Firstly, log into a cashback website, such as Quidco.com or topcashback.co.uk and use it to click through to a price-comparison site, such as kelkoo.co.uk or priceinspector.co.uk to search for your item. There are also specialist comparison services, such as fragrancescompared.co.uk for cheaper perfumes. You’ll be paid up to 50p simply for buying this way.
Second, once you’ve found the item you want, look out for a discount voucher. You will find these on sites such as vouchercodes.co.uk, vouchercloud.com or money savingexpert.com — or just Google the name of the shop you’re trying to buy from plus “discount code” or “offer”.
Next, trick your computer into believing you’ve not yet done any research for your item - by deleting its “cookies”, which are the shadows that show you’ve visited sites before. To do so, click ‘tools’, then ‘general options’, then ‘delete cookies’. Click ‘OK’ and close the window. On Google Chrome, find these options under the spanner button, then ‘options’; ‘under the bonnet’, and ‘clear browsing data’.
At last, time to buy. Return to the cashback site, and see if it links to your shopping website (they cover thousands including Tesco, M&S, Gap, Netflix, and far more). If so, click through, and when you get to the check out, tap in your voucher code. Sometimes this will cancel out the cashback, so work out which will give you the greater saving.
This might sound like a big effort, but after doing it two or three times it will become part of your normal shopping routine, and savings will rush in.
Here are some other ways to save at specific websites:
Amazon: if you’re wanting to buy from the shop currently under fire for tax avoidance, sign up to zeezaw.co.uk, tap in the items that you want to buy and the price you want to pay. It will watch the products for you and if a flash sale or random price reduction takes place, it will ping you an email when the item hits your price level.
eBay: pay a visit to fatfingers.co.uk where you can type whatever you’re hoping to bid for, and the site will search the giant auctions site for similar listings that incorporate typos. So you can cash in on the mistake of the idiot who listed their ‘dishwasher’ as a ‘fishwasher’ and has no bids as a result. Sites like auctionstealer.co.uk are another good eBay tool: you tell the (free) site what you’re interesting in buying, and it will place a bid for you at the last second before the sale closes.
Food: instead of going to the supermarket, fill your virtual trolley at grocery comparison site mysupermarket.co.uk. It will work out how much you would spend if shopping at Ocada, Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Asda so you can pick the cheapest. For booze, tap into fixtureferrets.co.uk and quaffersoffers.co.uk: they list the best alcohol offers around.