How can you save money in Spain?

Everyone likes to get a bargain, but expats may not know all the possibilities available in Spain to save money and still ensure you receive quality goods. Websites, retailers and charities are all good sources for finding a genuine bargain.

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Most of us will have spent more money than usual over the festive season and will be looking for ways to save money for the next few weeks or months. Here in Spain, there are many ways to do this, why not look over our tips for to keeping your bank balance in the black?
 
Money saving website
Sign up to a weekly newsletter from the Money Saver Spain website, which is in English, and run by an English lady in Madrid. Here you will have consumer news, latest deals and promotions and other useful information on reducing the cost of living. It’s not quite Martin Lewis’s Money Saving Expert site, but nevertheless will keep you aware of the best ways to save money.
 
Lidl and Aldi promotions online
You can discover in advance what special offers these two popular supermarkets will be offering by signing up to their newsletters. There are many really good promotions, but be careful not to buy something just because it’s on offer, ask yourself if you really need this. It’s so easy to be tempted…
 
"There are shops all over the country selling every kind of used article, from furniture to clothes, child and baby equipment and electronics or white goods"
 
Embrace recycling
The Spanish are into their secondhand items. There are shops all over the country selling every kind of used article, from furniture to clothes, child and baby equipment and electronics or white goods. Some will sell things for you on commission, others will buy directly. There are bargains to be found in every department and as a consumer you are protected if the item is unusable or won’t work. 
 
Charity shops are less common than in the UK, but Caritas has outlets in most towns - although the shop may have another name. They are particularly useful for children’s toys, books and  equipment but you might also find that little piece of furniture you need or like me, a part set of Villeroy and Boch dinner service for 6€. 
 
Weekend street markets are popular too, and are often advertised on boards on main roads. Here it is pot luck and you may often leave empty handed but then one day you will find just what you need, in my case a new Le Creuset large casserole pot for just 11€. If you like music, these markets are a good source of cds and vinyl for between 1€ and 5€.
 
Clothing
Generally speaking, clothes in Spain are either pretty cheap or expensive, though with the expansion of retailers like Zara and H&M, there is now a middle price range available. The smaller shops tend to be at one or other end of the price spectrum and reductions here will not be huge, probably at most around 30%. In larger stores located in the cities you will find year round discounts and you may be surprised to know that Primark is now the “in” shop in Spain, with a flagship store recently opened in Madrid. (Incidentally, the building is actually owned by Amancio Ortega, head of the Zara, Massimo Dutti, and Berksha chains, amongst others).
 
"Sales run in most shops all year round, and you can usually get your hands on a bargain"
 
Spectacles
British company Specsavers has several branches in southern Spain, which offer very good deals. Buying glasses here can be very expensive if you need graduated lenses, so if you live near Fuengirola, Benidorm, Calpe, Jávea, Mallorca, Torrevieja or Marbella, head for your nearest shop. Otherwise, Spanish opticians have special promotions from time to time, two pairs for the price of one, for example, or a special seniors offer for those over 65. Unless it’s really urgent, wait until you come across a shop offering discounts to change your glasses.
 
A word of warning, though - just because something is cheap in Spain, it doesn’t mean it’s automatically good value. Surely the best way to save money is to look for value for money, rather than something with a very low price tag, which will break or deteriorate in no time? Happy shopping!

Further reading for Living In Spain

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Finding work

There are a number of ways that UK expats can fund their lifestyle in Spain.

Read more..

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Social life in Spain

Find out as much as you can about your new community and find new friends.

Read more...

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Heathcare

Arrange health insurance and locate your new local hospitals and practices.

Read more...

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Education in Spain

Emigrating with school-age children? Learn more about schooling in your local area.

Read more...