Charity shop bargain-hunting tricks

There's been a surge in donations to charity shops this month, with the 'Marie Kondo' effect at least partly responsible. Charities want you to take advantage – so we've rounded up our top tricks and tips to help you find the best items...

13 ways to use less plastic AND save cash

Plastic waste has been in the headlines recently, with the PM proposing plastic-free aisles in supermarkets, Scotland planning to ban plastic cotton buds and Iceland stores aiming to slash plastic use. And it’s with good reason – shockingly, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation predicts there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050.

12 ways to STOP wasting food and drink

Are you always throwing out food that’s gone off? In November it was claimed that new food labelling guidance could save shoppers £1 billion a year by prolonging the lifespan of food and stopping edible items being thrown out. That’s likely to be introduced later this year – but in the meantime we’ve 12 tips to help you stop throwing...

Free way to recycle the 'unrecyclable', from contact lenses to crisp packets

Most of us have mastered the art of sorting and recycling our household waste. But what about those annoying items that can't be collected and recycled by your local council? From crisp packets to contact lenses, there are (literally) tons of items we still throw in the rubbish bin.

How to BEAT school holiday travel price hikes

There's a collective 'GRRRRR' from parents about holiday price hikes when term ends – the cost of flights, hotels and package holidays always seems to rocket. Yet the law's plain. You can't take kids out of school for unauthorised vacations without being fined (see our Term-time holidays 60-second guide for the full lowdown).

Got a student loan? Bizarrely, working extra shifts or getting a bonus this Christmas could COST you cash

Many people may be hoping to earn a bit more cash over the Xmas period. You might be getting triple pay for working on Christmas Day, getting cash for covering shifts of those who want time off or – if you're lucky – simply receiving a nice bonus from your employer. Bizarrely though, if you're a student loan borrower, a festive spike in your income could actually leave you with less money in your pocket...

16 free (or very cheap) ways to sprinkle some Christmas magic

Many are feeling the pressure to spend in the run-up to Christmas - and this is especially true for those with kids. So we wanted to come up with some ways to sprinkle a little Christmas magic for free (or very cheaply).

Pint rights: How to make sure you get the pint you paid for

Winter's upon us, and for me there are few better ways to shelter from the elements than enjoying a pint, bathed in the glow of a crackling fire in a cosy pub.

The top theatre lotteries – how to grab £10-£25 tickets for Aladdin, Hamilton, Matilda and more West End shows (often the best seats)

What seat would £20 buy you at a big West End show nowadays? You might expect to be right up in the gods, at best. Yet in the summer holidays I took my daughter to see Disney's Aladdin in front row stalls seats, with an amazing view of the action, for £20 each. Normally each seat would have cost a cool £63.

How to give to charity for free with loyalty points, cashback and rewards

If you want to help a worthy cause but are strapped for cash, there are still ways you can donate. A few loyalty schemes allow you to donate your rewards points to selected charities, which is a great way to give without feeling the pinch.