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We love special offers – but are they worth it?

Whether times are tight or you just love a bargain, hunting for deals and discounts is a top way to save some money – and it seems most of us are on the lookout.

Nine in ten (89%) of us always look for a special offer, and a handful more (92%) feel good when we manage to grab one. Research by insurers SunLife also found most people are happy to switch brand to save (84%).

However, around one in five (17%) feel special offers aren’t usually worth it. And they could be right. Here are three times you might be better off NOT looking for a bargain.

The deals that make you spend more

Money Advice Service research found we overspend by £11.74 each time we go to the supermarket. In part this is thanks to multi-buy deals tempting us to buy more than we need.

Confusing pricing also makes it difficult for us to know whether we’re really getting the cheapest option.

Can you work out the best offer in our supermarket quiz?



The deals we don’t really need

There’s often a temptation to get something in a sale or when it’s on special offer because it’s a bargain. And it probably is. But will you use it? Or will it sit in its box, hidden under the bed for a couple of years before you eventually throw it away? There’s no real saving if you’re spending money on something you don’t really need.

The deals that take too long to find

Before the internet, options for shopping around for the best price were pretty limited. Now you have hundreds of online stores to search, voucher codes to find, cashback to earn. Doing this can bring down the cost of your much-wanted purchase, but what about how long you spend doing this?

If you manage to save a few pennies or pounds on something - but only as the result of an hour of surfing the web – you might want to consider if your time could be better spent on bigger savings.

Some of those jobs you put off till later, but never get around to, can bring much bigger savings in the same time or less you spend shopping. Switching energy, for example, takes around 30 minutes but could save you £300.

You can also make big savings by checking your other bills to make sure you’re on the best rate, switching your bank for a cash bonus or lower overdraft fees, and getting a new insurance quote for your car, home or holidays rather than auto-renewing.

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