Discount vouchers, shopping around and using reward points is no longer "tight" in recession-hit Britain

Discount vouchers, shopping around and using reward points is no longer ‘tight’ in recession-hit Britain

Nine out of ten people think it's cool to be frugal

Four out of ten people always shop in budget supermarkets

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UPDATED:

15:26 GMT, 16 August 2012

As the recession bites, shoppers worldwide have had to tighten their purse strings.

But a new study has found that the recession has made being frugal cool – with discount vouchers, shopping around and claiming reward points now considered acceptable.

Researchers found that money-saving methods which would have been shameful five years ago for fear of being called ‘tight’ are now commonplace.

Discount shopping is considered cool now with people on the hunt for more bargains

Discount shopping is considered cool now with people on the hunt for more bargains

The poll of 2,000 adults revealed nine out of ten people now believe it is ‘cool’ to be frugal.

Before the recession, using vouchers instead of cash or presenting money-off coupons at the checkout would have made people a laughing stock.

But now savvy shoppers are going to great lengths to save themselves money – by scouring the internet for the best deals and avoiding paying full price for products wherever possible.

Other frugal steps Brits take daily include signing up to voucher and cashback websites, shopping in budget supermarkets and buying things on auction websites.

Andy Oldham, Managing Director at the UK’s number one cashback site Quidco, which commissioned the research said: 'Pulling out a voucher in a restaurant, or using coupons at the supermarket used to be seen as something you only did if you were desperate and hard-up.

'But since the credit crunch first started to hit, Brits have had no choice but to become more savvy with their money.

'Using vouchers and discount codes has meant that people have still been able to enjoy nights out, buy new items or even go on holidays – and still watch their spending.

'The recession has changed many people’s attitudes to money for the better, and shopping around and hunting for discounts is now the norm.

Famous for its bargains, Primark has become extremely popular amongst savvy shoppers in recent years

Famous for its bargains, Primark has become extremely popular amongst savvy shoppers in recent years

'There are some people who even choose where they shop or eat out, purely based on whether they have a voucher or discount code for it.'

The study shows people generally don’t buy an item as soon as they see it anymore – with two thirds preferring to check the price in several different shops before making the final purchase.

Additionally it emerged four out of ten people now always shop in budget supermarkets, and 34 per cent will search for vouchers or discount codes online before committing to buy something.

Brits will now regularly use auction websites to buy or sell goods, and cashback websites are becoming more popular.

Many workers take their left-over dinner to work the next day for lunch to save money

Many workers take their left-over dinner to work the next day for lunch to save money

Other sensible ways to save cash include growing your own vegetables (22%), ordering tap water in a restaurant (22%) and opting for supermarket meal deals over takeaways (21%).

According to the research, four in 10 people now think it has become completely inappropriate to flash the cash if you are lucky enough to have it.

Instead, it has become far cooler to find different ways to save money – and the average person reckons that by using vouchers, discount codes, cashback sites and shopping around, they save an average of 17.77 a week.

That’s the equivalent of 924.04 saved across one year, by spending money more wisely and doing a bit more homework.

And British folk are proud of their efforts to save money – as 58 per cent think nothing about bragging about their savings.

Since the start of the recession, 88 per cent of people have started discussing tips on how to save money with friends and family, and 94 per cent now consider themselves to be savvy with money.

TOP 20 ‘COOL’ FRUGAL THINGS

1. Collecting reward points

2. Use a discount voucher in a shop or restaurant

3. Use reward point to buy something

4. Check the price in different shops before buying an item

5. Shopping around for best deals on insurance

6. Use price comparison websites

7. Sign up to voucher / discount code websites

8. Shop in budget supermarkets

9. Buy things on ebay or other auction websites

10. Search for discounts before buying something

11. Selling things on ebay or other auction websites

12. Take a packed lunch to work

13. Use cashback sites

14. Shop in charity shops

15. Boast about bargains in stores

16. Grow your own vegetables

17. Order tap water in a restaurant instead of bottled water

18. Get meals deals instead of takeaways

19. Haggling to get a lower price

20. Taking leftovers into work for lunch