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The Age of Austerity has officially made penny pinching ‘cool’- research revealed that money-saving methods such as using discount vouchers, collecting reward points and bartering in shops are now considered en vogue.
The study also found many of the modern day cost-cutting exercises were considered ‘shameful’ as little as five years ago.
The report, which was commissioned by cash back site Quidco and carried out among 2,000 adults, found nine out of ten people now believe it is ‘cool’ to be frugal.
Andy Oldham, MD of Quidco, said:
“Pulling out a voucher in a restaurant, or using coupons at the supermarket, used to be seen as something you only did if you were desperate and hard-up.
“But since the credit crunch first started to hit, Brits have had no choice but to become more savvy with their money.
“Using vouchers and discount codes has meant that people have still been able to enjoy nights out, buy new items or even go on holidays – and still watch their spending.
“The recession has changed many people’s attitudes to money for the better, and shopping around and hunting for discounts is now the norm.
“There are some people who even choose where they shop or eat out, purely based on whether they have a voucher or discount code for it.”
Before the recession, using vouchers instead of cash or presenting money-off coupons at the checkout would have made people a laughing stock.
But now, savvy shoppers are going to great lengths to save themselves money – by scouring the internet for the best deals and avoiding paying full price for products wherever possible.
Other frugal steps Brits take daily include signing up to voucher and cashback websites, shopping in budget supermarkets and buying things on auction websites.
The study shows people generally don’t buy an item as soon as they see it anymore – two thirds now prefer to check the price in several different shops before making the final purchase.
It also emerged four out of ten people now always shop in budget supermarkets, and 34% will search for vouchers or discount codes online before committing to buy something.
Brits will now regularly use auction websites to buy or sell goods, and cashback websites are becoming more popular.
Other sensible ways to save cash include growing your own vegetables (22%), ordering tap water in a restaurant (22%) and opting for supermarket meal deals over takeaways (21%).
According to the research, four in 10 people now think it has become completely inappropriate to flash the cash if you are lucky enough to have it.
Instead, it has become far cooler to find different ways to save money – and the average person reckons that by using vouchers, discount codes, cashback sites and shopping around, they save an average of £17.77 a week.
That’s the equivalent of £924.04 saved across one year, purely by spending money more wisely and doing a bit more homework.
And British folk are proud of their efforts to save money – as 58% think nothing about bragging about their savings.
Since the start of the recession, 88% of people have started discussing tips on how to save money with friends and family, and 94 per cent now consider themselves to be savvy with money.
TOP 20 ‘COOL’ FRUGAL THINGS
1. Collecting reward points
2. Use a discount voucher in a shop or restaurant
3. Use reward point to buy something
4. Check the price in different shops before buying an item
5. Shopping around for best deals on insurance instead of automatically renewing
6. Use price comparison websites
7. Sign up to voucher / discount code websites
8. Shop in budget supermarkets
9. Buy things on ebay or other auction websites
10. Search for discounts before buying something
11. Selling things on ebay or other auction websites
12. Take a packed lunch to work
13. Use cashback sites
14. Shop in charity shops
15. Boast about bargains in stores
16. Grow your own vegetables
17. Order tap water in a restaurant instead of bottled water
18. Get meals deals instead of takeaways
19. Haggling to get a lower price
20. Taking leftovers from the previous night’s dinner into work for lunch