It’s a new year and that means we’re all trying to cut back to make up for the expense of Christmas. For the best ways to get ahead of the saving game this year, here are my top ten tips …
- Coupon clipping
Millions of people are now partaking in the sport of “extreme couponing”, like Holly Smith who managed to get a £1,200 shop for free. You don’t have to be this extreme, but it’s worth hanging on to those little slips of paper.
- Buy from specialists
For household items like stationary, printer ink and so on, search for specialist websites who offer better rates and more frequent discounts, such as the Cartridge People website – you’ll get far more for your money.
- Bulk buy
Speaking of better value, consider buying things you use each day in bulk from wholesalers, like Costco. It could be toilet paper, hand soap or tinned foods, but higher quantities mean you’ll be able to buy them much closer to the cost price.
- Don’t be scared to switch
When it comes to your utilities suppliers, don’t be scared to shop around and switch if you find a better deal. There are so many introductory offers these days to entice new customers – if your supplier can’t match them, why stay?
- Learn how to haggle
This is a key money-saving skill. Whether it’s approaching your mobile phone provider for a better package, or purchasing white goods in store, you’d be surprised how much you could be discounted simply by asking.
- Be active on social media
Most big-name companies these days use social media to promote new lines and sales, so whether it’s your local restaurant or your favourite fashion brand, make sure you follow their accounts. Then you’ll be the first to know about any deals.
- Can you get it for free?
If you’re in need of something, always check whether you can get it for free first. From dining tables to old clothes, many people advertise via Facebook, while sites like Freecycle are dedicated to finding free homes for old stock – just do a quick search in your area.
- Prepare in advance
Laziness could be costing you money; if you’re the kind that always ends up spending money on lunch from the work canteen, start preparing your lunches the night before or in the morning to save a few extra pennies.
- Use discount websites
If you want a trip to the zoo or a theme park but don’t have the cash, look out for regular offers on sites like Vouchercodes and Groupon. You’ll be able to give the whole family a treat for as little as half the price.
- Shop out of season
Get used to shopping out of season and you’ll save a fortune. Buy discounted sparkly dresses for a fraction of the price now, and put them away for next Christmas. Or, buy your summerwear in the Autumn sales all ready for your holiday next year.
What are your money-saving tips?