Thursday 5 December 2019

Smart Consumer: Save a fortune by making the most of online deals

Most of us have less money these days and so are worried about spending on our social life.

But if you're smart, you can enjoy yourself and make your cash stretch an awful lot further, thanks to the many money-saving websites out there.

Here are some that will definitely help keep your bank balance in the black.

Deals of the day

Do you want to get your hair done or eat out but can't afford the full price? If so, there are now three websites that sell a heavily discounted 'deal of the day'.

Subscribe for free, and receive an email each day about that day's featured deal. If enough people participatel, it's yours.

Probably the most talked about is UK-based Their deals are mainly for beauty treatments, eating out and hotel breaks.

I recently bought a €13 deal (instead of €29.20) for a main dish, side and cocktail at the Exchequer Gastro Pub in Dublin. Last week, you could pay €25 instead of €72 for a waxing package and the examples go on and on. also offers a deal of the day. Last week you could pay €70 instead of €180 for an eight-week bootcamp course.

The latest to the Irish market is US-based They launched their deals last Thursday with a €30 voucher for the Buenos Aires Grill in Dublin that you could buy for €12.

So far, all deals are heavily focused on Dublin and Cork, but it's advisable to subscribe to them all so you don't miss out.

Special offers and discounts

You'll have to subscribe to, or at least spend time browsing, more sites if you want to know where the special offers are. gives the lowdown on deals from electronics, hotels and fashion to beauty and restaurants. Some offers are exclusive to them. focuses on discounts for lifestyle-related purchases, as does, while concentrates on hotels.

For food look at, which covers all areas of food, including supermarket special offers. For restaurants and cafes only, check out, and

For a complete listing of supermarket prices you'll have to pay €11.99 for an annual subscription to smartshopper.i.e. For that, you can create your own shopping list and see how much each item costs across all the big stores.

Cashback sites

There are three cashback sites operating in Ireland now and the premise is simple. If you're buying something online, then instead of going direct to the retailer's website, click through from a cashback site and you'll get money back, paid directly to your bank or PayPal account.

Examples of cashback offers include 12% back on bookings with from, 5% back on House of Fraser purchases with, and €30 back on a pay monthly subscription with O2 from

Selling, swapping and buying second-hand

Chances are you've tried eBay, but don't forget about and

A more recent site, which specialises in swapping items, is, while the newest kid, or should that be baby, on the block is

Launched in July by Irish mum Mandy O'Rorke, is a forum for selling on your old baby stuff and buying for your tot second-hand.

You'll find maternity wear as well as baby clothes and buggies, so if you can't get hand-me-downs from friends or family who have already been through the expensive process, this is a smart place to shop.


If you're interested in reading articles and tips about saving and spending wisely, take a look at and

You'll find practical tips on everything from making your own beauty products to making your own fuel on saveafew, while provides news and views on everything consumer-related or join the discussion forum that is

Price comparison

Price comparison websites haven't developed as much here as in the UK, but check out and for comparisons on electronics, electricity and most stuff in between.

For price comparison surveys on insurance products try out, a site run by the National Consumer Agency. The Health Insurance Authority has recently updated and improved their website and you'll find health insurance cost comparisons there.

For the difficult-to-compare services that are mobile, landline and broadband, go to, run by the Commission for Communications Regulation, and make sure you have your usage details to hand, so you'll get accurate suggestions on the best deals for you.

Irish Independent

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