Always looking for ways to save money but worried about looking like a cheapskate? You're not the only one: financial pressures and rising costs means most of us are keen to save cash in as many areas as possible.
But it can be hard because opting for the cheaper item may mean that you're also going with poor quality products.
So here are three easy ways you can get what you need, for the best prices, without looking like a cheapskate.
1. Go second hand
Low quality products, even when brand new, often look cheap, and if they aren't well made you'll have to replace them often - which will erase any savings you might have made in the first place. Why not consider buying pre-owned items? This way you'll be able to get the quality you need for the price you want, with savings of as much as 50%. Sites like ebay and Amazon are useful when looking for good quality second hand items.
2. Shun the shops and buy online
You don't have to worry about using discount codes or buying clearance items when you shop online, because no one can see you behind your computer screen! Doing your shopping online can also be beneficial because you have more time to compare items and find the very best price. You'll often be able to find coupon codes online that will further your discounts.
3. Wait for the perfect moment
If haggling isn't really your cup of tea you can save money by timing your purchases right instead. This will be especially effective when you're purchasing big ticket items. For example, opt to buy laptops and computers during back to school sales and shell out for a new TV after the Christmas rush in January and February.
Ten uplifting money stories
Tips for saving money without looking like a cheapskate
Matthew James saved his fiancée’s life during the Tunisia beach terrorist attack, and hundreds of strangers wanted to show their appreciation for his heroism.
Matthew James, a 30 year-old gas engineer from Trehafod in South Wales, was shot three times - in the chest, shoulder and hip - as he protected his partner Saera Wilson.
In the first ten days after the attack, the crowdfunding campaign raised more than £16,000.
Dan Price, founder of credit card processor Gravity, has increased the salary of everyone who works for him to at least $70,000 (£47,000). He has paid for it by slashing his own pay from $1 million to $70,000.
Jack Walker, an 83-year-old former Coldstream Guard, had saved up £4,000 to pay for his funeral, but it was stolen from his house.
A fellow Guardsman set up a fundraising page, and restored both his savings and his faith in humanity, raising over £6,000.
Richard Branson is giving new parents at Virgin Management the chance to take up to a year off to care for their baby at full pay.
The deal is open to both mothers and fathers, and is available to anyone who has worked for the company for four years or more. Those with fewer than four years’ service will still get a generous percentage of pay.
A student in Dundee got talking to a homeless man who explained he was putting off vital surgery because he didn’t have anywhere comfortable to recover. She set up a crowdfunding page to raise £3,500 so he could rent a flat for a few months. The page received £7,600, and she found Les somewhere safe to stay.
A waitress in the US posted a photograph online of a tip she had received. The $200 tip came with a note saying: "Brandi, thank you for your service. I overheard you talking about your son. Use this to visit him."
The child who found fame as the Success Kid internet meme has raised over $100,000 to fund his dad’s medical treatment. His father needed a kidney transplant, but his insurance wouldn’t pay for all of his care, so the family needed another $75,000. The family set up a fundraising page, and strangers with a soft spot for their favourite meme donated $100,000.
A woman in Leyland in Lancashire carried out random acts of kindness to brighten people’s days. She left envelopes around town containing lottery scratch cards, money for parking tickets, and a note she handed to a coffee shop to pay for the next customer. She kept her identity a secret - even her husband didn't know what she was doing.
An inventor designed a shoe for children living in poverty around the world. The shoe can be adjusted to increase five sizes, so it grows with the child, and donated shoes can last for years.
He set up a crowd funding campaign to raise $50,000 to make and distribute 5,000 pairs of shoes: he eventually received just over $100,000.