By MoneySavingExpert's Coupon Kid, Jordon Cox
What a funny year it’s been! Luckily, all the fuss around Brexit and Donald Trump hasn’t been able to stop 2016 being a bonzer year for jaw-dropping deals.
Obviously, the best deals tend to be short-lived, so most of these have sadly long since expired – I’ve marked the expired deals in red below – but hopefully this will give you some tips on what to look for in 2017. Some of them are more-or-less as valid today as when I first wrote about them (I’ve marked these in green).
As there were so many to choose from, I’ve only picked one favourite for each month of the year. So without further ado, here are my top picks of 2016…
A train from Sheffield to Essex cost £50 – so I flew home via BERLIN to save £8 – This is my favourite blog of the year (for obvious reasons). Whenever I now have to take a train somewhere in Britain, I’m always looking for a detour that’s cheaper. The video I made along with it has had more views on YouTube than there are people in the whole of Iceland – crazy! While you may not find these exact tickets at the same price today, the principle definitely still stands that it’s often cheaper to fly than travel by train.
How to get £50 of Ocado shopping for just £4 (EXPIRED) – This was a brilliant deal stacking trick, and I know quite a lot of you used it. You could buy a £50 voucher for just £35, then get £31 cashback if you bought certain items to ultimately make it just £4. It’s exactly the kind of couponing trick I’m always on the hunt for, so hopefully I’ll be able to share something similar in 2017. Fingers crossed!
Buy a £3.50 pie then get UNLIMITED free pies (EXPIRED) – Remember that time I told you how you could walk out of Tesco without paying for pies (and not get done for shoplifting)? Basically, inside a certain pie’s packaging was a coupon to get your next one free – so just buying one and using the voucher meant unlimited free pies until they were all gone. Who ate all the pies? It was probably me…
How to get £60 of Sainsbury’s shopping free (EXPIRED) – Extreme code stacking at its finest. By combining EIGHT codes with a new member discount and cashback, some bagged an entire Sainsbury’s shop for nothing (I even made a small profit).
Free cinema tickets for spending £2 on cleaning products (EXPIRED) – For many, this was a no-brainer. By spending a couple of quid on cleaning sprays (which you probably do most weeks anyway), you could earn a free £9+ cinema ticket for your trouble. No doubt about it, I’ll definitely be looking out for something like this in 2017.
How to mute self-service checkouts – Not strictly a deal, but a very useful tip. Every single time I use the self-service tills now it seems like more and more machines have been muted the person before me. Peace and quiet in supermarket across the land (and I can’t help but feel I should take some of the credit)!
Tesco 85p pizza & pud and £4 Casillero Del Diablo (EXPIRED) – Two massive glitches at Tesco within just a couple of weeks. MoneySavers were quick off the marks to stock up on super-cheap pizza, puddings and wine thanks to a loophole in Tesco’s price promise. I’ll never forget frantically running down to the local Tesco to test both of these, and walking back half a mile with HEAVY bags full of food and wine both times! My deal hunting certainly gave me a workout in August.
Free Monopoly game, just show £50 Monopoly money (EXPIRED) – This was a really fun giveaway, and I hope it happens again in 2017. By handing over a pretend £50 note from an old monopoly game, you got a brand new one (RRP £20ish). This was immensely popular, and of course I’ve got my free game sitting proudly at home.
How to wangle 75% off at The Body Shop (EXPIRED) – Most of my Christmas shopping came from this deal. By combining a 40% off code, a 50% off sale and free delivery, there were genuine Body Shop bargains to be had. I got £55-worth of products for just £14, and I heard from lots of MoneySavers who achieved similar results. Since The Body Shop’s always launching new offers and codes, it’s only a matter of time before another stacking trick like this one appears.
Coca-Cola Christmas truck tour – It’s not the biggest freebie, but I love seeing the Coca-Cola truck and getting my free drink every year. Obviously, there’s a while to wait before next Christmas – but it’s almost certain to happen again as in previous years.
18 days off for the price of nine – Next year, assuming you work a 9-5 Mon-Fri job, you can string your annual leave together with bank holidays to get 18 days off in a row. Here at MSE Towers, the entire Deals team wasted no time submitting holiday requests – we just need our editor’s approval. (Editor’s note: absolutely no chance).
Those are my favourite deals of the year, but there were so many others I could’ve picked. Let’s hope the new year delivers even more money-saving magic. Stay tuned!
What’s been your favourite deal of 2016? Will you be deals hunting in 2017? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @MSE_Deals.