How to be a Savvy Shopper – my Complete Guide to Couponing, Cashback & Loyalty Cards

I originally wrote this article in 2015 so I thought it was about time to bring it up to date and reshare with you all. At the time I was saving a considerable amount of money on my shopping each week, and I still try to make my money go as far as possible when shopping.

Here I share with you my tips on how to be a savvy shopper. My complete guide to saving you money on your shopping will include:

1. COUPONING
2. GROCERY SHOPPING CASHBACK
3. CASHBACK ON MORE PURCHASES
4. LOYALTY CARDS
5. BEING A SAVVY SHOPPER

Below I have gone into more detail of how to get the best deals.

pile of uk £ notes with £1 coins saving money on shopping

1. COUPONING

You may have seen Extreme Couponing on the tv and like the look of saving so much money on your shopping each week. The UK is never going to compete with the USA and over the last couple of years it has been harder to get and exchange coupons, but there are still a few sites that give printable coupons.

Remember though, if you usually buy a supermarket own brand it can still be cheaper to do that rather than buying a branded product with a coupon. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a bargain just because you have a coupon.

When signing up for coupons and offers I would advise you to set up a special email address just to use for that purpose. This is known as an alias email.  There is a possibility that you may get spammed. The companies listed below only tend to email you with offers but there are lots that don’t.

WHERE TO GET COUPONS

* Sign up for the monthly newsletters which contain offers, coupons & sometimes FREE products from John West, Princes, New Covent Garden Soup Co, and family restaurants such as Toby, Harvester, Prezzo, etc.

* Check out your favourite brands on social media they will often link to coupons,  special offers, and competitions for their products.

* Sign up to print off coupons for toiletries, household & healthcare from Caring Everyday and Supersavvyme

*  Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsburys, Co-op and Morrisons sometimes give you coupons printed out with your receipt.

Always check dates and terms of coupons – sometimes it’s one per transaction, sometimes one per product, some only valid in certain stores.

Use Google and MoneySavingExpert to search out coupons and couponing sites. There used to be lots out there but as couponing has changed many have become deals groups which cover even more ways to save. Just find a site that you like the feel of, and don’t necessarily go for the biggest well known page, often the smaller pages are better.

At the time of my previous update (March 2018) you could get free Oppo luxury ice cream by applying for a £2 postal coupon and using it in conjunction with the £2 cashback on Quidco (see below). Whilst that combination didn’t last long, there are sometimes other offers like this.

If you don’t like the item it’s great to be able to donate it to the foodbank or homeless shelter.

photo of supermarket shelves in the distance items are unclear with text how to be a savvy shopper my complete guide to couponing cashback and moneysaving

2. GROCERY SHOPPING CASHBACK APPS

There are a handful of apps for getting money back on your grocery shopping.  Clicksnap on Quidco and Snap & Save on Topcashback are available for desktop computers as well as mobile. And there are several more mobile apps such as Shopmium, Checkoutsmart and Greenjinn.

They are very simple to use, simply check the offers available before you do your grocery shop. If you buy an item on offer, snap a photo of your receipt afterwards and upload it to claim the cashback.

Quidco let you cash in once you have over £1 in your account but others are £5 – £20.

Again, as with couponing, these are generally for branded items, so if you normally buy a shop’s own version it may not always be cheaper.  Quidco often have alcohol on cashback and that’s where people tend not to compromise on brand.

Sometimes they even have free items which are great to donate to a foodbank or a homeless shelter if it’s not something you’d normally use.

supermarket shelves containing rows of cans and bottles of alcohol and soft drinks how to get cashback on your grocery shopping and be a savvy shopper
photo credit fancycrave.com

3. CASHBACK ON MORE PURCHASES

Not only can you get cashback on your grocery items, but you can get cashback on almost any purchase you make. From hotel bookings, insurances, telecoms, household services and purchases from your favourite retail stores. You can even get cashback with purchases from Amazon and Ebay!

You should always be checking for cashback options before making any purchase.
We have received more than £2,000 in the last 4 or 5 years. I have written about this in more depth on my new post:

How to Use Cashback Apps and Websites to Save Money and Get Free Cash.

 

blue background with the text quidco

 

white background with the text TopCashback in dark green with a green and pink hummingbird

 

Sign up FREE to Topcashback or Quidco to earn cashback on your all your purchases including holidays, household services, online & instore goods & much more.

You may get an introductory gift depending on current offers, and I may get a small referral credit if you reach £10 in cashback. (T&Cs apply)

TOPCASHBACK SIGN-UP

QUIDCO SIGN-UP

 


4. LOYALTY CARDS

I used to be loyal to Asda but over the years I have found that it actually pays to be disloyal because the other supermarkets will send you coupons for money off a shop. Whereas regular shoppers don’t seem to receive them as often.

It is obviously to entice you into their stores but by using these coupons and buying things that are on offer you can still come out on top, even if the supermarket is generally more expensive than your usual store.  Many stores now have cards and schemes and I’ve listed below a few that are worth having:

Boots – Free magazine and personalised offers where you can choose extra points against certain products, they will sometimes send additional vouchers too.

Co-op – Get back 5% back on own brand products and coupons occasionally.

Debenhams Beauty Card – Free trial products every month.

John Lewis – Free hot drink and cake 3 times a year and special event invites.

Ikea – Special offers plus free product insurance against damage on the way home for your purchases.

Morrisons – More card that accumulates points as you spend on your groceries and petrol then gives you a £5 voucher to spend in store once you reach 5,000 points.

Sainsburys – Nectar card that can also be used at BP garages, Ebay, British Gas and more.

Superdrug – Free birthday treats, special offers, free online deliveries

Tesco Clubcard – Can also be used at Esso garages. Earn points against your shopping redeemable against your shopping or for days out.

Waitrose – Free tea/coffee & magazine with any shop and a free newspaper  with a £10 spend.


5. SAVVY SHOPPING

It might take a bit of leg work to start off but once you become a “Savvy Shopper” it becomes second nature and you can save yourself so much money each year. Below are a few of my top tips for more money saving shopping ideas.

With the combination of couponing, cashback, loyalty cards and a bit of planning you can learn how to be a savvy shopper.

* Buy things out of season (eg, all your Christmas things in January, luggage, suncream & garden items at the end of summer, etc.)

* Stock up on things such as soap powder, deodrants, toilet rolls, shower gels, can drinks, cereals and snack bars, etc., when they are on half price or multibuy offers.

* Use Mysupermarket to check where pricy items are cheapest.

* Combine coupons with cashback and shop offers to get free/very cheap products.

* Buy at car boot sales, from charity shops, Ebay and local Facebook selling groups.  You can often find new items not just second hand.

* Join frugal and money saving  Facebook groups to pick up even more tips.

 

You might also like to read more articles in my Tips, Money Saving & How To section, especially:

* HOW WE SAVED OVER £5,000 IN JUST ONE YEAR
* HOW WE SAVED OVER £1,000 ON OUR HOME & CAR INSURANCES
* HOW TO GIVE TO CHARITY FOR FREE OR ON A BUDGET
MORE ABOUT TEA & CAKE FOR THE SOUL

I hope this has given you lots of ideas if you weren’t already doing them.
Do you have any more tips to share?
If so please leave them in the comments box below.

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