Archive | Quids In RSS feed for this section

Pinch those Pennies as Sweet Sundays is back!

5 Jul

Love cinema?
Love sweets?

Well I would certainly recommend sweet sundays. The concept behind it is that if you collect 4 sweet packets (from popular sharing bags such as minstrels, revels, m&ms, maltesers and milkyway stars) you can then log onto www.sweetsundays.co.uk and claim a free cinema ticket to use on a Sunday. Look up availability but cinemas include Cineworld, Showcase, Movie House, Scott, Merlin, Reel, Savoy, WTW, G1 Group and Plaza cinemas.

Where this can be incredibly money saving is if you buy the sweets when they are £1 a packet on promotion in supermarkets. This makes your ticket only £4, and lots of sweets to eat!

If you don’t want to gain a lot of weight wither put the bags aside to take to parties/birthdays, or last year I bought some glass sweet jars for £1 each from Asda, and then put the sweets into each jar, tied with ribbon and gave as Christmas gifts.

sweet

Tastecard by Tube

1 Jun

At 28 years of age, working in the averagely paid media sector and living in a ridiculously expensive rented flat share in London, I often find myself down to the last few pennies before pay day. It can be relatively depressing plugging away in the city and contending with how highly priced things are. Sure, some of my friends don’t even bat an eyelid at a £6 glass of wine. I just can’t help it though as I compare everything to Newcastle price, and moreover have to scrimp at times despite being quite money savvy. My advice to anyone in my situation would be to not lose hope. Keep working hard – go out, have fun, enjoy yourself. But when you do indulge do it wisely and make sure you pay a ‘locals’ price I read of a tourists one. One useful way to do so is to sign up to restaurant discount cards such as Tastecard head over to My Voucher Codes for the latest deals) You can get 50% off food across a whole host of restaurants in the capital. 

Here are a selection of my favourites:

Kennington

Pizza Express: not an inventive choice, but a good old staple if you fancy a quick bite with friends.

The Tommyfield: This lovely little pub serves English classics, haute cuisine maybe not but a great choice for burger lovers.
Bank

– @15: A mixture of British, French and Mediteranean on the menu, ideal for stuffing your face if visiting friends after work.
Angel

Upper street in Angel has so many Tastecard options – which is just as well given it can get pricey around that area! 

Cafe La Davina: Simple, fresh Itallian food in this family run restaurant – it is a perfect restaurant for really drawing out the evening with multiple courses and wine if course!

Jamon Jamon: Formerly called Sangria it has a fair selection of Tapas dishes, though the restaurant can get a little crowded

Comedor Grill and Bar: Delicious steak, but as it’s one of those places where each side to go with the steak costs extra it can still add up on the final albeit discounted bill.

Old Steet

Thai Thai: I am almost loathed to list this restaurant as the servers there are so rude (I’ve been around ten times over the past three years, it never changes!) but my heavens they cook the most delicious thai food! If you can get over the poor service it’s definitely worth a go – try the duck curry if you want something quite fiery!

Finsbury Park / Stoke Newington

Il Bacio: Classic family run Italian food, with choices including steak, and a variation of pastas and pizza there is a really lovely warm atmosphere here.

Kings Cross

Sade Restaurant: a bit of a walk away but worth it, this Turkish restaurant serves delicious sharing platters, and for a meat lover such as myself the juiciest lamb.

St Pancras International

Fine Burger Co: Great for a quick bite before a train journey, with the freshest ingredients you can get a decent burger and divine spicy onion rings!

Oval / Vauxhall 

Mumbai Delight: phoar what a decent curry! I need say no more 🙂

Autumn Deal of The Week

28 Oct

When I first discovered that I needed glasses for driving lessons four years ago I went onto Groupon and bought a glasses deal for www.glassesdirect.co.uk which meant I got two (albeit terribly basic and hideous) pairs of glasses for around £15 in total. After my recent eye test the optician recommended that I start wearing a stronger prescription, and wear them more often for watching movies, presentations, work and driving. The shame and horror of getting out my old basics for all to see drove me yet again to Groupon. Here I found a deal where for £19 you get a £55 Glasses Direct voucher. (Unfortunately for you, this deal has now gone, but an autumn sale means that you can add the voucher code AUTUMN50 to receive 50% off frames which is almost as good as the Groupon deal!) See below for how I made the maximum savings step by step:

– Click through to the Groupon website via a cash back website gaining 8% cash back (in my case £1.50) when the purchase of the voucher is completed
– Click through to Glasses Direct via a cash back website gaining 5% cash back (in my case £2.39)
– Order your frames and lenses, and choose your free second pair (you can mix and match put get the cheapest free)
– Pay using your Groupon voucher in the promotions code box
– Pay the excess amount with debit card or PayPal
Grand total of £64.05 spent on two pairs of stylish glasses worth £75 each for frames alone, including the silver package of lenses at my desired prescription

The excellent feature of Glasses Direct is that you can order four pairs at a time to try on at home, so you are not ordering blindly. They also have hundreds of designer frames (top tip: find the pair that you like in your local opticians and look up the brand on the website they will have identical or similar frames much cheaper!)

