Secret ways to save more money

How to pay less for everything - five clever hacks

You can save money on everything you buy. If you shop carefully, and do plenty of planning, then you should never have to pay full price for anything ever again. All you need are the inside secrets of the bargain hunters. We've put together five of our favourites.

See also: 10 tricks to cut your grocery bill in half - without coupons

See also: Easy ways to cut your food bills

1. Use discounted gift cards
There are re-sale sites like Zeek, where people sell unwanted gift cards for everywhere from iTunes to John Lewis - at a discount. A quick search shows that at the time of writing you can get up to 14% off Pizza Express gifts cards and up to 16% off River Island cards.

Alternatively, check the supermarket gift card deals online. At the moment, for example, you can get 20% off cards from Pizza Hut, New Look, Gap and Google Play from Tesco.

2. Check introductory deals
You can often get a special offer the first time you use anything - from supermarket delivery to TV and magazine subscriptions. You just need to check the small print, to be sure you're not signing up for anything unexpected, and make sure you cancel before any introductory offer expires (unless you're happy paying for it). If there's no deal advertised, make sure you ask, and you'll be surprised at the deals you'll be offered.

3. Sign up for the newsletter
Big brands often have a newsletter, and in return for signing up to receive it, you can get up to 20% off your next purchase. Some companies will use the newsletter to tell you about special offers and deals too - so it's the gift that keeps on giving.

4. Keep your eye out for freebies
The AOL Freebie Friday list is a good place to start, but deal hunting websites like and also have great freebie sections worth checking.

5. Check with your council
Council freebies are much thinner on the ground than they once were, but there is still some government support for things like adult education and health and fitness. Check with your nearest library and leisure centres whether you qualify for any of the freebies. If you're keen to lose weight, it's also worth talking to your GP about whether you qualify for free Weightwatchers membership on the NHS.

Save money on shopping: ten great tricks

Save money on shopping: ten great tricks