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Weekly Email
This email was sent
02nd Sep 2015
Warning! This info may be out of date. Read this week's email

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 12m who get it each week."

02 September 2015

This week

The BIG energy switch - save £280/yr
WARNING: Govt plans to slash solar panel earnings from £515/yr to £135
New 26mths 0% borrowing card
Beat Nov's car ins tax hike NOW
Legally grab someone's airport suitcase - be a 'storage hunter'
Check for a 'free' Amazon £10
QUICK 1p Thorntons chocolates
Free £150 to switch to No.1 bank
72 plug plants £7 all-in
Hot iPad & Mac deals trick
Home from hols checklist incl flight delays, 'free' photo prints, buyback
Shift debts to 40mth 0%
M&S FLASH 20% online sale
£85 beauty box £30
Morphy Richards 20%extra off code
Free insulation & free £25 J Lewis
Beat the TalkTalk price rise
3 audiobooks £3 incl 50 Shades
'€800 back for 3-yr-old flight delay'
Cheap solicitor drafted Scot wills
Test our free TravelMoneyMax app
Vouchers Index: Restaurants / Shopping
Best Buys: 0% cards | Car insurance
Best Buys: Gas & Elec | Bank Accs
Poor internet/mobile connection?

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

The 17 DAY Big Energy Switch Event III
- We've negotiated cheaper than the cheapest gas & electricity tariffs
- Millions can save £280/year + £30 cashback + 1,500 Clubcard points
- Choose from short fix, long fix or 100% renewable winners

Sadly, the summer holidays are ending and the temperature's dropping but thankfully so are oil & gas prices- you can now get the cheapest energy deal since 2012, so it's ready & in place before winter's high use period.

This is our 3rd MSE energy collective switch - that's the official system where a trusted intermediary (eg, a council or us) runs an auction for energy firms to bid to provide special tariffs. Our huge 10m email recipients & 1.7m Cheap Energy Club members mean our winners smash the open market's best buys.

How to grab one of these tariffs: Collective switch rules mean you need to go via our Cheap Energy Club and fill in your details (not for NI, sadly). It's better if you've got bills to hand - if not, it can estimate - then it'll...

- Show your exact price, saving & compare it to ALL market tariffs. While our collective tariffs usually win, there can be regional & usage variations.

- Give £30 dual fuel cashback (£15 elec-only). Any time we can switch you (collective switch or not) we give this - sent roughly 60-90 days later.

- Monitor that it stays cheap. You set a 'trigger saving', eg, £75/yr, then we alert you if you can save this by switching again - perfect for fixed deals where cheap rates only last a short time. This takes the hassle out of energy tarting, where you constantly switch to get the cheapest rate.
MSE Big Switch III winner 1: The cheapest tariff (dual fuel & elec-only). This MSE E.on 12 month tariff will save someone with typical bills on a big 6 standard tariff £280/year and as it's a fix, the rate is locked in for a year. It's available for those wanting dual fuel, elec-only or Eco 7.

- Plus get £30 cashback from the Cheap Energy Club.
- Plus get up to 1,500 Tesco Clubcard or £15 high st voucher (eg, Argos) as you get 1,500 E.on reward pts over the year convertable into either. Though you must tick 'sign up to E.on points' during sign-up.

How it compares
Avg price on Ofgem typical dual fuel direct debit usage (varies by region)

Typical cost: Big six standard tariff AFTER announced price cuts: £1,095/yr
Winner: MSE E.on fix: £814/yr +£15 vch - £30/fuel exit fee
Next cheapest fix: Extra fix till Nov 2016: £850/yr - £25/fuel exit fee
Cheapest variable deal: GB Energy: £831/yr - No exit fees

Get YOUR EXACT PRICE & saving via a full market comparison

- Good for you if: 1) You want the cheapest. 2) You're OK switching in a year.

- Not for you if: 1) You want to be able to switch penalty free - though it's so much cheaper you could take this & pay the fee if you need to move. 2) You're moving home imminently (as you'd need pay exit fees).

- How's the customer service? Decent, 54% great and just 10% poor in our last poll. Plus, it was our Big Switch I winner and it handled the huge demand well (whereas Sainsbury's Energy in Big Switch II struggled).

