The just aired Channel 4 supershoppers program showed how easy it is to save money and how everybody can do it. The tv show covered an array of ways to help shoppers save money from apparel shopping to consumer goods to getting half-price car hire. Here is a list of the best saving technique as per the show Super shoppers. I will aim to update this page as the new episodes are aired. (Read my article on how to save money on everyday activities here).
Clothes Shopping – are branded clothes worth more?
Fashion has become big business and as you would expect. branded clothing commands a far higher price than their non-label counterparts. So the natural question is, when you buy branded clothes, are you paying for the quality of the material or are you simply paying for the brand name/ logo.
The supershopers team aimed to answer this question by testing if a pair of Levis Jeans costing £90 are ‘worth more’ than Primark Jeans costing £10. (The Test: Levis Jeans – £90) Vs Primark Jeans – £10).
It was found that many people on the street could not tell the difference between a cheap pair of £10 Primark Jeans and the more expensive £90 Levis Jeans. This is quite astonishing as the main reason we buy branded clothes is to give the perception of status to the outside world.
In addition to the ‘look test’ mentioned above, a series of rigorous tests were also carried out to see the toughness and the durability of the jeans. These tests in essence aimed to prove which pair of jeans would last longer. Many would expect the higher priced Levis jeans to be more durable and outlive a pair of jeans from Primark. But the experiments showed that Primark jeans were more durable and would last longer than its Levis counterpart.
Although Primark Jeans are certainly more durable than Levis jeans, Levis has a higher preceptive brand value and thus Levis jeans will always cost more than a pair of jeans from Primark. With the Levis jeans, you are actually paying for the brand as opposed to the use or lifespan of the product.
In episode 2, a plain Polo style shirt from Ralph Lauren costing £70 and one from Asda costing £6 were put next to each and people were asked which one was the more expensive. It was amazing to see that not many people can tell the difference between the two.
Save Money Shopping Online
The easiest and quickest way to save money online is to use cash back websites. Instead of going straight to the website you want to buy something from, go through TopCashBack and QuidCo in or to save serious money on a wide range of online purchases. I recently posted an article on how you can get free broadband for a year using cash back websites.
Saving Money on Supermarket Shopping – the loyalty card trick
Did you know that you can use loyalty cards to save money by playing the ‘supermarket shuffle’? Here is how it works: when you get to the supermarket checkout, you put some items through the scan as normal and use your loyalty card when you do so. But hold some items back and buy these separately without using your loyalty card.
For example, if your normal supermarket shop contains dog food, you should not buy this item via your loyalty card. This is because the supermarket will think you are buying your dog food at a different supermarket and thus will aim to give you offers on these products and entice you to get the dog food with them. You can then use these offers to save money on your shop!
To learn more about saving money on your supermarket shop, read the articles on easy ways to save money on your supermarket shop and how to save money shopping online. By using the tips and tricks in the mentioned articles, you should be able to save money on a regular basis
Cadburys Chocolate – less chocolate more cheap ingredients?
Over the past couple of years, Cadburys has launched a whole range of new chocolate bars e.g. cadburys puddles, cadburys marvellous creations. Many would assume the launch of these new products would be due to demand but the programme showed that it is more to do with profit margins.
It was discovered that Cadburys was making chocolate bars with less chocolate – less cocoa – and more of the other cheaper ingredients – like sugar. So the net time you go out and buy yourself a chocolate bar, check the amount of cocoa used in the products.
How to get Half Price Car Hire
Everyone who has hired a car before knows just how high the price of car-hire can be. But these extortionate prices can be avoided and you can get a hire car for less by simply using loophole mentioned below.
When you go to a car hire website like Hertz, before you book your car, change your country of origin. Different countries have different prices. These change daily so browse through different countries to see where you can get a better deal.
On the show, one of the presenters went to a physical Hertz office and by saying they were from Australia as opposed to UK, they were able get a cheaper deal by £18. On the other hand, when they said they were from Japan, the cost was £100 more.
