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Sep 17

This week: Over 50 ways to save incl...Phones 4U help, pizza trick, fee free 0%, Asos 20%, cheap BT b'band, 3 Audiobooks £3, 'free' Lego

Quick message from Martin - Get this emailed

"Hi. This free, spam free weekly email is the key way to save. We put all the latest deals, guides and loopholes in, yet many close within hours. Don't miss out, join the 8m who get it each week."

This week

12mth 0% NO FEE balance transfer
Cheap BT broadband deal
It's 100 days to Christmas - act now
Flight delay compensation news
Loophole. Can you get unlimited frozen pizzas for £1.50?
Phones 4U consumer rights Q&A
FLASH 4HR CODES: 20% off Asos, Dorothy Perkins, Monsoon & F&F
£3 gets 3 audiobooks, eg, JK Rowling's Silkworm & 1,000s more
Unlimited £15/day trains (Ldn Mid)
'Free' £14.50 Cake Show tix
Free Ldn, Wales, Scot heritage sites
Make £15 Amzn vch doing surveys
£9 gets £25 photo canvas deal
'Free' £4-£5 Lego with newspaper
Six climbing plants £5.50 delivered
"Thank you, I cleared my £20k debt."
Free £7.50 cocktail/£4 lager at P&P
Thu only: Flash euro and dollar sale
Vouchers Index: Restaurants / Shopping
Best Buys: 0% cards | Car insurance
Best Buys: Gas & Elec | Bank Accs
Do you have extra costs because you or your child is disabled?

MARTIN'S QUICK BRIEFING: For more tips, alerts & awful puns, follow Martin on Twitter

Save £1,000+ in a day
A crash course in how to give yourself a money makeover

All but the most ardent MoneySavers can save big bucks. A day spent saving £1,000 will be the best paid day of your year (unless you earn £470,000+ pre-tax). So give yourself a money makeover, here's a timetable to inspire you.

07:45. Take a shower - ask yourself the 'water bills' question. Live in Eng or Wales? Ask: 'Does my home have more or the same no of bedrooms as people?" If yes, it's likely you'll save fitting a water meter. So use a Water Bills calculator. Savings on this forgotten utility can be huge.
AJ Edwards tweeted us: "I swapped to a water meter, bill went from £57 a month to £19 a month". That's £450/yr saved.
08:00. save a grandPutting your uniform on - are you due a tax rebate? If you wear a uniform to work, and you wash it yourself, you may be due a lower tax bill & 4 years back, like forumite kevbev321: "I've been in a uniform role for 5 years, got a tasty £250 back." Full help & templates: Uniform Tax Rebates
08:20. Slash your gas & electricity bills in 10 mins. Winter's coming and it can take up to two months to switch to a cheaper provider, so now's the time to check if you're overpaying (sorting the switch takes 10mins max, it's them doing the changeover that take times). How to do it...

1. Use our Cheap Energy Club speedy Top Fixes Comparison - have bills to hand if poss; if not, even estimating is better than doing nowt.
2. If you're in credit, ensure you ask for this back when you leave.
3. Monthly direct debit's the cheapest way to pay.

It can pay very well very quickly, as @toebag tweeted: "Just switched energy supplier, thanks. 2 min job + £20/month back in my pocket. All before 9am." So that's £240/yr saved.

Now have some breakfast - I'm not a slave driver, you know...
08:50. Grab £1,000s of childcare help. If you're feeding the baby or battling to get your kids to school, think childcare costs. If you pay for childcare (including after-school clubs), there are two things to check.

1) Earn under £41,000 and work 16+hrs/wk (both of you, if a couple)? Check if you're entitled to Childcare Tax Credits, worth an avg £3,000/yr.
2) If not, see if your employer offers Childcare Vouchers. These let you pay for childcare tax-free, saving some £1,000s.
09:10. Slash your credit card costs. Easy one. If you've got credit cards with debt, use our balance transfer eligibility calculator to see if you can shift 'em to a cheaper deal - up to 34mths 0% is available. See balance transfers info below for full best buys.
09:35. Time to get serious - give yourself a financial assessment. Switch off Jeremy Kyle. So far I've shown you some easy savings to seduce you, but now we're getting grown up. Time to manage your money.

