It looks like the effects of economic strife have had a real impact on our ‘shopping style’. Are you a savvy shopper who’s always out to get the best price? Do you have any shopping tips for other cash-strapped Brits?
In the past year alone, we apparently saved a collective £32.1bn by using savvy shopping techniques – from trawling the web for discount codes and taking advantage of high street sales, to signing up to cashback sites.
Waiting until a full-price item comes on sale is an accepted tactic. I can, rather shamefully, admit to going one step further: returning an unworn item bought full price, only to pick it up on sale from another branch down the road. Absolutely worth the effort.
A colleague of mine swears by ‘barcoding’: visiting the shop for a strategic browse, whipping out a smartphone and scanning the barcode of the desired item to find it cheaper online. A smart move, though keeping it subtle can be something of a challenge.
Truly dedicated bargain hunters can even purchase near sell-by-date food online for bargain prices. Is that savvy or a step too far? I’m on the fence, though for products like detergent and washing powder, I might give it a go.
The challenges of savvy shopping
Of course, bargain hunting isn’t without its pitfalls. Although cashback sites like Quidco can be a boon for getting money back when you spend, we’ve heard stories of it taking months to pay out. And there’s also hit or miss customer service systems to negotiate.
I’m not ‘barcoding’ yet, and I’m a pretty far stretch from buying (nearly) gone-off food online. Nevertheless, I suppose I’m a pretty committed bargain hunter. How far would you go to save the pennies?