PS: If you're on last year's 12 month E.on collective switch, you can switch now to this, no penalties, no problem.
MSE Big Switch Event III winner 2: The cheapest THREE-WINTER fix. For long term surety, the winner's MSE Green Star 36mth fix. It's available for dual fuel, elec-only or Eco 7. Many can slash their costs by nearly £200/yr and ensure no price hikes for 3 years. Plus you get our £30 cashback.

How it compares
Avg price on Ofgem typical dual fuel direct debit usage (varies by region)

Typical cost: On a big six energy firm standard tariff: £1,095/yr
Winner: Green Star 36mth fix: £920/yr - £30/fuel exit fee
Next cheapest: First Utility fix till 30 Sep 18: £996/yr - £30/fuel exit fee

Get YOUR EXACT PRICE & saving via a full market comparison

- Good for you if: 1) You don't usually switch and often forget - as do this now & you needn't act again until 2018. 2) You're worried about future price hikes and prefer to bag the certainty of a long-term cheap price.

- Not for you if: 1) You just want the cheapest price. 2) You want to be able to switch penalty-free. 3) You may soon move home (as you can't take it with you). 4) You want 100% renewable energy. This specific tariff, while reasonably green, isn't.

- How's the customer service? Green Star has only been around since 2013, so while it scored 77% great and just 2% poor in our last poll, that was on just 67 votes. It has won our collectives before & we've had few problems.
MSE Big Switch Event III: The cheapest GREEN tariff. The winning bid from a tariff that's generated 100% of its elec from renewable sources is this MSE Green Star 12mth fix - which fully complies with Ofgem's green tariff requirements without a huge premium to the non-green winner. It's for dual fuel, elec-only or Eco 7. Plus you get our £30 cashback.

How it compares
Avg price on Ofgem typical dual fuel direct debit usage (varies by region)

Typical cost: On a big six energy firm standard tariff: £1,095/yr
Winner: Green Star 12mth fix: £895/yr - £30/fuel exit penalty
Next cheapest 100% renewable: Ovo 12mth fix: £938/yr - no exit fees

Get YOUR EXACT PRICE & saving via a full market comparison

- Good for you if: 1) You believe in green. 2) You want a competitive price, but will pay a little more for eco. 3) You're happy to switch again in a year.

- Not for you if: 1) You just want the cheapest. 2) You want to be able to switch penalty-free. 3) You'll move home soon (you can't take it with you).

- How's customer service? Green Star has only been around since 2013, so while it scored 77% great and 2% poor in our last poll, that was on just 67 votes. It has won our collectives before & we've had few reported problems.
MSE Big Switch Event III: The cheapest prepaid tariff. We tried for a key or card tariff, but no supplier's bid beat the market's best buys. Instead, just use our Prepayment Comparison to find your cheapest. However, even on them you'll still be paying £300/yr more than the cheapest direct debit deal. To see if you can switch to a standard meter, read Prepaid Gas & Electricity.

The MSE Big Switch Event III FAQ

Q. What do I need to switch? A bill, preferably your annual bill, would be good - and use kWh rather than cost if you can. Yet if you don't have that, estimate your usage (if you're moving home the comparison does it for you) and while the answer won't be perfect, it shouldn't be too far out.

Q. Does MSE make money from this? Yes. Suppliers pay about £60 per dual fuel switch (£30/single fuel) to comparisons & collective schemes. We give £30 back to you as cashback (£15/single fuel), to encourage switching.

Much of the rest pays our suppliers: (part of the same parent group as MSE), which provides the underlying data & switch process; and Allfiled, the technology database platform. We expect to be left with about £11 per dual fuel switch - less than you get in cashback.

That'll pay the team who work on this, and hopefully leave some profit too. As always, we only ever write based on editorial independence in the consumer interest, as enforced by our legally binding editorial code.

Q. I'm already locked into a fix - should I switch? Our comparison allows you to see how much you'd save compared to your current fix & the price it'll go to afterwards. If you can save, check if that beats any exit penalties. PS: Firms CAN'T charge exit fees if you're within 49 days of the tariff ending.

Q. If prices are dropping, should I wait? British Gas may've just cut its standard tariff by 5%, but it's still on avg £280/yr more than our E.on fix. Other cheap fixes could of course launch, but factoring in the Tesco points this is on avg £40 cheaper than the next best (£70 with cashback), so that's a big gap.

