My top tips for saving money & FREEBIES.. ♥

Written By Arman Zulhajar on Friday, June 17, 2011 | 9:33 AM


I am rather thrifty when it comes to spending, which is how I manage to buy so many nice things. People ask me how I afford to buy lots of clothes etc when I'm just a student. But it doesn't take much to find ways of saving money. So here are some of my top tips.

Use cashback sites -
I personally use Quidco.Quidco is the UK’s No.1 cashback, voucher code & printable voucher site. It’s the easy way to save on everything. Registering for Quidco will enable you to earn cashback for shopping at over 2,900 great retailers. So its a save as you shop cashback scheme. Some of the main retaliers that I use are: New Look, Superdrug and Cath Kidston. So everytime I shop online at Superdrug, I get 8% of my total spend back. So for every £1 I spend, Quidco will pay me 8p back. Which doesn't sound a lot but it all adds up. In my 3 years of being a memeber I have had £165 paid directly into my Paypal account.



If you would like to sign up to Quidco you can do so here.

Find discount codes -
If you can buy something and get it cheaper, then why not take advantage of this. Many online retailers distribute discount and promotional codes. They are very easy to find, and one of the simplist sites that I use before I buy something is HotUKDeals. Just search in the bar on the right hand side and chose your store. Or you can always just Google '[shop name] discount code'. Free delivery ones are my favourite as that automatically saves you approx £4 which is great if you are making a low spend purchase. MSE also has lots of discount codes that anyone can use. You usually have to be quick though, as codes can expire within a few days.


Keep your eye open for special offers -
Join the Facebook groups of your favourite retailers, and you will be the first to know of any special offers or promotions. You can usually sign up to their newsletters and have their latest info sent directly to your inbox. Companies will often send discount codes to those that recieve their newsletters, and will also let you know of any 'Free Delivery Weekends' etc. Facebook Examples:




Sales -
Sometimes sales are a bit rubbish, but sometimes you can find some really good items! New Look sales are often hit and miss, but I have got some great things from there for less than half price. Again, keep an eye out on emails and FB for sale announcements. You can get some good bargains if you hunt hard enough in the sales! 

Price Comparison - 
If you want a specific item like a digital camera or pair or trainers, shop around to find the cheapest deals. But don't forget to take into account any discount codes you may find! And remember some websites offer free delivery whereas others charge up ton about £6! You can compare prices by using the Google shopping tab. Also you should always do a price comparision for things like holidays, insurance and currency exhange on sites like gocompare.com or moneysavingsupermarket.com

Returning Items -
If you buy an item spur of the moment and you find that really you dont need it anymore or it doesnt quite fit right, then just return it. Or if you find that an item is faulty in anyway, you also have the right to return it. This will save you keeping those things that you will never wear or use, yet you have wasted money on them. You can usually return items from most high street shops within 28 days, and I usually buy from online companies such as H&M and ASOS who offer free returns. You can never be sure something you buy online will be suitable in real life, so if you have free returns you can just wrap it back up, stick the free returns label on it and take it to the post office. You will then get our full refund and won't have wasted money :) If you're unsure on your rights on refunds, read this.


Buying on eBay -
Some people think of eBay as being like a car boot sale full of peoples dirty, old, ugly things. Some people also think that it is a horrible, scary, scamming website. Neither of these things are true. You can get some real bargains on eBay, and it is highly unlikely (near impossible) you will ever be scammed buying from eBay as there are many forms of protection in place. I have bought lots of great items on eBay, and its not all peoples second hand tat. Most of the clothes I buy are brand new with store tags, and many are this seasons things that are still in store. Lots of people who don't return unwanted things to get their refund often put them straight on eBay and then sell them for very little (which is why you should always return unwanted items ;)

eBay is also the home to many real  high street shops who sell some of their stock on eBay but at a fraction of the price. Including: Very, House of Fraser, Office Shoes, Superdry and Republic. So eBay can be great for buying clothes, but you can by everything from eBay, and get it delivered to your door. You should also take a look at their daily deals, where they have lots of outlet stock from branded companies. I have never had any issues with buying from eBay. You will know what you are buying, and most sellers will quickly dispatch your item. I've never had anyone send me any rubbish or be rude.


 Selling on eBay - 
I sell almost all of my old clothes and accessories on eBay. I start them all at 99p as it is free to list at that price. I often make £80+ just for selling about 15 items which would have otherwise gone in the bin. I describe my items honestly as there is no point in lying because then the buyer will just be unhappy and want a refund. Aslong as they are in good clean condition then they are likely to sell. So next time you clear out your wardrobe, consider putting some of it on eBay. Branded and Topshop items sell very well, and even Primark stuff goes for near RRP price! You just need to sign up for an eBay and Paypal account, and then photograph each item and write a brief description. Then once your item has sold, eBay take 10% of your profits and the rest is yours to keep. Although Paypal take a small fee too. Then you just need to package them and send them off. Keep your eye out for free listing weekends if you don't want to start your items at 99p.


Entering Competitions - 
In just over 14 months, I have won over £2,800 worth of prizes (see here). Some of them a little useless, but most of them wonderful. This is because I usually only enter for items I would buy usually, or would really like to win. Although this isn't nessecarily going to save you money, it is always nice to win free things! I have already written my top tips on entering competitions here. Competitions pop up all over the place, so next time you see one, enter it and you never know, you might win!

Enter here to win one of 8000 (likely to win!) Rimmel mascaras :)

Freebies -
 I don't get many freebies, but there are some to be had. Small things like shampoo samples, greetings cards, chocolate bars etc are likely to be free. HotUKDeals and MSE both have a dedicated 'freebie' section for online freebies. These are total no spend required free things. Companies usually offer them as a way to promote new products. Again this may not save you money, but theres nothing better than getting free things in the post! Last week I got 6 sim cards, each with £10 credit preloaded onto them! That means I will have £60 worth of credit to use when I'm in Florida. This offer has now expired, but there are lots more to be had.

 Today you can get a free:
Montagne Jeunesse Face Mask Sample
Redken Hair Product Sample
Garnier Ultralift Face Serum Samples
Dover Hair Product
Nelsons Pure & Clear Facial Wash Sample
Invisible Elastoplast Sample
Free Cheeseburger & Chips @ Yates
Free three month Tastecard (restaurant discount card)
Post It Notes
Pimms Item (bunting, blanket etc.)

You can even get free cinema tickets for brand new film screenings, but these go quick!

I can't think of anymore top tips right now, but I hope this has been an interesting read.

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