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Jul 30

This week: Over 50 ways to save incl... free Krispy Kreme, free YSL, Tesco Wine code, b’band & line £11/mth, stoozing’s back, travel tips, £80 beauty box £19

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

BT's Plusnet phone line & b'band equiv just £11.30/mth
Stoozing's back - EARN from 0%
The top 10 last second travel tips
Pet, home, car insurance deals comparisons miss incl £70 Amzn vch
£19 beauty box incl £80ish of stuff
Tesco Wine 1,000 pts on £60 code
Ends Thu: Cheapest 0% debt shift
Free Krispy Kreme | Free Diet Coke?
Hotpoint clearance extra 30% code
Free loft/cavity wall insulation + free £50 J Lewis/Argos gift card
YSL and Clinique freebies
Ends Thu: £125 First Direct switch
Tax credit deadline extended
Urgent: 10% off hotels
Two-night Pontins stays from £79
CODES: £5 off £10 Morrisons meat/fish, Wickes £10 off £50
"I just paid £2 for a new Kindle"
Get TRIPLE Boots Advantage points
Ends Thu: Post Office currency sale
Posh watches discount code
Warning: Kiddicare closing
We're hiring: Energy Club help team
Vouchers Index: Restaurants / Shopping
Best buys: 0% cards | Car insurance
Best buys: Gas & Elec | Bank Accs

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

Urgent. Have you binned a letter worth £100s?
10 big questions you need to answer to see if you're owed serious cash

CPP reclaiming is nowt to do with PPI. Yet the similar name means up to five million people may've binned legit letters saying they're due money back from the £1.3 billion mis-selling scandal because they think it's PPI spam. This is a bit like chucking a wad of £50 notes (see how to rescue it in point 1 below).

This got me a-thinking. What other cash are people unaware of that they're owed by big firms, mostly who've ripped them off? So I've come up with 10 questions to ask that could return money to your pocket...

1. Reclaim CPP Urgent - have you binned a letter worth £100s? Recognise the logo on the right? 7m people who've had debit or credit cards since 2005 have been sent what are effectively "fill this in to get your money back" letters from CPP. Yet the last we heard (in June), only 25% had sent them back. Many binned them, thinking they were junk mail. Angela wrote: "Threw it away, then heard your advice and retrieved it, received over £200."

Forms need be returned by 30 August, or as it currently stands, you won't get the money that was put aside to pay you. Watch my CPP 2-min video.

- What was CPP & how was it mis-sold?
Banks put "activation" stickers on cards with a number to call as if it was to set up a card. But it was a ruse for CPP to sell you close-to-worthless card or ID fraud insurance under names such as Card Guard, Card Safe, Egg Emergency Cover & more.

- If you got a letter, just fill it in. No ifs, buts or shilly-shallying. If you got a letter, you had a policy and were probably mis-sold. The bit some find difficult to complete is section B, so use our CPP Form-Filling Templates.

- Lost your letter, binned it or didn't get one and should have? Act quick & there's still time to sort it out. See our 'No CPP Letter?' Help. It's worth it...

"I checked your site on CPP & completed the forms straight away. The refund was sent to me extremely quickly, £715. Thank you." - Susan. See CPP Reclaiming.

2. Have you switched energy provider in the last six years? If you were in credit when you left, many energy firms effectively operate a "don't ask, don't get" policy - and most people don't ask. The regulator estimates the big six alone owe 3.5m people £200m. Even if you left years ago, you can still get it if you ask - see how in Reclaim Energy Bill Credit. It works...

"I switched from EDF last October and they hadn't refunded my credit, which was nearly £200. Plus they agreed to pay me £25 for not refunding in a timely manner." - forumite PST.

3. PPIDo you or have you paid a monthly fee for your bank account? If you got a packaged bank account because the bank upgraded you, upsold you or said there was no choice but to get one, you may have been mis-sold.

A typical example includes being upgraded to 'free travel insurance', yet not being told you're excluded for your age or pre-existing conditions. Or being told, as many are, that it's the only way to get a larger overdraft.

This campaign's been a slow burner. When we first launched it in Jan 2013, successes were few and far between. Now people tweet me almost daily telling me they're getting their fees back. As always, we have full help and a free template letter in Reclaim Unfair Bank Account Fees, and it works...

