Secrets to being a Successful Bargain Shopper

Do not buy cheap things, buy good things cheap!

Repeat that mantra every time you go shopping and you will not be tempted to pick up a ‘bargain’ just because it has been advertised as 50% off.

First things first, a bargain is not a bargain if you neither want it nor need it. It is so easy when the sales are on to grab something on the spur of the moment and then wonder, when you get it home, why, exactly, you bought it. So you must be very strict with yourself and make a mental list of what you are after.

January is an ideal time to buy your Christmas cards and wrapping paper for that year. Beautiful family cards which are phenomenally expensive in the run up to Christmas are normally half price or less. If you have room to store them Christmas crackers and wrapping paper are similarly priced. Even if you do not celebrate Christmas, children love crackers and decorations, so indulge!

The post Christmas period is also a good time to get all the family presents for the year. Shop armed with a list of everyone’s birthday/anniversary/Mother’s Day/Father’s Day and so forth, complete with a comprehensive list of likes and dislikes. Remember to check sell by dates on certain produce to make sure it does not go off before you have to give it. Then when you return home suitably smug, wrap and label said gifts and place them in date order where you can get your hands on them. There is nothing worse than stocking up on gifts then forgetting a) who you bought it for and b) where you put it.

All you hard pressed mothers with young children, do not be tempted to spend a fortune buying  designer wear, visit car boot/yard sales and remember children grow out of clothes very quickly, often before they have had a chance to wear their new clothes. If you wish to have immaculately dressed kiddies stock up on barely worn clothing from said sales or charity shops; you can even get designer wear for pence. It all washes and if the children ask where it has come from tell them to read the label!

You can even improve your culinary efforts by visiting your favorite supermarkets an hour or so before they close or if they are 24hour approximately 9:00 pm, timings will depend, obviously, on individual shops, because this is when they reduce their produce. Fresh meat and fish will initially be reduced at about 3:00pm but the further reduction could mean picking up dinner for 50p as opposed to £5.00. Do not be afraid to ask staff when they reduce their produce, they will be more than happy to tell you. Additionally Wednesday is a better day for bargains than Friday, again individual stores may differ: ask. Remember fresh meat and fish will freeze so plan your meals around your bargains and do not be tempted to buy calf’s brains or herring melts just because they are 10p when you know full well no one, in your house, is going to touch them with a barge pole.

Good luck with your bargain hunting and do not forget to repeat the mantra!