A post summarising all the freebies I claimed that arrived in June. Considering all these were claimed online I’m pretty surprised and impressed with what I got. Having more time on my hands in lockdown definitely meant I was able to fill out new freebie forms faster so missed out on less though!
Lenor Unstoppables – from Super Savvy Me
£15 worth of items from Superdrug – claimed as a new customer to TopCashBack. I paid 89p including delivery for the bundle below. My cashback arrived about 3 weeks later (but it can take up to 3 months)
Giorgio Armani Foundation – from a SoPost sponsored advert on Instagram.
YSL All Hours Foundation – also from a SoPost sponsored advert.
Rituals Anti Ageing Skin Care samples – signing up to their newsletter prompted me to sign up to a SoPost freebie giveaway.
Oral B Toothpaste mini sample from Super Savvy Me.
Estee Lauder Perfume from a sponsored social media advert
Mike’s Alcoholic Sparkling Water spotted through Instagram. As I don’t drink this will be put towards a gift hamper as it is a full sized can.
Fairy Dishwasher Tablets – a sponsored Facebook advert with Super Savvy Me
It Cosmetics 4ml CC+ Cream – Boots online samples
£50 Ikea Voucher – for winning a Super Savvy Me competition.
Omorovicza Mud Face Mask – via a sponsored social media advert
There’s a great saying to live by – “its not a bargain unless you need it” – and I recently really needed skincare products. If you haven’t read earlier posts of mine I’ve struggled with adult acne for 6 years so am incredibly particular about what goes on my face. Skincare is something I’m happy to invest in but always aim to make savings when buying products. Before lockdown I’d always buy in store either from Boots or Superdrug depending on who had the best deals but this isn’t possible at the moment so I searched online.
I needed a moisturiser and targeted blemish treatment. I had 2 very specific products in mind – one a repurchase from La Roche Posay and another a new discovery from Avene that I’d researched to check its suitability. I tried Superdrug first as they offer free delivery on orders over £10 for loyalty card holders but they had no promotions. Boots had 25% off selected specialist skin care ranges and covered the 2 items I wanted but I’d have to pay £3.99 for delivery. I didn’t want to pay for this so checked all my toiletries to see what was close to running out and opted to buy a cleanser which was also on 25% off promo that I’d need within the next month. I was able to get 10% student discount on top of these promotions which is factored into the maths below.
Here’s are the products I bought designed for sensitive acne prone combination skin:
La Roche Posay Effaclar Anti Imperfection Break Out Corrector – RRP £12.50 for 15ml
Saving £4.07 – total paid £9.37
1 tube has previously lasted me 12 months with regular use – at least my 4th re-buy
It heals my blemishes quickly without really drying out my skin like many others I’ve tried which is particularly handy when wearing make up.
La Roche Posay Effaclar Micro Peeling Face and Body Cleansing Gel – RRP £14.50 for 200ml
Saving £4.72 – total paid £10.87 (expected to last 6 months based on previous experience with LRP products)
Product claims: designed for persistent blemishes & aims to improve skin texture
I’ve previously used their regular Effaclar Cleansing Gel for years, it was gentle, non-drying and clean feeling but didn’t help my uneven texture and I’d still get blemishes (but then my acne is very stubborn). I had an in depth online consultation via the LRP website to confirm this product was suitable for me and was advised its a better option than their original cleanser given my skin’s history.
I’d previously buy the 400ml version of their original cleanser as it works out far cheaper per ml and lasts me a whole year but as this is a new product I wanted to try it first. If it delivers what it promises I’d happily buy the larger size in the future to save more money in the long run.
Avene Cleanance ComedomedAnti Blemishes Concentrate (Moisturiser) RRP£18.50 for 30ml
Saving £6.02 – total paid £13.87
Product claims: suitable for sensitive skin and mentions it is suitable for use along with medicinal acne treatments (but not Roaccutane) designed to limit oil production, reduce breakouts, stop occurrences with proven efficiency within 7 days.
I’ve previously bought the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+ moisturiser many times which has similar claims. For me it doesn’t reduce how often I get blemishes but its great at fading scarring, making spots disappear quicker and never leaves my skin dry. If this Avene product isn’t miraculous I’ll resort back to Duo+ as it is cheaper per ml.
store promotions saved me £11.39
student discount saved me – £3.42
placing 1 bulk order saved me 2 delivery charges totaling £7.98
loading an offer from the Boots app earned me an extra 150 points for spending over £15
TopCashBack earned me 1.7% cashback on my purchase
Total paid £30.69 (instead of RRP total £45.50)
I’d hugely recommend online consultations when considering buying new products or doing research to check their suitability as you’re less likely to be wasting money this way. I also like to write the date of first use on new products to see how long they last me to weigh up if they’re worth buying again.
All told I’m really pleased with my skincare haul savings and excited to try some new products for a change!
