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As a consumer, many are content with paying the sticker price for many products. But, if you dig a little deeper, you may find that you can get exactly what you are looking for, but for a fraction of the price.

Listed below are savvy alternatives for common purchases to help you save more. 

Most hotels would rather charge a discounted rate on a room rather than leave it empty. There are a number of websites which offer special accommodation deals, especially for last minute bookings. Some include lastminute.com.au or wotif.com.

However, in some cases, some hotels may hike up the prices if there is a special event or holiday coming up. So, if you are planning a trip away for a long weekend or over the Christmas break, it may pay to be organised and book early.

Cars are often a necessity for most Australians, but how can you find the best deal? The end of financial year is often a good time to go car shopping as many dealers are trying to move as much stock as possible. You may also find that at the end of each month, the sales people are eager to boost their sales numbers and may be more willing to negotiate. 

Another factor to consider is the overall running costs of the car. Accord to CBA, Australians spent an average of $3,854 to run and maintain their car every year. So, even if you find a competitively priced car, you will need to weigh up whether the running costs are worth it.

Last year, it was reported that Australians were set to spend more than $7.9 billion on Christmas gifts. Although you shop for your friends and family with the best intentions, a large number of these presents end up being resold by the recipient. According to a Galaxy Research survey, around 1.7 million Australians are expected to sell their unwanted gifts online this year. 

So, although you may want to spoil the ones you love, you need to seriously consider whether they will actually like the gift you are going to give.

Bank account fees
According to the Pocketbook Consumer Spending Series Report, Australians are spending an average of $328.50 a year on avoidable bank fees and result in many households having to cut back on other expenses.

One of the most common fees banks charge is the overdrawn account fee. Being aware of how much you have in your account and what automatic payments withdraw money from your account is essential to avoid this fee. Don’t forget to regularly compare your current bank with other financial institutions to see if there is a more competitive option available.

Home loans
If you have had your home loan for a while now, you may find there are more competitive options available. It is important to regularly compare your current mortgage with other products on the market to see if you could be saving money on interest and fees.

Going out to eat can become expensive, however there are plenty of ways to save money on restaurants. There are several daily deal sites which offer special discounts for restaurants. Some of these websites include Living Social and Groupon. Although with some deals you are limited to a selected menu, you can still save a significant amount of money and still enjoy a night out.

Air fares
It only takes a little bit of research to find cheaper flights. Websites such as Webjet and Wotif compare a number of different airlines in the one place. Jetstar also often has flash sales where they sell flights for as little as $9. However, you will need to be regularly checking the website for sales as they are not always advertised greatly and will also need to be wary of the extra add ons that can end up costing you a lot more and outweigh the benefit of the cheaper flight.