of online shopping. I find they are generally accurate, especially if there are a good range of reviews posted (you always get the odd troll skewing things). And comparison sites are invaluable for electrical and technology goods especially – they help you to decide which whistles and bangs you actually need. Why pay more for the XL model when the X does everything you need, for example?

Get Vouchers in your Inbox

Subscribing to a voucher site can deliver valuable money off coupons direct to your online post-box. Beware of buying something you don’t really need simply because you have money off, but if you get sent a deal on an item you have been searching for then these money-off gifts can save you £££.

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About Cally Worden

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About Cally Worden

Seasoned freelance writer Cally Worden lives with her family and dog in a quiet corner of rural France. A love of the outdoors, and a fascination with her children's ability to view life with fresh eyes provide the inspiration for much of her work. Cally writes regularly for various websites and UK print publications on subjects as diverse as parenting, travel, lifestyle, and business, and anything that makes her smile.

Website: Cally Worden

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