Today -5 Money-Saving Hacks To Shop Smarter Online
5 Money-Saving Hacks To Shop Smarter Online
According to LV=, the cost of raising a child to the age of 18 is now over £75,000. With this figure covering everything from clothing to education, it’s easy to see why parents’ bank accounts would be stretched by the end of the month. But there are certain tricks to use which can help to give your family a bit more to work with, and online shopping is one area where it’s particularly easy to cut costs without cutting corners.
1. Earn cashback
Cashback sites can essentially help you earn free money by paying you a reward when you use a link from their site to buy goods or services. Most work in the same way, although there are some differences in aspects like fees, registration bonuses, and how you receive the money. Some of the best sites include TopCashback, which offers cashback on everything from car insurance to playing the lottery, and Quidco, which features all different kinds of retailers, including supermarkets and clothing stores.
To make the most of cashback sites, look around to see which offer the best deals on the products or services you’re looking for. Once you’re signed up, check to see if you could be eligible for a referral benefit when you invite friends. You should also make use of any other freebies, as some sites let you earn money just by completing surveys or entering prize draws. However, be careful to avoid sites which charge sign-up fees and be sure to shop around for bargains—some offers may actually be cheaper on non-cashback sites. For example, a £150 pet insurance policy with £20 cashback isn’t a steal if you can buy it for £100 elsewhere.
2. Use price comparison sites
For essential outgoings like insurance, utilities, and food, price comparison sites are an invaluable way of finding the best deals. By giving you an overview of what’s available, you can pick the best offer—in terms of both price and what most suits your family’s needs. These sites look at relevant personal factors, so if you’re looking to compare gas and electricity tariffs, for instance, they will take into account how much energy you consume.
Even if you’ve seen what looks like the deal with the best bang for your buck, you should still check out a few different options before committing to anything. Individual price comparison sites don’t give you all of the available options, so looking around can help you save even more money. It’s also essential to ensure that any product or service you’re considering fits your needs, as the cheapest deal may not necessarily be the most suitable. Be aware that, although some sites do offer guidance with this, others don’t.
3. Get voucher code and price drop alerts
Certain browser tools will alert you to online money-saving opportunities, saving you the effort of finding them yourself. Take Pouch, for instance, a plugin which automatically lists any available voucher codes when checking out. It not only aggregates offers from across the web but has access to exclusive promotions from retailers that you won’t find anywhere else.
Product prices constantly fluctuate, depending on demand, seasonality, and sales, and it can be hard to find discounts without constantly monitoring the products you’re looking for. However, price tracking tools like Honey, Wikibuy, and Camel Camel Camel can keep an eye on price fluctuations on any products on your wishlist. They will alert you the moment one of these items becomes cheaper, as well if something is back in stock. Some will even tell you if a particular item is more affordable elsewhere and help you earn credit for your purchases.
4. Beat delivery charges
It’s all too easy to just accept delivery charges on products bought online, but there are multiple ways you can avoid them. Many retailers offer free delivery if you spend more than a certain amount, so if you’re only a few pounds away, you could actually save money by buying more. Take Amazon, which offers free delivery over £20, or tools such as Filler Checker and Super Saver Delivery Tool which can help you find products that bump you up to the magic number.
If possible, you should also get items delivered to a local store rather than your home address. Many retailers now offer this service for free, due to these items being sent in bulk. This also means you don’t have to wait around for a delivery, or risk missing it while at work or running errands. Another option is to pay an annual fee for a year’s worth of free delivery, with Amazon Prime being the most notable example of this type of arrangement. Of course, this is only worth it for retailers which you regularly shop with, so weigh up if it will actually save you money or not.
5. Sign up to newsletters
You can enjoy some fantastic discounts from retailers simply by signing up to their newsletters. For instance, both BudgetAir and Uniqlo offer £10 off your next online order. Some brands even offer birthday gifts—H&M offers 25% off anything purchased on a customer’s birthday, while Mothercare gives customers 20% off toys on their child’s birthday.
Regardless of discounts, these newsletters can be well worth signing up to in their own right, keeping you up to date about sales and promotional events. It’s advisable that you set up a separate email address or folder in order to avoid newsletter spam, and unsubscribe from any retailers you no longer use to avoid them clogging up your inbox.
5 Money-Saving Hacks is a feature post you might also like my post on tips for shopping for jewellery online