Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

The MoneySaving Forum: join to chat & swap tips with other MoneySavers. Learn how in the Forum Introduction Guide


Weekly Email
This email was sent
18th Feb 2009
Warning! This info may be out of date. Read this week's email
18 February 2009
Sent: Wednesday 17 Feb 2009
Highlights below include ...
£6/mth Broadband Free Ideal Home Tickets
Dirt Cheap Secret Flights New Top Savings 4%
Pizza Express & Cafe Rouge 2for1s, Free Theatre Tix

Shock news for SAVERS. If inflation's 0.1%, you’ve never had it so GOOD!

Inflation's nosediving as the economy plummets, so savers must fundamentally change their thinking to deal with the new savings reality. I hope my shocking - but not wholly inaccurate - headline’s grabbed your attention: please read this...

Interest can't be considered without looking at inflation too. In these three scenarios, I’ve done the maths over a year to make it easier; though really things change monthly.

  • JULY 08. Top Savings 6.5%. Inflation (RPI) 5.0%. Save £1,000 for a year and after basic tax you get 5.2% interest - ie you’d have £1,052. Yet a basket of goods that cost £1,000 would now cost £1,050 due to inflation. Thus saving's only increased your spending power by £2. REAL interest: 0.2%.
  • TODAY: Top Savings 3.5%. Inflation (RPI) 0.1%. Save £1,000 for a year and you’d have £1,028. A basket of goods that cost £1,000 would’ve only increased to £1,001 due to inflation. Thus saving increases your spending power by £27. REAL interest: 2.7%.
  • POSS. FUTURE? Top Savings 1.5%. Inflation (RPI) -2.0%. Save £1,000 for a year, and after basic rate tax you'd have £1,012. Yet a basket of goods that cost £1,000 would have DECREASED to £980 due to deflation. Thus saving’s increased your spending power by £32, meaning your REAL interest: 3.2%.

Week of Tue 10 - Mon 16 Jan '09
(Last week's position)

1. Freebies, Freebies, Freebies (1)
2. Top Savings Accounts (3)
3. Top Cash ISA (6)
4. The MSIQ test (new)
5. Cheap Sat Navs (new)
6. Top Regular Savings (new)
7. Reclaim Lost Assets (new)
8. Premium Bonds (5)
9. Cheap & Free Flights (4)
10. Top Fixed Savings (7)

The MoneySaving IQ test just pipped Cheap Sat Navs for top new entry. Though it seems we've more work to do: the average score was just 9/25 (the avg IQ is 100 of course).

The above excludes daily deals notes
Is inflation really that low? While RPI is 0.1%, the CPI rate which excludes mortgages is 3%. This variance has a huge impact, so check your personal inflation rate. For some with very high rates, sadly you'll realise your money's doing even more badly that it seems. Yet hopefully this has at least explained the concept.

What about those living off savings income? This is where it really has to hit home. Many have entrenched, psychological "don’t spend your capital" rules. Yet we may need to change that in coming climes. If we do get a true low interest, deflationary environment, you CAN spend some capital to live off without diminishing purchasing power – and in fact if you need to, you should.

My great worry is people will unnecessarily take hugely decreased lifestyles or even risk heat and food to protect their capital. Discuss This: New Savings Reality Max your interest: Top Savings, Top Cash ISAs

Ensure you don't miss out, get these tips e-mailed each week

The Ones Not To Miss

Urgent! Cheapest EVER broadband. £5.99/mth or £6.75/mth unlimited download
Two brand new packages tear up previous records; both are from providers with good feedback & come with free wireless routers. Limited Download: Plusnet Value* is £5.99/mth on a 18 mth contract. Its download limit's a generous 10Gb a month, which should suit all but heavy gamers, downloaders, or online TV watchers. Unlimited Download: Until the end of Feb only, go to O2 subsidiary Bethere* and enter code "broadbandchoices" (we've permission to use this) and you can get a year's unlimited download (fair usage) for an avg. £6.75/mth (free for 6mths then £13.50/mth). Pros, cons & alternatives in the Updated Guide: Cheap Broadband Related Guides: Cheapest Home Phones, Free Wireless Internet

New 2for1s: Pizza Express, Cafe Rouge & Giraffe plus £5 Sainsbury dine-in deal. Full details of these easy click n prints in the Daily Deals List: Restaurant Vouchers

