Friday, 26 August 2011

The Coupon Queen

Hi – I am the self appointed coupon queen.  I love a bargain and spend loads of time searching them out.  So I thought that really I should share some of my finds and tips for getting the most out of your hard earned Pound.  I have therefore decided to post on the last Friday of the month anything noteworthy on the subject.

If you have any good tips you want to share you can email them to me at and I will include them in the next post.

This week I want to tell you about getting extra value from your supermarket points.  When I go to Sainsbury’s or Tesco (and even Boots) I always keep a look out for the BOGOF (Buy one get one free) but you have to follow a few rules. 

  1. Always check the deal.  Sometimes it is not the best purchase, for example the size might not be a large as an ordinary priced product so always look at the fine print.  Or perhaps the mince seems cheaper but it has a higher fat content and you wouldn’t ordinarily but that one.

  1. Only buy it if it is something you will use or had previously wanted to try.  It is not a bargain if you won’t use the free one. Or get together with a friend and split the deal. You both win!

  1. If it is non-perishable and you will use the product and have adequate storage available  it is often worth buying two or three and getting the extra two or three free, for example Fairy liquid or toilet rolls, dog or cat food etc.  That way you are halving your overall shopping costs.

  1. If the BOGOF is for melons and you don’t eat a lot of melons then DON’T take up the offer.  It is not a bargain if you end up throwing lots of it away.

Now these big supermarkets also offer you points, both on the actual value of your shopping and often extra points on certain earmarked products.  If you shop there regularly make sure you get your points.  You can also get extra points cards for other members of the family so you accrue those points faster. There is no logic if one member of the family is always getting their petrol from Sainsbury’s for example and never getting the points because they don’t have a Nectar card.  Also be aware of other places that will give you Supermarket points, such as BP petrol, EON energy supplier and others.

You can spend your points for face value in the shops on your food but it is often worth saving them up and using them for other things.  For example Tesco upgrades their points to triple value if you use them for a Hilton Hotel stay.  We recently stayed at a Hilton Hotel for two nights and used £50 worth of Tesco points upgraded to £150 towards the Hilton.  That meant we had a two night stay for FREE.

If you drink a lot of canned drinks, Beer, coke, lemonade etc Tesco will give you one point for every two cans you recycle.  That doesn’t seem like a lot but if you save them up and recycle them three or four times a year that is quite a lot of points towards your next hotel stay!!

Sainsbury’s Nectar points can be used for Easyjet flights.  I currently have enough to fly to Barcelona early next year for a break for both my husband and I.  Not a bad deal.

Total petrol stations do not give points but if you fill up with £30+ petrol they give you a voucher which after registering on line you exchange for money off treats.  At the moment you can get a voucher for a BOGOF at Pizza Hut on any size pizza (eat-in) so for example two of you can each have a large pizza and salad (salad bar now comes free) for £15.00.  Not a bad meal at £7.50 each.  There are other treat vouchers on the web site which is on the voucher you receive with the petrol spend.  This is better than 5p per litre off from other petrol stations which equates to around £4.00 saving for a car with a large capacity tank.

Next month I will be telling you about some more deals to look out for and including any tips the readers have sent me.

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