People can't resist pinching pennies with restaurant vouchers and money-off shopping codes, but are less keen on switch providers for household bills

Hayley Kirton
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With AFP Story by Fabienne Faur: Lifesty
We'll gladly hunt out the best deals when it comes to our groceries, but we're not so keen to sort out our phone bills (Source: Getty)

Brits are an oddly selective bunch when it comes to cutting down on expenses, a report out today suggests.

The study by EDF Energy discovered that people are more likely to hunt down bargains on things like food shopping or days out than they are to see if they can get a better deal on their household bills.

The most popular savings people will seek out are on grocery shopping, with more than half (56 per cent) saying they had done this. Great deals on restaurant deals and fancy clothing nabbed the second and third spots on the list, with 46 per cent and 35 per cent respectively saying they had saved money this way.

On the other side of the coin, just seven per cent said they had made a saving on their home phone bills, while only eight per cent said they had found a way to trim their gas bills in a bid to save more.

Read more: How Brits are bringing home the bacon and stashing it (in piggy banks)

When EDF Energy asked people to justify their savings habits, more than a third (38 per cent) said they were put off looking for the best deal on household bills because it took too much effort and they felt they didn't have the time.

Top 10 things we'll happy hunt out a bargain on

Groceries - 56%

Restaurant meals - 46%

Clothes - 35%

Days out - 34%

Cinema tickets - 28%

Travel tickets - 26%

Holidays - 25%

Beauty products - 22%

White goods - 22%

Laundry products - 21%

"Generally, we prefer to deal with smaller, more manageable tasks first, because there is a perception that they are easier to achieve, and to postpone the bigger, more onerous ones until later because they appear to be more daunting," said Dr Peter Collett, behavioural psychologist. "This explains why we'll frequently put off doing things – even if we stand to make considerable savings – and instead focus our attention on saving money by reducing our shopping bills with special deals and coupons."

Read more: Seven ways to sort out your finances

Jasmine Birtles, founder of money saving website, added: "We tend to think of ourselves as a nation of savvy savers in Britain, but it looks like we should be thinking bigger and not sweat the small stuff so much.

"It’s great to watch the pennies day-to-day but saving £200 or so in the 15 minutes it takes to switch energy provider has to be a better way to build up savings. That money could give you a budget weekend away!"

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