Discount Stores – how are they so cheap?
It is truly amazing how much more your money stretches when you buy stuff from a discount store. The main reason behind this is your shop is way cheaper due to not having to pay for branded products.
Discount stores entice shoppers with ‘me too’ or look alike brands. The discounters stock products that have similar names and packaging to the brands you love. This confuses many shoppers into buying these discounted brands.
Discounters also use names and packaging that give the impression that a product is better quality than it actually is. And when consumers buy these products based on their perceptions, the product actually tastes better than the same product would do if the packaging was a bit worse. People think that if it looks posh, it must be better.
How to save money on car insurance – the trick is in your job title
Car insurance.. The prices seem to head in one direction – up. But fear not, the people at Supershoppers have found a loophole meaning that you could save hundreds of pounds. This loophole doesn’t just come from shopping around for a provider but also comes from filling out the box on what you do for a living.
The average car insurance in the Uk in 2014 was £747. The discrepancy between the prices paid is huge as your premium depends on a wide array of factors. But what you do can have a big effect on what you pay. All insurance companies grade job titles by risk based on data collected and claims made by drivers. The reckon that some jobs are more dangerous than others. You do have to be honest and you can’t claim to be something that you are not as that invalidates your insurance. But most insurance companies have pre listed job titles and there may be more than one that accurately describes what you do. By tweaking your job title, you can see which one leads to the lowest insurance quote and boom, you can save money just like that.
So say for example you are a music teacher. Music teachers pay on average £655 a year on insurance. But if you simply say that you are teacher, the price goes down to £622.That is a saving of £33 on average for just tweaking your job title. By using kitchen worker instead of chef, the money savings are nearly £150. By saying you are a home maker as opposed to stating unemployed, you can save over £200!
Expensive Cosmetics – Is Eue Thermale just expensive water?
Fancy cosmetics. We all love them. So much so that we spend £17 billion a year on them. But there is one luxury product on the market that sounds too good to be true – Eue Thermale which is literally just mineral water. You get this mineral water which you spray on your face for about £7 a bottle.
So is Eue Thermale (mineral water) really worth the price. A consultant dermatologist on the show stated that once you spray this product on your face, instead of hydrating it as should be the case, it evaporates really quickly. So it doesn’t really hydrate you. In essence it is just bottles of water sold to you in a fancy can for a very expensive price.
Running Shoes – the difference between a top pair and a supermarket trainer
Running as a form of exercise has been growing in popularity over the years. One in 5 of us now runs on a regular basis. Running shoes these days cost upwards of £300 a pair. So is all the high tech running gear you buy really worth the price? Do running shoes live up to the to what the advertisers say, do they increase performance and help prevent injury? Are top of the market running shoes any better than a pair of supermarket sneakers?
The main reason people by these big branded to prices running shoes is due to specific circumstances like overpronation. Most of these top brands state that they have shoes specifically designed to counteract things like overpronation and thus prevent injury. An expert was brought on the show and he mentioned that there is no real benefit in buying shoes that counteract overpronation. Trainers that tackle overpronation may actually have an adverse affect on your feet and may increase your injury. So the next time you go out and get some running shoes, don’t be sucked in by the advertising and the mechanics of it all. Just stick to the basics – look at how comfortable it is, it should support your heel well so you don’t get any blisters and there should be lots of room in the toe area.
Are branded and supermarket own brand Yoghurts the same?
Since 2013, after the horse meat scandal, all meat and dairy products have to be fully traceable. This means that these products now have codes on them which let you know exactly where they have come from. The food standards agency website has a spreadsheet that breaks down these codes so you can find out who makes own brand products.
Using these codes you can see that many yoghurts, included branded and supermarket own label come from the same factory. Another thing was that most of the supermarket own brand products where made by the same company – Yeo Valley. Yeo Valley makes the yoghurts for Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys and M&S. On the other hand, Muller makes the yoghurt for Lidl under the brand Milbona and Aldi under the brand Brooklea. Although Muller makes the yoghurts for both these discounters, the taste between the yoghurts is not the same. Muller still tastes better and this is probably due to the higher sugar content.
