6 insider tips to help you shop smarter (2024)

Savvy shopping isn’t simply about cutting back on spending. It’s about making conscious purchasing decisions instead of rushing in and buying things on a whim when you’re bored or hangry; or choosing a product based on reviews, rather than just the name.

Here are six ways to shop smarter (and avoid that buyer’s remorse.)

1. Keep your finances at your fingertips

The best way to keep control of your spending is to have your bank balance right where you can see it. Choosing a free banking app, like Monzo, means you can keep an eye on everything you’re spending (you get notifications on your phone whenever you buy something on your card.) You can also set yourself saving goals and track your progress with the help of savings pots, all from your phone.

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2. Look past the labels

According to a report by PwC, thanks to the rise of smartphones and internet shopping, we are now in the ‘Age of Disruption’, with customers shopping around for the best service and value for money, rather than staying loyal to big brands that can come with unnecessary extras. When making big purchases, like new appliances or a new car, it pays to look around and do your research before buying. New car brands like Dacia are disrupting the status quo by offering value-for-money cars that are simple to buy and own, like the Dacia Duster. It's the most affordable SUV you can buy, but it still comes with little luxuries like a satellite navigation system, cruise control and keyless entry.

In a recent Good Housekeeping Reader Recommended review*, 92% of readers surveyed said they would recommend a Dacia Duster to their friends and family, with one reader saying it offered real "value for money, compared to other SUVs" on the market.

3. Be aware of your surroundings

Shops – both in-store and online - use lots of tricks to make you reach into your pocket, so it pays to be aware. In-store, common tactics include playing slow music to make you feel less rushed, so you spend more time shopping (top tip: wear headphones), or using big stickers and signs to advertise offers that aren’t necessarily better value than similar products on offer. If you want to know whether it’s really a good deal, simply check the product’s price today on mysupermarket.com.

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Online, ‘buy now’ buttons in red, pop ups warning ‘only four seats left at this price’ and quick checkout options are designed to get us clicking and buying without thinking. You have been warned.

4. Get the timing right

Sometimes, it’s all about timing, and that can be especially true when it comes to travel. Rumour has it that booking on a Tuesday can reduce the cost of your flights, and statistics show that the best time to book is two to five months in advance. Generally, it's also cheaper to fly out on a weekday instead of a weekend.

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However, this can all vary by destination, route and demand, so the best way to get good value is to track individual prices using tools like Google Flights, and to sign up for free alerts from sites like Jack’s Flight Club to know when there are particularly cheap deals available, including hidden offers and error fares.

5. Leave it in your basket

Abandoning your online shopping basket can reap rewards. If you’re logged into your online account and fail to complete your order, supermarkets and shops like ASOS will often email you discount codes a day or so later to tempt you back. Although there are no guarantees, it’s worth a try, especially with bigger ticket items.

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6. Try before you buy

It’s all too easy to buy a new top or dress on a whim, only to end up shoving it to the back of the wardrobe because it doesn’t suit you, never to be worn again. The best way to avoid that is trying it on in-store. While it might be a pain to strip off in the changing room, it means you’re much less likely to make a costly mistake.

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If you’re looking for an outfit for a special event, rather than splurging on something you might not wear again, it’s worth investigating sites like peer-to-peer dress lending service Hurr Collective, or rental service Girl Meets Dress, that enable you to get your new fashion ‘fix’ without the big spend.

The Dacia Duster is a modern family-friendly SUV that combines practicality with value-for-money – head to Dacia to find out more

*New Dacia Duster, Good Housekeeping Reader Recommended Survey, 110 readers, 2019

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6 insider tips to help you shop smarter (2024)


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