I am constantly trying to think up ways I can claw back a bit of the household cash…especially when it comes to spending out on the dullest of dull. It’s not easy because the boring bits have to be bought don’t they? I mean, no family can get far without a 9 pack of loo roll or a couple of 6 pinters of milk. Lets face it, I’d rather be spending that money somewhere much more fun. Like Eurodisney. Or even the local pub. Or come to think of it even in the clothing section of the local supermarket (sad but true).
There are definitely hacks and savings to be made…it’s just a case of knowing where to find them.
Depending on where you are shopping, there might be a loyalty scheme you can join. Although these don’t earn you lots of money, they can help reduce the cost of your purchase at least slightly. Check out whether there is a loyalty scheme that’s worth joining before placing your first order. If you are a member of the loyalty schemes then you must remember to sign in with the same account, or produce your membership card when making a purchase in store.
Cashback on Online Shopping
When shopping online you can normally earn cashback by clicking through a cashback website. Cashback sites operate by earning commission on sales placed by clicking on their links. This is a normal process, but a cashback website will effectively share this commission with you so you can save a bit of money.
There are loads of different cashback websites, all offering different retailers. Some of the best known are TopCashback and Quidco. By signing up to these sites and using them, it’s possible to earn a considerable amount of money in cashback revenue. These work by earning you a percentage on each purchase you make through the site. The money you earn is saved up and when it reaches a threshold is paid directly into your bank account.
Price Comparison Websites
The internet has made it easier than ever to compare prices and make sure you are getting the very best deal available. There are even some price comparison websites, including Google shopping to make this easier. These shopping comparison websites allow you to search for a specific product and then compare prices for a number of different retailers. The shopping comparison websites even include the shipping costs so you can make accurate comparisons. Clicking through to each one will allow you to check the deal and place your order.
Beware though, if you are using price comparison websites and hoping to get cashback you will need to be careful. Ensure that you click through from the cashback website before placing your order, otherwise it’s likely you will lose out as the commission will be paid to the comparison website.
Shop online and Offline
Most people assume that the internet prices will be the cheapest available, and while this is normally true, it’s not always the case. Don’t ignore shopping in conventional stores because sometimes they can surprise you. What’s more, some shops even offer in store only promotions which don’t feature online. Although rare, Boots and some other companies do run these from time to time. You might also find managers specials in specific stores, so it’s always worth a quick visit.
Also remember that buying products from traditional stores will save you money on postage. In other words, be sure you check that the online prices are still cheaper even when you have added the shipping costs. I’m a sucker for this one and need to get better at click and collect – I’d save a small fortune.
Price Match Guarantee
Many stores offer price match guarantees which you can use to save yourself some money. If you find the products cheaper online then you might be able to get a traditional store to match the lower price. This should also mean you won’t have to pay for delivery, and you also don’t need to wait in for the delivery as you can drive away with it straight away today. Ask whether the store matches prices before placing an order, and if they do then take some time comparing online to get the lowest possible price.
Look for Discount Codes
Depending on where you are buying from, it might be possible to get discount codes online. Spend a while searching for these and try some of them out to discover whether or not they are still valid. If you are buying from supermarkets like Asda or Sainsburys, then look out for first order discount codes which are easy to come by. These can be used to get an attractive discount off your total order value. Not every online store has discount coupons, but it’s always worth a few minutes to have a look. There are some sites dedicated to providing discount codes for the UK, although you might find it better to stick to forums where people will share codes which have actually work.
Sign up to Mailing Lists
Sometimes you can get great discount codes if you are willing to receive mailings from the company. Sign up to the mailing lists online and check out the first one. Sometimes you will receive a welcome message containing information on how you can get a certain percentage off your order. It’s always possible to unsubscribe from these mailing lists once you’ve received the discount codes anyway.
Buy on Interest Free Credit
Many stores offer interest free credit, this allows you to spread the cost of your purchase out over a number of months or years. Although this won’t actually reduce the overall amount that you spend, it will make it easier to manage with your budget. It also makes it possible to buy now without needing to waste any time saving up. If the store doesn’t offer interest free finance, then you could also consider using a new credit card with an introductory free credit period. As long as you pay off the whole balance before the introductory period finishes then you can save quite a lot of money.
You can apply for interest free credit promotions when shopping both online and offline in different stores. It might be better to use the interest free period rather than paying cash, even if you have enough money available.
Be careful though – this option requires self discipline!
Look for second hand products
Sometimes you can find brilliant second hand items for cheap. Whether you are looking for a bedroom cabinet or a second hand dining room table you can find bargains on second hand sites. There are loads of sites which can point you in the right direction, secondwow and ebay are just two examples of sites which can help you find the bargains. You can find near new products for a fraction of the price, and give a new life into a previously loved item to boot.
By using these few simple tips and tricks it should be possible to save money while still buying everything you need. It might take a bit of time to shop around, but it’s certainly worth it. Look out for the nasties though…when buying on interest free credit, just make sure you don’t miss a payment as otherwise the interest could be charged. It’s also worth checking the terms and conditions before signing anything.