Over the next year energy prices should come down further - though they'd need to be huge to substantially beat this, and switching now means saving immediately. If the world market did drop in an unprecedented way, the worse case scenario is you could pay the £30/fuel exit fee and switch, and it's likely in the meantime you'd have saved more than that anyway. See price predictions.

Q. I'm already with one of these providers (eg, E.on). Can I still switch? Yes (including our Big Switch I E.on winner), plus E.on & Green Star say they won't charge exit fees on their existing tariffs if you change to their winner.

Q. You're normally against exit penalties - why do these have them? Sadly all our cheap bidders had them. Yet our winners are so much cheaper, even if you decide to leave and pay the fee, it's often covered by savings.

Q. Can I switch if I've got a solar panels FIT tariff? Yes. Your FIT payer and your energy supplier are separate. When you switch energy firm, the firm that pays you for generating electricity doesn't automatically switch too, though you could switch it for ease if it supports it (Green Star doesn't).

Q. Can I switch if I've a smart meter? Yes, though you may lose some smart meter functionality by switching.

Q. Who's responsible for these tariffs, MSE or the energy firm? The energy firm is responsible for supplying you, and you pay it. Yet we take our bit seriously and ask all providers to set up special customer help teams with max 48 hour response times. If something goes wrong, and it won't help, let us know and we'll try to help.

Q. If I'm on the Warm Home Discount, can I switch? Yes to Eon, no to Green Star which doesn't support it. Yet how this works depends on which type of discount you have, see Warm Home help.

Q. Is there a credit check? E.on does a full credit check (Green Star doesn't). In a few (1 in 50) cases it may ask for a £200/fuel security deposit. If so you can choose to stop the switch.

Q. Can I get paper bills? Yes, but the prices listed are for paperless. E.on charges an extra £5/fuel/yr and Green Star £7.50/fuel/yr for them.

Q. I'm supplied by an Independent Gas Transporter (IGT) - can I switch? Yes, both E.on & Green Star support IGTs at no extra cost.

Q. Where can I see the standing charge & kWh collective switch costs? They vary by region, so we display your exact cost in the Cheap Energy Club comparison result - just click the 'Feedback & Full Info' link.

Q. My direct debit is in credit - will I get it back if I switch? Yes and it could be by £100s. Ensure you ask the firm you're leaving for it (if not, some mightn't cough up). See Reclaim Energy Credit.

Q. I'm in debt with my supplier. Can I switch? Yes, usually, but it varies with supplier - some make you pay it off or get it under a certain balance. For prepaid tariffs you can always switch unless your debt's £500+.

Q. Is paying by monthly direct debit cheapest? Yes, typically £70-£90/yr less than other methods - just do regular meter readings so it's accurate.

Q. I got a cheap fix then it put my cost up? It's the rate that's fixed, ie, the price per unit, but what you pay depends on usage. If a firm's underestimated your usage (or you start using more) your direct debit can be increased even on a fix. If you think it's too high, you can ask for it to be lowered.

Know someone who's overpaying? Spread the word to help cut energy bills.

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: Delayed payments processed following HSBC glitch
Virgin Trains passengers face fares increase as it axes railcard perk
First Direct tops our banking poll while Barclays takes wooden spoon
Contactless cards payment limit rises to £30
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Use the Money Mantras If you're skint If you're not skint
The Ones Not To Miss Wed 2 Sep 2015
Warning: Govt plans to slash solar panel earnings from £515/yr to £135/yr
ACT NOW to grab the high rate before it's cut, as then it's locked in at that for 20 years. For many it's a big earner

The sun may be about to set on solar panels. A Govt consultation's proposing the biggest changes to the scheme since it launched, decimating the amount those with panels are paid for generating electricity. For many this will mean it simply won't add up. Yet there's time to beat it. Full info in our Solar Panels guide, here's the crucial Q&A...

  • Solar panelsWhat's being proposed? Install solar panels and you gain three ways. The figures below are based on £6,500 panels using averaged data from the Energy Saving Trust.

    1. A Lower elec bill
    . As you can use the elec as it's generated. Saving c.£120/yr.
    2. The 'Feed In Tariff'. You're paid this for generating elec even if you use it yourself. The rate drops slightly from 1 Oct to 12.47p/kWh, but it's proposed from Jan 2016 it'll drop to 1.63p/kWh. So what now pays £435/yr would be just £55/yr if that happens.
    3. The 'Export tariff'. You're paid this on 50% of what you generate (that's how much you're assumed not to use yourself). It's currently 4.85p/kWh and isn't planned to change. That's roughly £80/yr per house.

