Free Everything

Reporter: Helen Wellings

It is the winter of many a retailers discontent. A sagging economy, a hurting retail sector: means bagging bargains has never been easier. "This is the perfect time to get your best bargains possible" says Hannah. "You'll pick up bargains on shoes, clothes, anything wintry related - heaters, blankets, dooners - that sort of stuff..will be marked down ready for spring and summer stock" says Cheapskates Cath Armstrong.

Cheapskates.com.au founder, Cath Armstrong says this winter is bargain season for smart shoppers. "When you're shopping for a bargain do your research - jump online, find out whose got what you want and what the price is and then you can make an informed decision about where you buy" says Cath.

For designer goods at bargain prices, members only clubs are the latest way to bag a bargain. The online shopping club; Buy Invite, boasts 160,000 members who enjoy private sales events each devoted to a designer brand and each open for typically three days. Its first in first served. "Its about clearing the shelves and clearing the racks - to make way for the new summer stock" says Hannah.

Season clear outs are a bargain hunters dream. Australian fashionista Hannah McNicol is leading the fashion charge when it comes to designer discounts. "We've got 30% to 80% off the retail price in store at the moment." Hannah's online maternity wear store: bumpology.com also boasts 50% off for Today Tonight viewers. "The cost of entertaining children can be quite alarming. You can find yourself spending $150 very easily on indoor skating, cinema and experiences like that. And you think 'this is insane.' I'm spending more on the children's entertainment than my own" says Jackie Adams.

But mother of two, Jackie Adams has found a way of cutting back the costs of kids. Its a book called kids coupons offering discounts on everything kid related: from books to clothing to music. "Kids Coupons has been great value for money and I've really appreciated it. It only cost $19.95 and within a couple of transactions I was able to earn that money back which was really really important. It's got a range of goods and services in it and its places I'd be going to anyway so it's an added advantage to try and save some money" adds Jackie.

Cath says coupon books like the kids coupons is great value. "Apart from the fact its often sold for charity so you're doing a good thing with your money, you're also saving literally thousands of dollars on really good stuff - like eating out... but also the everyday things like ice creams for the kids and bread" says Cath. "You can find up to 70% off our entire range. We've got up to 12 000 products listed on pharmacyonline.com.au. I've even got a few specials for your audience today as well. Winter-based specials" says Brenton. Brenton le Grande from Online Pharmacy Discounters: pharmacy online.com.au direct has these discounts to beat the winter blues.

"The Roship Vital is up to 37% off. That can assist with arthritis and joint inflammation. I've also got the event, electric bottle warmer - a tongue twister - that's 22% off and that's great for winter for heating up your kid's baby bottles etc. We've also got a wide range of Optifast soups which help you lose weight while still eating healthily. 25% off that range. The Anthegonal 90 caps is up to 32% off plus you get a bonus 10 capsules and that'll last 3 months" he says.

We asked Cath Armstrong for her best bargain websites. "There's Lassoo.com.au which is brilliant for finding the brochures that you need to do your research. Travel Zoo for travelling is a brilliant one. Best Flights is also really good if you're looking to travel overseas. There are literally hundreds of thousands of websites that will save you money on all these things."

WEBSITES:

www.cheapskates.com.au

www.pharmacyonline.com.au

www.bumpology.com

www.buyinvite.com.au

www.kidscoupons.com.au

www.lassoo.com.au

www.travelzoo.com.au

www.bestflilghts.com.au

www.brandsexclusive.com.au

www.spreets.com.au