"I had a fee-paying account for years. Every time I tried to cancel they gave me a reason I couldn't. I used your template, it took about 10 minutes. Then 10 days later I received over £3,000 back." - Natasha

PS. Packaged bank accounts aren't always wrong. Make an active choice to get a fee-charging packaged bank account for the 'free' insurance and it can be great value (see Top Packaged Accounts).
4. Have you been delayed 3+ hours on a flight since 2008? For most flights to or from the UK and EU, if you arrived over 3 hours late and it was the airline's fault, you're entitled to between c.£200 and £500 per person back, regardless of how much you paid for a ticket. You can go back to 2008 too.

To see if you qualify, find your exact delay length, get free template letters and info on how the recent court cases impact flight delays in our Flight Delay Compensation guide. As Pat says:

"I contacted Etihad about our 14.5 hour delay from Heathrow to Sri Lanka back in May 2011, and I'm very happy to tell you we've received a total of £2,010 between us... great."

PS. The other 'questions' are about reclaiming cash wrongly taken. This is about compensation - totally fair for nightmare delays. Yet if your flight cost £20, and you had a fun 3hrs waiting in the bar, ask yourself if it's fair to push for £200+. The knock-on impact could hit future air prices.
5. Racked up big fees for going beyond your overdraft limit? Go beyond your overdraft limit and you can be charged £5 a day or up to £25 per transaction. For some who are struggling, charges on charges can add up to £1,000s over the years, locking them into desperate finances.

Rumours of the death of bank charge reclaiming have been greatly exaggerated. Yet these days the charges needed to have contributed to real financial hardship for reclaiming to be possible. Step-by-step help and, of course, free template letters in Reclaim Bank Charges For Free.

"I was in financial hardship & in a constant cycle of charges. Today I was astonished by the £2,500 sitting in my bank." - forumite ra2010

6. Are you in a higher council tax band than neighbours in similar homes? Back in 1991, in a panic to replace the poll tax, the Govt ordered home valuations to be done on the fly for the new council tax. In Eng & Scot, it's never been redone since, leaving up to 400,000 homes in the wrong band.

If you think yours is too high, carefully follow my Council Tax Rebanding Check & Challenge System. You can get it lowered and a backdated payout from when you moved in. I launched this system back in 2007, and we've drowned with successes ever since, such as Janice's...

"Checked out my council tax banding... Wiltshire Council have just put £2,300 into my bank account. A refund right back to 1993."


Have you had a loan or credit card in the past 20 years? You've almost certainly heard of PPI reclaiming. We've had 5.5m free PPI Reclaiming template letters downloaded and more than £15 BILLION's been paid back. While not a bad product, banks systemically mis-sold PPI, which covers debt repayments - often to those who could never have claimed.

Many are still many owed cash without realising it. Don't think that because you said NO to PPI you definitely don't have it.

- I can't remember who my lender was/no paperwork? Your credit files list your past lenders, and you have a right to get the debt paperwork for any still active in the last 6 years. See the full PPI FAQs for help on this & more.

- How far back can I go? There's no limit, but beyond six years you can't ask the lender to provide the paperwork, so you need to have it yourself.

- What counts as mis-selling? Lots, eg, they lied that it was compulsory; the self-employed were sold unemployment cover. See Mis-Selling Checklist.

"I got back just under £11,000 in PPI, money stolen from me because I have always been self-employed." - Dennis. See Reclaim PPI for FREE.

8. Do you wear a uniform to work (and wash it yourself)? If you wear a branded T-shirt, overalls or a nurses' uniform for work (not fun), you don't wear it elsewhere and you wash it yourself, you may be entitled to a tax rebate, possibly going back up to four years. Full help and how to do it for free in our Uniform Tax Rebates guide...

"Finally got around to doing this. I've been in a uniformed role for 5 years now, got a very tasty £250 back." - forumite Kevbev321.

9. Are you paying the right amount of tax? Each year, you get a tax code that tells employers/pension providers how much tax to take from your income before giving it to you. Yet each year millions of these are wrong, and many are due tax back (some have to pay more).

Our Tax Code Checker guide takes you through how to check your code and has a tool to indicate if yours may be wrong - it can be substantially so.

"I've been on the wrong code ever since I started work for my employer. I got over £3,000 from HMRC." - forumite jamesbrownontheroad.

10. Got unused credit on an old mobile, broadband, phone or TV contract? If you've switched in the past six years (6mths for PAYG) and didn't use up all your leftover credit, you can quickly apply for a refund. The amounts aren't huge, but it works. See our Reclaim Phone & Broadband Credit guide.

