I had always heard of people in the U.S. spending considerable hours snipping money-saving coupons from magazines and newspapers and taking them along to supermarkets to save vast amounts of dollars on their shopping. Couponing is big in the United States. Is it possible to achieve the same effects here in Britain? Not to the same extent, no, but there are still huge amounts of offers to be had if you know where to look for them.
The first time I handed over a voucher for a discount in a restaurant, I was a little embarrassed to say the least. I mean, paying at the supermarket and passing the checkout assistant vouchers which the supermarket had themselves sent me in the post seemed perfectly reasonable. It would be silly, in fact, to pass up on such an opportunity.
The thing is, that people are used to it these days. When I looked around, I realised that most people are doing it. Chains of restaurants are competing to get people in through the doors, as are supermarkets and brands who are experiencing the pressure of the economic situation and strong competition. There is nothing to lose by using a few coupons yourself to save a few pounds and certainly nothing to be embarrassed about. Frankly I would be more embarrassed if I knew someone had made a huge saving on something, whereas I had paid full price!
These are my top-tips for coupons, vouchers and other money-off.
- Voucher websites such as Vouchercodes.co.uk provide a selection of savings on a huge number of stores and restaurants. Sometimes it points you towards companies who are currently promoting, sometimes it will provide you with a discount code to either type in at the online checkout or pass on to your waiter in a restaurant.
- supersavvyme.co.uk is a site by Proctor and Gamble, providing money-off coupons for their products. You can download and print up to 30 coupons in a month.
- Your mobile phone company probably provides promotions too. O2 for example has the ‘Priority Moments‘. Using the website or phone app, it will give you offers in the vicinity for shops and restaurants. If you have an Orange mobile, you can get ‘Orange Wednesdays‘, 2 for 1 on cinema tickets and pizza at Pizza Express on Wednesdays . Just text FILM to 241.
- Freestuff.co.uk is another good site for printable vouchers for supermarket shopping, days out and restaurants.
- If you have a Facebook account, it is worth following pages like Extreme Couponing UK, set up by coupon fans to let others know about deals. Followers often share offers and vouchers they have found too.
- When you visit the supermarket, make sure you pick up their free magazines, as these often have money-off coupons in them.
- Sign up for a Tesco Clubcard if you don’t have one already. As well as earning points on your shopping which you can convert to cash in store or other vouchers, 4 times a year you will also be sent vouchers which are usually tailored to your shopping history, so you are likely to receive offers on items you usually buy.
- Similarly, make sure you sign up for any rewards cards. I regularly receive free items by paying with my Nectar Card or Boots Advantage Card. I have also got a number of free flights by saving points on my Tesco Clubcard and converting them to Avios.
- Beforeishop.co.uk is another great coupon site.
- Scout the newspapers, particularly the free ones, as they often contain money off your shopping.
Please feel free to add any other great ideas in the comments section!
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