Ten easy ways to save money shopping

Painfree purchasing using cashback websites

1. Research in advance and don’t be loyal to one shop. Special offers tend to last a week or so and usually, if something isn’t on special offer in one supermarket, it is at another. 

2. Sign up for loyalty cards. Yes, it’s a pain having lots of them clogging up your purse and the savings are small. But you do get money-off vouchers now and then. And they don’t cost anything.

3. Bulk-buy non-perishables when they are on special offer and you are in funds. Pasta lasts forever; washing powder is pricey when not on offer.

4. Check out what's in season. You’ll pay silly sums for imported strawberries in February: wait until June and you’ll get homegrown ones which are cheaper and tastier. It’s not only fruit and veg that are seasonal: so are meat and fish. You’ll pay more for British lamb in springtime than in summer, for example. Good (old-fashioned) cookery books or the internet will have charts on seasonality.

5. Avoid buy-one get-one-free and three-for-two deals unless you actually need the extras. The better deals are proper discounts which tend to be lower down or higher up on the shelves.

6. Never take a child shopping unless you have no choice. Their nagging will cost you money, as will their promise that yes, they really do like whatever yogurt etc is on special offer – only to find when you get home with a six-pack that they didn’t realise it had bits in it …

7. Make it your aim every week to try an own-brand item. Only buy in small quantities so you’re not stuck with it if you hate it. If you like it, then you’ll save money in the future. And for basics, such as bleach or flour, own brands are a no-brainer.

8. Shopping online doesn’t always save money. You can spend so easily just by putting a few numbers on the screen that you don’t notice. If you really are on a budget, then go to the shops and take cash.

9. For larger items, buying on the internet can be a good idea, particularly if you use a click-through cashback site such as TopCashback or Quidco. Another trick is to find the item you want to buy online, then do a couple of separate searches for the brand model and/or retailer along with the words 'promo code' or 'discount code'. It's amazing what comes back!

10. Don’t assume the big chain stores are always best value for money. Local butchers, greengrocers and bakers can be better and cheaper. If you visit a local market, you’ll get the best and freshest deals. Small supermarkets sometimes have good loss-leader bargains: keep an eye out on the local paper.

 

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Last updated 20 September 2017.