Male Grooming – Do men pay more for beauty products?
Male grooming is one of the fastest growing sectors in the beauty industry. 57% of men are now said to use 6 or more products a day. Companies have caught on to this trend and since men usually just buy a product instead of shopping around, mens beauty products usually cost more than the equivalent for women.
Take Nivea’s face wash for instance, the male version cost twice as much as the equivalent product aimed at females. This is a huge price difference so the question is, are they any manly things in it to justify this difference? An expert dermatologist was asked this question and she said that it is hard to tell because although a number of ingredients are the same in the male aimed and female aimed products, the concentration of the ingredients use are possibly different. Having said that, the dermatologist also mentioned that Males could easily use female targeted face care products thus saving themselves money.
When it comes to products like cosmetics, the only difference between a male targeted and a female targeted product is the packaging. This segmentation or divide and conquer strategy is great for companies as it creates two different markets for identical products. It also means prices do not reflect what the product costs, but instead reflect what Males and Females are willing to pay.
*This trend reverses when it comes to items like headphones. Often the Male version of a particular brand of headphone is cheaper than the female version.
Burning calories whilst drinking alcohol – is it possible?
This is probably a dream for many drinkers across the world. This was the part of the episode I was looking most forward towards but as I found out, this was just going to remain a dream.
The supershopper team were testing out Fitbit, Jawbone and Misfit Shine which all claim to measure calories and see what distance you have walked in a day. But it was found that these activity trackers aim to track a change in movement. Thus they are not very reliable in tracking your calories burnt. So technically, when you are drinking a pint, these activity trackers sense movement when your hand lifts the glass and thus record that you have bunt calories. Not the answer I was looking for!
Saving Money on Laundry – which type of detergent is cheapest
When it comes to doing your laundry, you can choose to use detergents in various shapes and forms such as powders, liquids, cubes and capsules. Amongst these, powder is the cheapest which averages out at 21p per wash. On the other hand, capsules are the most expensive at an average of 28p per wash. An average household does about 260 washes a year. This means that if your choice of detergent is in the form of a capsule as opposed to powder, you end up paying £18 more a year.
Research on various forms of detergents have shown that powders are the best at removing stains whilst liquids are best for stopping colours fading on your fabrics. The research also indicated that the only reason people buy capsules is because it is more convenient – so what this means is they see it as being a time saver.
Dog Food – what exactly are we giving our four legged friends?
The food industry catered to dogs is growing by the year. As responsible pet owners, we are all concerned about our four legged friends and in particular, what goes in their food. The biggest brands in the dog food industry like Bakers and Pedigree use advertisement that emphasise the meat content in their products. So what type of meat are we feeding mans best friend?
If you have a look at the labels of the nations best selling dog food, alongside the main ingredient such as beef, you will find a high amount of unspecified meat or animal derivatives. These unspecified items are basically things like the guts, entrails, the lungs and the liver. And regardless of the flavour listed, the animal derivate content can be anything from chicken to beef to venison to lamb. So if the food is pen formulation on the bag, they could replace beef with chicken or any other meat regardless of what is says on the bag.
Designer Sunglasses – are they worth the price?
Designer sunglasses, everybody loves them. Sunglasses are a statement of who we are. We want to be seen with latest designer eyewear to look both fashionable and cool. But are we really seeing clearly when we shell out hundreds of pounds for a pair?
Many of us are fiercely loyal to the branded sunglasses we wear. We pay top prices as we want to be seeing wearing the best brands as this is the image we want to perceive to the world. But all is not what is seems in the world of designer eyewear. There is a single company that owns, designs and makes 80% of the worlds branded sunglasses including Versace, Ray Band, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana. The company is Italy’s own Luxotica. Luxotica don’t only make and design these high end sunglasses, they sell them as well. Luxotica own Sunglass Hut for instance. Luxotica essentially control the whole process, from design, to manufacture to selling the product. This is a dream for any big business as they control the choice of the products you buy and thus are able to charge a high price.
