It’s been said on a few occasions that I have short arms and deep pockets and admittedly I’ll sometimes play to this, but in reality I’m not adverse to spending money, I just want to know that I’m getting the best deal out there.
It might be unrealistic to think that I could ever stop spending.
I’m sure that we all know someone that that takes pleasure in telling others how much you spent on something or how much they have to an extent that they don’t think twice about squandering their money whether by buying overpriced items or just spending for the sake of spending.
Regardless of whether you’re buying your weekly supermarket shop, new technology, a car or a house, if you use some or all the strategies below you could save yourself a small fortune.
1. Master the art of haggling
When we go abroad we don’t seem to have any problems in trying to get a deal sometimes spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to get the smallest of discount and coming way high fiving ourselves.
We get home and it’s a different story, we expect to pay the sticker price or default to shopping online thinking that this is where we are going to find the best price.
We won’t get a discount on every occasion but what is the worst that can happen if the retailer says no. Remembering that negotiation should benefit both parties is something that we can sometimes forget and go in guns blazing.
If you aren’t a confident haggler, the MoneySavingExpert website has some great advice and tips on how to haggle when you’re back home.
2. Don’t believe that online is always cheaper
We’ve come to believe that shopping online is by default the cheapest place to buy whatever it is we want.
This isn’t necessarily true, if you’re prepared to do a bit of leg work and do some research you might find that the price is cheaper on the high street where if have taken head of the tips of the MoneySAvingExpert above you might actually leave with more thrown in that you would have done shopping online.
3. Use cash back websites
Cashback sites are a great way to save money on any number of items and services. The thing to remember is you shouldn’t rely on cashback sites paying out and always read the small print on any offer listed on their website.
4. Be on the look for coupons
Whether you’re buying online or offline always be on the lookout for coupons. You know to find them on coupon websites but don’t forget the free retailer magazines, newspapers, bus tickets and signing up to a mailing list.
5. Don’t settle on the first/obvious retailer
We all have our go to retailer of choice when it comes to shopping whether it’s because of familiarity, speed or anything else.
If you are prepared to carry out a little leg work you and find another retailer that is also offering a coupon or discount on an cashback site you might save money compared to your prefered retailer
6. Use reviews but also be cautious of them
You can’t underestimate the value of user reviews. They can give you a fair idea s to whether you are about to make a worthwhile purchase or would be better spending your money elsewhere.
Remember thought that everyone as a view of what a product should be so don’t just read the good reviews but read the bad reviews too and weigh up both sides of the coin when
7. Spend lots of time researching
If you spend a good amount of time researching your next purchase not only might you find that you are able to get it somewhere cheaper you might also find that there are alternatives that do the job just as well.
Not only does researching save you money, it will give you time to make a considered decision as to whether you actually need the product or its just something that you want, which won’t actually make much difference to you once you have bought it and are looking for your next purchase.
8. Don’t buy on impulse
They say don’t go food shopping when you’re hungry and this is true to form of shopping. They say that you should make a shopping list when you go to the supermarket. Why not make one when you shop for anything else too. Buy that suit or new dress, but do you really need a new pair of shoes to go with it. Buy that new bit of technology but do you really need that extra peripheral or will one that you will no doubt already have do the job.
9. Sign out of your shopping apps
Having our phones with us nearly all hours of the day for some also means that they are only a click away from their next purchase. Sign out of the shopping apps and wherever possible only have it downloaded to one device
10. Don’t confuse a brand name with quality
Brands will spend millions in an effort to part you with your cash, but don’t be fooled. That hoodie from your local supermarket will probably do the job just as well without the price tag to match and their
11. Only look for reductions and offers if you’re going to use what you buy
Whether its a buying food at reduced prices, two for ones or money off remember you are only getting a bargain if you were in the market for whatever it is you’re buying.
A three for two offer might seem like a good idea, but if its a perishable, be honest with yourself and ask are you actually going to consume it before the use by date?
12. Don’t be scared to buy second hand
There are some unscrupulous con artists out there that can put you off making a purchase from a classified or auction websites, but don’t be afraid to consider second hand, not only are you giving an item a new lease of life you are potentially saving it from landfill.
13. Subscribe to their mailing list
If you are going to shop at one particular regularly when not sign up to their mailing list. You never know you might benefit from deals that they are only promoting to those on their list. If you are worried about unwanted mail, why not set up another email address specifically for mailing lists.
14. Buy at the right time sales
Whether it’s stocking fillers, am item that you just have to have or something that you buy regularly. Buying at the right time could save you a sizable chunk of cash.
Buy in the holiday season when sales are on and benefit from retailers looking to temp you in to parting with your your hard earned cash in their quiet periods.
The obvious days to make a saving are Black Fridays and Boxing day but don’t forget the other holiday seasons were retailers might want to temp you.
15. Wait that bit longer
I remember when i was a lot younger my mum spending nearly £400 on a video player with a remote that wasn’t connected to a wire. It cost this much because it was new. Nothing has changed and if you want in on anything
16. Remember there is a difference between best before and use by
Use by don’t eat it past the date, best buy you can still eat it but it might not taste as it should.
Use your common sense too, remember your senses touch, smell all have the potential so save not only the cash in your pocket but will decrease the ridiculous amounts of food that is wasted.
17. Consider buying in bulk
Substantial savings can be had buying in bulk but as always make sure that you are going to use whatever you are going to buy. It’s all very well buying any number of any given item but if you are just going to throw it away because you haven’t used it, you clearly haven’t made a saving.
18. Compare prices on different devices / go stealth
Have you ever noticed that you might find the same product with the same retailer at a different price point just because of the device you are using. If you can compare if there is any difference in the price of something purely based on the device you’re using. Also try incognito mode too
19. Download a browser extension
There are some great browser extensions out there that aim to tell you when you visit a website whether there is a deal to be had.
Ones that I’m aware of here in the UK are:
20. Finally, don’t assume that cheap is always the better deal
Buying cheap can sometimes be a false economy.
If you buy one quality item, and I don’t necessarily mean branded, and not a cheaper alternative then it is more likely to last and you will find that you are buying less of that particular item.