The big question is whether you spend more than you earn. If so, you're either eating into your savings or risking a dangerous debts spiral. To find out, put all your finances through our Budget Analyser, which fixes most of the problems. Be warned, this will take some time.
11:00. Time for a free tea or coffee from Waitrose. Elevenses. Sign-up for a free DAILY Tea & Coffee at Waitrose.
11:05. Cut home phone & broadband costs. While standard prices are high, with many paying £300+/year, most big providers have special deals if you know where to look; which can be a fraction of that.

As Vanessa emailed us: "Got the EE broadband for £132 a year and will get £120 Amazon voucher - £12 for internet for the year. Great for a hard up teacher, thank you." Jump down to see our full hot broadband & line rental deals note (including a similar-ish EE deal).
11:20. Spend a penny. See the eye-opening how to cut loo paper use forum discussion. Consider Amazon subscribe and save, and if you've a little one, try the new BumDeal nappy comparison site.
11:30. Check if your car insurance is a rip off (even if not at renewal). Prices have tumbled 19% in the past year, so here's how to speedily check you're not overpaying (better still), read the full cheap car insurance guide.

1. Do a comparison.
Then if you're overpaying, use more sites for a wide quote spread. Our order: MoneySup*, GoComp*, Confused*.

2. Check biggies missed. Not all insurers appear on comparisons so add Aviva*, Direct Line* and Zurich, and if you've more than one car, Admiral Multicar* (gives £35 Amzn vch via this link if you get it this month).

3. Trial and error tricks to try. a) Don't assume 3rd party's cheapest, fully comp can beat it, try both. b) Adding experienced 2nd or 3rd drivers may cut costs. c) Small legit tweaks to your job title can save you cash. d) Once you've found a policy, see if cashback sites pay you to get it.

4. Not at renewal? You can still switch. If savings are big and you're not at renewal, unless you've claimed, you can cancel for a c.£50 admin fee and a pro-rata rebate, so factor this in. (You usually won't gain the no-claims bonus for the year, though).

This can pay as forumite Tenuissent says: "I cancelled my £685 Saga cover & got similar £327 AA cover." That's £360 cheaper.
12:20. Bite a chunk out of your food bills. Rummage through your fridge, cupboards or even larder to check how many Finest or manufacturers' brands there are. Lots? The Downshift Challenge Tool could chop £850 a year off a £100 weekly shop. Plus see 30 Food Shopping Tricks.

Once finished, it's lunchtime.
13:30. Overpaying on your mortgage? Some pundits predict interest rate rises within the next 12 months. Fixed-rate mortgages are still very close to historic lows - so everyone should check their mortgage deal now.

1) Read our Free Remortgage Guide: Instant PDF | Order Printed
2) Benchmark top rates with the MSE mortgage best buys tool.
14:00. Are you in the right council tax band? Two simple checks: a) Are you in a higher band than neighbours in similar properties? Do the neighbours check. b) Find what your house was worth in 1991 with the valuation check. If both checks pass, you could be in too high a band.

Forumite parkerparker's band was lowered: "Succeeded in getting my house reduced from Band G to F, backdated to August 2005 (when house was built). Refund = £2,600 and reduction of about £300/yr."
14:25. Check your tax code. If you're an employee or pensioner, your tax code dictates what you pay and millions are wrong. Use our free Tax Code Calc.

It happened to Nina: "I checked and found the Taxman owed me £1,300 and I'll be £160 a month better off. Thank you."
14:35. It's haggle time - mobile, digital TV, breakdown and more. If you're happy with your existing provider, but want to cut the bill, then haggle. Call centre haggling's best done in the afternoon (when they're less busy) and can be hugely successful. Here are the top five firms to try:

1. AA, 90% success (of those who tried). 2. TalkTalk, 82% success. 3. Sky, 82% success. 4. RAC, 78% success. 5. Admiral, 78% success. Full help & tips in the haggle down mobile, digital TV, breakdown costs guide.

It works, as Natalie tweeted us: "Had a go at 'haggling' with Sky, it was v helpful and we are now £160 a year better off. #thankyoumartin."
15:30. School run. Drive down petrol costs and even get cashback.
1. Dejunk your trunk (lighter cars save fuel) and check tyre pressure.
2. Not over-accelerating saves fuel with little time lost. See Efficient Driving techniques. Forumite Panther Black saves £240 a year: "We've been driving 'slowly' to work whenever we can and have saved an average of £20 per month."
3. Use to find the cheapest forecourts.
4. Grab a petrol cashback card & get up to 3% back when you fill up.
16:15. Get £100 bribe (or 3% interest) for switching your bank account. It's the first birthday of '7-day switching' this week - that means all direct debits & standing orders move quickly, & payments to your old account are auto-forwarded. Full info in Best Bank Accounts, in short...

