So without further ado, here are some of my top tips...
Only treat yourself if you really feel you deserve it, and even then don't spend much. I avoid high street shops such as Topshop, River Island etc. like the plague unless they have sales or I have vouchers to spend there. If I feel I need a clothing treat I usually just head to good ol' Primark to sate my clothing appetite. Though of course I don't only shop in Primark. I also like to shop in H&M, New Look and Supermarkets as some good bargains can be found in those. I stick by rules where I won't spend any more than £15 on a dress unless it is absolute perfection, but even then I begrudge it. Shoes are a similar affair. £20 is pushing it for me. Skirts have to be less than £10 and tops cheaper still. My friends find me to be absolutely mental, but if it's doing me good in the long run, I really could care less! Also look on Ebay. A lot of the time people end up selling things that they've missed out on returning within the allocated 28 days time slot and you really can grab a bargain!
Always use websites like Topcashback and Quidco. They are fantastic at saving you money when you shop online. You can generally find that most retailers are associated with them in some way which means you can really claw back the £££s. Always look at the discount offered between the two sites before you purchase as sometimes you can get an even better deal from the other one. Similarly if its renewal time take a long hard look at what the different companies offer as you can often find yourself getting a huge cashback deal that you wouldn't have had otherwise if using just the price comparison websites.
When food shopping buy only Supermarket own branded stuff, unless there is a particular offer on for a better brand. I generally stick to a "only £1 or under" rule, which the boyfriend can get quite annoyed about. But at the end of the day if we can bring in our weekly shopping total to be as minimal as possible, we make savings in other areas. As well as the £1 rule, I also aim to spend as close to £20 as possible and if i go over £30, well that just feels like a fail to me. Bearing in mind, that is to feed two people, so £20 is a bloody marvelous achievement in the grand scheme of things!
In a similar vein to the above, if you see an offer that is too good to be true... snap it up. Snap as much up as you possibly can! These offers don't stay around forever and a lot of the time it's because of a mistake or needing to clear old stock for new. Recently Asda were selling off their 'chosen by you' selection of pasta goods for just 35p each! Of course we grabbed as much as was feasible. Last night was another goody for me, where work had been delivered some food goods, which our store doesn't sell so colleagues got their pick of the crop for just 20p per item. I got 5 jars of pasta sauce and lemon juice for just £1.08 (inc staff discount).
Another thing to bear in mind when food shopping, or any shopping really. Shop around. If milk has gone up an extortionate amount in one shop, just hop over to another. I understand most people aren't able to do that but it really does help. Plus, it also broadens your horizons by seeing what other shops have on offer.
I feel this post could go on and on... and on! So I'll cut it short here, and I hope you enjoy and even try out my tips :) From doing these I was able to buy my own car aged 17, including paying for all my driving lessons which took me around 1 year to finally be able to drive (not to mention 3 driving tests...)