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Rise of the 'freeconomy'

Websites devoted to discounts and money-off vouchers are helping thrifty Brits save nearly £1,200 a year, as over 90 percent of us are on the look out for ways to save money.

A study by Halifax Home Insurance found that Britons are more determined than ever to get the best deal. Director for Halifax Home Insurance, Lindsay Forster said: 'The recent downturn has made us more careful about what we spend and more savvy in searching for savings and getting a good deal matters. People now quite rightly expect a good deal and feel comfortable shopping and even bartering to make sure they get the best price whether for a meal, a flight or even insurance. '

The discount mentality is even causing friction in some households, with partners getting annoyed with each other if they don't grab the best deals. Eating out is seen increasingly as a luxury, only made possible by deals on meals, two for one offers and similar discounted rates.

Over a quarter of us are using voucher codes in order to get better presents for friends or family members. And most are not ashamed to admit it either, in a break with the past when trying to grab a bargain was seen as something shameful. Only one percent of those surveyed said that they were too embarrassed to use discounts, and 0.5 percent said that they would look down on someone who used them.

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