- Free £100 & top customer service: 92% of people rate First Direct* as great and it pays new switchers £100. It also has a linked 6% regular savings account and a £250 0% overdraft. Min monthly pay-in £1k.

- 3% on savings, 3% cashback on bills.
Santander 123* pays 3% AER if you've £3k-£20k in it. There's a £2/mth fee but for many that's covered by the 1%-3% cashback on bills. Min mthly pay-in £500.

Mike commented on Facebook: "I've had the Santander 123 account for nearly 18 months and even with the £2 per month I've got nearly £900 in interest and cashback."

More high interest bank accounts in our 5% savings loophole guide.
16:45. Owed £1,000s in PPI? Don't assume 'this isn't me'. Even some who rejected this insurance had it wrongly added without knowing. It was systemically mis-sold on loans, credit cards, overdrafts, catalogues, store cards and some mortgages. So check - even long-closed policies. Full help, detailed FAQs and free templates in Reclaim PPI For FREE.
17:30 Grab a diary and fill it in - don't pay the lazy tax. This is perhaps the most important thing you'll do today. Grab your diary & go through all products with timed elements - eg, car insurance renewal, 0% cards, broadband & mobile contracts and more. Put a note in a month before each one ends to ditch & switch.

PS. That's just the beginning...
See 40+ Money Makeover Tips for more ways to save, and listen to the save £1k in a day Radio 2 Jeremy Vine special.

Blagged for MoneySavers

Did you miss?

Get constantly cheap energy
Our club ensures you're always on the cheapest tariff.
Join free: Cheap Energy Club
Reclaim PPI for FREE
Claims handlers aren't more successful.
Free help & templates: Reclaim PPI

MSE News

Top story: Oink becomes the latest provider to join the energy market
Contactless payments launch on the London Underground
'Payday loan ads should be banned before the watershed'
MoneySaver wins 'first' bank charges court case since 2007
Giffgaff's goodybags are changing: Are you a winner or a loser?
Be a MoneySaving friend, pass this on
If this email's ever helped you, please forward it to friends and suggest they get it via
Use the Money Mantras If you're skint If you're not skint
The Ones Not To Miss Wed 17 Sep 2014
New. Shift debts to a year's 0% NO FEE
Fee-free balance transfer deals are rare & usually short. The last time 12mths no-cost was avail was summer 2013

A balance transfer's when you get a new card that repays debts on old card(s) for you, so you now owe it at a lower rate. We're in the midst of a price war, which is brilliant if you've existing debts, so it's a great time to try to cut costs.

  • New. 12mth interest free no fee balance transfer. Last week we 'Stop Pressed' that Barclaycard* had launched the longest ever 0% card, lasting 2yrs, 10mths. Now it's been joined by Tesco* with the market's longest no fee 0% card for an age - lasting a year - meaning you can shift debt & clear it before the 0% ends, at absolutely no cost.
Top pick new customer 0% balance transfer deals
Before applying, try the free 0% balance transfers eligibility calc to find which cards are likely to accept you
Card Intro offer One-off fee (1) Rep APR after
New. Barclaycard* Longest 0% card. 34mths 0% (1) 2.99% 18.9%
New. Tesco* Joint longest if you've got a Barclaycard. 33mths 0% 2.9% 20.6%
New. Sainsbury's* Joint longest if you've got Barclaycard. 33mths 0% 3% 18.9%
MBNA* Lets you money transfer your overdraft too. 32mths 0% 2.69% (2) 20.9%
Lloyds Long 0% option - with a lower fee. 28mths 0% 1.5% 18.9%
Nationwide Very low fee option - decent length. 15mths 0% 0.65% 17.9%
New. Tesco* Rare no fee card - great if you repay quickly. 12mths 0% None 20.6%
FULL INFO & MORE BEST BUYS: Best Balance Transfers (APR Examples) 1) Some get a shorter 0%. 2) 4% fee on money transfers to your bank account.
  • Always obey the golden rules.
    Repay at least the set monthly minimum, or you may lose the 0%.
    Aim to clear the debt or shift again before the 0% ends, or rates rocket.
    Don't spend on these, it isn't usually at the cheap rate. Withdrawing cash is worse & can hurt your credit score.
    To help decide, see our Which Card's Cheapest? tool.
    Lots more info, options and full info & FAQs in Best Balance Transfers.

