Shop Savvy and Save £££s!

Try these tips before you buy

By Alexandra Smith

1) Whenever you're shopping and see something on 'sale,' keep in mind that you may find it or a similar item for a lot cheaper in a charity shop, a car boot sale and sometimes (but not always) Ebay.

2) 'Make do and mend' was a WWII campaign to encourage people to fix what they've got rather than buying it new in order to save on resources - try doing it now to save money. For example, if you want a new kitchen, consider replacing the work tops and getting a new cooker rather than renewing the whole room.

3) Look at the substantially reduced stock on Amazon Warehouse Deals by selecting a department and listing the items in price ascending order. Sometimes expensive items come up for under £5 at the top of these lists (anything above £5 probably isn't that much of a bargain). Stock up on toys and gifts throughout the year to save the pounds when it comes round to Christmas and Birthdays (especially useful if you have children).  Try grouping items together in an order to get free postage+packaging too.

4) Use £ shops for certain items which are usually expensive at supermarkets, e.g. Crisps, chocolate bars and shampoo. Don't be tempted by inferior quality items, things you don't really need or want and things which are actually cheaper in a supermarket (e.g. biscuits, sweets and washing up gloves).

If we take a photo of it then we won't need to buy it!
5) Avoid leisurely Internet shopping as it's too convenient, there are too many manipulating adverts and deals and it can lead to compulsive buying. Think 'Do I really need this?' and 'Would it be cheaper in a shop?' before purchasing items.

6) If you enjoy shopping or like to buy your kids treats then make sure your purchases are cheap, useful and/or healthy. For example, buy a pack of 4 nectarines for £1 rather than 2 chocolate bars for £1.20.

7) Always think you have no money to spare. If you 'think poor' while you shop then you'll buy less and have more money to pay the bills.

8) Get a cheap hobby.  Keep busy and away from the shops by taking up a healthy hobby such as playing tennis.  If you can make your hobby pay then do it (e.g. sell things you can make or teach something you're good at).

9) Avoid spending lots of money on your new hobby by asking for the things you want for it as gifts on your birthday or at Christmas (like a new tennis court...joke).

10) If you like to buy and collect things, find something that's cheap to collect (and preferably second hand).

11) Keep an Autumn+Winter wardrobe and a Summer+Spring wardrobe. Store away the wardrobe you're not using then get it out in the relevant season to feel as though you've got new things without actually spending any money.

12) Use the library. Borrowing books, toys, etc from the library and returning them on time is a great way to feel like you gained something without paying anything for it.

13) Keep your receipts and keep tags on clothes/shrink wrap on goods until you use them. That way, if you realise you made an impulse buy/you don't need it/it's cheaper elsewhere then you can return the item ASAP.

14) Buy birthday, thank you and get well (etc) cards in bulk deals from shops like Card Factory then you'll always be ready.  If you stay organised then you'll only ever need to buy second class stamps too!

15) Buy neutral wrapping paper on sale after Christmas or other big celebrations to use for birthdays or next Christmas. Better still, you could arrange with family and friends that gifts are exchanged in gift bags and just keep using the same gift bags between you with the excuse that it's also good for the environment!

Keep Reading: Does your child repeat 'no' or say 'why' a lot?

© This article and its photo(s) are the property of Alexandra Smith. Only use or reproduce with permission.

Disclaimer: These tips are created from lessons I have learnt during my own experience.  With regard to the content and advice on this blog, Alexandra Smith makes no representations or warranties about its accuracy, reliability or suitability for anyone. Any reliance you place on the blog or its content is at your own discretion and in no event will Alexandra be liable for any loss, damage or injury in connection with your use.

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