Prior to lockdown I rarely shopped online but as items were getting harder, if not impossible, to find locally I began online shopping. This led me to looking into cashback websites where you can earn a % of your purchase back through websites like QuidCo or TopCashBack. Basic accounts are free.
I did some research via Money Saving Expert r.e cashback sites and it advised it was best to only use the sites for things you intended to buy anyway as cashback was never 100% guaranteed. I needed some basic toiletries and noticed TopCashBack had a deal with Superdrug offering new TCB customers up to £15 cashback on their purchases so decided to give this a go.
I signed up for TopCashBack and through their website I made my Superdrug purchase. Everything I purchased was either on offer or own brand items meaning I paid £15.89 for £27.45 worth of products. I bought whatever was closest to my typical basics that were available for home delivery:
2 x Head & Shoulders Shampoo 250ml – £3.98 total (RRP £2.99 each)
1 x Garnier Ultimate Blends Body Lotion 400ml – £2.99 (RRP £5.99)
1 x Nivea Hand Cream Intensive 100ml – £1.99 (RRP £2.99)
I was able to log into my Superdrug account when checking out so also earned 15 points on this transaction and delivery was free as I spent over £15.
It took a couple of days for the purchase to appear in my TopCashBack account which initially made me very nervous but I did read it can sometimes take up to 7 days – if it doesn’t track after this time you can contact them easily via a form system where it will be investigated. I placed my order with Superdrug on the 18th May and received notification that my cashback was approved within 3 weeks – I believe this is because you have to wait for the returns period of 28 days to pass as if you get a refund you’re ineligible for cashback. I was then able to withdraw this money into my bank account where it takes up to 3 days to appear. The website does say it can take up to 3 months for cashback to reach the payable stage, it depends on the retailer.
All told this was a brilliant success for me. If you need toiletries anyway I’d say it’s definitely worth trying your luck. I’m still so thrilled with this and think it’s one of my best bargain hauls to date!
Signing up via this TopCashBack referral link means we’ll both receive an extra £5 bonus once you’ve had £10 cash back from the site. I’m not a huge online shopper but have found this website easy and handy to use to get some bonuses from purchases I’d be making anyway. There are often new customer deals of extra cashback from certain sites which really helps bump up your earnings with even eBay being registered for cashback. Although I’ve had some problems with cashback tracking, so not showing up in my account, it’s been really easy to ask for this to be looked into and purchases have then been added to my earnings.
Truth be told I don’t shop online very much. Instead I prefer to pick up items in stores when I need a few bits. I find this more enjoyable, I use my own bags so it saves shipping materials and it’s easier to see exactly what you’re getting. However; given the current lockdown situation I’ve recently been having to purchase my usual items online when I’ve run out and nipping to the shops isn’t possible so I thought I’d throw together a post on how to save money when shopping online. Some are very obvious whereas others are less so!
Browse sales / clearance first – and some sites you wouldn’t expect have online sales like Superdrug with generous reductions.
Buy items out of season – e.g a winter coat in the summer. I once got a long wool double breasted United Colours of Benetton coat for £40 new by buying it in the Spring from an outlet.
Online outlets – e.g TK Maxx or genuine eBay outlets for stores like Joules, Superdry, Office, Skechers, Jigsaw and many more all with up to 60% off.
Try preloved for cheaper clothes options – I’ve found items on eBay in “worn once” condition for around £7 instead of £50 and they’ve shown up immaculate. It’s luck of the draw but if you do your research / read full descriptions / ask for more details it works brilliantly.
Always search for discount codes – there’s almost always one available for either a % off or free shipping. 9/10 by searching ” ‘store name’ discount code” I manage to make extra savings.
Sign up for newsletters as most stores will offer you an introductory discount and if you choose, you then then unsubscribe straight after checkout. Recently I managed to get 10% off Liberty with free shipping by signing up.
Check for loyalty offers e.g if you sign up to Superdrug’s Beauty Card you get free shipping on all orders over £10 whereas for regular customers its higher.
Search around as some sites will have your item cheaper than others – I’ve saved over £30 on one item by doing this.
Wait for free shipping to save making your spend any more than it has to be.
Join a cashback site like Quidco or Topcashback to get money back on your purchases. The refunds are never 100% guaranteed but if you’re going to make the spend anyway you may as well try to redeem some of your money back. Sometimes offers will come through like £2 cashback on any £5 spend within 24 hours too.
Look out for strange anomalies for example – I fell in love with a winter coat last November and it was the only one not reduced in the store’s Boxing Day sale. I knew it would have to be reduced at some point in order for them to shift the stock as very few people would buy a full price winter coat in the spring / summer. I signed up for the store’s newsletter to keep an eye on further discount announcements and was then able to purchase it for nearly half the price with free shipping.
If you sell items on eBay when having clear outs its worth keeping hold of all your bags, bubble wrap etc from online deliveries as you can reuse these to save you money. I tend to keep the ones from deliveries at work to help with this also.
If you have any other tips please let me know in the comments!