Loophole. Can you buy £1.50 frozen pizza, get UNLIMITED free pizzas till Oct? Our new Deals Hunter blog finds you short-lived tricks & deals, this looks a corker (while it lasts). See Pizza Loophole. Bookmark Deals Hunter

Phones 4U administration Q&A. If you're worried about insurance, phone orders or more, see Phones 4U Help.

FLASH 20% off codes at Asos, Dorothy Perkins, Monsoon, F&F & more
Lots of big high street stores with big discounts this week, so if you're buying anyway, carpe dealum. All Discount Codes
Wed 6-10pm FLASH codes: 20% off at Asos, Dorothy Perkins, Monsoon, F&F and more. Wed 24hrs: M&S Outlet 20%
Code & in-store all week:
Body Shop £25 off £50 | Kurt Geiger 20% | Matalan 20% | The Works up to 30% code only

THREE Audiobooks £3 - 1,000s avail incl Fault in Our Stars & JK Rowling's The Silkworm. MSE Blagged. This is a 99p/mth 3-mth Audible newbies' trial. After, you can cancel and keep the books. Audible Deals.

Urgent. Cheap BT broadband (with its line rental). MSE Blagged
Pay just £5/mth for unlimited broadband for a year and get £75 Sainsbury's voucher - if you have/get BT line rent

In recent weeks, we've seen some jaw-droppingly good broadband deals. This BT deal quite simply isn't as cheap, but it is extremely cheap for BT, and as many of you tell us you like to stick with the big boy, here it is (if not, see the 2nd bullet)...

  • Cheap BT Broadband Ends Wed 11.59pm. Cheap BT broadband & line rent. MSE Blagged. Sign up for a year's contract via this specific link BT broadband* (it’s the 2nd one down called ‘UNLIMITED BROADBAND’) and you get the corking deal below (AFTER WED until 29 Sept, you still get all the elements except the £75 Sains vch).

    - Who is eligible?
    Anyone who doesn't have BT broadband now. Eg, If you only have its phone line, that's fine. Or if you used to have its broadband, that's fine too.
    - Compulsory line rental. You need a BT phone line. If not, the cheapest way to get one is opting to pay £159.84 for a year upfront, equiv £13.32 a month, or £15.99 monthly (rising to £16.99/mth on 1 Dec).
    - Unlimited broadband (avail to 99% of UK). This is the bit we've blagged. It's £5/mth for the year, as opposed to '£8/mth for 6mths, then £16/mth on an 18mth contract' on its site - so £84 cheaper over the yr. Up to 17Mb speed.
    - 'Free' BT Hub router. Yet you have to pay £6.95 to cover p&p.
    - Free line installation: Don't have a line, or switching from cable? Normally you'd pay £130 for one to be installed, with this deal it's free - see installation info (if it's a second line, you'd pay).
    - Call costs: Weekend calls (up to 60 mins per call) to landlines included, other call costs are BT standard rates. See full call charges (incl hikes from 1 Dec).
    - £75 Sainsbury's in-store voucher BUT you must claim it.
    Frustratingly, you need register for this via an online form (bookmark this link) 5 days after the broadband's activated. It's then posted within 30 days so diarise carefully.

    Analysis: Add upfront line rent, broadband and router p&p and the year's cost is £227 excl calls (pay line rent monthly, it's £269) plus the £75 Sainsbury's voucher. If you'd spend that at Sainsbury's anyway, factor it in and it's effectively £152 for the year, equiv to just £12.70/mth (pay monthly £16.15/mth) less than BT's standard line rent alone. NB, members of cashback sites can in some cases get cashback that beats the broadband reduction above.
  • Far cheaper EE broadband and line - £162 for the year + £100 Amazon voucher. With this EE 12-month broadband & line rent deal you pay £132 for the line rent upfront (equiv £15.75 monthly) and then £2.50/mth for broadband so that's £162 for the year (£219 if paid monthly) and you get a £100 Amazon voucher.

Full info and more alternatives in Cheap Broadband and Cheap Home Phones.

London Midland trains from £15/day unlimited travel (inc Ldn, Liverpool, Hereford). £20 Fri-Sun. Ends Sun. See Train deals.

'Free' £14.50 Cake & Bake Show tix code (£2.50 p&p). 250 'free' pairs for 3 Oct, usually £29/pair. London show

Free visit to 800 London properties, 300 Scottish, 100 Welsh. Great opportunity to visit places that charge or usually aren't open to the public for free in London this weekend, eg, the Bank of Eng & Gherkin. Or for selected dates in Sept, 300+ properties in Scotland, eg, Pollok House; and 100+ in Wales, eg, BBC Cardiff.

Last Chance: Earn £15 M&S/Amzn vouchers doing quick online surveys. MSE Blagged. A popular MSEers' site where you fill in surveys/polls to earn. Till Sun, we've a link where if you accrue £5, you get a bonus £10-worth. Swagbucks

Photo canvas £9 all-in. MSE Blagged. 20cm x 20cm (small A4) personalised canvas (next cheapest £20+). Picanova

'Free' £4-£5 Lego with 60p/90p paper. Voucher to get one of eight toys incl Star Wars and TMNT. Lego Deals

Warning. Only 100 days till Xmas
We hate Christmas creep as much as the next Scrooge. Yet these are 10 things to do NOW to cut costs then

Yesterday it was 100 days till the big fella brushes out his beard. While we castigate stores that flog festive goods early, like any major expenditure, early planning scythes down costs. We've 40+ Xmas Tips, but here's the present of a quick 10...

  1. Christmas saving5% cashback on your Xmas shopping. The Amex Everyday* credit card pays 5% cashback on your first 3mths' spending (max £100). Get it now and this falls during the high spend Xmas period. Repay IN FULL each month to avoid the 19.9% rep APR. Full help in cashback cards.
  2. Beware. The joy of giving can be selfish. See Martin's Ban Unnecessary Xmas Gifts blog.
  3. Recipe for a Happy Christmas: work out NOW what you can afford. Let your finances dictate spending, not vice-versa. Buying your lust list often leads to debt or disappointment.
  4. Book train tickets 12 wks in advance. That's when most advance tix launch, gaining max avail. Full info: train tricks.
  5. Can you demoHOHOtivate extra cash? From small cutbacks come big savings. See The DemoHOHOtivator tool.
  6. Set up a Christmas cupboard. It's part of many MoneySavers' Christmas arsenal. From now on, if you see a serious bargain (often via this email) that fits as a present on your list, bag-it, wrap-it, and pop it in the Xmas cupboard.
  7. Time for a personal stock clearance. Walk around your home, if there's anything you haven't used, consider flogging it to raise cash. From old games, clothes, mobiles, toys etc - find how to flog it for max cash.
  8. Split the cost by 4 and save that monthly. A typical family Xmas costs £820 - a huge amount from one month's salary. If you haven't started saving, there's still time. Eg, put £200 aside from Sept, Oct & Nov income to spread the cost.
  9. Boost funds by 4% with supermarket stamps. You can bend supermarket savings schemes to boost your budget.
  10. Don't borrow for Christmas, but if you do, ensure it's at 0%. The longest 0% spending card is Halifax 20mths* (free eligibility calc), yet though you've time before it jumps to 18.9% rep APR, aim to clear before next Christmas or you just perpetuate the misery. Full help and safety warnings in Top 0% Cards (APR examples).

More Crackers: 40 Xmas Saving Tips | 40 Online Shopping Tricks. Thrift Tips: Forum's Old Style Christmas 2014 thread.

Show Best Buys
Click the titles for full info and all our top picks
Balance Transfers Car Insurance Cheap Loans Top Cash NISAs
Longest 0%: Barclaycard*
34mths 0%, 2.99% fee

(18.9% rep APR)

Low fee 0%: Lloyds
28mths 0%, 1.5% fee

(18.9% rep APR)
Get quotes in this order...

Direct Line*
Admiral MultiCar*

Sainsbury's* (£5k - £7.5k)
5.3% rep APR

Sainsbury's* (£7.5k - £15k)
3.9% rep APR

BM Savings* 1.55% AER
Min £1, incl bonus
Postal. Transfers allowed

Coventry BS 2.75% AER
Min £1. No transfers
Loophole: Fixed till May 2018

See Card APR Examples & Loan APR Examples

Six climbing plants £5.50 all-in. Incl jasmine & honeysuckle. Next cheapest we've seen £20 for 12. 3,000 avail. Plants

Success of the week: (Send us yours on this or any topic)
"@MartinSLewis @StepChange - Thank you both so much for your help over the years to clear my £20k debt - debt-free today."
- see Debt Problems for what to do and where to get help if you're struggling.

