Bargain queen Holly Smith is no stranger to finding the best deals – and saving cash where you can has never been more important.
Mum-of-four Holly, 37, is a self-confessed coupon addict and regularly shares her bargain hacks online to her thousands of followers on Instagram.
One way to make sure you’re getting the best deal is by always comparing prices – and this counts even in budget stores like Poundland, B&M and Home Bargains.
Holly points out that Poundland isn’t always cheapest on all its products.
“Lots of people shop at Poundland because they think it’s the cheapest budget store,” she told The Mirror.
”But if you look at some of their prices you will learn that £1 isn’t always a bargain.”
She gives the example of washing up liquid. The cheapest bottle of Easy washing up liquid sells for 50p in Poundland – but Tesco’s own-brand version is only 44p.
Another item that isn’t better value at Poundland is bleach. Poundland sells Easy bleach for 50p but an own-brand version from Tesco is 49p.
However, there are some products that are cheaper at Poundland – particularly if you’re after branded goods.
The discounter sells Kellogg’s Krave cereal for £2 – the cheapest elsewhere is £2.50 from Sainsbury’s.
The golden rule is to always compare prices by using the Google shopping tool or by using Trolley.co.uk, which brings up prices across all the major supermarkets.
“It might not seem like a lot of money until you look at it this way…” said Holly.
“If you buy a bottle of washing-up liquid from Poundland every week for one year it will cost you £26 but if you buy from Tesco it will only be £22.88.
“Now do the maths for everything else you normally buy at Poundland and you could be overspending by £100s each year.”
Other tips Holly shared with The Mirror include always shopping for tins, packet food and jars from Home Bargains to save cash.
For example, Holly says she can pick up a Dolmio Family Size Bolognese Sauce for only 99p at Home Bargains – but the same size costs £2 elsewhere.
Heinz Tomato Ketchup is around £1 in Home Bargains, or roughly £2.39 in the major supermarkets.
“By shopping for non-perishable groceries at Home Bargains I save around £500 a year.
“I highly recommend shopping at Home Bargains to save money on kitchen staples.”
The final money-saving trick shared by Holly is always use the B&M scanner to find 10p bargains – saving you potentially thousands of pounds each year.
The B&M scanner is a free barcode checker available on the B&M Stores app.
Over the years, Holly has bagged toys, Cadbury’s selection boxes, as well as lamps, duvets and curtains, all for just 10p each.
Other deals include BT Home Phone Sets for £1 instead of £39.99.
“The secret to finding bargains is by scanning as much as possible. Products can still be reduced, even if the price tag states the full price,” said Holly.
“It just means the staff haven’t had the chance to update the labels.”