Try at home - four pairs at a time

Try at home – four pairs at a time

What’s the catch you ask? None, this is a glasses warehouse cutting out the middle man aka your optician, and with less overheads. You do of course need your own prescription details, which you can ask your optician to, write down for you after each eye test. Most employers will also pay for your eye test, and if not optical express and specsavers often have printable online vouchers for a free test.

Verdict: 9 / 10

 

Nele trying her new glasses

Nele trying the ‘London Retro Fitzrovia’ glasses

Trying out the glasses

Trying out the ‘Mojito’ glasses

Cinema Bargains

16 Sep

Cinema has become one of the most ridiculously overpriced passtimes of late – particularly in London. Thankfully at present Cineworld are running Take Two Thursdays.  Cineworld will play a choice of two slightly older (Usually by only a month or so)  films on a Thursday and when booked online it costs £11, including two small drinks and a regular popcorn.

Cineworld Deal

Cineworld Deal

Verdict: 9/10

Personalised Cards

11 Feb

The cheapest personalised cards tend to be Funky Pigeon but as they offer discounts for multiple purchases unless you have multiple valentines to send a card to it can work out cheaper at Tesco Cards where a small card including postage can cost as little as £2.29

20140210-225422.jpg

A home to call our own

1 Oct

This month my boyfriend and I have finally decided to take the plunge and share our flat together, alone with no lodger. This will mean finding an extra £700 a month from somewhere to cover the excess rent and bills, and while I am under no illusions that a little scrimping here and there will add up to £700 you would be surprised at what counting the pennies can achieve.

Head of the House - Cleo

Head of the House – Cleo

Given that the whole concept of this blog is how to live in London on a Northern budget I will need to pool every technique that I have for money saving this year! So for all of those Londoners who want to say adios to their housemates, here are my top ideas:

Admin:
Firstly get your figures in order, make a spreadsheet (or if you are a couple a google document so that you can make changes in real time) and see how much extra you have to pay monthly. Record any money savings that will help you to get there. It not only enables handy and accurate records for splitting bills but makes your goal seem easier to achieve as you chip away at the total.

Switch to a HALIFAX reward account
You get £100 for switching and £5 per month for each month that you remain in credit – seems like a no-brainer!

Call up our current utility providers, and ask for a better rate
This may seem futile, but believe me it has paid off three times for me now. British gas offered £75 credit if we stayed with them for another 6 months, and Virgin media allowed us to reduce our TV and increase our internet for a £5 per month saving.

Council Tax
Ask for this to be spread over 12 months and not the default 10 months. This means the first month they skip for you while the account is closed and reopened, and then your monthly payments are reduced. It only takes a five minute phone call.

Change utilities and get £100 cash back
After we receive our credit from British gas we can use a cash back website such as www.quidco.com to switch providers, getting up to £100 cash back. Do this every year or so, and you will always save.

Random cash back:
Many cash back websites such as www.quidco.com and www.topcashback.co.uk offer cash back for taking free trial’s of services. For an audio book service Audible £4 is offered, and for Lovefilm and Now TV I have seen between £10 and £15 offered. Just remember to cancel after you get the cashback! I recently got cashback on a free sim card which I then used to get 2-4-1 cinema tickets on a Wednesday.

Lifestyle changes
I already buy my clothes second hand on eBay, use cash back sites for every household purchase and stock buy reductions and sale items, so I do wonder how I will cope cutting back a bit more! One change we have agreed to is to not order wine while out with friends (tap water, or council pop as they call it back in Northumberland, is not only hydrating but is calorie and cost free!) We will also take packed lunches to work every day (no treat Fridays!) which makes a massive difference with London prices.

New customer bonuses
Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose/Ocado all offer up to £15 off your online shop for new customers. With delivery as little as £2.99 you can save £12 on your monthly shop. I have used this to stock up on essentials for the kitchen and bathroom cupboards rather than perishables which I can pick up daily.

Hopefully, armed with my inherited (thanks dad!) money saving knowledge I will be able to lessen the blow of the extra costs that come with a housemate free home. And given the announcement of David Cameron’s early release of the Help to Buy Scheme (regardless of the potential damage schemes as such may cause to the property market in the long run) it may not be such a far stretch to think that young professionals such as ourselves could be a little closer to stepping onto the elusive London property ladder.

Fathers Day 2013

4 Jun

There are two great fathers day card offers this year. First is Tesco Cards – they are currently offering half price on all fathers day cards with the added option to pre pay and get 30% extra credit. This offer can be viewed at www.tesco-cards.com.
Second up is the current deal from Funky Pigeon – 50% off their top 50 Fathers Day card designs. There is also the option to pre pay and gain 25% extra credit and I have landed a discount code for an extra 25% off all cards (up to three cards per code) just visit www.funkypigeon.com and enter FUNKYASP2013 in the ‘Promo Code’ box. An added extra with Funky Pigeon is the option to add a note to the envelope to say ‘Do not open until xxxx’ which is really useful to keep the suprise for special occasions but ensure that your card arrives in time.