Flight delays compensation - are you due £480/person?
As the Supreme Court reveals the latest news on the court cases, it's important you understand your rights

If you're delayed on a flight, or have been since 2008, an EU law means you may be entitled to substantial compensation. For detailed help, including FREE template letters, see our updated Flight Delays Compensation guide. Here's an overview...

  • flight delays"I got €1,200 for Lanzarote nightmare." We're swamped daily with successes on this, such as Hilary's tweet to Martin: "Thanks for your help, Thomson paid €1,200 for 28hr Lanzarote nightmare." See airline-by-airline success rates and report yours.
  • What you need to know about flight delay compensation...
    - You can technically go back to 2005, but 2008+ is easier.
    - You must've arrived more than three hours late. See how to check past delay lengths.
    - It needs to be an EU flight - so any from an EU airport, or to an EU airport if it's an EU airline.
    - Compensation's not linked to flight cost. It depends on delay and journey length and is roughly £200-£480pp.
    - It must be the airline's fault, which covers all but extraordinary circumstances, eg, bad weather. See what counts.
    - Some airlines offer vouchers as compensation. You're entitled to cash, so if you want it, go back and ask for it.
    - Is it fair to airlines? Arguably not if your flight cost £10 and you get £480. See Martin's legal vs moral concerns.
    - You don't need to pay to claim. We've free template letters in our guide, making it easy to do yourself.
  • Update: Court cases dates. Some airlines have challenged two rules... 1) Technical problems shouldn't be counted as their fault. 2) You can't make claims older than two years. The Court of Appeal has rejected both. Yet they want to appeal again, so some airlines are putting cases on hold. This week the Supreme Court said it'll decide whether to allow an appeal by early November, then if permission is granted, the cases will be heard in the first half of 2015. Full help in our Claim on hold due to court case info.

Free £7.50 cocktail /£4 lager at Pitcher & Piano. Available to all over-18s. See Pitcher & Piano. Be Drinkaware.

FLASH euro & dollar sale. FairFX is boosting euro & dollar rates from 9am to 5pm on Thu. We're not saying it'll be top, so compare rates with our Travel Money Comparison. Not going for a while? The Halifax Clarity* credit card (check if you'll get it) gives near-perfect spending rates worldwide, beating changing money. Pay off IN FULL each month or it's 12.9% rep APR. Full info: Cheap Overseas Cards (APR Examples)

PS. Last week we wrote about our recent energy poll results (see last week's tip). We didn't include Utility Warehouse in the customer service feedback poll as it's a network marketing company - so many of its customers also sell the product which can skew its results. We should've explained that's why it was excluded (like firms with fewer than 100 votes), but didn't. Apologies.

Show Best Buys
Click the titles for full info and all our top picks
Gas & Electricity Bank Accounts Home Insurance Landlines
Get constantly cheap energy.

Our club ensures you're always on the cheapest tariff.

Join free: Cheap Energy Club

Up to £30 cashback for dual fuel, £15 for single switches.

First Direct*
£100 bonus and top cust service

Santander 123*
Up to 3% cashback on bills

(£2 per month fee)
Get quotes in this order...*
Compare The Market*
Direct Line*

Post Office*
with weekend calls
£10/mth (pay a yr upfront)

TalkTalk Value Line Rental*
£14.35/mth (pay a yr upfront)
Do a Money Makeover Budget Planner MSE car sticker £13 Travel Insurance
Show Vouchers and Top Deals

Restaurant vouchers

Discount vouchers

Top deals

The Moneysaving community
Show Money Saving Community
The MoneySaving Community

What extra costs do you have because you or your child is disabled?
Disability charity Scope UK is looking into extra costs faced by disabled people and families with disabled children. It's asking for your experiences on how these costs affect you as part of research for a campaign to Government. Submit your story by Fri 26 Sep and share in the MSE forum.

Should I help my smoker partner save money on cigarettes?

