Shopping at Marks & Sparks needn't break the bank. From the meal deals to simply asking for a discount, these tricks will save you a bundle.
Use the meal deals
While you may not be able to afford to switch your whole food shop to M&S, you could save a bundle with its meal deals.
The Dine In For Two meal deal is a regular feature at the supermarket and costs £10 for a main, side and dessert with a bottle of wine or non-alcoholic alternative thrown in for free.
Now the supermarket has launched a new lunchtime meal deal to boot.
It allows shoppers to pick up a posh sandwich or salad, snack and drink for £3.50 – 50p less than usual.
The offer will save you around £1.70 compared to buying the items separately.
Get a Sparks card
M&S has its own loyalty scheme, Sparks, which was released a few years after its competitors.
Sparks is a little different in that it gives you tailor-made offers, priority access to M&S seasonal previews, sales and experiences as opposed to simply getting money off your shopping.
Rack up 5,000 Sparks and you can get access to sale pieces before anybody else. Earn 17,000 points and you can go on an all-expenses paid to a vineyard with M&S wine experts.
Every time you shop, you collect 10 sparks, and you’ll get 10 sparks for every pound spent. That’s not the only way to earn points – every time you write a review you’ll bag 25 sparks and if you shwop (recycle) your clothes at M&S, you’ll earn 50 points.
You’ll bag a free £5 spend at M&S on your birthday too. It can be used on clothing, footwear, beauty, accessories, home, food and flowers, but unfortunately doesn’t include delivery online.
Check the M&S site for discounts
Keep a close eye on the Marks and Spencer website for the latest deals – there's usually something going fairly cheap.
For example, you can save 25% when you buy two or more of selected wine cases including Prosecco.
Keep your eyes peeled for voucher codes
As with most large retailers, M&S has regular voucher codes that can help you cut costs.
It’s a simple case of entering the code at the checkout and your discount will come off automatically.
For example, you can currently get 12% off Food to Order using code FOODAF8.
Become an M&S shareholder
If you buy M&S shares (current price £3.31), you can qualify for in-store discounts.
Here’s how it works: rather than receive dividend payments, you can choose to put that all or part of that money on a special shareholder gift card, which offers a 10% discount.
So effectively you’ll get one-tenth more credit that you put on the card, which can be spent both online and in-store.
Head this way for more details on the Equiniti Payment Plus scheme.
Get to know someone who works there
If you have a family or friend who works at M&S, you could save 20% by asking them to buy it for you (just this one time, obviously).
This is because all workers get a 20% discount on all in-store and online purchases.
For more long-term savings, M&S also gives staff the opportunity to offer the discount to a partner or family member who permanently lives with them.
The high street store employs around 85,000 people, so this tip isn’t as niche as you might think.
The price you see on the tag isn’t necessarily the price you have to pay.
Research by MoneySavingExpert found that M&S was one of the High Street stores most open to haggling.
In fact, four in 10 people successfully talked down the price of goods at the retailer, according to its research.
You might find it uncomfortable if you’ve not done so before, so to help you feel better prepared have a read of our comprehensive guide to haggling. Good luck!
Bank with M&S
You can save even more money at M&S if you switch your current account to M&S Bank.
The fee-free M&S Current Account offers access to the M&S Loyalty scheme which allows you to earn one point for every £1 spent on your M&S Visa Debit Card in M&S, a minimum £500 overdraft and access to a high rate monthly saver account.
While for £10 a month you can get the M&S Premium Current Account, which comes with all this plus £127 worth of hot drinks vouchers for the M&S Café, £45 worth of treats and delights vouchers, £40 a year in M&S vouchers for clothing and home plus a birthday gift.
Right now, if you switch to either of these accounts, you can get a £125 M&S gift card and an extra £60 when you stay for 12 months.
Get an M&S Credit Card
The M&S Credit Card has two introductory offers.
Shopping Plus gives you 0% on shopping for 25 months and 0% on balance transfers for 25 months (2.9% fee or £5, whichever is cheaper).
Transfer Plus has 0% on balance transfers for 32 months (0.99% fee or a minimum of £5) as well as 0% on shopping for 6 months.
You’ll also get a bonus points voucher for 500 M&S points, worth a fiver, which you can spend on food, clothing or homeware. It’ll be sent to you with your new credit card.
Both cards will bag you M&S points every time you shop and have an APR of 18.9%.
Just remember that you'll need to be able to make repayments in full and on time, otherwise the interest you accrue will negate any benefit of the card.
Buy the right pack size
M&S hit the headlines for the wrong reasons earlier this year when it was revealed that some bigger pack sizes cost more than their smaller equivalents.
For example, packs of identical British garden peas in two M&S stores were priced as follows:
- £1.45 for 910g (15.9p per 100g);
- 68p for 500g (£1.36 per kg).
As you can see, the 68p bag is better value than the larger bag at £1.45.
British free-range mixed size eggs were being sold in packs of 15 for £2.50 (16.7p each). Those who bought packs of six paid a slightly lower 15p each, an overall cost of 90p.
The lesson is that prices aren’t always consistent either, so it’s best to keep a close eye on the tag on the shelf.
Use cashback websites
New and existing Topcashback customers can land 3.15% on purchases.
Quidco will give you a higher 5% for new and existing customer sales.
All you need to do is register with Topcashback and Quidco, go to the M&S offers and click through to the M&S website to do your shop as normal. Your order will be tracked and will appear in your account after making the purchase.
Any more tips for saving at Marks & Spencer? Let us know in the comments below.
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