3 Ways to save money on (almost!) everything you buy

If you've got things to buy - whether it's a gift, back-to-school clothing or even your weekly food shop - there'll probably be a way that you can save money on your purchases. Here are three ideas to help you cut the cost of your shopping...

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Even though my website is about living a frugal life, that doesn’t mean I don’t buy anything – I shop just as much as the next person.

But, the difference is that when I DO buy something new, I’ll always check if I can save money on it before I hand over my money.

Throughout my many years of living a thrifty life, I’ve learnt that there are often deals to be discovered for almost everything you want to purchase, regardless of whether it’s a big-ticket item or just a takeaway coffee.

The key to saving money on every single thing you buy is doing a little bit of research before you swipe your card.

And it doesn’t have to take long if you know where to look…

Free cashback in your account

The first type of saving I like is getting cashback when I buy anything. It’s a small extra step in the buying process but it means I get actual, real money back in my account after I’ve spent it.

One of the easiest ways to do this is through the JamDoughnut app – it’s right there on your phone whenever you want to buy anything, whether you’re on the high street, in the supermarket or shopping online.

The idea is essentially pre-loading your phone with the money you want to spend at the retailer – like buying a gift voucher. The voucher barcode lives in your app ‘wallet’ and you just scan it in the shop or enter the voucher code online when you check out.

There are so many brands taking part in the JamDoughnut app that I bet you’ll find anything you need to buy on the app – from a takeaway to trainers, or even a holiday.

I also find this a handy way of budgeting my food shop as I can preload my weekly or monthly food budget onto the app and then scan the barcode in the supermarket whenever I buy a trolley-load of food, or even when I’m just grabbing some bread and milk.

The cost of the food shop is deducted from my balance and the remainder of my shopping budget stays loaded onto the app ready for my next visit to Aldi, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Tesco, Farmfoods etc.

And I get a percentage of my food shop credited back to my JamDoughnut account, which is paid straight into your bank account as soon as you reach £10 of cashback savings.

Definitely consider using the app if you’re planning to buy bigger items – such as furniture from IKEA or or power tools from B&Q – as you’ll earn a larger chunk of cashback and will be able to cash out even quicker.

My personal referral code from my own JamDoughnut account is QAZV if you want to join up – and then you can recommend it to friends to earn referral points too!

Voucher codes and coupons

Coupons have been around forever. I remember my mum using vouchers cut out from newspapers or supermarket adverts to get money off our food shop when I was a child.

Even though you might not see cut-out coupons as much these days, it doesn’t mean there aren’t discounts out there.

In fact, I’ve previously shared a blog post with 3 passive ways to discover deals when shopping online so be sure to check it out to let the discounts come to you, rather than the other way around.

A good way to find discount codes and deals is by following the social accounts of the brands you want to shop with. I’m always seeing food freebies being given away by fast-food retailers on Twitter.

Another thing I always look for is a %-off discount or a free shipping code whenever I’m buying something online.

I figure that, if I’m already planning to buy something, I can spare a couple of minutes to search online to see if the brand has a discount voucher available that I can use.

There’s rarely I time that I buy something without getting money off or free shipping. Plus, you can still use these discount codes with the JamDoughnut cashback option to double-up your savings!

Shop around and ask for deals

Sometimes the first price you find for an item isn’t the best possible deal out there. So, if you know what you want to buy, it’s worth doing a bit of research to see if the price is lower on a different website or if you could get a better deal in-store.

The good thing about shopping ‘in real life’ is that you might even be able to get a lower price than the label on the item – it’s worth asking if the store can match (or beat!) the price you’ve found online.

Or, if you’re shopping for a few big-ticket items – such as kitchen appliances or home office tech – see if you can group them together to get a better deal on a bundle, or an extra freebie thrown in.

Let’s face it, you won’t be offered a bargain if you just pick something off the shelf and pay for it, so it’s worth asking the question to see if a deal can be struck. Then, pay using your app wallet and you’ll get extra cashback on that purchase too!

What other ways can you think of to save money when you’re shopping? Do you have any hacks to cut the cost of your purchases? Let me know your money-saving tips in the comments below, I’d love to hear some more ideas from you! 🙂

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This article is a sponsored collaboration. The pink links in the content indicate a sponsored link or information source. The blog post reflects my own experience and the sponsor hasn’t had any control over my content 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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