"I had PAYG credit with Vodafone & after a few knockbacks from their customer care, I finally got over £50 back." - forumite Stampeded.

If you get money back doing any of these, please do email us successes.

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: Govt Green Deal Home Improvement Fund Shambles - MSE calls for refunds
Asda, Sainsbury's and Tesco to cut petrol prices by up to 2p per litre
Hit by a lengthy power cut? You'll get more compensation from 2015
Did you pay for care in Wales after 2003? You could claim a refund
Contactless payments coming to London's Tube in September
Get friends on board the MoneySaving bandwagon
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 30 Jul 2014
Phone line AND b'band equiv £11.31/mth (line paid upfront, £14.27/mth if not)
Hot deal HALVING some people's costs is back. Check now - many currently pay over £15/mth JUST for line rent

If you're on a standard Sky, BT, Virgin or TalkTalk package, you could pay £300+ a year for broadband and phone line rental before calls. Pounce on short-lived promo deals and you can slash that. Full options in Cheap Broadband, here's the latest deal:

  • cheap broadbandHot deal for BT's Plusnet, incl £50 cashback. MSE Blagged. Plusnet is part of the BT group, and a high 79% in our June poll rated its broadband service 'good' (853 votes). From Wed until 19 Aug new Plusnet customers can get its unlimited broadband & phone* on a year's contract for less than BT standard line rent. Here's how it works...

    - Compulsory line rent:
    The cheapest way is paying £155.88 for a year upfront (equiv £12.99 a month). Select this option during sign-up or pay £15.95 each month.
    - Unlimited broadband:
    Just £2.49/mth, so £29.88 for a year (available to 90% of UK). The cost rises after the contract ends.
    - Included calls: None if you take the upfront line rent option (weekend calls to landlines if you pay monthly). Call costs are roughly on a par with BT, though see our Call Cost-Cutting Tips.
    - £50 cashback. Provided you use our link above (don't go direct), you'll be sent a £50 cheque 60 days after your broadband is live. If you don't have a router, you can get one free, but you'll need to pay £5.99 p&p.
  • Cost analysis: Pay line rent upfront, then the year's cost for that and the broadband (excl calls) is £185.76, equiv to £15.48/mth (pay line rent monthly, it's £221.28 - £18.44/mth). Then there's the £50 cashback - factor that in and the net cost to you is effectively £135.76 for the year, equiv to just £11.31/mth (£171.28 a year or equiv £14.27/mth).
  • Need a new line? If you don't have a line (or only a cable one and, in a few cases, Sky custs), installation's £49.99.

Forum Hottie. £19 beauty box with £80ish of Elemis, Nails Inc, Eyeko stuff, etc. Ltd stock. All Boxed Up

Tesco Wine 1,000 pts (worth up to £40) on £60 spend code. MSE Blagged. Incl 50% off cases. The pts are worth £10 in-store or up to £40 in rewards. Enter code XXKART at Tesco Wine*. 5,000 codes available. Full info: Wine Deal. Pls be Drinkaware

Ends Thu midnight. Cheapest 0% balance transfer. Apply by Thu 11.59pm & accepted new Post Office* cardholders (check chances of getting it) can shift existing card debts to it at 18mths 0% for just 0.7% (after Thu the fee's 2.98%), which we rate the best length vs fee combination. Do clear the debt or shift again before the 0% ends or it jumps to 17.8% rep APR. Full help & LONGER 0% balance transfer deals in Best Balance Transfers (APR Examples).

Totally free £1.35 Krispy Kreme doughnut vch | Free 500ml Diet Coke? See Krispy Kreme & Diet Coke

MoneySaving poetry - earn 3% with Santander on money it lends you at 0%
STOOZING IS BACK. If you earn more saving than it costs to borrow, you can MAKE MONEY - plus get cashback too

Stoozing's the art of making money out of 0% deals. Martin first wrote on it in early 2000 and true poetry - when one bank was hot for borrowing & saving, so you could profit from its own cash - was rare and beautiful. Now stoozing is back and with Santander 123, so's the poetry. Warning: Stoozing is ONLY for those who are debt-free & financially savvy. If you're not, avoid it as mistakes can be costly. See the full Stoozing guide, in brief...

