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Kickstart the year with smarter shopping decisions 

We’ve gathered our best advice on how to start the new year with smarter shopping habits. 

With a budget, it’s easier to keep track of the money flow. Photo: fizkes, Adobe Stock

1. Make a household budget - and stick to it!

Don’t let your money disappear without knowing where it goes. Make a household budget so you always know where the money is going and what the pitfalls are. It's pretty easy to make a budget, but it’ll to take some time before you’ll get a clear picture of all your income and expenses.

2. Save money on the differences in price 

Compare prices between the cheapest and the most expensive shop before making a purchase. You can save a lot of money by choosing the shop with the lowest price, and you can save money to use on other things.

The money you save by not choosing one of the more expensive shops, and invest it in, for example, a fund, you can quickly put away a large amount that’ll grow bigger and bigger over time.

Example: If you buy a perfume in the cheapest shop for £68.14, instead of £95.95 in the most expensive one, you set aside the difference of £27.81 for yourself. If you can save money on the price difference every time you make a purchase with the help of PriceSpy, it’ll quickly become a large sum.

Don’t wait too long to create price alerts on consumables that often run out. Photo: JackF, Adobe Stock

3. Avoid last minute shopping and create price alerts

Don’t wait until the last minute to buy Christmas gifts, birthday presents and other important items. If you plan your purchases well in advance and create price alerts on PriceSpy, you have a better chance of getting a great deal when the price is lower. Our advice is that you place a price alert on the most important items in the home, such as beauty and household products that you buy regularly. Can you find a gadget on PriceSpy that would fit well as a gift or Christmas present? Add it to a list and won’t forget it!

Check if that tech gadget is right for you, before you buy. Photo: Ouh_desire, Adobe Stock

4. Use the price guarantee

Found a really cool gadget in your favourite shop, but see it’s cheaper elsewhere? Ask the shop if they have a price guarantee and want to match the other shop’s, lower, price. Some shops even give you the difference back if they, or a competitor, lowers the price within a certain time after the purchase. Just remember to check the terms and conditions carefully before you strike – far from all shops offer price guarantees.

5. Buy last year’s models instead

You can save a lot of money by not buying the latest or most sought-after model on the market - often without missing out on any major improvements. When the manufacturers release new series of, for example, mobile phones, prams, clothes and the like, you often have the chance to find the previous generation's gadgets at a bargain price.

On 9 November for example, you could buy an iPhone 12 64GB for £489.99, while the latest iPhone 13 128GB cost £745.80, a saving of £255,81, and you’d still get a really good mobile phone.

Impulse buying can be exciting but can also wreck your budget. Photo: Foxyburrow, Adobe Stock

6. Avoid expensive impulse buying

Impulse buying can be tempting but can quickly become a big burden when it comes to more expensive gadgets. Especially if you buy something that may not match what you really need, like a TV without a special feature for your Xbox or Playstation. Suddenly, the joy of buying something new might be replaced by purchase anxiety and annoying shop returns.

Maybe your old TV still works and you can save a few XX extra and buy the right model when the time is right? This doesn’t only apply to things that cost hundreds of pounds, even cheaper household items quickly become expensive when you combine the cost. Avoid impulse buying!

7. Buy seasonal gadgets out of season

Do you usually buy, for example, winter tyres or ski equipment just before the winter kicks in? Then you’d have missed the chance to save money by buying out of season! There’s a lot of money to be saved if you buy the winter stuff in the summer and vice versa. It’s also good to strike when the shops sell off last year's items, and are happy to get rid of all the old stuff that will make room for newer series.

Sometimes it’s better to buy used products rather than new. Photo: Therabbithole, Adobe Stock

8. Check if you can find used products 

Always check the lowest price on PriceSpy before you buy used items. The price difference can be much lower than you think, and that it’s actually worth paying a little bit more for a brand-new product. It also happens that the seller tries to demand an unreasonably high price compared to what a new, similar product costs in the shop. Find out the starting price and it’ll be easier to negotiate a better price.

9. Use voucher codes

Don’t buy your new gadget without checking if there are discount codes for the intended shop. Sometimes you can get free shipping, and in some cases, save a few per cent extra with the right discount code. First check the shop's own website and see if they list discount codes; bear in mind that there are many discount code sites that entice with fake codes that don’t work, so check carefully.

The mobile phone is usually always a must so why not save money on it?

10. Use your mobile phone for smarter shopping

Online shopping is only growing stronger and it’s easy to find great prices by pressing a button in the browser when you use PriceSpy. But don’t forget that you can also compare prices in your mobile phone. It's easy to go along with a promotional offer in physical shops - without checking if it's actually a price cut or not. With the PriceSpy app in your mobile, you can quickly see if you are about to make a good deal or not. Our app is available for Android and iOS, but you can of course also compare prices directly in the browser.

Text:
Daniel Haaf

Published:
18 December 2020

Updated:
1 December 2021

This article is written by PriceSpy's editorial staff. No one else has influenced the content of it. There are no paid links or other types of advertising collaborations.