How I go shopping a lot without going skint

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

I shop a lot, but I'm also good at not spending too much. I know how to find a good bargain and make my money go further. Here's my advice on how to save money when out shopping...

Photo by Becca McHaffie on Unsplash

1. Make eBay your best friend.
If I find something I like on websites like Amazon, Argos, or Very, I can guarantee I'll find it on eBay with a bit more money off. I have come across tons of good stuff on eBay for next to nothing - books, clothes, handbags, gadgets, tech accessories, make-up brushes, home decor - and it's once in a blue moon that something goes awry. I tend to filter my search results so the item location is UK only - this is mostly because shipping will be quicker and also things like clothes will be in UK sizes.

When I want to look for clothes, I like to sort to 'Newly listed' or 'Ending soonest' to bag the real deals. Books I will mostly always look for 'Like new' or 'Good condition'. I like to buy little home decor items like vases, decorative trays, and cushion covers because they tend to either be handmade or vintage (and affordable!)

2. Check TKMaxx on the regular.
TKMaxx is my favourite shop of all time. I have picked up clothes, make-up, skincare, handbags, clothes, shoes, candles, picture frames, plant pots, perfume, jewellery, bras, pyjamas... the list goes on. I love TKMaxx for its uniqueness - you can find so many rare gems in there, stuff you won't see anywhere else and I love that. I like owning one-off things because who wants the same stuff as everyone else?

I recently went to TKMaxx and found a ton of skincare products and make-up brushes by the brand Rodial (which is usually an absolute fortune) for mere pennies. Something was £9.99 with an RRP of £52.00, which must be one of the biggest discounts I've ever seen in TKMaxx. I get a lot of my bath and body products from TKMaxx, because not only is most of it cheap as chips (therefore if it runs out quickly I'm not that bothered), but it's often cruelty free, organic, and free from any nasties.

3. Have a good rummage in charity shops.
Charity shops are my favourite places to grab books, home decor items, and vinyl. I do check out clothes, but it's not very often I find something I love. I have come away with film cameras, knitwear, DVDs, vintage books, vases, and decent quality vinyl. You just have to be willing to search.

4. Install Pouch.
Pouch is a free browser extension that automatically finds you the best voucher codes as you shop. The US has an equivalent called Honey that does the same thing.

Pouch is a godsend; sometimes it will provide you with a voucher code that is exclusive to Pouch users, so you might save money simply by having the browser extension. My favourite website for getting the best Pouch codes is Lookfantastic (skincare, make-up, haircare etc.) - they always have good deals on anyway, but having a voucher code on top of that means you're buying products for very little.

5. Look for cheap/free P&P.
Why do some online shops have such expensive postage? Anything over £3.00 and I'm out. Yeah, I'm a bit of a cheapskate. I like to Google search for free postage codes or check any old e-mails that offered 10% off your first order when you first signed up that I might not have used. I hate paying for postage and packaging, basically. I will do what I can not to pay it.

If an online store allows me to use Click & Collect, I will use it because 9 times out of 10 it's free. I have a local Morrisons that has a Click & Collect service and Amazon lockers, so it's really handy if you don't want to pay extortionate postage prices by having something delivered to your house.

6. Use Klarna in between pay days.
Klarna allows you to buy online and either pay later, or slice your payments into smaller ones. I have used it when buying jeans from Topshop; their jeans fit me like a glove but they're so overpriced, but because of Klarna I've been able to try them on at home and make sure they're perfect before handing over any money. They give you a good month or so before you have to pay for your items too, so you've got plenty of time to wait until pay day, which means those £38 jeans(???!!) don't hurt my bank account as much.

You can find a list of all the online shops that use Klarna here.


Kate

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