This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks... I'm a non-smoker but my partner smokes about 20 a day, which I don't like. Sometimes he spends more than he needs when buying them in an expensive shop when I know somewhere I can buy them cheaper. Should I buy them to save money? Or refuse on principle? Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I help my smoker partner save money on cigarettes? | Suggest an MMD | View Past MMDs

Cheap ways to see football
The football season is back in full swing but Premier League tickets are pricey. So where else can you catch a game live at the stadium without breaking the bank? We want to tap MoneySavers' collective knowledge on the cheapest ways to keep up with your local team or favourite player. Share yours/read others': Cheap ways to see football Past topics: View all

Airline: Monarch Price: £34.99 or less sale extended Ends: midday, Fri 26 Sep
Our pick this week is Monarch's* offer for selected flights until 26 Mar 2015 with 50,000 seats available. The sale ends midday Fri 26 Sep and includes taxes and most charges, though credit card fees apply. There is no code to enter, the price appears automatically. Extra charges warning: Avoid payment and check-in charges - see the Budget Airline Fee Fighting guide. Related: Cheap Flights, Cheap Hotels, Spending Abroad, Cheap Currency, Travel Insurance

Cheap but healthy packed lunches
The new school term's underway and we asked you for your tips on healthy but appealing packed lunches for kids. You suggested
Mexican wraps for an exciting alternative to sandwiches, pasta for a filling and cheap meal, growing your own fruit and apple crisps as a healthy snack.

Quick forum tips

Freebie of the week

Martin's blogs

Martin's appearances

18 Sep
Good Morning Britain, ITV, 7.40am.
Deals of the Week.
18 Sep
Radio 5 Live, 12pm-1pm.
The Consumer Panel with Martin Lewis.
Subscribe to podcast.
19 Sep
Good Morning Britain (Martin's time tbc, runs 6am - 10am).
Referendum special.
19 Sep
This Morning (time tbc)
Martin's 90 Second Savers.
22 Sep
This Morning live (time tbc)
Subject tbc.

MSE team corner

Discussion of the week

Bad dog - naughty things your pooch has done

Are your shoes being constantly used as chew toys? Can't leave your biscuits unattended? Share the mischief that your furry friend gets up to in the Bad dog - naughty things your dog has done thread. Join the discussion and see how our forum members deal with their disobedient dogs.

Cheap travel money

UK's Best Currency Rates
£100 will buy you:
Best Worst
Euro Flag 123.86 111.47
US Flag $ 160.51 144.45
Turkish Flag TL 343.00 304.72
Rates correct at 4pm Tue
Find all top currency rates
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This week's poll: Would you vote for English/Welsh/NI independence?

The Scottish referendum is here. Those resident in Scotland will decide whether the country should break away from the rest of the UK. So we wanted to run our own vote for the constituent countries of the UK using similar stark language as in the real referendum.

I live in England Yes to English independence No to Eng independence
I live in N. Ireland Yes to NI independence No to NI independence
I live in Wales Yes to Welsh independence No to Welsh independence

Poll results

What gift cards do you value the most?
Unsurprisingly, most people would pay top dollar for Amazon gift cards, while iTunes gift cards are worthless to most. Of the big four supermarkets; Tesco was most valued, with Morrisons the least.

- 33% would pay at least £90 for a £100 Amazon gift card.
- 23% for the same at Tesco.
- 40% thought a £100 iTunes gift card is worthless.
- 35% thought the same of a £100 One4all gift card.

3,354 voted. See the full results.

Question of the week

Q. Is it cheaper to cover your mobile phone on a home insurance contents policy or get standalone cover? Eric, via email.

MSE Leigh's A: Not a simple question. On the price of cover, standalone mobile cover ranges from £60 to £180 a year, while the average price of a home contents policy is around £65 - and for £20 to £25 you can usually cover up to £1,500 of stuff taken outside your home, including mobiles.

Yet if you need to claim on your home insurance, it usually means stumping up a large excess, sometimes upwards of £250. In other words, you'll be doing well to get half your phone's cost back, while a mobile phone insurance excess is likely to be £25 to £60. Plus, your home insurance won't cover for fraudulent calls and is likely to take longer to send a replacement.

Full info, including whether you need mobile insurance at all in our home insurance and mobile phone insurance guides.

Please suggest a question of the week (we can't reply to individual emails).

 Charlotte's free game of the week: Westminster Shredder

Money Spending Expert - the $8m phone

That's it for this week, but before we go, if you think the iPhone 6 is expensive, there is another world of expense out there of ridiculously blinged-up smartphones. Take a look, and then in true MSE style, let us know if you've blinged your own but on a budget.

We hope you save some money

Martin & the MSE team

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