    So install £6,500 panels by Oct and you save £120/yr and make £515/yr so the panels pay for themselves in about 10 yrs. If Jan changes happen, you'd save £120/yr and make £135/yr so it'd take 25 years - and it's only set in stone for 20 years. See full solar finance change proposals details.
  • Is there still time to beat this? Yes. The feed-in rate's fixed for 20 yrs (and rises with inflation) when you register for it after your panels are installed. Some firms can install & fit within 4-5 weeks, but it can be longer. So act quick, and you can get the higher rate regardless of any announcement. See can I get solar & does it add up?
  • How likely is this cut to happen? Replies to the Govt's consultation need to be in by 23 Oct. The solar industry is likely to strongly object, others argue subsidising solar adds to everyone's energy bills. So if you're considering panels, play safe and act ASAP. See solar panel change details.
  • Will this affect me if I've already got panels? See the MSE news story for info on existing solar users.

Legally grab someone else's suitcase and £100s of contents. Buy unclaimed cases in luggage auctions and you may strike gold like forumite 306NOTOUT: "Paid £25, incl glasses I eBayed for £100". Related: How to buy stolen goods

Check your Amazon account for a 'free' £10. Selected customers get £10 code. How to check for your Amzn £10

QUICK. 1p Thorntons chocolates. Premium chocs worth £5 scanning for 1p in some stores. Can you find 'em?

New. Free £150 to switch to no.1 cust service bank. The price war intensifies. Switch to First Direct* via this link and you get £150 (was £100). It's won every cust service poll we've run, 92% rate it great, plus it has a £250 0% overdraft & linked 6% regular saver provided you pay-in £1,000/mth. See 10 bank switching need-to-knows to make £100s for full info incl eligibility criteria.

72 'lucky dip' plug plants £7 all-in (norm £20). MSE Blagged. Incl pansies & violas. 5,000 avail, ends Fri

Longest EVER 0% spending card - 26mths interest-free borrowing
Now, if you play your cards right, you can borrow for well over two years at no cost whatsoever

Credit cards are both the best and worst way to borrow. They're great if you've a planned purchase (eg, new sofa) that's budgeted for, with comfortable repayments and if you do it at 0%. They're a nightmare if you're just borrowing willy-nilly to fill gaps in your income - that leads to a credit dependency and can kill your finances. So be careful.

  • New. Longest EVER 0% borrowing. Accepted new Clydesdale* card holders don't pay interest on any spending on it for the first 26mths. Yet if you can repay quicker, Tesco's* 21mth 0% card & M&S's* 19mth 0% card give reward points on spending too. Don't just apply in hope, that hits your credit file - instead, find the odds of getting most top cards via our Eligibility Calc (you can't check Clydesdale yet, we're working on it).
Find the card you're most likely to get with our 0% spending eligibility CALC (protects your credit score)
Card Purchase deal Rep APR after (a)
Clydesdale* - longest 0% card EVER 26mths 0% 18.9%
Post Office* - next longest (and longest in eligibility calc) 25mths 0% 18.9%
Virgin Money* - also gives 24mths 0% on shifted debt 24mths 0% 18.9%
Tesco* - earn Tesco points when you spend 21mths 0% 18.9%
M&S* - earn M&S points when you spend 19mths 0% 18.9%
Barclaycard Initial for poor credit scorers (click for help) 3mths 0% 34.9%
(a) The fact it's 'Rep' APR sadly means only 51% of accepted applicants need get that rate. More info: 0% Cards & APR Examples
  • Always follow the five 0% Spending Card Golden Rules:
    1) Don't use these for shifting existing debt.
    Unless stated that's not cheap, so use a balance transfer card instead.
    2) Clear the card before the 0% ends (or at least balance transfer it). If not, the rate jumps to the standard APR.
    3) Always pay at least the monthly minimum - on time. If not, you may lose the 0% deal and the rate'll jump.
    4) Never withdraw cash. It's not at the 0% rate. It's often far more, and just doing it can hurt your credit file.
    5 ) Unsure which to pick? Full help & more options in the 0% Spending Cards guide (APR Examples).

