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Savvy Bargain Hunter Who Scores Huge Cashback Savings Every Year To Give To The Needy Shares Her Pro Tips

Savvy Bargain Hunter Who Scores Huge Cashback Savings Every Year To Give To The Needy Shares Her Pro Tips
Stephanie with her donations (PA Real Life/Collect)

A pro bargain hunter has become a good Samaritan after giving money back from her shopping sprees, and using savings to help others.

Stephanie Walters saves hundreds of dollars a year buying clothes, gifts and everything in between through “cashback" websites. And, uses the cashback for donations to local charities.

Walters says that she was always taught the importance of saving.

“Growing up, my dad was a good saver, so we always had 'enough'," she said.

Stephanie with her donations (PA Real Life/Collect)

“But I know lots of people today don't have anywhere near enough, so that's why I try to help them," she added.

Always a savvy shopper, Walters says it was her husband Richard who first introduced her to shopping through online sites like TopCashback six years ago.

The retailers pay commission to the cashback site when people shop, some of which they pass on to the purchaser. This can be paid as cash into the shopper's account, or through a wide range of vouchers from the retailers.

Stephanie (PA Real Life/Collect)

“I never like paying full price for anything if I can help it," said Walters.

“It feels silly not to save money if you can, or to pay full price when you can get something cheaper by being patient and waiting."

“But being cautious really started when I bought my house in 1997 and I became a bit more strapped for cash. When you're paying a mortgage you start to look at ways of tightening your belt."

Many struggle with similar cases. It's hard to save money when you still need to shop for clothes and other necessities.

“I've always been savvy when it comes to shopping. If I saw something I wanted, I would always wait for the sales so I could get a discount," she continued.

“I've had some great bargains over the years. I used to love this shop called Planet and shopping at the outlet store, I got a dress that should have been £120 for £20. It was like, 'Wow, look how much I've managed to save.'"

Estimating that she has saved thousands of dollars by shopping in the sales over the years, Walters is proud of being thrifty.

Stephanie (PA Real Life/Collect)

“I'd never take something back for a refund and buy it again at the sale price. I believe if I've bought it at that price that's a fair transaction," she said.

“I'd started to buy a lot of things online, especially at Christmas to avoid the crowds, and Richard said, 'If you use this site you can get some money back.' It seemed silly not to."

Stephanie's gifts (PA Real Life/Collect)

“I buy a lot from Debenhams, so will go to their website through TopCashback and then through to the RSPB to buy bird food," she said. “Hotel Chocolat is another good one, as they have great discounts on gifts."

“There are some places like Amazon and Debenhams, where if you take the savings in vouchers rather than cash you get an extra percentage on top, too."

“I estimate I save around £200 (~$247) a year – so that's been about £1,200 (~$1,480) since I started using them – which I've then spent on gifts for people who need them."

Walters saves the money up throughout the year and uses it to buy gifts, which she donates to children during Christmas time.

“My dad, Tom Burke, was a plumber with five children and Christmas was a really special time for us," she said. “He had to really plan it, though."

“In August he would start putting money away, or coming home with a tin of ham or tongue, which would be put in the cupboard and saved for the festive holidays. He would stock up on Turkish delight or those orange and lemon slice sweets, which always remind me of Christmas."

Stephanie's gifts (PA Real Life/Collect)

“He always wanted to make sure we had a good time," she continued.

“My mum, Eveline, would look out for bargains and she's still like that now. If the newspaper goes up in price she has something to say about it! She was very good at paying the bills and managing whatever was left, so we never went short of anything."

“But there are so many people who do not feel able to manage anymore, which is awful. It must be terrible, the disappointment of not being able to give your children what they need, because of not having enough money. It makes me very sad."

A keen supporter of local campaigns, Walters wants to encourage other people to follow her lead.

“Especially with what we're facing at the moment, trying to look out for people in need is even more important," she said.

“There are all sorts of little ways you can help each other. If you shop online, I'd really recommend using the cashback websites like me. It just seems silly not to."

Donating to the "Cash for Kids" campaigns run by radio stations, Walters tries to focus on finding gifts for teenage boys, who can be harder to buy for.

Stephanie and Richard (PA Real Life/Collect)

“I use that £200 I get back, which to me is free money, because I would have spent it anyway, to buy for teenage boys, because there aren't as many donations for them," she said.

“I try and buy books that are a bit educational, things like jumpers or coats. I will go to Debenhams when they have the 70 percent sale and stock up on clothes of different sizes."

“I also buy jewelry and watches."

“I heard this phrase in a Bing Crosby film, 'I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now.' I think I've taken it to heart!" she said.

Visit to shop with over 5000 retailers and charities, and receive a portion of your purchase back.