My complete guide to saving money on your shopping
There are four main ways to save money on your shopping and they are: couponing, cashback, loyalty cards and being a savvy shopper. Below I have gone into more detail of how to get the best deals.
COUPONING – The UK is never going to compete with the USA in the likes of Extreme Couponing and over the last couple of years it has been harder to get and exchange coupons, but there are still a few sites that you can sign up to to receive printable coupons from. If you are going to sign up for coupons and offers I would advise you to set up a special email address just to use for that purpose as there is a strong possibility that you will get spammed. This is known as an alias email. (The companies listed below only tend to email you with offers but there are lots that don’t)
* Sign up for monthly newsletter for coupons & sometimes FREE products from John West, Princes, New Covent Garden Soup Co, and family restaurants such as Toby, Harvester, etc. Check out your favourite brands on social media they will often link to coupons and special offers for their products.
* Sign up and log in 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 one per transaction, sometimes one per product, some only valid in certain stores. Use Google to search out coupons and couponing sites. There are hundreds out there, just find one you like the feel of, and don’t necessarily go for the biggest well known page,often the smaller pages are better.
Remember if you usually buy a Supermarket own brand it can still be cheaper to do that rather than buy a branded product with a coupon. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a bargain just because you have a coupon.
Currently (11 March) you can get free Oppo luxury ice cream by applying for a £2 postal coupon HERE and using it in conjunction with the £2 cashback on Quidco (see below). Whilst this offer won’t last long there is often offers like this, and if you don’t like the item it’s great to be able to donate them to the Foodbank or homeless shelter.
CASHBACK – There are a handful of apps for getting cashback on your grocery shopping but only two (Clicksnap & Snap and Save) that are available for desktop computers as well as mobile apps.
I signed up to Quidco and TopCashBack after reading the recommendation from Martin Lewis but wish I had done it sooner as within days I was earning cashback on all sorts.
The first section I used was for my grocery shopping (ClickSnap on Quidco & Snap and Save on Topcashback). Each week there are a selection of offers where you buy the item, upload a photograph of your receipt and then the money specified goes into your account. Often you can get a refund for the entire purchase price.
More free cashback can be obtained by getting insurance quotes, car sales and even signing up to online dating agencies with no purchase needed. You can then start to use the sites for all your online purchases.
Basically they work a bit like a search engine. Eg if you are ordering a new bathroom suite from B&Q you log in to either cashback site, type in B&Q and if offers you say 3% back against your purchase within a specified time period. You are then taken directly to the B&Q website and you order as normal. The cashback is later paid into your account.
There are hundreds of top retailers registered with them. You can even book hotel rooms, flights, car hire, insurance, boiler repairs, etc. There is a potential to earn £100s back each year just from buying things you would normally buy from the companies you would normally buy from.
Each site offers two types of account a free one or premium (the latter costs £5 a year but gives you higher cashback rates). I opted for free accounts on both to start with. Once you sign up you can be paid once you’ve earnt over £1 either by BACS, Paypal or in vouchers for stores which give you an additional bonus too. TopCashBack tends to give a slightly higher rate of cashback but check both as they run offers at different times.
Then all you have to do is get into the habit of logging in to your account before you make any purchase and check the offers before you shop. Be sure to clear cookies before you browse/purchase. Then once you see how good it is you can start recommending your friends and family (each family member can have an account as long as you have separate bank or paypal accounts). You can get a referral code and earn even more once your friends sign up through that link (once they have earnt £10). Please sign up via my links below. In a year and a half I have earnt over £400 for a family of 4 from my grocery shopping, insurance quotes and purchases, RAC and booking my holiday.
Quidco/ClickSnap Sign Up
TopCashBack/Snap & Save Sign Up
There are other mobile apps for grocery shopping cashback such as CheckoutSmart, Greenjinn and Shopmium but I have not used these before.
LOYALTY CARDS – I used to be loyal to Asda but over the years I have found that it actually pays to be disloyal as 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 you usual store. Many stores now have cards and schemes and I’ve listed below a few that are worth having:
Asda Price guarantee – no loyalty card but if you enter details from your till receipt online and they are not 10% cheaper they will give you a voucher for the difference
Boots – free magazine and personalised offers where you can choose extra points against certain products, they will sometimes send additional vouchers
Co-op – get back 5% back on own brand products
Debenhams Beauty Card – free trial products every month
John Lewis – free hot drink and cake 3 times a year and special events
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 so many 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, newspaper (against a £10 spend)
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.
*Buy things out of season (eg all your Xmas things in January, Luggage, Suncream & Garden items at the end of Summer)
*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 is cheapest.
*Combine coupons with cashback and shop offers to get free/very cheap products
*Buy at carboots, Ebay and local Facebook selling groups. You can often find new items not just second hand.
*Join Frugal and Moneysaving groups to pick up even more tips
I originally wrote this blog over 3 years ago but decided to bring it up to date and republish it as I have more followers now.
You might also like to read my blog on giving to charity for free or on a budget which uses some of these tips and more.
If you like my tips, please do follow on WordPress, Twitter or Facebook Make sure you tick “get notifications” on Facebook. Shares and reposts are gratefully received. Thanks for looking.