Living like a student has fined tuned my mind to try and find bargains, even now as I'm in full time employment, I can't resist a little bargain now and then. Here are my 30 money saving tips. Pop the kettle on because this may be a long one!
1. I analyse clothing items with the amount of wear I'll get out of it. Spending a little more money on a quality garment will save you money in the long run than having to regularly buy the same item at a lower cost.
2. I shop using the three day rule. If I see something I like in the shops, I leave it for three days and if I still want it/need it after the thinking period, I will go and buy it. This prevents impulse buying and instant regret when you find it unworn in the back of the wardrobe after 2 months!
3. STUDENT DISCOUNT. I miss being a student because of the amazing discounts that come along with it. Don't be scared to flash the student card at the till and ask. They may secretly do it and it'll save you some pennies in the long run.
4. If you're patient enough, wait for the sales. Usually something you want at full price will be discounted at the end of the season at a snip of the price.
5. Charity shops are a great way to get clothing items inexpensively. Plus, the charity will benefit from your kind donation and sometimes you can find some brilliant pieces.
6. It may be worth it sometimes to get a cinema subscription card if you're a cinema bunny like me. With the cost of a month subscription, you just have to go to the cinema around 2 times to make up the cost. One month, I went 8 times making 6 of those trips free!
7. Sign up for restaurant newsletters to get discounts on food. Places like Prezzo and Pizza Express do amazing weekday deals on their food. Register a separate email address for these if you don't want to be inundated with these offers in your personal one.
8. Listen, do you really need that gym membership? You plan on going around once a week but you never make it. Assess what you actually use or maybe the gym can get you a cheaper deal for using less facilities. Let's hope they don't pull a 'Friends' moment on you and bring out a beautiful man/woman to entice you to stay!
9. Shop around. Don't always buy the first item you see that you want. You can often buy it cheaper in a different store or online if you don't mind waiting for postage.
10. Shop loyalty cards. Places like Boots, Superdrug and Waterstones do loyalty cards if you shop there often. Saving points means money off items on a different purchase or free things. I've managed to get a Chanel foundation with £33 worth of Boots points and lots of books for free after 5 years of legal education at Waterstones!
11. Research, research, research. Read blogs and reviews and find out if that beauty product would work for you or worth the hype. I can't tell you the number of times I came home disappointed with something because I didn't do enough research.
12. Don't be fooled by those 3 for 2 deals. I'm a regular sucker for these deals. I didn't really need the extra lipstick or eyeliner when I only needed a mascara. Sometimes buying just the one item will save you money.
13. Look out for blog sales. You can sometimes get amazing deals on makeup that is no longer loved by another and needs a good home. Look on Twitter for any going around or Google it.
14. If you're a MAC lover, save those containers and if you save up 6 empty product containers and take it back to MAC, you get a free lipstick! Check the website or your local counter to find out more about it.
15. Cheapsmells, Fragrance direct or feelunique do amazing deals on beauty and fragrance so it's always worth checking out.
16. Set up a savings account. If you get a regular income, try and put a little of it into a savings account and watch it grow. I'm lucky enough to still be living at home so I tend to put about more than half of my monthly income into a savings account (excluding any essential payments like MOT or car insurance). Even a little bit a month will soon add up.
17. Budget. I'm a geek with too much spare time so I make a spreadsheet up each month monitoring my month spends on essentials and what money I have left to play around with.
18. Get an empty jar and empty out your purse at the end of the week. Pop those shiny pennies into the jar and keep the £1 or 50p coins in your purse. Once full, take it to one of those Coinstar machines in the supermarket and get it back in useful cash. Yes, they take a little commission for it but once I did it and I had about £25 in pennies and coins.
19. I used to do payday treats where I buy something after each payday but after a while the novelty wore off and I preferred to save the money and put it to something else. Like, do you really need another NARS blush or YSL lipstick when you have a pretty nice collection at home?
20. Review bank accounts regularly. After each tax year, get your ISA or savings account reviewed to see if you can get a better interest rate the next year. If you're not planning on using the money, sometimes fixed rate accounts give you fantastic savings.
21. Never shop whilst you're hungry! One of the worst things I did was shop whilst I was hungry and I came home with more food than I intended to buy. At least have a small snack before you leave so you're not tempted by those cream cakes in the bakery section.
22. Plan your meals. My work colleagues think my family is crazy because we plan our meals. Usually means there is not much food wastage that needs to be thrown away at the end of the week.
23. Sometimes supermarket deals lure you in with a false sense of security. For perishable goods, I never buy into the deals. I don't know about you but I will never be able to eat 16 yoghurts before the expiration date just because it was a great deal. I'll just buy the 8 thanks.
24. If you food shop online, rotate your weekly/fortnightly deliveries with different supermarkets. Some supermarkets send you discount vouchers to get you to go back to using them after a while. Hello, £5 voucher anyone?
25. Supermarket branded foods is sometimes better than the branded items at a cheaper price. I like using supermarket brand butter for my cakes rather than the branded stuff. Makes no difference taste wise and it's cheaper.
26. Never online shop without doing a quick Google search for a discount code.
27. If you're a music lover like me, join Spotify for free music streaming. I don't mind the adverts as much and you can search on a plethora of artists.
28. Planning a holiday? Go on comparison site to compare on flights and hotels to save heaps of money!
29. Don't take a bank card with you on nights out. We can all get a little card happy after a few drinks. Therefore, carry cash and keep an emergency amount in the pocket of your bag for a taxi home.
30. Always think: Do I need it? Where can I put it? Will I use it?
If you made it to the end of this post, I think you deserve a medal! If you're a blogger, you can certainly do this challenge! Head over here to read all about it. If you do this challenge, leave me a link in the comments! I love reading these types of posts!