Savvy shopping

Offers are everywhere. Money off, multi-buy deals, discount cards – they are shouting from the shelves in supermarkets and shops all the time. But are they always a good option for saving money? These offers can tempt you into buying things you don’t really want. Here are our tips on finding your way through to the real bargains.

Are you buying it anyway?

If the offer is on a product that you were going to buy anyway, then your stars have aligned. Go forth and make the most of that deal! However, if that weird sauce you’ve never heard of is on a three-for-two deal, you might not want to be too adventurous and find yourself stuck with lots of jars of something you don’t like. No matter how tempting an offer is, if you weren’t going to buy it in the first place, it’s not a great bargain.

Is it perishable?

Multi-buy deals are fantastic for products that won’t go off. Two-for-one shampoo? Bargain. Three-for-two on baked beans? Great deal. You can stock those in your cupboard and feel smug. But multi-buy deals on things that have a short shelf life, like fruit and veg, can be a false economy. Unless you eat plums like they are going out of fashion, that BOGOF on 500g punnets will only end up in the bin. The only way a multi-buy works on these kinds of products is if you go in with a friend and share the deal.

Is there a catch?

On the surface, discount or loyalty cards can look like the best offers around. If you regularly shop around, you can end up with a wallet full of these. But before signing yourself up to anything, look more closely – sometimes you have to pay for these upfront,or they can turn out to be expensive credit cards. Don’t feel pressured – take a leaflet or look it up online if you’re not sure. If you do use loyalty cards, don’t be tempted to spend more to get more ‘points’ back – it’s only a bargain if you needed it in the first place.

Offers can be a saving grace. As long as you don’t get seduced by the big red signs, and think before you buy, you will be absolutely fine.

Have you got any advice for shopping wisely? Let us know and we might feature your suggestions on the blog.