Avoid the hysteria of the high street by doing all your sales shopping online.
There are incredible bargains to be had on everything from designer labels to holidays and they're available all year round – you just have to know where to look.
Best for luxury goods
Cocosa runs daily sales offering savings of up to 80% on a range of top-end items from some of the biggest names in the fashion business. Just before Christmas, for example, you could have bagged Shiseido's Benefiance Nutriperfect Eye Serum for £59 (John Lewis price, £86); a Timex Ironman watch for £35 (Amazon price £79.99); a Foffa single speed bike for £235 (rrp, £359.99) and a Matthew Williamson neon pink tuck dress for £195 (£145 less than on rival flash sale site The Outnet and £630 less than the original price).
You could also have treated yourself to a heavily discounted bag from Burberry or Givenchy, a pair of sunglasses from Tom Ford, Celine or MiuMiu and clothing from Carven.
Cocosa announces new sales every day. Goods can only be dispatched once the sale ends so don't expect super-fast delivery. In some cases, you'll have to wait two or three weeks for your items, but that's a small price to pay when you think of the savings you've made.
Best for luxury travel
Secret Escapes bags the rooms hotels haven't been able to fill: what's great, apart from the discounts, is how far in advance you can book (there are holidays on there for November 2015, the fact that you know exactly where you'll be staying, and also that all the partner hotels are four or five star.
Secret Escapes typically offers discounts of up to 70% and has every category covered, from family breaks and city getaways to romantic hideaways and even activity holidays – it was recently offering a five-night Singapore F1 Grand Prix break with flights and tickets to the practice, qualifier and race from £1,625 per person – £600 less than the brochure price.
Best for flights
The Daily Telegraph said Danish flight comparison site Momondo was best for finding the cheapest fares across a bundle of 20 flights. It's easy to use and has handy features such as best flights, which allows users to compare the price against convenience – wouldn't you rather spend £20 more to avoid the 12-hour stopover?
Momondo also hunts down the best deals on hotels, holiday rentals and car hire, offers a price guarantee on all hotel bookings and a free, 48-hour cancellation policy on car rental.
Best for discount furniture
Trade Secret sells cancelled and returned furniture orders from some of the UK's most well known stores, including John Lewis, M&S, Multiyork and Furniture Village, as well as overruns direct from the manufacturers that supply those stores. Contractually, Trade Secret can't disclose where each item has come from, nor the original price, but it does guarantee savings of up to 60%.
Best for designer furniture
If you're after designer furniture by such über craftsmen as Charles Eames, Arne Jacobsen, Mies van der Rohe and Isamu Noguchi, then check out Voga.
While it can't bring you originals by these masters, it does bring you its own beautifully made reproductions, which means (when we last looked) you could be cocooned in a Jacobsen egg chair for £845 or lounging on a van der Rohe Barcelona day bed for £1,195. Just before Christmas, Voga ran a 55% off promotion, so prices were £380 and £538 respectively. Subscribe to Voga's newsletter to make sure you don't miss out on its next sale.
Best for browsers
BrandPrix is a discount site selling clearance items such as beauty, underwear, bags and jewellery, from a huge range of retailers including Murdoch, Davidoff, John Lewis, Fantasie, Antler and TechnoMarine. If you're in the mood to browse for bargains but aren't after anything specific, then BrandPrix is perfect.
Best for games
Play-Asia sells a wide range of items including toys and clothes, but it specialises in games and electronics, and this is where you'll find the best bargains.
In the week before Christmas, you could have picked up Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag for £10.85 and Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition for £22.98 (selling for £15.95 and £30 respectively on Amazon) as well as a 64mb Sandisk micro memory card for £25.54 and the Sandisk Cruzer flash drive for £19.15, at least £5 and £10 less than you would have paid elsewhere.
Best for everything
A bit of a no-frills bargain basement for homeware and toys. Among the best recent bargains were Bio-Oil for £4.99 instead of £8.95, a 24-can pack of Carslberg Export for £23.94 (rrp £31.50) and a Chicco Sweet Dreams cot mobile for £19.99, £15 less than the recommended retail price.
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