See the card that I made below for £1.49

blog post 1

Verdict: Funky pigeon is 10/10 for choice wheras Tesco Cards are only 6/10 for choice, although they are a bit cheaper.

Austerity 2013

12 Mar

After assessing my expenditure year for 2012 it is clear, it was a great year. I ate, I drank and spoiled myself and my other half rotten with trips to the cinema, nights out, take aways and extravagant gifts at christmas, anniversaries, valentines and birthdays. Don’t get me wrong, my version of spoilt rotten is probably someone else’s version of a typical year – after all, those who work in media know that the pay is not great! The problem with such a great year is that I haven’t saved a penny, and that goes against everything I believe in as my time in London, while fun, needs to have a purpose which without savings for the future, it doesn’t.

The other problem is the reason for my luxury 2012 – my boyfriends cancer. Starting with the iPad I bought him for Christmas, our dream Egyptian holiday and then the little things such as buying lunch each day instead of making my own, because I put a premium on my time with him at any financial cost. (Never mind the extra wine I got through that year to ease the stress!) I couldn’t cure his cancer – luckily his doctors can – but I could buy his favourite duck for dinner or take him to a movie.

We both had the greatest time, cancer aside, but this year with Huw doing well with his recovery we have decided to embark upon Austerity 2013. This will be a year of saving money where we can, particularly where it has been wasted and spent unnecessarily. I will never sacrifice fun, but if I can use a voucher or a discount code to get that fun I certainly will be! So expect more blog posts than ever along the theme of money saving this year, top tips on how home made can cut the costs and how living a luxurious life does not have to break the bank if you take time to make a plan.

Rachel
x

2012 - We made it a great year

2012 – We made it a great year

Mothers Day – On a Budget!

28 Feb

Save money this mothers day with the latest deal from Martin Lewis at money saving expert. They are offering new and existing customers a ‘free’ mothers day collage mug worth £7.99, all you pay is the £1.99 postage. Simply click here upload your pics, and best of all you can pay your postage via paypal. it’s worth noting that you dont have to give this to your mam, you can upload pics for any occasion and keep it for a birthday or christmas gift. MUG

Tasty London

20 Jan

Right, so the aim of saving money in London is not to be tight, or miserable, or do less. It may be a credit crunch, but life is too short!

For me, it is all about living the life of luxury. But at half the price you can do twice as many fun things in London. Besides nobody wants to hang with the miser in the corner, you know the sort the one at work who declines a pint after work because they are ‘skint’, or the friend who parades around with her new handbag but has no money left to socialise.

The solution: tastecard. Formerly Taste London Card, this card gives you up to 50% off in about a million restaurants. So don’t order the pasta, order the lobster! You may even have some money left to order the posh wine. The layout of the website is also really handy and very similar to www.toptable.com as you search by postcode, get  instant links to reviews, sample menus and the restaurants website. You can even search

For a limited time tastecard are offering a free 30 day trial, with no obligation to buy an annual card at the end.

www.tastecard.co.uk/trial/web

tastecard

Valentines Day Gift Guide

9 Feb

In my Valentines Day Gift Guide I will be looking at the best budget presents, luxury gifts and unique ideas to lavish your loved one this year…

Best Budget Buy:

For the best budget gifts, pop to Aldi. The range is all ‘while stocks last’ and are perfect for a romantic Valentines evening at home.

A Dozen Red Roses - £5.00 each, on sale from 12th February.

 

Chocolate Fondue Gift Set - £12.99

 

Orchard Premium Rosé Pear Cider – £2.49

Free Pizza!

5 Oct

The upkeep of a bustling social life is not cheap, you can 2 for 1 your cinema trips, lastminute.com your theatre visits and happy hour those cocktails, but ultimately living in London is expensive! This is why you should never turn down a chance of a free meal, and in this case GoodFella’s are offering a free pizza. Simply Register with the link below, and when it comes to the print option, you can press ‘do not have a printer’ and get the coupon posted to you. That should save a couple of quid on the weekly shop, and strategic coupon gathering can really pay off.

www.goodfellaspizzas.com/free-pizza

Tasty London

1 Oct

Right, so the aim of saving money in London is not to be tight, or miserable, or do less. It may be a credit crunch, but life is too short!

For me, it is all about living the life of luxury. But at half the price you can do twice as many fun things in London. Besides nobody wants to hang with the miser in the corner, you know the sort the one at work who declines a pint after work because they are ‘skint’, or the friend who parades around with her new handbag but has no money left to socialise.

The solution: tastecard. Formerly Taste London Card, this card gives you up to 50% off in about a million restaurants. So don’t order the pasta, order the lobster! You may even have some money left to order the posh wine. The layout of the website is also really handy and very similar to www.toptable.com as you search by postcode, get instant links to reviews, sample menus and the restaurants website. You can even search

For a limited time tastecard are offering a free 3 month trial

www.tastecard.co.uk/trial/web

%d bloggers like this: