I'm a money-saving expert – how to save hundreds on your wardrobe, find secret sales and never paying for postage again

LOOKING to update your wardrobe for spring but don’t want to spend a fortune?

While it may not be sale season right now there are loads of ways to save on your clothes shopping as personal finance expert at vouchers.co.uk, Andrea Knowles knows.

She has revealed the nine secret ways you can save money on your next clothes shop, and you’ll be kicking yourself for not doing it sooner.

1. Find secret sales

Do you ever find yourself visiting your favourite online retailer only to be disheartened that they aren't currently hosting a sale? Well, plot twist: they probably do have an online sale – it's just hidden!

Many retailers have internal company goals to shift more full-priced stock so they may cheekily remove the 'sale' link from their menu. However, there is a way around this. 

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Just type 'sale' into the search bar. If there is a sale – you'll not only find a bunch of bargains, but chances are, you'll have a better pick of the sale as not everyone knows this trick. River Island is a perfect example of this. 

2. Lie about your date of birth

You've probably been told a million times to sign up to retailer's newsletters in order to receive a 'new customer' discount. But did you know that there's another way of securing a bargain via email?

When signing up to a newsletter or retailer loyalty scheme, look out for the 'date of birth' section. Instead of typing your actual birthday, put in tomorrow's date – or whenever you plan on making the big purchase.

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Often, retailers only ask for your birthday because they plan on sending you a discount for your special day.For example, H&M offers 25% off one purchase on your birthday and Greggs even offer you a free sweet treat. 

3. Download this Chrome browser extension

This is the most important tip and probably the least time-consuming as a simple Google search can take three seconds.

In fact, nowadays you don’t even need to Google ‘discount code for [insert shop name] as Google Chrome browser extensions, such as Pouch, automatically list discount codes when checking out.

Better yet, Pouch actually offers exclusive deals from retailers that you won't find anywhere else on the Internet.

4. Always use cashback schemes

The likes of  Top Cashback and Quidco will literally pay you to shop. The concept of a cashback scheme is quite simple – if you want to buy something, rather than directly visiting the retailer’s website, you click the company via a cashback site, such as the two listed above, and you get paid for it. 

Some examples of a typical cashback payment for popular clothing retailers include:

·      ASOS – 1.6% – 8.5% of total purchase cost

·      Clarks – 3.2% – 5.1% of total purchase cost

·      New Look – 0.8% – 6% of total purchase cost  

5. Never pay for postage and packaging

A lot of retailers offer free shipping once you spend a specific amount. So, if you're not far away from the 'free shipping price', then why not purchase another item to receive the deal?

Let's be honest – you could purchase anything that just hits the target price, then return it. Just please make sure that the retailer offers free returns so you're not out of pocket for something you didn't want in the first place.

Or if you don't want to purchase another item, you may be able to pick up your order for free or at a cheaper price at a local store or another pickup location, such as a local newsagent. Most retailers offer this service for free or for a smaller delivery charge.

6. Hoping an item will be restocked? Check online on a Tuesday

If you're after a specific sold-out item, have a look first thing on a Tuesday morning. This is when many stores update their stock status as they've processed their returns in the prior week.

7. Bought an item but it’s now on sale? You may be able to return it  

If you've ever purchased an item for full price only to discover that it's in the sale a few days or weeks later, you'll know how frustrating this can be.

However, if you keep your receipts, you could potentially rebuy the sale item and then return it with your old receipt.

Just make sure that the receipt of the original item is still in date. For example, most stores give you 28 days to return an item.

8. Never close the chatbot

When visiting an online retailer, you may automatically shut down the chatbot that appears at the bottom of your screen. However, this feature is one of the most useful ways of saving money online shopping.

If you find yourself with a basket full of items, kindly message the chatbot and ask if there are currently any discount codes. You may be surprised.

9. Add stuff to your basket

Did you know that many retailers will send you an email featuring a discount code for an abandoned shopping basket?

To get these potential discounts, make sure that you have an account on the shopping site.

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Keep yourself logged in when adding any items to your shopping basket as this is the only way of linking the purchase intent with your email address.

And, if you're worried about receiving spam emails – set up a separate email account for online shopping so you aren't bombarded too much.

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