The Tech Savvy Frugal Shopper

Something for nothing you say? Impossible I’d probably respond; the most you can hope for is slightly reduced prices for reduced quality. Perhaps that’s just being dismissive or pessimistic, but it’s closer to the truth more often than not.

But by using coupons, vouchers or promotional codes online, the masses are convinced that it can save you money. Perhaps it’s all down to how much work you’re willing to put in to save yourself money; hunting down bargains on the internet can be extremely hard work.

How can you save money online?

Online Voucher sites
Online sites such as Groupon or livingsocial are a great idea to save money on what they call ‘daily deals’ but may not cater to the deal you want. Being able to narrow your searches to just your immediate area saves you having to wade through pointless irrelevant deals. With deals ranging from furniture to pamper days, holiday getaways to clothing, you’ll find pretty much anything you might need at a discount.

Make sure you only buy something you were going to buy anyway or you may find your pockets emptier due to frivolous impulse buys. Your online shopping will only be value for money if you look past the marketing

Good old fashioned shopping around
It isn’t just fishing for vouchers or freebies; one of your best weapons will be your own desire to get something cheaper. It’s easier to just click and buy on the first thing you see, but by searching for the product code or keywords, you can find your own great deal.

Don’t be scared to search for reviews either, just because something looks like it could fit the bill, doesn’t mean it’s the best product out there. You could save wasting the money by researching a product or brand first and switching to a better choice. The bargains are only as real as the effort you put into looking for them

Hidden Ebay Listings
This one might sound a little far-fetched; but you could be missing a bargain on sites like Ebay where listings are not as much at the forefront as they should be. There are sites out there such as FatFingers, which search Ebay for misspelled listings, finding you items with typos which wouldn’t be thrown up with your normal search. On some occasions this has saved consumers £50+ just because other people searching for the same item will not find it. Using plain and simple Human error could net you a bargain you weren’t expecting.

Direct Debit Discounts
For a consistent service, discounts are often offered to customers willing to sign up using Direct Debit. This might seem like a simple no brainer; but more often than not consumers will consider paying by their credit or debit card their preferred method of payment. Whether this is down to feeling more in control or not weighing up all of the options, the outcome remains the same. Signing up to Direct Debit could save you a noticeable amount of cash and a large amount of your time too.

Follow price tracker websites
How many times have you purchased an item, only to then find out somewhere else dropped the price by £100 the following week? It happens, and there isn’t a lot you can do about it. By using price tracking websites, you can see the price trends for your chosen item. They also allow you to set your own low price and if you product hits it on a website? You’ll receive an email notification and it could help you to save money. This could be a long waiting process, but could be worth it for those bigger non-urgent items.

Collecting Cash back
Using Quidco or other cash back websites seems to work for some people and not for others. If you’re shopping online, check if your store has any cash back deals via quidco or TopCashBack. A percentage of the item price will be deposited into your PayPal or Bank Account. Make sure you read the terms and conditions; there may be time frames or hidden clauses.

The deals are there if you’re willing to go the extra mile to secure them. You can’t hope that the online shopping markets will look after your pennies for you, so the ball is in your court. Or rather, the pounds are in your piggy bank; spend them wisely.

This is a guest post by Dan Conaty, occational guest blogger Dan is always on the lookout for the best way to save a little more.  He’s known by his friends as the man with the plan, and a box of promotional codes.