NEW Top Instant Access Savings. Earn 4% if you've £10,000 or 3.56% if you've less
The Citibank* Flexible Saver pays 3.56% AER if you're saving £1 or more (1.65% is an intro bonus lasting a year). If you've £10,000 or more, Ulster Bank's e-savings account pays 4%; though 0.5% of it's a bonus lasting six months and withdraw money during this & you'll only get 0.5% interest that month. So only use it if you won't need cash access soon. Monitor the rate: These accounts are 'variable' rate meaning the interest can and probably will drop. Fix at 3.9%: You can get a guaranteed 3.9% for a year at ICICI* if you're willing to lock your cash away. While some stability concerns have been raised about it, importantly it has the full £50,000 UK savings safety protection. For more see the Updated Guides: Top Savings, Fixed Savings, Top Cash ISAs

10,000 FREE Ideal Home Show tickets worth £5 each. The show's at London's Earls Court from 20 March to 13 April. Tickets can be used any weekday after 5pm. I'll be speaking there too! See the Deals Note: Ideal Home Show

Lastminute launches 'Top Secret' supercheap worldwide flights & we show how to uncover 'em
This week, Lastminute's* launched a new ‘top secret flights’ section with some dirt cheap prices, to match its hotel one. How it works: You know the departure & arrival cities, flight length and whether there’s a stopover, but aren't told the exact airports, airline and flight times until AFTER you’ve paid. Beat the system: Put similar criteria into a comparison site like Kayak* then check to see where flight times & stopovers match up, and you can often narrow down which flight it is. It also means you get to compare whether it really is cheapest. The Savings: When the cheapest London-Dubai was £240, Lastminute’s secret flights had a non-stop for £190. Full details in the Updated guide: Cheap & Free Flights Related Guides: Holiday Haggle, Cheap Travel Insurance

New cheapest EVER mobile contract, £8.50/month. Virgin Mobile's taken the crown with an 18 month contract inc. 100 mins & texts. See the Forum Note: Virgin Deal


Free Tie Rack Pashmina worth £20. Cut out a voucher in Sat 21 Feb Telegraph (£1.60) newspaper and take it in store THAT day. More info & deals in the Daily Deals List: Shopping Vouchers

Direct Line Car Insurance 17% off. Lock-in this price, as the quote lasts 90 days
Competitive insurer Direct Line*, which bars comparison sites from including it, has launched a new customer-only '12 months for the price of 10' deal (ie 17% off). As the quote lasts 90 days, grab it now to lock in the low price, even if you won't activate it yet. Don't assume it's cheapest: This won't work for everyone, always follow the full system. The record cheap car insurance deal is £14/year for fully comp. This was done by checking prices & cover with the top three comparison sites, GoCompare*, MSM* & CompareTM* and then searching for hidden cashback. Full info in the Updated Guide: Cheap Car Insurance Related Guides: Cheap Home Insurance, Cheap Travel Insurance, Cheap Hotels

Free theatre tickets for under 26s in England. Arts Council England's giving away half a million free seats for plays, musicals, dance shows and more. Deals Note: Free Theatre Tickets

Energy Price Cuts. E.ON & EDF announce changes for 31 March. Switch with Caution!
Now four of the big six energy providers have announced cuts, but they're all small. E.On: Will cut its standard & online electricity prices by an average 9%, no change to gas prices. EDF: It'll cut elec. bills (not gas) by an average 8.8% but ONLY for those in London, South East, South West, Wales & Scotland. Switch with Caution: It seems like there aren't big cuts to come, so there's not much harm for those itching to switch and save doing it now, though others may prefer to wait until all providers have declared their intentions so the playing field is level. Full info in the Updated Guide: Cheap Energy plus cashback Related Guides: Fight Energy Direct Debits, Cheap Boiler/Heating Insurance

Student loan interest rate cut to 2%. The latest base rate drop means rates (for post-1998 loans) have been cut again, from 2.5% to 2%. Full info in the Updated Guide: Repay My Student Loan? Related Guides: Student Loans, Student MoneySaving

Recession Proof ALL Spending. Video of the week. Financial Self Defence Class - HIIIYAAA!
It's the most powerful recession-fighting weapon in your shopping arsenal. Pay for something over £100 on a credit card and legally the card company's jointly liable. Yet there are more tricks and dodges to this section 75 law than you'd think. So hopefully this quick two-minute self defence video will help (includes my genuine "tile smashing" attempt). Full Guide: Section 75 Related Guide: Consumer Rights

Extended: Return P&O Dover-Calais ferry plus wine, £19. Inc. car & up to nine people, and the wine's worth £28! Now until 26 Feb. See the Deals Note: Ferry good indeed!

