The biggest sales of the year are just about to begin but how can you save money in January sales?
The January sales provide an opportunity to grab a bargain at the best possible price, just after Christmas. But, money can be tight at the start of the year.
Make the most of every penny with Cash Lady top tips:
Save money by checking prices online
If you see something in a shop that you would like to buy, take your phone from your pocket before you open your purse.
Check online to see if there is a better deal elsewhere.
Prices in shops can seem appealing, but an online retailer could offer even better. A quick search for a product name should give you a general idea about online prices.
Remember to factor in the delivery cost if you find something cheaper online.
Save money using coupons and vouchers
Coupons and vouchers that are valid in January can cut the cost of your shopping.
Look out for any that are printed in magazines, or leaflets that are posted through your door.
You can also search for discount codes and vouchers online. There are many websites that publish them, including VoucherCodes.co.uk.
Check your inbox, too. If you are signed up to any email newsletters, they might come with codes for money savings.
Save money in January sales by checking your loyalty cards
If you haven’t used them for your Christmas shopping, check the balance of any supermarket loyalty cards in January.
Many people find that they have unused Tesco Clubcard vouchers. Used in January, they can make the first month of the year feel much more manageable.
You can use the vouchers to buy treats in the January sales or simply to reduce the price of your groceries.
Other loyalty cards are also useful in January. Perhaps you have a free cup of coffee waiting for you?
Try your hand at haggling to save money
If January sales bargains are still not enough, why not see if you can reduce the price by haggling?
British people are not always comfortable with haggling. Some would consider it rude. But, it is a method that can be very successful.
If you haggle well, being firm and convincing without being aggressive or entitled, then you may get a product for a lower price than the one advertised.
Haggling can work in small independent shops and in the largest chains.
It can help if the product is cheaper somewhere else. Ask your chosen retailer if they can match their competitor.
Alternatively, why not find something slightly above your budget and ask if they can bring the price down for you?
You stand the best chance of success if you can pay for a large item on the day with cash, or if you can buy in bulk with friends that want the same item.
As the January sales draw to an end, retailers want the storage space for their newest products. They might be particularly eager to get rid of any left over stock, which means that they could be even more receptive to your haggling.
Save money in January sales with cashback
Before you shop online, check to see if any cashback is offered. Money for nothing seems almost too good to be true, but these websites get a commission from the retailers. There is absolutely no cost to you, but you can get money back for purchases that you are already planning to make.
Different retailers are listed on each website, and different rates might be offered, so it may be worth comparing each time. You can maximise your cashback earnings by being a member of both.
Note that each cashback website has a premium account, costing £5 per year. You are signed up automatically but can downgrade before you have earned your first cashback. If you don’t downgrade, your first earnings (up to a £5 total) will be taken to pay for your membership.
Premium accounts provide cashback bonuses, but may not be worthwhile. Decide before you shop, because you are locked in for a year once you’ve started earning.
Save money by finding the biggest sales
Not all January sales are equal.
Some stores will offer token discounts – just enough to count as a ‘sale’ – whilst others will offer their biggest price reductions.
The Tesco Direct January sale begins online on 29th December. Discounts of up to 50% are being offered.
Other retailers that offer big January sales bargains each year include Amazon, Argos, IKEA, M&S and Sports Direct.
Some stores reduce the price of a wide range of products at the same time. Other online retailers will offer daily deals, so you’ll need to check back to find the best discounts each day.
Don’t panic at the start of January
Different sales operate in different ways.
Some retailers offer their best discounts at the beginning of January. If you don’t buy early, you risk missing out as stocks deplete.
Many shops, both online and offline, work with a different system. They boost their sales as the month goes on, to encourage continued buying towards the end of January.
If you have your sights set on something that is unlikely to be sold out, it may be beneficial to hold off and see if prices drop further.
Save money by buying unwanted gift cards
Gift cards are practical and an often appreciated gift. They allow the recipient to pick their own gift, within limits.
Sometimes, gift cards just aren’t right. You receive one that you have no interest in using.
Now, there are websites dedicated to the buying and selling of unused gift cards. Zeek is one such website.
Selling a card that you don’t want to use is a handy way to get some genuinely useful cash. But, even better for January sales savings is the option to buy someone else’s.
By paying slightly less than the card’s value, you can save a small amount of money.
For example, you might buy a £25 gift card for a total of £23. You then have an extra £2 to spend. And you’ve provided the original owner with some cash that they can use for their shopping.
Save money by avoiding impulse purchases
January sales provide an opportunity to save money. But, with great power comes great responsibility.
If you’re drawn in by every discount or deal, you will spend unnecessarily.
You might be tempted to go wild on the first day of the year. But, shop around and think carefully about what you are buying.
Savings aren’t savings if you’ve purchased a cut-price coffee machine when you don’t even drink hot beverages.
Use the January sales for advance purchases
This isn’t strictly a way to save money in January sales. But, it is a way to save money with them.
Plan ahead. Purchase items in the sales that you can use as birthday gifts later in the year.
You can even buy reduced decorations, wrapping paper and Christmas cards, so that they’re ready for Christmas 2017.
Don’t forget about seasonal bargains. The best discounts in the January sale might be for summer clothing. Don’t write this off, because it’s the ideal way to get your summer wardrobe ready at a fraction of the price.
Many retailers have announced that they will be hiking up their prices after the January sales.
You can use the January sales to fill the cupboard under the stairs or to pile the attic high before items become considerably more expensive.
Save money by using your status
If you have a student discount card, bring it out for the January sales. It will reduce prices further in some of your favourite shops.
Certain stores also offer other discounts. Many reduce their prices slightly for serving members of the armed forces, or for pensioners.
If you are unsure if you’re entitled to an extra discount, it never hurts to ask.
Save money using rewards credit cards
If you have a credit card that offers rewards, then the January sales are the perfect time to use it.
Credit cards offer all sorts of benefits from supermarket loyalty points to cashback. And from vouchers to free flights and hotel stays.
When you’re spending in the January sales, earn rewards to get discounts elsewhere. Your credit card also protects your purchases.
When spending on your credit card, remember to clear your debt as soon as possible. If you’re in debt and paying interest, you might as well have skipped the sales completely.
Keep things in perspective. January sales are a fantastic money saving opportunity, but only if you don’t overspend. You can still do your shopping in February, so don’t rush any decisions.