Student, parents, teachers: hot iPad & Mac deals (eg, 'free' £170 Beats headphones). See Apple trick.

9 Home from Hols tips - Flight delays, 75 'free' photo prints, currency buyback. See 9 back home tips.

Shift card debts to 40mth 0% - longest EVER. Till next Wed (9 Sep) accepted new cardholders can balance transfer to Virgin Money* (eligibility calc) at 40mths 0% for a one-off 2.99% fee. Repay quicker? Barclaycard's* (eligibility calc) up to 36mths 0% for a lower 2.39% fee, HSBC's* (eligibility calc) 32mths 0%, 1.4% fee & Tesco Bank's* 19mths 0% FEE-FREE. Always make the min repayment & clear before the 0% ends or they jump to 18.9% rep APR (Tesco 20.6%). Full info: Top Balance Transfers (APR Examples)

Ends Wed. M&S FLASH 20% online sale. Off huge range of full-price goods. Full info: M&S flash sale

£30 All Boxed Up beauty box (£85 of products). Incl Fake Bake, Nails Inc, Pecksniff's, Eyeko. 1,000 avail

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%: Virgin Money*
40mths 0%, 2.99% fee

(18.9% rep APR)

No fee 0%: Tesco Bank*
19mths 0%, no fee

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

Then check insurers they miss:
Direct Line*, Aviva*
Admiral MultiCar*

Zopa* (£5k - £7.5k)
4.3% rep APR

Sainsbury's* (£7.5k - £15k)
3.5% rep APR

(with Nectar card)

Virgin Money 1.51% AER
Min £1, no bonus
Limited access. Transfers allowed.

Coventry BS 2.4% AER
Min £1. Transfers allowed
Fixed till 2020 but with access

See Card APR Examples & Loan APR Examples

Morphy Richards 20% off codes, eg, £90 blender £43. MSE Blagged. Includes sale items. Morphy Richards

Ends Sun. FREE insulation worth £700 plus £25 J Lewis/Argos voucher. MSE Blagged. Anyone in a suitable home (not NI) can get free loft & cavity wall insulation and a £25 J Lewis/Argos etc gift card. Free Insulation

Beat the TalkTalk price rise. Line rental and call costs to jump from 1 Oct. How to beat TalkTalk hikes

Beat Nov's car insurance tax hike by locking-in TODAY'S price
5 tricks to use today as car insurance prices are already rising and Nov's tax increase will accelerate it

In July's Budget the Chancellor said 'Insurance Premium Tax' will rise from 6% to 9.5% on 1 Nov. This is a tax on insurance companies, and laughably the Treasury's indicated surprise that many insurers will pass it on to consumers by raising prices. Combine that with increased costs in general and it's worth EVERYONE checking if they can lock in cheaply now.

  • car insurance price riseTRICK 1: Lock in a quote up to 60 days ahead. A number of insurers' quotes are valid for up to 60 days. So if your renewal's due soon, grab them now and insure yourself against a rate rise. Included are Aviva*, LV*, AA* and see our full list of 20 insurers with lock-in quotes. As Dimuthu tweeted us: "Renewal quote was £521. I'd done it a month earlier from same company as you suggested for £319 and got that."
  • TRICK 2: Cut your costs even if you're not at renewal. With prices rising, everyone should check if they're overpaying now. If so, unless you've made a claim, you can usually pay a c.£50 admin fee to ditch your current policy, and get a refund for the rest of the year. Provided your new cover saves more, you're quids in and are beating expected hikes. Full pros & cons in switching mid-policy info. As Andy tweeted: "You gave us the confidence to challenge our car insurance mid-policy, we were paying £40/mth. Now £16."
  • TRICK 3: Never just use one comparison site. There's no one cheapest insurer, so to get as many quotes as possible first correctly combine comparison sites (as different sites search different insurers). Our current order's Compare the Market, Google*,* & Gocompare* (full explanation in comparison site order).
  • TRICK 4: Hidden deals comparisons miss, incl free £79 Kindle & £60 Amzn voucher. Always check biggies Aviva* and Direct Line* which aren't on comparison sites, plus promo & cashback deals they miss incl Admiral Multi-Car giving a £79 Kindle if you get a policy; or Age UK, a £60 Amazon vch. Full list: Cheap Car Insurance.
  • TRICK 5: Common sense doesn't always pay. Car insurance can be weird: check whether comprehensive is cheaper than 3rd party, whether adding extra drivers can slash costs, if you can tweak your job description to save and remember paying monthly is a loan, so a 0% card may be better.

