Monday, 4 May 2015

How To Be A Savvy Shopper



One thing my friends and family always tell me is that I'm good at finding a bargain. I always like to get the most for my money and I'm sure everyone does really. So, I thought I'd share with you all some little tips and tricks on how to be a savvy shopper and help make those precious pennies go even further...

1) Make the most of loyalty cards
I used to work at Boots and it used to completely baffle me when people didn't have an advantage card yet they'd be spending hundreds of pounds. I sign up to pretty much every loyalty card going as I don't see why you wouldn't? I think some people just think they're a way for businesses to get your details and make you spend more but, as long as you're savvy about it, they're actually a great thing to have. The Boots card is definitely my favourite out of the bunch as it gives you 4 points per pound (which is more than most) and they regularly have online and in store events on for extra points as well as having an app that you can download which includes offers and points boosters. Think of the places you shop regularly and, if they have a loyalty card system, sign up to it! If you're spending your money there anyway then why not get something extra out of it? The Sainsburys Nectar card is a good one to have if you're a British Gas customer as you get points just from paying your bills! I also really like the Starbucks app and the Costa card as it doesn't take long to accumulate enough points/stars for a free drink if you're a regular. Also remember to regularly check your cards to see if you're owed anything as I know some points systems have expiry dates.
2) Shop around
If you're buying branded products that are sold in multiple places, have a quick google to see which store is selling it for the best price. This is particularly relevant to beauty purchases as so many brands are sold at a variety of shops/websites that it's worthwhile looking around first instead of just buying it from the first place that comes into your mind. For example, I always used to buy all my beauty products from Boots as they have a good choice, lots of offers and I'm a sucker for the ad card points, however, I realised that it was actually cheaper for me to buy certain items from Feel Unique (even if I took into account the points I would get if purchasing from Boots.) 
3) Stock up when offers are on
If you always buy a certain shower gel, for example, and go through it quite often then stock up when it's on a particularly good offer. It might mean spending more at the time but it'll save you money in the long run. 
4) But make sure offers are actually worth it
A lot of people are drawn in by 'offers' that are actually not as good value as they may seem. Often stores up the price of products before putting them on a Buy One Get One Free or 3 for 2 offer to dupe people into thinking they're getting a really good deal. 
5) ALWAYS check for discount codes
Whenever I'm shopping online, I always make sure to have a quick google for any discount codes that are lurking about before paying. It only takes a couple of minutes and is so worth it if it means knocking a couple of pounds off your basket. I make sure I do this when I'm going out for a meal, as well, especially if it's at a chain restaurant like Pizza Express or Frankie & Bennys, as there's nearly always some kind of discount or special menu offer kicking about somewhere. 
6) Use cashback sites
If you're a serial online shopper then cashback sites could be your new best friend. My favourite is TopCashback.co.uk but there are loads more out there. Before buying something, check if that retailer qualifies for cashback and, if they do, just make sure you click through to them from the cashback wesbite. Usually it's only a couple of percent you'll get back but sometimes it can be a lot more. When I signed up for my iPhone 5 contract about two years ago I got £100 cashback just by going to TopCashback first! It can take a while for cashback to be processed but it's always a good feeling when you check your account and see that some of it is ready to be withdrawn.
7) Don't be afraid to ask for samples 
This one is quite specific to beauty counters as you can't exactly walk into McDonalds and ask for a bite of a burger before buying one - but at beauty counters - there's absolutely no harm in asking to try before you buy. As a former counter gal, myself, I was more than happy to give customers little samples to take home or try different products out on them before they actually decided to buy them. Most counters will let you take home a little sachet or pot of foundation, if you ask, as this is a product that you can't really decide on after just swatching it on the back of the hand. Other products like moisturisers, eye creams, mascaras or lipsticks are a little trickier due to hygiene reasons but it's always worth asking to see what they can offer you. 

I hope you found this helpful! Do you have any tips or tricks on how to be a savvy shopper?

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