Free ASDA online delivery code (worth £5) on £50+ orders. Plus a possible £5 cashback, and last chance WaitroseDeliver code for existing customers. See the Deals Note: Shopping Vouchers

Section 75

WARNING! Airmiles collectors... new rules mean you could lose out. Act quick
Outrageous new Airmiles rules say if you've OVER 500 Airmiles (worth c.£40) but haven't earned any new ones in the last two years you WILL soon lose them or be charged £30 for spending them. What to do: Earn just 1 new Airmile to protect your stash; easy ways are buying a little petrol at Shell, or converting a Tesco voucher. Credit Card Airmiles: This rule seems designed to hit NatWest cardholders who used to accrue Airmiles that way hardest; now the top Airmiles earning card is Lloyds Duo*, which also gives 1,500 miles (worth a free European Flight) when you spend a tenner on it. Though do repay in full so there's no interest. Full info in the Forum Note: Expiring Airmiles Related Guide: Credit Card Freebies

Reminder: Half Term Days Out Vouchers. Free sports, 2for1s, bowling and more. Cheap ways to entertain the kids in the Daily Deals List: Cheap Days Out

Ensure you don't miss out, get these tips e-mailed each week

The Big & Easy Ways to Save Checklist

More MoneySaving

Education Grant Grabbing: "Got my fees paid and £1,250". Ensure you check
There's a serious amount of grants and scholarship money available if you know where to look. I was prompted to do this reminder after receiving an e-mail from MA student Becca from Suffolk to say, "Thank you. I looked into some of the weird and wonderful education trusts and funds and have had my fees paid in full for both years, plus £1,250 per year for books, travel etc. I couldn't have done the course without it." Check out these bursaries, scholarships, grants as well as free Maths and English courses in the Full Guide: Grant Grabbing

Got Sky+ HD? Check your box isn't faulty. Sky's recalling early batches of the Pace Sky+ HD box due to a manufacturing fault. Yet it's not all bad news; if yours is affected you'll get a new one, plus 3 months' free HD subscription for your trouble. How To Check: Sky Fuss

MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. You spotted the voucher. Should you keep the cash?
You volunteered to organise a night out for your football/book/knitting/salsa class group. You've chosen a really good value restaurant with a set price menu, and even been organised enough to collect the cash in advance. Yet on the morning of the meal you spot a restaurant voucher knocking a fiver a head off the price. Do you refund the cost to everyone in the group or would you keep schtum and pocket the cash for yourself, effectively meaning your dinner and drinks are free? Enter the Money Moral Maze: You spotted the voucher? Should you keep the cash? Previous MMDs: View All

Mystery Shopping £50 for roughly 1,000 people. A marketing group is willing to pay volunteers for doing insurance comparisons. See if you qualify in the Forum Note: It's a mystery

Knit clothes, teddies & more for UK and overseas baby charities
If you knit or crochet, loads of websites offer to send your creations to babies and mothers in need. We've spotted this lovely forum thread, which collates all the top sites, plus gives advice on what and how to knit, so we wanted to give it some publicity in the weekly email. Full details on how to join in, in the Forum Note: Knit for charity


Q. I’m being chased for a debt that I don’t know anything about. What should I do?

A. There are a number of Debt Collection Agencies, whose job it is to chase down unpaid debts for other companies, and disgustingly one time-saving tactic used is to fish for the right person by sending demands to all those with the same surname, in the hope someone will pay up.

If you're called or receive a letter asking for money, the onus is on THEM to prove that you DO owe the money and that it is genuine debt. So if the debts aren't yours, don't panic; send a letter to say you're not responsible. National Debtline has a template letter you can use.

If the debt is yours, read the Problem Debts Guide on how to deal with it.

Discuss: Wrongly chased for debts?
Suggest: A question of the week
(big general issues not personal q’s pls)

CHEAP FLIGHTS SALES ALERT Airline: EasyJet. Price: sub. £35 e/w. Ends: When seats sell out.
My top pick budget airline sale this week is EasyJet's sale, with flights to a host of European destinations from a range of UK airports for between £19.99 and £34.99 each way (including most taxes and charges). Tickets are at this price until they sell out, on selected flights travelling between 17 Feb and 31 March 09. How to quickly find the sales flights: Don't go direct, instead use the Budget Airline FlightChecker and ask it to find all flights under £35. Non-Budget Airline Tools: These are listed in the Cheap Flights guide. Related Travel MoneySaving: Cheap Hotels, Spending Abroad, Cheap Currency, Travel Insurance, Mobile Roaming