These are just the tip of the iceberg, full help in our Cheap Car Insurance and Cheap Young Persons' Car Insurance guides.

3 audiobooks £3, incl 50 Shades & Go Set A Watchman. MSE Blagged. 3-mth newbies' trial. Audible Deals

It's 'Will Relief Scotland' month. Donate to charity (suggest £80/single) and solicitor will draft a will. Will Relief

SUCCESS OF THE WEEK: (Send us yours on this or any topic)
"Thanks to @MoneySavingExp tool, two of us just got €800 compensation for a delayed flight to Iceland three years ago. Fantastic." See free flight delay compensation.

Want to test our new FREE TravelMoneyMax iPhone app? It a) compares 40 bureaux to find cheapest travel cash (incl distance indicator for collection); b) has a unique personalised currency calc to use while away to show which card/cash to use. Test it: TMM iPhone app (or test Android here). Please feedback.

Did you get our recent Sky TV & broadband collective deal? It's incorrectly billed a few people - but it's being sorted. Full help

Show Best Buys
Click the titles for full info and all our top picks
Gas & Electricity Bank Accounts Home Insurance Broadband

Compare, get £30 dual fuel cashback & alerts if your deal's no longer cheap. Go via the free MSE Cheap Energy Club Top Pick Fixes Comparison.

The savings can be huge. Someone with typical dual fuel usage on a big 6 standard tariff pays £1,095 a year, the cheapest deal's £814.

First Direct*
£150 bonus and top cust service

Santander 123*
Up to 3% cashback on bills

(£2 per month fee)
Get comparison site quotes in this order...


Then check insurers they miss:
Direct Line*, Aviva*
Top pick b'band & line rent: Sky
Pay £204 for 12mths, get £100 vch

Top pick fibre b'band & line rent: TalkTalk
Pay £439 for 18mths, get £100 vch

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

Are you affected by poor internet or mobile connections?
A group of MPs are looking at bad broadband connections and mobile signals in rural areas and inner-city notspots. Do these affect you? What should be done? Tell us what you think in the MSE Forum and we'll pass on your views to the MPs.

Should I pay the charity for my cuppa?

This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks... I volunteer for a charity once a week where I regularly donate food, clothing etc and generally help out. Drinks and snacks are served and I usually have a cup of tea there. There's a tin asking for donations towards the cost, but I never contribute as I feel I give enough already. Am I mean? Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I pay for my cuppa? | Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs

Do you work in a shop? Tell us if you're able to give discounts
A former member of staff at a big DIY store told Martin they were able to knock 10% off to anyone who asked. So we want you to let us know if you work in a shop and are able to give discounts (and how much). We're compiling a list of which shops do this and how much is offered. Share yours/read others': Shop discounts Past topics: View all

Quick forum tips

Freebie of the week

Martin's appearances (from Wed 2 Sep onward)

Thu 3 Sep - GMB, ITV, Deals of the Week, 7.40am. Watch previous
Fri 4 Sep - This Morning, ITV, 90-Sec Savers, 10.30am-12.30pm. Previous
Mon 7 Sep - This Morning, ITV, Money Monday, 10.30am-12.30pm.
Mon 7 Sep - Consumer Panel, BBC Radio 5, 12pm-1pm. Subscribe to podcast

MSE team corner

Regular team appearances:

Thu 3 Sep
Share Radio, MSE Helen K and MSE Rebecca, 10.30am

Fri 4 Sep
BBC Radio Manchester, MSE Eesha, 4.50pm

Discussion of the week

What do you buy from pound stores?

While they don't always work out cheaper, there's definitely a bargain to be found in your local pound store. What kind of things do you buy from them? Share your hints and tips in the forum discussion.

Cheap travel money

UK's Best Currency Rates
£100 will buy you:
Best Worst
Euro Flag 135.06 121.14
US Flag $ 152.06 136.85
Turkish Flag TL 437.93 379.74
Rates correct at 1pm Tue
Find all top currency rates
Compare travel cash

This week's poll: Have you bought clothes just to wear then return?