  • StoozingStep 1: Get a long 0% new borrowing card, preferably rewarding spending.
    To do this, you need to borrow at no cost. So apply for a top 0% borrowing card:

    - Tesco 19mths 0%* plus it gives Clubcard points on spending (18.9% rep APR after).
    - Amex Everyday 18mths 0%* plus up to 1.25% cashback (19.9% rep APR after).
    - Santander 123 18mths 0%* but ONLY if you have a Santander 123 bank account too, as then it refunds the card's £24 annual fee for the first year. The card pays 1% cashback in supermarkets, 2% dept stores, 3% on petrol/trains (max £9/mth) (16.5% rep APR after).
    - All these credit check. Use the 0% Cards Eligibility Tool to find which you're likely to get (we can't check Tesco).

    Once you've got a card, do all your normal daily spending on it up to the credit limit (not an excuse to overspend), repaying just the monthly minimum. This should leave unspent wages in your bank account.
  • Step 2: Save the cash in the top-paying EASY ACCESS savings. Just ensure it's easy access, so you can pay the card off whenever needed. The top savings rates right now come from current accounts (to tempt you to switch), eg, TSB's Classic Plus pays 5% AER on up to £2,000, and of course, Santander 123 pays 3% AER on balances from £3,000 - £20,000. Or more straightforwardly, BM Savings' cash NISA is 1.55% AER tax-free.
  • Step 3: Rake in the cash. Once the 0% ends, you can use the savings to clear the debt and you're quids in. Or you could go for a 0% balance transfer card with a low fee and keep the stooze going. As an example - if you got a £5,000 credit limit on Santander, filled it within 6 mths, including rewards (esp driving for the petrol gain), you could be £300 up - and seriously smug - by the time the 0% ends. Again, do read the full Stoozing guide.

Hotpoint/Indesit large appliance clearance code for EXTRA 30% off. MSE Blagged. 30% extra off its white goods online clearance store, incl cookers, fridges, washing machines (all come with parts & labour 1-year warranty). Incl oven for £175 (was £250, next cheapest £235), dishwasher for £226 (was £322, next cheapest £298). See Hotpoint.

FREE loft/cavity wall insulation + £50 gift card (eg, Argos, J Lewis). It's back. Until 30 Aug, via British Gas (you don't have to be its customer). Avail to ANYONE with a suitable, uninsulated home (excl NI). Free Insulation

Totally free £4 YSL foundation and £2ish Clinique serum samples. Find out how in Beauty Freebies.

Ends Thu 5pm. FREE £125 for switching to no.1 bank. First Direct's* won every customer service poll we've ever done (92% rate it great). Accepted customers switching via this link by 5pm Thu get a boosted free £125. It also has a £250 0% overdraft and linked 6% regular savings. You need to pay in £1,000/mth. Full help: Top Bank Accounts

Tax credits deadline's been EXTENDED. The deadline was 31 July, but due to industrial action it's now next Wed 6 Aug. If you've been sent a white envelope, you must sign it (or do it online) by then even if nothing's changed. If you've a brown envelope, check it and let them know only of changes. See Tax Credits Help.

Jetting off? The top 10 travel tips
Free worldwide sat-nav, EHICs, ESTAs, data, airport parking, car hire, travel money, mobile roaming and more

Make sure you pack your toothbrush, swimming gear, shorts and, of course, our 50 Travel Tricks. Here's a starter for ten...

Top ten travel tips1. Off to Europe? Ensure each family member has an in-date EHIC (over 4m expire this year) in case of health issues. And avoid shysters who want you to pay. See full FREE EHIC help.
2. Download FREE sat-nav smartphone app for 50 countries before you go to avoid data cost.
3. Heading Stateside? You need an ESTA, but only pay $14 for it - full help in our ESTA guide.
4. Don't wait till the airport, use our travel cash comparison to get best rates for every country.
5. EU mobile & data roaming costs are now capped - still be careful, but it's not too costly. Yet outside the EU, eg Turkey, it can be £1.50/min or £8/MB. Cut costs with our Cheap Mobile Roaming guide.
6. Get travel insurance as soon as you book (or ASAP if you've done it). For one-off cover, use MoneySup* comparison (from £6/wk for Europe). For a year's cover, check Protect Your Bubble* & HolidaySafe*. Full info: Cheap Travel Insurance
7. Parking at the airport? Check out codes and comparisons before booking. See full Cheap Airport Parking deals.
8. The cheapest way to spend abroad in every country is with specialist plastic, eg, Halifax Clarity (click for info).
9. Book cheap car hire using comparison sites. Watch out for fuel policies & excess insurance though.
10. Ensure you've got key info in case of a problem when you travel. Print our free wallet-sized lifesaver travel guide.

