10 ways to be a savvy shopper

17 May 2012

1. Dining out

Never eat out without searching Google for vouchers beforehand. Download apps such as My Voucher Codes and Voucher Cloud and you don't even have to print the voucher before going to the restaurant.

Check out our top 10 voucher codes and top 10 cheap eats

2. Clothes

Many shoppers are missing a trick when it comes to looking for fashion bargains. Almost half (42%) don't use the internet to search for discounted fashion - and often discounts of 75% or more from top designers and major high street brands can be found online.

To avoid the disappointment of finding great bargains which aren't in your size, register with sites which ask for your size and favourite brands. You will then be alerted when appropriate bargains from these brands go on sale.

3. Handbags/Accessories

Buy classic investment pieces which look chic year after year rather than following the latest seasonal trends.

4. Cars

For the best deals on new cars, head to the showrooms at the end of June, September or December when salespeople who are behind in reaching their quarterly targets are more likely to offer you a better price.

March is the most popular month for people buying new cars, which means that sales targets are more likely to be met but, for the used car buyer, this is a great month to snap up a bargain.

Used car buyers are much more likely to drive away with a bargain in March as there are more second hand cars on the market. It's a buyer's market in March and they can haggle harder for a great deal.

5. Petrol

Don't fill up on a Friday as some retailers put up the petrol prices ahead of the weekend rush. A useful website for finding the cheapest petrol stations in an area is petrolprices.com.

Simply enter the postcode or town and you will be advised on to the cheapest petrol in the area.

Save £500 on your petrol bill

6. Groceries

You can save money by setting yourself a time limit when you go to a supermarket, or by fitting in your supermarket visit before meeting someone or needing to be home at a specific time.

If you have less time, you will be much more likely to buy the items you really need as opposed to being tempted by extra items which will only add pounds onto your bill.

I always shop on a full stomach. Shopping when hungry can lead to impulse buys.

7. Holidays

Check out the late hotel room sites for holiday accommodation as it could lead to the discovery of an upgrade for the same price or pounds saved on an alternative hotel room.

Always book your car parking at airports in advance and don't forget to check the short-term car park for longer stays as it is often cheaper than a concierge and avoids an all too often wait. 

Five ways to grab a holiday bargain

8. Travel

For the best flight discounts, books flights 11 months in advance.

When it comes to train travel, you can sometimes pay a quarter of the price if you book 28 days or more in advance.

For peak periods at Christmas and Easter, the cheapest tickets go on sale about eight or nine weeks before the respective festive period. Remember, two singles can sometimes be cheaper than a return ticket.

9. Mobile Phones

Keep a close eye on the minutes, texts and internet usage you use and agree an all inclusive package on any contract renewal. Exceeding the limits can lead to additional costs which can be avoided with the right package.

10 steps to get a better mobile phone deal

10. Days out with Children

The most expensive entrance fees are normally at the ticket office on the day of your visit so always check out options for buying tickets online in advance. It's also worth looking into group discounts and going along with another family to take advantage of reduced admission fees.

Rob Gorton is the founder of LoveFashionSales.com

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