We all love browsing round the local shops and seeing what’s new at the supermarket, but if you’re anything like us you end up spending a fortune.
And, with the cost of living on the rise more and more Brits are looking to save cash wherever they can and at the end of the day shops are out there to make a profit.
So, it’s important to shop smart and not fall for the many marketing tricks out there to catch us.
Luckily, consumer expert Tom Church, co-founder of money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk, has a number of tips to help us stay savvy when at the supermarket.
Tom commented: “It’s easy to end up spending money you didn’t intend on parting with when you’re visiting the supermarket or looking around in high street stores, and often these purchases are due to the tactics implemented by these big brands.
“Here are some of the biggest tricks these shops don’t want you to know about, and how to avoid falling prey to them.”
Take a look at his tips below…
Check for coupons
It may feel like an extra effort to browse online for coupons before heading into the shops, but if you make a habit of doing this every time you’ll be surprised by the amount of savings you make.
Tesco’s coupon policy currently states that, not only are they happy to accept branded product coupons, they will also accept internet coupons as long as the terms and conditions have been met and it has a barcode.
It’s also worth looking in newspapers and magazines, as well as your junk mail – sometimes there is some hidden treasure to be found!
You can haggle!
If you’re not keen on paying full price for an item, nothing is stopping you from negotiating with a member of staff.
Cashiers often have the power to give 10% off if you ask at checkout, so it can’t hurt to give it a go.
This doesn’t have to be restricted to in-store only – instead of minimising the live chat bots which sometimes appear when you click onto a website, why not try and speak to someone and see if you can get a discount before you make your online purchase?
It’s definitely worth inspecting any potential purchase carefully for marks and defects plus, in stores like Poundland which offer foods with best before dates, try offering to buy items in bulk at a discounted price.
What’s more, if you have recently bought an item that subsequently went on sale, the retailer may credit you the difference in price. Keep a copy of your receipt and get in touch with customer service.
Crack the codes on labels
If you’re having a look around your favourite high street clothes store, it might be worth holding back on a purchase if you spot a scribble on the price label.
That’s because certain retailers, which can include Dorothy Perkins, Next, River Island and more, will have numbers written on the labels of certain items if they’re about to go into a sale.
For example, if you see a top on sale for £30 and its label has a 17 scribbled on it, chances are it will be on sale for £17 very soon.
I recommend taking a photo of the item so you don’t forget what it looks like, then going back in a few days or weeks. You may be able to bag a huge discount just by playing the waiting game.
It’s also a good idea to check for items in stores like TK Maxx which have had a yellow sticker placed over the red one – this means it’s in line for some heavy discounts.
Download shopping apps
The Amazon app will send notifications when a new deal is available, and you can scan barcodes to compare prices.
The B&M app is also celebrated by bargain hunters across the country, with many saying it’s saved them hundreds.
By scanning items in-store you can see if the price is cheaper than it’s currently marked as on the shelf. This way, you can bring up the cheaper price at checkout and grab a bargain.
Check higher and lower shelves
As supermarkets want to make a bigger profit, they will place the more expensive products at eye level, hiding the cheaper options out of reach.
Just by taking a few moments to stretch, bend or ask someone for help, you could gain access to some major savings.
Stick to your list
The essentials you would typically go to the shops for – such as bread, milk and loo roll – will be spread out, forcing you to look in other aisles and consider making additional purchases.
You can avoid spending extra by going directly to the aisles you need.
As you walk around, you may notice special deals in stand-alone sections, such as doughnuts or sweets, which are even brighter than the rest of the store.
These items will look even more tempting – don’t fall prey to this trick.
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Wait to buy online
Abandoning your shopping cart online encourages a retailer to add an incentive, encouraging you to go back and complete your purchase.
It could be a freebie, discounted shipping or money off the product itself.
To do this, ensure you’re signed up for an account on your website of choice, then add a product to your basket. Click off the site, and wait a day or two.
You’ll most likely receive an email from the store, asking if you’re ready to continue shopping and adding a discount to encourage you to return.