Posted by K Clark on Monday, February 16, 2015 Under: Managing Money
This post is a follow up to an earlier one where I shared tips for living within a budget. In this post I will share some suggestions on the best places to shop for different items. These suggestions are based entirely on my own personal experience and I have not received any financial incentive or sponsorship by any of the stores or websites named.
Using price check websites, such as My Supermarket will help you to search out bargains and compare the prices of items across different supermarkets. One of the benefits of doing this kind of exercise is that it gets you into the habit of planning your shopping trips and making a list. Taking the time to plan food shopping will pay off as you will be more focused and less likely to get drawn into impulse purchases. Market stalls are good places to stock up on fresh foods, like fruit and vegetables, and if you visit them later in the day (after 3pm) they may offer further price reductions.
Often the best way to pick up good quality clothing for low prices is to visit your local charity shops. This can require a little patience, especially if you are looking for something in particular. Check any potential purchases for any signs of damage or wear and tear and launder all items before wearing them. Also check high street store during sales and avoid high fashion items as these will date quickly. Many of the large supermarket chains also stock low cost, clothing ranges so check supermarkets like Sainsburys, Tescos, Asda and Morrisons.
For good quality underwear check stores like TK Maxx. They stock many designer brands at discounted prices so you are likely to get good quality underwear for very competitive prices. They will also have clearance racks where you will find the best bargains. This is especially helpful for finding items such as bras. Also check specialist lingerie stores during sales periods as you can often find some excellent deals. Primark is another shop that stocks low cost underwear and many discount stores, such as Poundland, will stock items like socks.
For nightwear check out stores such as Primark and Matalan. They often do a wide range of men, women and childrens nightwear at low prices.
With toiletries check out the generic supermarket brands as these often include many of the same ingredients as the larger brands but with a much smaller price tag. Check for multi-buys or special offers, especially for frequently used items such as deodorant, shampoos and conditioners. Look in charity shops for unopened gift sets as this can be a low cost way to pick up special treats. Also discount stores sell many large brand name products at reduced prices.
Many markets will have make up stalls and this can be a good place to pick up low cost, brand name cosmetics. Many discount stores also stock brand name cosmetics for very low prices. Make Up Academy is a brand stocked by Superdrug and it offers a wide range of good quality, affordable make up products.
For furniture look out for furniture recycling schemes in your local area. Schemes like Freecycle will link you in with others in your area who are looking to rehouse unwanted items for free.
If you have access to the internet then you can listen to music for free by setting up an account with Spotify or Lastfm. Cmd.fm also provides a range of free internet radio stations. To view the full list type 'genres' and then select your chosen genre with the command 'play (insert genre)'. Many local libraries also stock music that can taken out on loan in a similar way to borrowing a book. Amazon also sells music in a variety of formats, both new and second hand.
There are several free options for obtaining books. If you like to read books in paper format then your local library, your local Books for Free or Book Crossing will be able to provide you with some new reading material. Alternatively if you have access to a tablet or smart phone you can download the free Kindle app and search for free book titles from Amazons Kindle Shop. You can also get free ebooks from Open Culture and free audio books via Librivox.
You can sign up for free, online courses from the wide range of subjects via Coursera. All courses are delivered by reputable, educational institutes from around the world. For something shorter, TED offers short, bite-sized lectures for free via their website. You can also access these as podcasts or listen to other free podcasts via an app, such as Downcast. Open Culture offers free ebooks, including textbooks and Librivox has lots of non-fiction titles in their library of free audiobooks.
In : Managing Money
Tags: budgeting finances tips