Many big stores, such as M&S, John Lewis and many websites, have generous no-fault return policies. Some people use this as a form of 'free rental’, you buy the clothes, wear them once, then return them. The legality is a grey area, it depends on the terms - but it's certainly questionable.

Which of the following is closest to your situation?

Poll results

Where should restaurant tips go?
Exactly half of those aged under 25 want their tips for good service to go straight to their waiter/waitress. It was also the most stingy age group - 12% claimed to never tip.

Those aged 65+ were most likely to want their tip to be split between all restaurant staff (kitchen/waiting/cleaning) with 49% desiring this.

19,024 voted. See the full results.

Question of the week

Q: I bought a handbag last week and when I first zipped it up the zip broke. Annoyingly, I've lost the receipt so can I return it and get my money back? Laura, by email

MSE Helen S's A: If the goods are faulty, by law, all you need is to prove your purchase. The easiest way is with a receipt, but if you can't find it, a bank or credit card statement showing the purchase should suffice. If you paid cash, it's more tricky but give it a go as the store may be able to trace the purchase or take your word. Some play games though.

If you're returning something not faulty, you have no legal return rights. However, some stores allow you to return unused items. But then what they say goes - so if their policy says you need to have the receipt, you need it. Full information on your Sad Fart rights (trust us, click the link and you'll see it means something) in our Consumer Rights guide.

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

 Nick's free game of the week: Bound Bear

Where do babies come from?

That's it for this week, but before we go, our forumites are dealing with that question that comes to all parents: where do babies come from? Read as one forumite, under pressure from his daughter's questioning, blurts out the first thing that comes to mind. We won't spoil it for you but it involves a dog bed and a chicken's egg.

We hope you save some money,

Martin & the MSE team

Important. Please read how works

We think it's important you understand the strengths and limitations of this email and the site. We're a journalistic website, and aim to provide the best MoneySaving guides, tips, tools and techniques - but can't promise to be perfect, so do note you use the information at your own risk and we can't accept liability if things go wrong.

What you need to know

  • This info does not constitute financial advice, always do your own research on top to ensure it's right for your specific circumstances - and remember we focus on rates not service.

  • We don't as a general policy investigate the solvency of companies mentioned, how likely they are to go bust, but there is a risk any company can struggle and it's rarely made public until it's too late (see the section 75 guide for protection tips).

  • We often link to other websites, but we can't be responsible for their content.

  • Always remember anyone can post on the MSE forums, so it can be very different from our opinion.

Please read the Full Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, how this site is financed and Editorial Code. Martin Lewis is a registered trade mark belonging to Martin S Lewis.

More about MoneySavingExpert and Martin Lewis

What is

Founded in February 2003, it's now the UK's biggest consumer help website with more than 10 million people getting this email and about 13 million using the site every month. In September 2012 it became part of the MoneySupermarket Group PLC. Its focus is simple: saving cash and fighting for financial justice on anything and everything. The site has over 80 full time staff, more than a third of whom are editorial – researching, analysing and writing to continually find ways to save money. More info: See About MSE

Who is Martin Lewis?

Martin set up and runs MSE, and still writes this email each week (unless it says so). He's an ultra-focused money-saving journalist and consumer campaigner with his own ITV prime-time show The Martin Lewis Money Show and weekly slots on Radio 5 Live, This Morning and Good Morning Britain, among others. He’s a columnist for publications including the Telegraph, Sunday Mirror and Woman magazine. More info: See Martin Lewis' biography

What do the links with a * mean?

Any links with a * by them are affiliated, which means get a product via this link and a contribution may be made to, which helps it stay free to use. You shouldn't notice any difference; the links don't impact the product at all and the editorial line (the things we write) isn't changed due to it. If it isn't possible to get an affiliate link for the best product, it's still included in the same way. More info: See how this site is financed.

As we believe transparency is important, we're including the following 'un-affiliated' web-addresses for content too:

Unaffiliated web-addresses for links in this email,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Note

Referring people to insurers or insurance intermediaries can in some circumstances constitute an FCA regulated activity. For this reason, pages with links which take you to the sites of insurers or insurance intermediaries are hosted by Limited on behalf of Group PLC. Financial Group Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 303190). The registered office address of both Group PLC and Financial Group Limited is MoneySupermarket House, St. David’s Park, Ewloe, Chester, CH5 3UZ.

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