Despite the fact I’ve been a personal finance journalist for the best part of 20 years, I hardly ever use discount vouchers or coupons.
It’s probably a reflection of time constraints – if I’m not at work, I’m usually stuck on a train somewhere between Brighton and London Bridge, leaving me little time to go shopping.
So the odd Pizza Express discount aside, I hardly ever get that warm glow that comes with bagging a bargain.
This weekend, I ordered the new £119 Tesco Hudl tablet computer for just £2 (I'd wanted to buy the Hudl in-store but was told they had sold out just three days after launch). That's incredible value for a tablet that offers similar specs to far more expensive rivals.
So how did I do it?
On certain products and departments, Tesco allows you to double the value of Clubcard vouchers. It’s not a new service, but it’s had a revamp and is now called Clubcard Boost.
My wife had been saving all of our money-off Clubcard vouchers for Christmas and had racked up a decent amount, in cash terms. So when I looked at the Hudl and thought it would make a nice, cheap, lightweight device on which to watch movies and read books while on the go, I decided to raid the Christmas voucher pot and get some money off.
Thanks to Clubcard Boost, the £58.50 worth of vouchers my wife had saved was doubled to £117, meaning I only had to pay £2 for my Hudl. Now that’s what I call a decent saving – though in the US it would no doubt go down as an example of “extreme couponing”.
It remains to be seen if the Hudl is a decent product (it should arrive by post within a couple of days), but it’s certainly one of the best discount deals I’ve ever done.
I also think the Clubcard Boost initiative is a genuinely decent one - if you shop at Tesco already, price matching should ensure you rarely lose out on your weekly shop, while Clubcard vouchers are an added bonus. To then double the value of those vouchers strikes me as a genuinely consumer-friendly initiative (and, before you ask, Tesco has not paid me for my feedback).
The only drawback is that I've now blown my wife's Christmas discount voucher pot on a gadget - that may well come back to haunt me in December!
So what’s the best deal you’ve ever done?