This is a collaborative post by Ellie Jo with tips to save money shopping.
It’s the start of another New Year, and while that comes with the promises of finally keeping those pesky New Years Resolutions once and for all, we also know that it’s a time where your finances are less than favorable after the excess spending of the previous months due to the holidays.
This doesn’t mean that your shopping habits have to stop- you still have a life to live, and things that need doing in the home- and, let’s face it, to keep you sane in this dark and dreary time of year.
Forget giving in to ‘Blue Monday’ (20th January this year), a successful shopping trip comes with its own kind of rush, particularly when there are bargains to be had in the post-holiday sales!
Did you know that there are ways you can save, and even -earn- money when you shop online?
Here are some of the ways you can start shopping smarter so that you can save your precious cash in the meantime.
How to Save Money Shopping
Make Your Big Purchases Off-Season to Get The Best Deals
Got big plans next Christmas? Start your shopping now. Retailers will mark-down specific items to get rid of old stock when the seasons change. Plan around this when making big purchases such as outdoor equipment and BBQs which are often discounted in the fall.
Look around online to find the best time to make purchases so you know you’ll always get a good deal. If you’re buying out of season, go for classic styles that stick with the trends of the time- the last thing you’ll want is for something to look dated for the sake of a good bargain!
Start a Side Hustle as a Mystery Shopper
It’s everybody’s dream to get paid for doing the things they love. Why shouldn’t an expensive hobby pay? After all, it is your duty to help members of the public with their shopping. If working full time doesn’t allow you to take on extra work, or you’re just looking for some alternative employment ideas that offer flexibility- mystery shopping may be for you. Start by registering your interest online, and away you go!
Don’t Buy New
The trend of buying used goods has increased in popularity over recent years due to people’s growing concern with the environmental impacts that fast fashion has.
There are many people who are opting to use this ‘buy nothing new’ challenge as one of their 2020 resolutions. You don’t have to go to these extremes in order to make a difference, though.
Thrifting and buying second-hand goods online on places like eBay and facebook marketplace can often be a cheaper alternative to buying new, as well as impacting the environment less, too.
Before going to buy new, look in these places to see what offers people have on their new and used items.
Look for Deals and Discounts
One of the best things about shopping around is having the ability to search for the best deals. When looking for a specific item online, google will automatically bring up different websites to compare the prices of your chosen item from different retailers. Always shop around before making your final purchase.
Discounts can play an excellent role in keeping things cheap as well. Check out websites such as NetVoucherCodes.co.uk to see where you could be saving on your purchases.
If you’re planning on traveling this year, take a look at flight comparison websites to see what alternative agencies can offer you a better deal. Always remember to clear your cookies when you’ve been looking for deals online, as the prices can sneakily go up if your computer’s details are remembered.
Get Creative and Crafty
Before buying new, think about what you already have that can be used for something else. Want some denim shorts? Don’t throw away those jeans that have ripped a little too much at the knee, cut the legs down to get you some brand new to you denim shorts fit for the warmer months.
Pinterest is your best friend when it comes to ‘make do and mend’ craft ideas to get you saving on the cash and adding a unique edge to your wardrobe- it doesn’t have to be difficult!
Meal Plan and Make Lists
Food waste is an issue that plagues many households over the Western world. It’s so easy to pop by a grocery store to pick up the things we need…as well as those things that we don’t when we’re unsure what to have for dinner on a midweek night.
Make a weekly meal plan and shop for the ingredients you need to make the meals you need for that week. Stick only to the items on your list so you’re not caught out!
Don’t be sucked into buying those end of the aisle items that are made to look like a good deal- often they’re not that much cheaper, and most of the time you don’t need it anyway!
Don’t Shop to deal with Your Emotions
Happy, Sad, Bored, HUNGRY or heartbroken, all of these things are bad reasons to go shopping. Shopping when you’re feeling a little ‘off’ can lead to some pretty silly impulse buys. Find something else to do when you feel this way instead of shopping so you don’t end up feeling worse when you check your bank balance.
Always eat before going grocery shopping to prevent the whole of the candy aisle mysteriously finding its way into your cart en route.
Save Your Small Change
If you make most of your purchases using your card or by shopping online, it can be easy to forget about the wonder of saving your small change. If you physically go to the store, use cash.
Not only will this make you a little more mindful of your shopping, but you’ll also have the opportunity to save up your small change which will add up over time. Use a jar or large container to watch your savings grow!
What are your best money-saving tips?