PS. Out-of-date passport or application stuck in the backlog? See our full passport delay help FAQs for what to do.

Urgent: 2,000 10% off hotels codes (incl secret hotels). Until 11.59pm today (Wed), use code SUMMER2014 to get 10% off 150,000 hotels listed on (a good discount as hotel prices are quite flat and this is a blanket code). For FULL INFO, incl how to compare & uncover secret hotels, see Lastminute Deals.

Hidden Pontins discount link (gets £79-£109 2nt stays). MSE Blagged. August only, self-catered for 4. Pontins

CODES & VOUCHERS: Morrisons £5 off £10 meat/fish, Wickes £10 off £50 etc, Body Shop 35%, etc
Morrisons £5 off £10 meat/fish vch in paper | F&F Clothing £10 off £40 newbies' code | Wickes £10 off £50 code
Body Shop 35% off code | M&S £5 off £30 on lingerie code | Homebase 15% off code and in-store | All Discount Vouchers

Success of the week: (Send us yours)
"Thanks to your email I just paid £2 for a new Kindle for Mrs D's holiday reading."
- see Tesco Points Boost for how Steve did it.

Show Best Buys
Click the titles for full info and all our top picks
Balance Transfers Car Insurance Cheap Loans Top Cash ISAs
Longest 0%: Barclaycard*
33mths 0%, 2.79% fee

(18.9% rep APR)

Low fee 0%: Post Office*
18mths 0%, 0.7% fee

(17.8% 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)
4% 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

Boots Triple Advantage points on one shop. So 12 points per £1 for newbies to its app. Ends 12 Aug. Boots

Ends Thu 8am. FLASH Post Office online currency sale. It's boosting online ordered delivery/collection rates on euros, dollars, Turkish lira & Croatian kuna. See how its rates stack up with our Travel Money Comparison. Not going yet? The Halifax Clarity* credit card (check if you'll get it) gives near-perfect spending rates worldwide, beating changing money. But pay off IN FULL each month or it's 12.9% rep APR. Full info: Cheap Overseas Cards (APR Examples)

10% off Watches2U code - works on already lower-price Michael Kors & Marc Jacobs watches. MSE Blagged. On everything at the online retailer, which often wins our price comparisons even before the discount. Watches2U

Pet, home & car insurance deals comparison sites miss
DEALS INCLUDE... £40 Amazon vch with pet, £50 Amazon vch with car, £80 Karcher washer with home cover

The starting point for buying cover is always to combine comparison sites, searching a huge range of providers in a short space of time. Yet they often miss hot short-lived codes and deals, so we aim to include those too. Here are quick tips...

  • Insurance dealsPet insurance - incl £40 Amazon vouchers (you'd be barking not to check)
    1. Compare cat & dog cover. Combine Gocomp* & Compare TM* to benchmark rates.
    2. Check missed deals. Get a new Legal & General* dog/cat policy via this link and use the code PETMSE, and you'll be sent a £40 Amazon voucher within 75 days.
    3. Horses, snakes, rabbits, etc... No comparison sites here, so manually check Exotic Direct*, Petplan*, and Petplan Equine*.
    These are just the tip of the iceberg. FULL HELP, incl how to choose a policy, in our Cheap Pet Insurance guide.
  • Home insurance - incl £80 Karcher pressure washer (don't be content with your current deal)
    1. Combine comparison sites. Our current order is Confused*, Compare TM* then Gocompare*.
    2. Check missed deals. A) Via this Legal & General* link, use code KARCHER2 to get an Essentials/Extra buildings & contents policy, and after 75 days you get a K2 pressure washer (RRP £80), or use this link* and code MSEDEAL for a £70 Amzn vch instead. B) The first 500 people getting a new Churchill* buildings & content policy via this link get a Dolce Gusto coffee machine (RRP £90) sent within 90 days. C) Check for quotes from big insurers Direct Line* and Aviva*, which are never included by comparison sites.
    Again, we're just skimming the surface here. FULL HELP, incl how to choose a policy, in Cheap Home Insurance.
  • Car insurance - incl £50 Amazon voucher (drive down the cost at every opportunity)
    1. Combine comparison sites. Our current order for max quotes in min time is MoneySup*, Gocomp* and Confused*.
    2. Check missed deals. Buy a new Aviva* car insurance policy via this link using the code AVIVAMSE50, and within 60 days you'll get £50 in Amazon vouchers. Via this link Hastings* gives £25 of Amazon vouchers, worth a check in case the price is cheaper. Also, for belt & braces, check the other big insurers never included by comparison sites: Direct Line* & Zurich.
    3. Three tips to cut costs. A) Try adding a 2nd driver. B) Don't assume 3rd party's cheapest. C) Check multi-car.
    Again, we're only at the starting pistol. FULL HELP, incl how to choose a policy, in Cheap Car Insurance.

