Nine things you should never buy last minute
Make sure you don't waste your money by buying these 9 items on impulse...
Recent research from First Direct has revealed that each year, we waste £2,256 by failing to plan ahead on our purchases and buying on impulse instead. That’s a lot of money to be throwing away for simply forgetting to shop around.
So here are nine things you should never buy at the last minute or on impulse:
According to First Direct, we waste nearly £173 per year by not shopping around for petrol. But if you plan ahead and know when your petrol tank is likely to get low, there are ways of shopping around to ensure you’re getting a good deal.
A really easy way to do this is by using a website called petrolprices.com. By simply registering your details and your postcode, the website will locate the lowest-priced fuel in your area. Just make sure you’re not driving miles out of your way – otherwise this will offset any savings you make.
It’s also a good idea to check out petrol prices as you pass filling stations as you drive from place to place. That way you’ll be able to plan where the best places are to fill up and you won’t have to drive out of your way.
2. Electrical goods
When it comes to electrical goods, we waste £33.53 a year by failing to shop around and buying on impulse. But shopping around is so easy to do online if you use a shopbot such as find-electricalgoods.co.uk or Kelkoo. Simply type in the item you require and find out where you can pick it up the cheapest.
If you’d prefer to see exactly what you’re buying, why not head over to your nearest store, check out the item, and then go back online to get the best price? And if you’re lucky enough, you might find a handy voucher code to save even more money! Check out websites such as HotUKDeals and vouchercodes.co.uk.
Throwing unnecessary items into your shopping trolley as you go round the supermarket is far too easy to do. Indeed, we waste more than £445 a year on impulse buys and last minute stop-offs at the convenience store. To avoid this, make sure you’ve planned ahead and drawn up a list of meals you’re going to cook for the next week.
Rachel Robson rounds up five ways to cut your food bills.
Take this shopping list with you when you go to the supermarket, and don’t get tempted to buy anything that isn’t on your list.
Alternatively, you could use a nifty website called mySupermarket.co.uk which allows you to track how much your shopping would cost at each of the UK's four major supermarkets (Sainsbury's, Tesco, ASDA and Ocado/Waitrose). You can then select the basket of goods from the one you choose. That way it will be far easier to avoid throwing additional items into your basket.
And remember – never go shopping when you’re hungry!
Over a quarter of women say they have paid too much for an outfit as a result of buying it last minute. Meanwhile, 30% of women don’t think about what they’re going to wear until the day of a big night out.
So once again, this all boils down to planning properly. Think about whether you really do need a new outfit. Why not use an old outfit and jazz it up with a few pretty accessories to make it look a little different?
Alternatively, if you do need to buy something new, shopping online is a great way to save money. For a start, you can save money by using a voucher code, and secondly, you can earn money back by using a cashback website such as Quidco, TopCashBack, and GreasyPalm. Find out more in The best way to shop online.
Rachel Robson highlights four ways to save money as you shop!
Failing to shop around for insurance could cost you £280 a year. The trouble is, it’s easy to forget when your car insurance or home insurance policy is coming to an end and when you get a letter in the post telling you your policy is about to be renewed, it can be tempting to simply accept it.
However, insurers generally offer the best deals to new customers only. As a result, it’s likely that your premiums will rise significantly after the first year. So by accepting the renewal quote, you could be pouring money down the drain.
To ensure you don’t get caught out, make a note in your diary for when your insurance deal is about to expire and make sure you shop around in advance so you know whether or not your renewal quote really is the best deal you can find.
6. Air/rail tickets
Fancy saving yourself more than £988 a year? Then make sure you don’t buy your air and rail tickets without doing a bit of research first.
There are plenty of ways to save money from splitting your train ticket, to being flexible about when you fly.
Of course, in some cases, you may find leaving it to the last minute gets you a better deal, but this won't always be the case and you could find yourself forking out considerably more - so always do your research! Read Cut the cost of your train fare and Grab an ultra cheap holiday for some top tips.
7. Theatre/cinema tickets
Paying a visit to the theatre or cinema can cost a fortune. In fact, we waste over £335 a year by simply not shopping around. However, there are numerous ways to save money if you’re prepared to do a bit of research.
Websites such as DiscountTheatre, SeatWave, Whatsonstage.com and TheatreMonkey offer a range of discounted theatre tickets. Again, in this instance, you may find that booking last minute does actually save you money if you use websites such as Lastminute.com. But as always, make sure you've shopped around to ensure the deal you're being offered is really a good price.
And if you fancy a trip to the cinema for free, sign up to See Film First and Momentum Pictures which offer regular preview screenings free of charge. For more tips read Seven bargain entertainment tips.
Oh - and one more thing - make sure you're actually buying tickets for something you want to see!
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8. Repair services
If something’s gone wrong with your kitchen sink or car, it’s easy to plump for the first plumber or mechanic you see (and if your kitchen is overflowing with water, you might not have a choice). But if you do this, you can guarantee you’re throwing money down the drain.
So disaster permitting, take the time compare quotes as this can really pay off. Check out websites such as mybuilder.com and myHammer which allow you to compare quotes from a range of tradesmen and see which ones come recommended. And if you’re after a good car mechanic, have a read of Easy ways to find a good mechanic.
Love the look of that sparkly pair of earrings in the shop window? Don’t buy them there and then - make sure you shop around first to see if you can find them cheaper elsewhere!
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