Great 'Cheapest Way To Go Fairtrade' Hunt
Next week is the start of Fairtrade Fortnight. Whilst traditionally not MoneySaving, Fairtrade products often don't cost much more than own brands and are usually cheaper than brand name equivalents, so I'd like to tap MoneySavers collective knowledge for the most cost effective ways to get them. Add your ideas/read other peoples': Great 'Cheapest Way to Go Fairtrade' Hunt Past Great Hunts: MoneySaving While Job Hunting, Financial Harmony In Relationships

Quick Forum Tips
Warning! Bargains listed here tend to sell out quickly

Board of the week: Up your income
If you could use a financial bit on the side to help tide you over in these tough times, the Up Your Income board's packed full of inspiration. From selling parking spaces outside your house to starting an ironing business, with a touch of mystery shopping along the way, it's bursting with quick & easy ways to bag extra cash. Also check out the Boost Your Income guide, which compiles top suggestions. Recent discussions include Pheonix Trading Hints & Tips, Becoming A Private Tutor and Easiest way to sell books

Great 'Split Ticketing' Hunt Result
Last week I asked for your help spotting new split ticketing routes - where buying separate train tickets for a journey's constituent parts drastically cuts the overall cost. There were some great split ticket routes and savings suggested, including £20 off Oxford-Coventry, £30 off Preston-Cheltenham and £40 off Leeds-Birmingham.

Ensure you don't miss out, get these tips e-mailed each week

Congestion Charge Tax Disc Holder, Kids Travel Game Downloads,
Sat Key Stage 1 Worksheets, NME Downloads, Baby Goodies (NI Only)

Odds and Ends

MoneySavingExpert on the box/wireless
If you like to watch as well as read about MoneySaving, I'll be appearing on the following programmes over the next week or so.

  • GMTV, ITV1, Wednesday 18th February, between 7:30 & 8:30am. Half Term Days Out.
  • GMTV & LK Today, ITV1, Tuesday 24 February, between 7:30 & 9:30am. News Reactive.
  • Past appearances: Listen/watch back, plus keep updated on future appearances.

This week's Martin's Blog: Just been to see the Queen.
"Is this site a Coronation Street Star?" and "Milk Teeth Sprouting at Consumer Focus". Read m'blogs (or RSS users access)

Do you buy name brand medicine? This week's poll. Vote and Branded vs. Generic discussion.

You CAN use a voucher on a first date! Last Week’s Vote. The consensus is, done right, there's nowt wrong with using a 2for1 voucher on a first date; 28% thought it showed money-savvyness, 45% weren't bothered and only 27% thought it outrageous. See Valentine's Voucher poll results.

Archna's Free Game of the Week! Test your igloo building skills & save the little man from the avalanches. Avalanche

Try cooking with Creme Eggs. Online supermarket’s are supposed to give near equivalents when they run out. Yet some MoneySaver’s have had weird alternatives. Hen's eggs can’t replace creme eggs and Pedigree Chum doesn’t do for Whiskas. Weird supermarket substitutions

I hope you save some money


Explanation of * Links

FSA NOTE: Referring people to insurers or insurance intermediaries can in some circumstances require FSA authorisation. For this reason, Martin Lewis of Shepherd's Studios, Rockley Road, Shepherd's Bush, London W14 0DA is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

How this site is financed. Any links with a * by them are affiliated. That means go via this link and a contribution may be made to, which helps it stay ad-free and free to use. You shouldn't notice any difference, the links don't impact the product at all and the editorial line (the things I write) is NEVER impacted by it. If it isn't possible to get an affiliate link for the best product, it's still included in exactly the same way. As I believe transparency is important, I'm including the following 'un-affiliated' web-addresses for the same things:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Read more about this in how this site is financed. is the free to use Consumer Revenge website focused on how to save you cash. It's owned, and run by ultra-specialised journalist and bestselling author Martin Lewis. On TV amongst other things Martin is GMTV's Money SavingExpert and presents money programmes for ITV1 Tonight. On Radio Martin has regular slots on Radio 2 Vine and Radio 1 Whiley. He's also a columnist for the News of The World, Moneywise and the Sunday Post. Find out more: About the site and its funding.

Disclaimer: This e-mail is based on journalistic research. It does not constitute financial advice. Any information should be considered in regard to your own specific circumstances. All tips are followed at your own risk and should be followed up with your own research Full Terms & Conditions.

To change your E-mail or stop receiving Tips (unsubscribe): Go to:

Was this free e-mail forwarded to you? To receive it directly go to
Get The Free Weekly Moneysaving Email!

For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes - join the 12m who get it. Don't miss out

Get Our Free Money Tips Email!

For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes - join the 12m who get it. Don't miss out