According to one person interviewed on the show, sunglasses which are made from plastic cost Luxotica less than £10 to make. The rest of the price we pay – which is typically in the hundreds of pounds – is all profit! On the other hand, if sunglasses are made from more expensive materials such as titanium or have some crystals on them, than the cost base increases to about £50 per pair. That is still a whole lot of profit considering the sale price.
Which brand of paint is best? – Dulux Vs Crown Vs Farrow & Bull
It is estimated that British households repaint their homes every 5 years on average. That’s a whole lot of paint. The 3 biggest selling brands are Dulux, Crown and Farrow & Ball. Crown on average is the cheapest and Farrow & Ball costs four times as much as a Crown paint. With such a discrepancy in the prices, which brand is best?
The presenters went about answering this question by asking the opinion of professional painters. And surprise surprise, they all said Dulux!
The painters were next told to blind test the 3 brands of paint. The 3 key areas to be tested were application, durability and finish. Essentially, they wanted to know which brand of paint that flows well, that has great covering power, has the right amount of pigment to cover the surface underneath (grinning). According to this blind test, the best brand is Farrow & Bell – which is the most expensive paint brand out of the three. And although Farrow & Bell came out on top, the experts stated that they would not use it as it is far too expensive.
How to Save Money on Soap – bar of soap vs hand pump soap
The humble bar of soap is fast disappearing from our lives and is being replaced by the hand pump soap dispenser. Soap producers know this and are taking advantage of this trend. Dispensing soaps are way more expensive than bars of soap. Dispensing soaps of the same brand can cause up to three times as much than their bar-soap counterparts. What’s even more amusing is the fact that when you use dispensing hand-pump soap, you are going to get around 200 washes. But if you use a bar of soap, you going to get close to 2000 washes. That is 10 times more for a third off the price!
So why are we happy to stump up a premium on hand pump soaps. One of the main reasons is we think that hand pump soaps are more hygienic than a bar of soap. But an expert from the London School Hygiene and Tropical Medicine was quick to dismiss this idea that hand pump soaps are more hygienic than bar soaps. Both of these types of soaps are no better than each other.
On the other hand (see what I did?), most of the studies conducted on anti-bacterial hand wash have shown that this type of soap is no better than regular soap. This is just a marketing ploy aimed at our insecurities.
Where do your old recycled clothes end up?
Have you ever wondered what happens to clothes you give to charity shops? Britons give almost 1 million tons of clothes away every year and due to this sheer volume, charity shops are only able to sell a fraction of the clothes they receive. So instead they sell most of their donations on in bulk to a number of recycling companies who make money by giving our old clothes a new life.
The recycling companies turn the most worn out of clothes into yarn for industry. The rest of the clothes get sorted and sold to people in places like Eastern Europe and Sub saharan Africa. So the next time you give clothes to charity, remember that they might actually get sold to the poorest people in the world, not given to them.
Are pimped out prams a waste of money?
Prams are fast becoming a fashion accessory. A super modern pram can set you back as much as £3000. That’s an awful lot of money. The buggy manufactures have worked out that if you want somebody to spend big on a pram, don’t target the mums but target the dads instead! For proof of this, Maclaren’s whom are one of the biggest buggy manufacture have a BMW range of prams. The BMW prams are three times the price of the near identical Maclarens Triumph push chair. It could be that the BMW logo has induced dad to pay £350 more!
Prams are increasingly being targeted to men as they are now more involved in a child’s life than ever before. BWM are not the only car manufacturer that has licensed their brand to pram manufactures as other big names such as Ferrari and Jeep have done the same.It is not hard to find prams that are designed with a sports car in mind for instance. Prams have become more of a status symbol these days. People also assume that a high price for a pram increases the safety of our child which we all want but a cheap pram is just as safe as an expensive one.
If you have enjoyed this article, go ahead and read the shoppers guide to saving money.