\ How To Be Thrifty - Sweet Elyse

How To Be Thrifty

I love to shop. I love shopping, even more, when there is a sale, offer, freebie or thrifty deal. It may be the parent in me or maybe it's just the need to provide that makes me giddy when I see a great deal. My thrifty-ness started when I was young when car boots sales were plentiful and regular. I loved to see how many great bargains I could pick up with my pocket money and tended to always buy things for those close to me, rather than for myself. 

Growing up with war-era parents didn't help my need to thrift either. I was taught the importance of making do and mend way before that saying became hip. If I wanted something I was made to work for it and to save for it. I think it was these life lessons that lead me to grow up as someone who simply doesn't get jealous. I believe if someone has something or does something that you 'maybe' become jealous about - go and get it, go work your butt off for it and do something. Jealousy is such a pointless emotion. 

To be thrifty it does take work but, it becomes second nature after a while. There are a few things you can do to ensure the routine sticks. Writing a list is the best way and referring back to it is probably the easiest way. Here are some thrifty suggestions, each are tried and tested methods and are the methods I personally use. 

Cashback | Quidco and Topcashback are definitely the sites to use for cashback. You simply set up a free account (You can get a premier account on Quidco for £5, they take it off your cashback and it's a super value in my opinion), then search for the sites you want to go to. eBay, Amazon, New Look, ASOS, House of Fraser and SKY are all on there. You find the site; for example, eBay and then click 'go-to site'. Your shopping is now tracked and anything you spend you will gain cashback for. You can download their safe toolbar and it will flash up if you are on a cashback site. 

Here's a screen print of my Quidco and Topcashback. This is just from using eBay, House of Fraser, Boots as normal as well as the standard things like Car Insurance, SKY upgrades, Phone providers etc. This is all money that literally would have gone to the companies rather than myself. It's FREE money, for me it totalled £570.28 in the last year. That's Christmas paid for. 

I tend to take my Topcashback money in the form of Amazon vouchers as you get an extra % if you choose that option. 



 Sales: Getting used to when the sales take place can make shopping for bargains easier. In the past, I have to spend £100+ at places such as Next only to find half of the items are placed in the half-price sale the next week. Furious doesn't cut it. I've got around this by figuring out when the sales are and shopping mostly in those. I will do a separate post with this info for you. I also use these sales to get future birthday gifts and Christmas presents. Sounds crazy to some people but I can tell you it saves a heap of stress and cash come December. 

 Free Money: You have the cashback option. There are also other ways of getting free money and that is by using coupons. Some give you free or nearly free products saving you money. Whether you use the items or not you should still take advantage of them as you can donate the freebies if you don't need them. Sites such as: 

 Super Savvy Me
 My Supermarket 
 Money Saving Expert (MSE) 

are great ways of finding relevant coupons. There are some other free money suggestions below. 

 Money Magpie is also a great way of getting rid of items that wouldn't sell on eBay. I've sold CD's, DVDs and old clothing on there. Yes, you do get the bare minimum but the way I see it is many of these items wouldn't even get their 99p minimum selling point on eBay. Factor in Paypal charges and listing fee's and your 99p gets even less. Save the hassle and just bung it on Money Magpie. 

 Selling mobile phones. I have sold a few phones in the past, ones that weren't working and I wouldn't have dared to sell elsewhere. I did a heap of research on this and the best prices always came from Mobile phone X change. Go through Quidco and receive a further £3.50 cashback on top of your phone selling price. 

 Making Money:  There's the obvious option of eBay. I've found that clear photo's (a little bit of pic monkey alteration doesn't go amiss) and a clear organised description is the best way to sell your items. Also, bundle items up to make postage more worthwhile for the buyer. If you have a talent for crafting or art then why not try selling your handmade items on a Facebook page, Etsy shop or Folksy shop. You could also try attending local fayres and events as a seller to make some extra cash. Car-booting is great for quick clear-outs of miscellaneous items but don't expect to get high prices. 

You can also target the vintage market by going to charity shop hunting. Vintage items do especially well over on eBay and I know I've personally sold vintage items that cost 50p for in excess of £30-£60+

Surveys for points or cash. I use a few sites to make extra cash for Christmas such as:  

 Inbox Pounds 
 Toluna Influencers 
 Opinion Hive 
 Yuno Surveys 
 Pinecone Research 
 Market Agent 
 Green Panthera 

 Free Products | Like the free money option you can join to take part in surveys, these take a little bit of time but are worth it especially when it comes to choosing your free goodies. There are so many sites out there but I've only put down my favourite ones. I've received mostly DVD's, CD's, Beauty goodies and vouchers from these sites but they all count. 

You can also go down the route of your local swapping sites and free to good home sites, you usually have to be able to collect quickly though so bear that in mind when asking to be considered. 

Comping. If you're American it will be called 'super sweeping' it basically means doing competitions and a lot of competitions. Nowadays it's so easy to enter them and social media has only increased the number of comps available. Try joining a comping Facebook page to get a handle on what ones are available. MSE is also a great source of competition knowledge and they do put live ones on there. Try to find 20 minutes or so to go through the recent live list. You can't win if your not in it guys.  

The last option is to contact your favourite companies, telling them why you think they are fab. They sometimes (mostly) send you free vouchers to spend on products. I've received £10 vouchers, £5 vouchers and a few stuffed hampers with their goodies just for doing so. You can normally contact them via their websites. I'd only advice contacting your genuine favourite brands and don't expect anything in return, of course, any vouchers or freebies are a bonus. 

 Samples | Magazines usually have freebies attached as well as having little samples stuck inside. If you try to remove them and pop them in a safe place you will be sure not to forget about them. Magazines and papers also have vouchers for free products that you normally need to cut out- take advantage of them. You can also go down the route of contact your favourite companies for samples too, after all, it doesn't hurt to try - just don't expect to get and just view anything you do get is a bonus. 

 MSE also has a 'freebies' topic and they regularly update free samples over on there too, your favourite Facebook pages may also be giving away free samples-just check up the top of their page or simply ask kindly. 


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