**Tesco Bank asked me to come up with all my top tips on ways to shop smarter. This post was sponsored by Tesco Bank but all tips are my own**
Call me Columbo, but the fact you’re reading my blog is because, like me, you like to spend money – but cleverly.
If you have the cash, there’s nothing wrong with shopping – however you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the best bargain possible.
There are a couple of areas that really stand out when shopping for a bargain:
Children’s toys cost an absolute fortune, and if your kids are anything like my niece and nephew, there are toys bursting out of every drawer and spare room.
But, because they’re such big business there’s usually an opportunity to get a discount – even on that much-wanted toy (remember Hatchimals?!)
There are certain sales which hit each year which Santa’s elves keep their eyes out for, especially when Argos do their 3 for 2 on toys and when Tesco do Clubcard boosts.
If you were to look at your beauty collection, I bet you wouldn’t be surprised to find you’ve spent hundreds of pounds on creams and potions.
A lipstick can cost between £1 and £80, so it’s clear there are ways that you can cut costs. Using your local Poundshop is going to help you out here. Not only do they have their own ranges which have been tested out by beauty experts, but they also stock old high street and designer items.
If a big brand is changing the look of a product or discontinuing it – instead of throwing them in the bin, they’ll sell them to Poundland who make a profit. The best ones I’ve spotted are £1 Nails Inc and £21 Stila makeup for a quid.
Buying clothes for ourselves (and the family) cuts a big chunk out of the budget, but there are ways to do it cleverly.
First off, get cashback. Sites like Quidco and Topcashback are an absolute no-brainer. If you shop via them (and most of the big brands are included), it will give you a percentage of what you spend back.
I’ve been shopping via Quidco for about three years – as normal – and have made over £900 back, which I wouldn’t have had just shopping directly.
If you’re not using a voucher when eating out, you’re doing it wrong! A lot of the chain restaurants such as Pizza Express have incredible offers especially when you combine them with your Tesco Clubcard.
Probably the best place to find these vouchers is MoneySavingExpert’s restaurant’s page or Vouchercodes. The vouchers tend to either be ones you print out and present to the server when you pay, or discounts on your app.
If you’re more about local restaurants or something a little more high-end, then it may be worth investing in a dining card such as tastecard. The annual membership is £80, and before you suck air through your teeth because that’s a big payout – if you eat out quite a bit, the odds are you’ll make your money back within two or three restaurant visits, because you get 50% off your bill.
You know, saving a few quid really doesn’t have to be torturous or mean you have to miss out on all the good stuff life has to offer. If you want to read more tips (and why wouldn’t you), check out the piece I wrote for Tesco Bank’s website – How to save money by shopping smarter.