You only have to visit the petrol station and the supermarket to realise that the cost of living is rising. Everyone is feeling the crunch and we are all looking for smart ways to shop.
Even credit card companies are getting in on the act, offering balance transfer incentives, so always be on the look out for deals
When arranging a balance transfer, look out for arrangement fees as well as the promotional period. Check your credit card or loan and make sure you are getting the best interest rate. If not, make the change.
Good offers on balance transfer are coming up all the time. Make sure you keep your eye open and at the end of any existing promotional period, shop around again to make sure you are still getting the best deal.
Many people believe they are saving money when they shop in the sales. Beware of this trap. You are only saving money if the purchase was planned and is for an item that you need.
Buying something that you happened to see in the sale and liked, does not constitute a saving.
Speak to the sales assistants. The recession means that stores are vying for our custom and, depending on the product, you may be able to negotiate a deal.
If you spot an item of clothing that you like and the sales are coming up, check the laundry label. A red or black ink spot indicates that it is likely earmarked for reduction in the forthcoming sale. So why not see if you can save a few pounds by delaying the purchase.
Buying in bulk can save you money, so look for offers such as buy one get one free. However, don’t always assume that bulk is better. Be sure to check the unit cost to ensure you are getting the best deal.
Bulk buying items that, deep down, you know will not get used is also a bit of a pitfall. Remember, it is only a bargain if you need and use the product. Check the sell by and use by dates if applicable and be honest with yourself.
Some people believe that sticking rigidly to a shopping list will save them money. This is only half true and a little flexibility can save you a small fortune.
Whilst it is a good idea to know what you are visiting the supermarket for, be on the look out for offers and take advantage of them.
Brand loyalty is another way in which we often spend more than we need to. True, branded products offer reassurance and a comfort that we buying a quality product, however they are often priced accordingly.
These days many store own brands are practically indistinguishable from the big brand names so you won’t feel that you’re missing out. Some stores offer money back guarantees, so what have you got to lose?
This tip is so simple but it has to be said, shop around. There can be nothing worse than finding out you paid over the odds for something. Use the internet, call around to check prices and see what is on offer.
The best advice for saving money comes down to this, have a household budget for items like food and fuel and stick to it.