Shopping is one of those things that we all need to do from time to time, and whether you are purchasing a gift for someone’s birthday, investing in vital business supplies or just doing your weekly food shop, you are sure to appreciate every opportunity to save money.

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Read our tips on how you can pay less for all manner of goods in 2016.

  1. Budget carefully in advance

It’s an unglamorous tip, but that doesn’t make it any less important. If you know ahead of each month how much you can afford to spend until your next payday, you will be much more motivated to look for the best offers and only buy what you really need.

  1. Shop around and compare prices

Does the supermarket at which you are presently shopping give you the best possible prices for particular products? Would you really be better off purchasing your office chair and desk from the usual office supply store, when the manufacturer is offering tempting discounts to buy from them direct?

Keep an eye on price comparison sites – such sites exist for seemingly every category of product or service these days.

  1. Be canny with your use of special offers

Retailers constantly offer incredible discounts in order to lure your custom, so make the most of it. Use an online voucher site to pay less for all manner of goods from your favourite online retailers.

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  1. Buy own-brand goods

It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, particularly as far as supermarket shopping is concerned. A shop’s own brand of baked beans may only cost 20p less than the equivalent big-name brand’s offering, but the savings all add up – and the lower-priced options may even be better quality.

For example, at the time of writing this article, we found that 415g of Heinz baked beans in tomato sauce was priced at 50p at Tesco – apparently on “offer” – but that 410g of Asda’s Smartprice baked beans in tomato sauce cost just 24p.

  1. Bulk buy foods that won’t quickly expire

The Use By or Best Before date for many foods won’t arrive for months yet, so why not purchase those essentials in bulk, particularly if there’s also a limited-time-only offer to take advantage of?

  1. Resist the temptation to impulse buy

It’s so easy to see an enticing product or offer and just buy, but before you do, consider whether you really do need it, and if you do need it, whether this is even the best place to purchase it. Sleep on the decision or – ideally – wait a week before deciding whether a purchase is actually that great idea.

  1. Look at online reviews

A given product may look great, but it may only deliver short-term benefit compared to a better quality alternative that you are not yet aware of. This is where online reviews can be so invaluable, giving you the definitive verdict from people who have actually used the product, and potentially suggestions of what other product may give you superior value for money.

  1. Keep track of prices for particular products

If there are certain goods that you don’t need to purchase right now, but can instead wait to buy at the most opportune time, keep an eye on their prices and buy when they drop. Don’t worry about how time-consuming this would be – instead, just allow a price tracker like camelcamelcamel to alert you as soon as prices change – combine this with an Amazon voucher code for an even greater bargain!

  1. Consider ‘downgrading’ your chosen store

If you normally shop at Asda or Morrisons, why not try Lidl and Aldi? Naturally, prices at these more downmarket stores tend to be lower, but that doesn’t mean you have to abandon more expensive supermarkets entirely. Just shopping once a month at lower-priced stores for such essentials as toilet roll and cleaning supplies can make a big difference to your wallet over a year.

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