We're all having to tighten out belts in the current economic climate, so we've listed 20 ways to save money – from checking prices online to simple haggling
Everybody likes a bargain but there’s more to bagging the best deal than just keeping an eye out for sales and special offers.
Tried-and-tested techniques such as clipping coupons from magazines or maximising loyalty-card points by exploiting promotions are still great ways to lower the cost of goods and services, but the internet offers even greater money-saving opportunities.
Buying over the internet is often cheaper than from traditional retail stores, and price-comparison sites make it easy to track down the lowest online price.
These options are only the start, though: there are dozens of less-obvious tricks that can make shopping online and on the high street more affordable. Here are 20 simple ideas that could result in huge savings.
1. Always compare prices online
Some people simply accept an asking price without seeing if it can be bettered elsewhere. However, it’s always worth spending a few moments to visit price-comparison sites, variants of which now exist for everything from car insurance to mortgages.
For many consumer goods, Google Shopping is quick and easy – just search for something at Google.co.uk and click the Shopping link on the left of the results page (or search directly from Google's shopping page).
The list of prices that appears usually starts with a link to a selection of suppliers for comparison purposes, but pay close attention to seller ratings before buying and don’t forget the details in the delivery costs column.
2. Quickly compare high-street prices
Impulse buys are an easy way to waste money on overpriced items, particularly with shopping senses dulled by a busy high-street sale. A crafty Google search in a nearby electronics shop before unleashing a credit card is one way to confirm a bargain, but smartphone owners have a better option.
The Google Shopper app for iOS and Android devices can search for prices by scanning barcodes on packaging, the covers of books or DVDs, plus much more besides.
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