If you end up with a cupboard full of unusable ‘bargains’ every year after a foray into the January sales, but you’re determined not to make the same mistakes this year, then read on!

We’ve put together a list of tips to help you hold onto your cash and shop savvy in the New Year.

  • Make a plan and stick to itit might sound simple, but writing a list of things you actually need before you leave the house will help you to avoid those impulse purchases.
  • Be wary of heavily discounted items – as a general rule, items discounted by 70% and above may not be as good a bargain as they seem. They didn’t sell well in the first place (hence the big reduction), and there’s always a reason for that.
  • Buy classic – if it’s clothes, handbags or shoes you want, then avoid buying the statement pieces which often have the biggest discounts and go for classic pieces instead. They may cost a bit more, but you’ll still be wearing that timeless winter coat next year where the pink faux fur is likely to have already made its way to the nearest charity shop…
  • Don’t be afraid to haggle – if you can’t muster the courage to barter face-to-face (and you want to avoid the chaos of the crowds) then head online. Some retailers provide live online chat, and they are often able to offer discount to secure the sale – but you’ll have to ask!
  • Wait a couple of days – if you can. You can either use this as a cool off period to decide if you really do want to snap up that bargain, or hold out for further reductions. It’s a game of chance but sometimes it’s worth the wait.