I CONSIDER myself a charity shop pro and am constantly rail-raiding for bargains – but I’m always keen to learn new tricks.
So I asked the British Heart Foundation — which raises £30million a year through its stores — to share its tips on how to find the best buys…
Get the best charity shop deals by using our top tips
ALWAYS ASK: One of the best things about charity shops is the friendly volunteers. If you’re after a particular item, it’s worth asking the shop team, they might just have what you need in the sort rooms but have not put it out on display yet. They can also suggest possible alternatives. My tip: You could always leave your name and number in case what you are looking for comes in later.
BEST TIME TO SHOP: The British Heart Foundation processes a minimum of 200-300 donations per shop, per day. So it’s worth returning to charity shops a couple of times a week. It’s good to note that fresh stock will often be put out in the morning, so noon is a good time to pop in. My tip: Timing is everything. I find that from 11am is when I discover my favourite items, but a few return visits will help you figure it out.
UPCYCLE: Charity shops may have items that aren’t exactly what you’re after but have great potential to be transformed into something amazing. You just need your imagination. My tip: Even basic items can be turned into fantastic new wardrobe staples. For example, snap up a pair of old jeans and make denim shorts.
THINK AHEAD: Charity shops change stock with the seasons. So to get a steal, pop in when the seasons are turning. My tip: Also consider key events that are approaching, such as wedding season. At these times, you’ll find plenty of affordable items for the occasion, as well as current fashion trends.
Looking for a last-minute deal, we’ve got it covered with our super-savvy personal shopper
Deal of the day
Save a whopping £191 off the cost of this watch
TELL the time in style with a Casio Mens G-Shock Twin Sensor Neon-Illuminator watch, now £109 at watches2u.com. RRP £300.
Save 25 per cent on these gluten free crumpets
TREAT yourself to Genius Gluten Free Crumpets – only £1.50 for a pack of four from Sainsbury’s, down from £2.
My Sun Savers fiver
BARBARA POTTS from Stanley, Co Durham, says: “I’m using my Sun Savers fivers to help pay towards a dog behaviourist to help me with my adopted pet.”
Send us your Savers fiver stories to sunsavers.co.uk/fivers and you’ll get 28 codes worth £5 if your tip is used. Please include your name and town.
Why spend £79 on this mirror…
…when you can buy this one for only £15
DECORATE a room with Fox & Ivy’s faux leather handle mirror from Tesco at £15 which is a fraction of the cost of Dwell’s £79 version.
Reader’s saving tip
MARY RIDINGS, from Gilsland, Northumberland, says: “Save energy and water by keeping a Thermos flask next to the kettle. Every time you boil it, pour excess hot water into the flask. It will get you an extra cuppa without reboiling.”
Send us your tips to sunsavers.co.uk/tips and you will get 28 codes worth £5 if your tip is used. Please include your name and town.
Shop & save
Save £50 off the cost of this bottle of gin
PICK up a bottle of Greenalls Gin Wild Berry from Tesco for £16, down from £19.50.
Hot right now
ADD extra sizzle to your barbecue with Sainsbury’s giant 1.8metre BBQ Sausage Swirl for £3.50. It feeds six, is easy to cook and tastes of tomato, smoky paprika and chilli.
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