Your Guide to Using Daily Deal Websites

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DealsDaily deal websites are a group of sites that offer deals, coupons and discounts from various other businesses. The deals in question could be for physical products, services, days out, or even holidays. New deals, as the name may suggest, tend to be added every day but they all either have limited availability or are only valid for a certain time. By far the two most prominent of these sites are Groupon and Wowcher, though there are a number of other websites around that fall into this category too.

These sites can be great money-savers, but it is also possible to make mistakes with them. If you want to get the most out of these sites and ensure you get good value out of them, there are a few things to bear in mind.

Always Check the Newsletter

If you want to get the most out of these sites, then the first step will be to make sure you don’t miss deals you might benefit from. The easiest way to do this is simply to sign up for their newsletter (this will usually be the first thing they ask you to do when you visit their site), and make sure you take the time to look through it every time it pops into your inbox.

Check Postage

This is always good practice when shopping online, but especially with daily deal websites. Postage is generally different for every deal offered and is generally hidden in small print away from the main price. Often, a bargain deal comes with free postage. At other times, small items come with a seemingly excessive postage charge of several pounds, and this can represent a significant portion of the overall price and easily be enough to turn a good deal into a bad one.

Shop Around

When the item being offered is a physical product, it can pay to look around the web a bit. While all the items being sold on these sites are discounted, prices are only reduced relative to the price usually charged by the specific business that is making the offer, and this may not be cheap. It is not uncommon to find the exact same product cheaper elsewhere – notably on eBay or Amazon – and at the very least finding it on a site like Amazon may also give you a chance to see customer reviews.

Don’t Buy Unnecessary Things

These kind of websites rely partly on impulse buying, and while the newsletter might be a good way to ensure you don’t miss deals it can also serve to encourage unnecessary purchases. The idea is that you see something that looks nice or fun, the price seems good, and it has quite a big discount applied, so you buy it quick before the item runs out and worry later about whether you should have done so. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself sometimes, but for the most part you should actively avoid this kind of buying behaviour. Think carefully and try to be sure that an item is something that you would have bought anyway, something that will be genuinely useful, or just generally something you won’t regret buying later.


How to save money on Mondays

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Do not fall into Monday blues by making the most of your money on the first day of the working week. No matter how big or small are your funds, here are some amazing discount deals that are available for every pocket.

Mondays at Yo Sushi

The deal at Yo Sushi is called ‘Blue Plate’ day when fifty of its best dishes are reduced to £2.50 a plate which saves you up to 40% on their usual prices. Some of these discounted dishes include things like spicy pepper squid, tuna maki and duck and moromi miso hand roll. However, keep in mind that freshly cooked hot dishes will be still available at their standard price. The Yo Sushi outlets are open until late, around 10pm, on Mondays.

Half price meals at The Slug and Lettuce

The ‘Happy Monday’ deal at Slug and Lettuce will really make your Monday happy. You automatically get 50% off your food bill at whatever time your turn up there. You can choose anything from their standard menu from chilli con carne to sausages, burgers and chicken dishes. If this is not a great deal, I don’t know what is.

25% off at Frankie & Benny’s

Frankie & Benny’s deal is called ‘Monday Madness’. With that offer you get 25% off your food bill every Monday evening. Frankie & Benny’s claim to be a New York Italian restaurant and bar whose menu includes things such as burgers, pastas, meatballs, salads and steaks.

The only thing you need to do in order to enjoy this deal is to turn up anytime from 5pm to 10pm in one of their 200 locations. And you can even make the most of their free Wi-Fi, in case you have some unfinished work for the day.

A Mojito on the house

Until 30th of November 2014, there is a ‘buy one, get one free on cocktails on Mondays at Drake & Morgan’s bars and restaurants. There are three locations in the city from which you can choose from. It is worth £7.50 a time, so when you go with a friend, it will be £3.75 for one cocktail each.

Movie Mondays

Anyone who is a Sky TV customer can buy up to two tickets for £3  each to watch any movie, including 3D, in O2 Cineworld in London. You just have to sign in online with your Sky ID details and you can either print your voucher to get your tickets or pre-book online for the upcoming Monday. This can save you nearly £8 per ticket.


Put Some Frugal Finesse in your Grocery Shop

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There are many ways which you can save good money on your household grocery shop, and following some of these basic tips will make it a lot easier!

Before you even draw up a list, ensure you have a budget already in hand for all your household spending (a good link on how to make your first budget can be found at budgetbuddy.co.uk). Many fail to do this most fundamental of financial necessities, and therefore cannot benefit from the information and planning ability a budget can provide.  Once you have a budget in clear black and white, you can then really tell yourself what you can and can’t afford – what is a need and what counts as a ‘want’.

A shopping list must be drawn up before you go for the shop – so you only buy what you really need!  When doing the list, take care to check what you need but also what you may need in the coming week or two too (just so that if it is on offer, you are better off buying it now and saving some money off next week’s shop!).

1Shop where it suits you to shop!  It may be cheaper to shop in that big store but if it costs you £5 in fuel just to drive there and back is it better to walk to the local convenience store if you only need a few things?  You might pay a bit more but you may still save overall, and you would be benefitting local trade which in turn provides local jobs etc!  If you have a discount/loyalty card and it works for you – stick to it and claim the rewards.  There is no such thing as ‘the cheapest place to shop’ – all the big stores are becoming increasingly competitive and all have a host of special offers on at any one time.  Also why stick to one shop – alternate where you go so you get access to different deals/price reductions.  Get your family/friends in on it too – e.g. let your sister know when her brand of shampoo is on offer, or when the nappies are buy one get one half price etc.  We can all help each other!

Then there’s the brands.  Obvious to say, but you can very easily save money by switching from name brand to shop brand. Sure nothing beats the taste of the branded biscuits or even cereal but the taste of the store made one is very similar with a lot of saving to be made. Also it could even be in some cases that the store brand tastes better than the branded one (bourbon biscuits, maybe the cheaper ones have more sugar but they sure taste great!).  I have also found some items like Sainsbury’s own brand toilet paper to be nicer than the branded ones, and I only discovered this when none of the branded ones were on offer and I tried it once. That’s all it takes, try something different, you don’t have to buy it again if no good, but if it is you can save money every time!

The reason brands cost more than store prices is because brands have a seven-year brand copyright.  Once those seven years are up there is no copyright, so similar products can be made and sold at a much cheaper price- the stores own- branded price. In some cases you could save up to 40% of buying the store brand instead of the branded one.

Lastly, buy less junk food! Buying a lot stricter not only does it save you money on your grocery shop but also makes you and your household a lot healthier. For example instead of going to a fast-food place for fish and chips, compare the cost to making your own oven chips and buying frozen cod pieces, a lot healthier and cheaper.  Stir-frys too, again a quick, healthy and cheap option compared to reaching for the phone for an £18 pizza.

These are all really easy ways to save money; I hope even in some small way any of these tips may help you to save good hard cash… and master that frugal finesse!