FANS of B&M will no doubt know the pattern – you go in for one or two things and end up leaving with three bags.
Fortunately, bargain hunters from money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk have shared 11 top tips to reduce the amount you spend in this popular store.
Download the B&M app
Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk commented: “The B&M app is a great way to monitor bargains. With it, you can scan products in store and it will show you products that have been reduced in price, even when the price on the shelf hasn’t yet been updated.
“The best part is that it’s completely free to use.
“To get started, load up the app and then open the scanner tool by tapping on the ‘scan’ button. This will bring up your smartphone camera, at which point you can point it at the product’s barcode.
“I’ve found household decor and end-of-season accessories for 50p and even 10p with the scanner, even though they hadn’t been marked down in-store yet!”
Go on a Wednesday
B&M is better for bargains on certain days of the week, according to insiders.
Tom commented: “Go on a Wednesday. It’s a secret tip from people who work at B&M. Apparently Wednesday is the day with the biggest deals and the biggest discounts.
“I’ve heard through the grapevine that Thursdays and Saturdays are also good days, as that’s when old stock and clearance items are pushed out.
“Don’t go on a Monday or Sunday, as you’re unlikely to see any major reductions. While this schedule hasn’t been officially confirmed, it can’t hurt to give it a go!”
Get it if you need it, not if you want it
There’s a big difference between ‘want’ and ‘need’ – and this can become easy to forget when your desire for a product takes over!
Tom advised: “Make sure you know what you need before you go in. If you see something you like, ask yourself where it would go in the house and how you’d use it. Would it still be useful in a few months? If the answer is no, put it back.”
Debbie Curd added: “Write a list of what you need. Put your bags in the trolley and fill them – that way you can’t over buy.”
Take out cash then limit your spending
If you know what you want to buy, take out the money you’ll spend on it and stick to that budget.
Tom suggested: “It can be much easier to convince yourself you need other things if you have a non-existent limit on your spending.”
Chelsey Blackburn advised: ‘Take out the cash and leave your card at home or in the car.
“Don’t have a £1 coin so you can’t use a trolley and have to use a basket, and don’t go unless there’s something specific you need.”
Ask staff about getting discounts
Tom said: “Several of my friends have picked up items such as mugs and plates at reduced prices from B&M after seeing a chip in them and asking the staff for a discount. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
“It’s also worth ringing ahead to check if a particular reduction you want is still available.
“If you see a bargain on their Facebook page, but show up at your local store to find it’s out of stock, it will have been a wasted trip – and you’ll be more likely to pick up other items you don’t really need just to make the visit seem more worthwhile.”
Hunt down the Special Buys
Tom recommends hunting down the products with special stickers. ‘‘It’s always worth going to the Sale sections and looking for items with a Special Buy label on them. For example, I found a section filled with stock reduced to clear in my local B&M, and there were also some bargains hidden in other aisles.
“I noticed a king-size duvet set reduced to clear with £5 off, and a set of containers for the kitchen reduced to clear at £7 as one of them was missing. I also saw a coffee table with £3 off, reduced from £15 to £12.
“If they’re items you need, these savings quickly add up! For example, after I bought some supplies for my new house, I found that I had saved over £25 compared with the original price.”
Take someone else to discipline or distract you
If you have a friend or family member who is good at sticking to budgets and doesn’t get drawn in by the appeal of B&M, try to take them along with you when they visit – they’ll keep you in check.
Tom said: “My mum will often question my purchases if she thinks I’m spending too much – she’s a good person to take along!”
Amy Mc Larnon gets help from loved ones. “My partner gives me a cash budget and takes my card.”
Similarly, Yvonne Mclennan advised: “Take your hubby in with you and you won’t spend a thing cause he’ll have you round the shop so fast!”
Force a time limit on your trip
Once you’ve found a few bargains, it can be easy to lose track of time while you continue hunting down deals and visiting every aisle in the store. However, this can easily lead to you justifying purchases you don’t actually need.
There are a few ways to implement a time limit.
Tom recommends setting a timer, “When it goes off on your phone, you can think about whether you really need what’s in your basket.”
Alternatively, Amy Key said: “Drink a pint of water 20 mins before you go…… you’ll only have 20 minutes to run around the shop before you have to rush home to answer the call of nature – cutting browsing time and therefore spending less!”
Search for the seasonal items and old stock
Tom advises going to B&M at the end of particular seasons or occasions. “Once big events like Halloween and Christmas are coming to an end, stores will likely want to shift their surplus stock.
“This is the best time to visit your local branch, as you can pick up heavily reduced items and save them for next year. Alternatively, you can pick up seasonal food at a discounted price and make the most of it!
“It’s also worth ringing up your local store and asking when new stock is coming in. Then you can head in a few days beforehand and see if there are any end-of-line products to snap up.”
Go in the morning
Tom advised that stores will be more likely to stock bargains at the beginning of the day. “Get in there as soon as the shop opens, so you can snap up products as they’re being laid out.
“It’s also a good idea to check the opening hours on Google for your local branch – there will typically be a guide indicating which hours are the quietest. For example, my nearest store is busiest between 10am and 2pm, but it’s open from 8am – so it pays to set my alarm and go in a few hours earlier!
“Some LatestDeals.co.uk members have had success with going in at the end of the day, just before it closes, if they’re looking for reduced food products. Staff may want to get rid of stock before it goes past its sell-by date, so you could get lucky!”
Get cheaper brands
An item you’re willing to buy may seem like it’s good value for money, but think about what the price may be in other stores. Are you actually getting a discount?
YouTuber Demi Donnelly told LatestDeals.co.uk: “My go-to store for toilet roll is B&M due to the bargain prices. I recently got an 18 pack of loo roll for £3.49 which will do me nicely.”
Tom added: “B&M is a great place to buy cheap cleaning products, but make sure they aren’t more expensive than the value brands in supermarkets such as Tesco and Morrisons.
“For example, I’ve noticed that you can get electric toothbrush heads for a fraction of the price – saving you money on getting the official ones.”