Tuesday, 21 July 2015

My money saving tips


Everyone wants to be able to be a bit more savvy with their money, maybe so they can save up for something big like a new car or a holiday, or to treat themselves to something in a shop that they've had their eye on for a while. For students in particular, money saving can even mean being able to make ends meet. Unfortunately, money saving is not a skill that we are taught at school and so these are just a few tips that I've learned over the past year.

1. Loyalty Cards

You know when you're at the till and the checkout assistant asks you if you have a loyalty card for that store, you say no and they then give you the whole speech about why you should have one? Don't stutter a "no, thank you". Say yes. Or, at least, take the information leaflet.

The Boots Advantage Card gives you 4 points for every £1 you spend, you can then use these points to purchase something else (Note: you cannot part-purchase, i.e. you have to have the full value on your card and cannot use some points and some cash). 100 points equals £1. The points honestly do stack up, and because you can't part-purchase you can really save for something this way.

The Superdrug Health & Beauty Card gives you 1 point for every £1 you spend. You can part-purchase with this card, and 100 points equals £1 to spend.

The Debenhams Beauty Club Reward Card gives you 3 points for every £1 you spend on beauty, fragrance and beauty electricals. It also offers free makeovers and skincare consultations, free delivery and free gifts, samples and special offers. You need to earn 500 points to get a £5 reward, which you can use to part-pay for your purchase.

The Tesco Clubcard gives you 1 point for every £1 you spend in store or online and 1 point for every £2 you spend on fuel. Once you reach 150 points you will be sent vouchers to use in store - these are quite often tailored to things you already buy!

The Waterstones Card gives you 3 points for every £1 you spend, as well as other great perks such as savings and offers on museums, galleries and literary days out; the chance to read and review books before they're published; and win prizes for book lovers.

2. Student Discount
If you're a student, you might as well milk the discounts as much as possible, because I can guarantee I will miss the savings when I graduate. Sign up for UNiDays for discount codes you can use online and in store - all you need is your university email address. Some shops offer student discount such as 10% or 20% off seasonally (River Island) or all year round (New Look, Topshop). At McDonalds, with your student card you can get a free cheeseburger, hamburger or McFlurry when you buy any large meal. And at the cinema, see if they offer a student ticket.

3. Travel
Your student card can sometimes get you a discount on bus travel (usually just on buses in cities). If you know you're going to be travelling by train regularly, or even just a longish journey a couple of times a year then look into getting a 16-25 railcard - it gives anyone in full time education 1/3 off fares. It does cost £30 per year, but I got mine for £20 with a UNiDays discount (all about the discounts) and I worked out that with me popping home for birthdays or the odd weekend, I would save over the £30.

4. Clearance Sections
Don't be ashamed to seek out clearance sections in shops, particularly in Boots, Superdrug, Asda and Tescos. I often buy products where the box is slightly dented at ridiculously reduced prices. And the makeup bins in Asda and Tescos are often full of makeup that has had to be taken off the shelves to make room for new releases when there is nothing wrong with it - for about £4 I got one of my favourite Maybelline mascaras, and for £5 I got a Rimmel primer.

5. Bulk Buying
This applies to both beauty and food. Take advantage of 3 for 2 offers, or BOGOF or just reduced prices. For example, I love the Nip+Fab range, but it's a bit pricey so I wait until Boots or Superdrug has the range on offer (currently Superdrug is offering 1/3 off) and then I stock up. I've really reduced my meat intake this past year because it's so expensive, but if raw meat is on offer at the supermarket, say 3 for 2, I buy 3 and freeze 2 packets.

Sorry for the long post, thank you for reading to the very end! Let me know some of your money saving tips in the comments!