The smart girls money guide

Sophie Goddard aims to save £100* every month. Here she tries haggling

Experts say it’s possible to save hundreds of pounds by haggling on the high street, but only 27% of us have tried it. What’s stopping us.’ Erm, fear of looking like a tight-arse, perhaps? While I’m excited about the idea of saving up to £100 per month, I’m also preparing myself for major humiliation…

Gadgets

John Lewis has a policy saying if an item’s available cheaper in another store it’ll try to match it. The Nikon Coolpix Camera I want is £149.95, but I’ve seen it for £5.95 cheaper elsewhere. I tentatively mention this -brandishing a crumpled printout — and the sales assistant says she’ll match it. Hooray! Next stop, Curry’s for a Roberts Revival DAB Radio (on sale at £159.99). Sadly, discounts are only available on big items such as washing machines. Fail. TOTAL SAVED £5.95

Food and drink

«Can I have a discount if I buy more than one?» I whisper to the cashier in the Pret A Manger queue as I hand over my favourite halloumi wrap. Apparently not. Undeterred, I approach a local juice shop, which offers me a free coffee at the end of the week if I visit every day (great, but I’d actually have to spend more to get a free one). Next I brazenly ask a man at my local food market if I can pay £3 instead of £4 for some pizza. He hands me a slice for £3.50 — a small victory (but not sure if his pitying look is worth it). Next up, a cocktail bar, where I ask if I can get a discount if I bring a group: «Sorry, love» Finally, I try a wine bar, which ofers to throw in snacks if we book an area. TOTAL SAVED Up to £20 a month on food at markets (plus snacks)

Clothes

I ask Topshop and Urban Outfitters, «If I spend over £100 can I get a discount?» and receive a bemused but firm ‘no way’ Awkward. Next, a sales assistant at Russell & Bromley says they’ll offer a 5-10% discount but only if I buy five pairs of shoes at £85 each. A local boutique takes 10% off a £35 scarf after I point out it was the display item, but I hear a shopper sigh as I hold up the queue — cringe. Finally, at Pretaportobello. com there’s a section dedicated to online haggling. I find a bomber jacket for £44 and, using the ‘haggle’ function, get it for £36 (and nobody looks at me funny). TOTAL SAVED £11.50

Travel

Haggling is a million times less embarrassing over the phone. I knock a few pounds ofa taxi fare when booking in advance — easy. TOTAL SAVED £3

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