I don’t know about you, but when I buy gifts I also put my money saving hat on and try to get the best price for my purchase. I therefore wanted to write this blog post to give everyone hints and tips to ensure you’re not paying over the odds when buying your presents.
Just to clarify, this post isn’t about budget gifts (I have a separate blog post all about budget gifts here), its about buying the gifts you want to buy and trying to purchase them at the best price possible. I’m going to talk you through my gift buying and money saving process. Also just to clarify, if you’re the type of person who doesn’t need to watch the pennies or just wants to buy a gift without thinking about the price, then this post is NOT for you, you can stop reading now. However, if you do want to know how I buy gifts and save try to save myself money in the process, please do keep reading.
Where to buy?
I’ve chosen the perfect gift. I know exactly what I want to buy. I then need to decide where to buy – Online or in-store? Both have advantages and disadvantages. Buying online can be cheaper and convenient, but you have to factor in delivery costs and also wait for delivery. On the other hand going in-store can be time consuming. I must admit though, I like the shopping experience and do like to go to the shops to buy products. I also find that sometimes the stores offer promotions/discounts in-store that they do not offer online. For example, If I was buying some perfume and Boots had sent me a voucher (£5 off £30 spend in store), I would be more inclined to shop in store and use my voucher. It saves me money. I also have a boots card and sometimes they have points offers in-store so I can stack these up with my Voucher and earn some boots points too. Buy where you get maximum value for money. Also make sure you shop around. Different shops can have the same products for different prices, both online and in-store. Which leads me nicely on to my next point.
I’m sure you’ve heard of price comparison sites where you can go and compare your home insurance prices etc. Well, I tend to do a similar thing on google. I just go onto google and type in the product I want and then click on the shopping tab at the top and hey presto, it brings up the product I want and where I can buy it, and the price it’s available for at each shop or online store. Couldn’t be simpler. A word of advice, Google brings up a whole host of shops and online stores. Just make sure the online shops are trustworthy.
Use the Resources Available
I’m a big fan of MSE (moneysavingexpert.com) and HUKD (hotukdeals.com). These sites are amazing, and save thousands of people money day in and day out. If you’ve not heard of these sites, then I suggest you familiarise yourself with them. Consumers from around the UK post the deals they happen to come across on these sites. So if someone spots a bargain in their local shop or online, they post the deal to the forums and share it with everyone. I use the site to search for things I want to buy and see if I can nab a deal. I don’t always get a deal on things I want to buy, but it is worth a look as both these sites have saved me lots of money in the past.
If I am buying something online, I always check for discount codes before I purchase something. There are so many websites around that will give you an online code or voucher. I use vouchercodes.co.uk. You just go and search for the store you want to buy from and see if they have any discount codes or offers going on. Coudn’t be simpler. Also remember to check for voucher codes on your apps or vouchers in the post. I know companies like Boots send these out (I buy lots of gifts from Boots). They send you money off vouchers and points vouchers that can help save you pounds.
Another little way to save or earn money on your purchases is cashback sites. I use a site called Quidco (www.quidco.com). Once you have registered your details, you log on to your account and then browse and shop as usual. I’ve earnt money back from numerous online purchases with them. Quidco generally give you a percentage of money back on what you’ve bought. For example if you buy a £50.00 kettle from Argos, Quidco might give you 3% back. The percentage that is given back varies from company to company and not all retailers are on there. There are other cashback sites available too. TopCashBack is another popular site, though I haven’t used this (If you have I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!).
Just a little advice. When buying gifts, you don’t need to go crazy. We all want to buy expensive extravagant gifts for our friends and families but sometimes that’s just not possible. And its ok to be creative and find cheaper alternatives. The best gift is one which you put effort and thought into.
I really hope you all enjoyed reading this and found it useful. I absolutely love interacting with you all and would like it if you left your thoughts and comments below. Feel free to share some of your own hints and tips. Until next time the Gift Goonie is over and out.