Kiddicare stores closing - use gift cards ASAP, bargains reported. Gift cards are not valid online so go quick. We hear of sale deals incl £55-£60 Jumparoo, 37p car seat tidy, etc. See Kiddicare news.

MSE Cheap Energy Club help team job. Based at MSE Towers, central London. See MSE Jobs.

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*
£125 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*
£11.75/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

We've updated our terms & conditions. We've had a rewrite of our T&Cs and privacy policy to reflect the fact we're now doing more personalised tools (incl Cheap Energy Club & eligibility checkers). MSE Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy

Should I try to get my guitar money back?

This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks... About five years ago I lent a £600 guitar to a friend - it was never returned. He vanished off the face of the earth immediately after and I've heard rumours he sold the guitar as soon as he got it. He is now back in the country and I have discovered his family's address, but not his. I've tried pursuing him through the small claims court, but it's worthless without his address. Should I go to his family to try to get my money back? Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I try to get my guitar money back? | Suggest an MMD | View Past MMDs

MoneySaving microwaved meals
If you've been temporarily without an oven or a hob, what surprising, cheap things have you managed to cook with just a microwave? We're looking to tap into MoneySavers' culinary expertise. Share yours/read others': MoneySaving microwaved meals Past topics: View all

Airline: Aer Lingus Price: Ireland from £19.99 one-way Ends: Ongoing
Our pick this week is Aer Lingus's offer for flights until 31 Oct 2014 to five Irish destinations from 15 UK airports. It's an ongoing promotion and includes taxes and charges. There's 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

Help for those thinking about self-employment

Thinking of packing in the day job and going it alone? Tips include starting now while you're still working,
get set for dealing with tax, keep all your receipts, think about working tax credits and get networking.

Quick forum tips

Freebie of the week

Martin's blogs

Martin's appearances

31 July
Good Morning Britain, ITV, 7.30am-7.45am
Deals of the Week

4 Aug
This Morning, ITV, 11am-12pm
Subject TBC

MSE team corner

Discussion of the week

In dire need of help...

One forumite feels she's overspending on her weekly food shop. Where can she cut back? Add your grocery budgeting tips to the In dire need of help... thread.

Cheap travel money

UK's Best Currency Rates
£100 will buy you:
Best Worst
Euro Flag 125.01 112.50
US Flag $ 168.40 151.55
Turkish Flag TL 344.26 309.83
Rates correct at 4pm Tue
Find all top currency rates
Compare travel cash

This week's poll: Are you allowed to buy cheap school uniforms?

Which of these is closest to your situation?

Poll results

Train operators: Who are the best and worst?
East Coast steamed to the top of the poll, with 66% of voters rating it great, ahead of Chiltern (64%), Virgin (61%) and c2c (60%).

But Abellio Greater Anglia was stuck in the sidings, with 73% calling it poor. Northern Rail (47% poor), First Capital Connect (46%) and Southeastern (44%) also got a rough ride.

3,663 voted. See the full results.

Question of the week

Q: Sky sent me a letter stating it was increasing the cost of my package by £1.50 per month. I'm on the family bundle. How is this fair? Clare, via email.

MSE David's A: Sadly, fairness doesn’t come into it and there is nothing in the rules to stop Sky raising TV prices.

Rules from regulator Ofcom say firms must alert customers when they sign up that prices could rise on broadband, phone and mobile contracts or they can leave penalty-free, but these don’t apply to TV. Sky’s own contracts allow it to raise prices by up to 10%, and this hasn’t breached that threshold.

That said, if you’re unhappy and out of contract, you can use charm to get yourself a better deal - in our poll last year, 82% reported successfully haggling with Sky. Find out how to do it or how to find a cheaper deal in Digital TV Deals.

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

 Charlotte's free game of the week: Mini Putt

Awesome wild foxes caught on camera

That's it for this week, but before you go, we've something cute to leave you with - a selection of stunning wild fox photos taken by Dutch photographer Roeselien Raimond. Look out for the ones in the snow...

We hope you save some money,

Martin & the MSE team

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