Esther Shaw

Not keeping up with the Joneses

By Esther Shaw 29/01/2014

How to buy the best for less

Seek out budget alternatives to key desirable items, and save money without compromising on style.

Designer discounts

Don’t splash out on full-price designer clothes at expensive stores – try shopping at the growing number of designer outlets, such as Bicester Village in Oxfordshire, Livingston Designer Outlet in Edinburgh, or McArthur Glen in Ashford, Bridgend, Cheshire Oaks, East Midlands (near Nottingham), Swindon and York. Also try visiting members-only online stores such as BrandAlley, Achica and Zulily which offer up to 70% off beauty, fashion and homeware brands.

Free fashion

To enjoy new clothes and clear your unwanted ones without having to spend a penny, throw a ‘swishing' party. Invite your friends to bring their unloved clothes, toys, gadgets and books, and then swap them at no cost to anyone. To get started, read our guest post on ‘swishful thinking’ from Maria, a Money Matters blogger.

Shop around

Avoid paying full price for toys, TVs, watches, game consoles, laptops and white goods by using a site such as The Rank Tank which highlights best-sellers and tells you where to buy them for the lowest price. Kelkoo also offers shopping guides to help you buy at the best price.

Holiday homes

Ditch the expensive overseas holiday and try an amazing staycation or house swap instead - a (nearly) free break where you only have to pay for travel and food. Useful house-swapping sites include Love Home Swap, Homelink and Home Exchange.

Free fun

Cut the cost of family days out – head out to a free gallery or museum instead. Find suggestions at Visit Britain and Money Saving Expert.

Driving value

Save money on petrol, parking and servicing by reducing your car use and signing up to a car-sharing scheme instead – these include BlaBlacar, Lift Share and National CarShare. If car-sharing’s not a suitable option, here are some easy ways to keep your fuel usage down.

This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.