Super markets, not supermarkets

Over the years I have become increasingly anti-supermarket. In my local area the big supermarket chains keep taking over empty retail spaces as, unlike many smaller businesses, they can afford the council’s ever-rising rents. Even the idea of buying their cheap milk and veg when the producers can hardly make a living because of price squeezes seems just so wrong!  Continue reading

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Have a savvy holiday!

After a long weekend soaking up a good dose of sunshine and the atmosphere of vibrant old cities in Southern France, I felt a holiday post would be in order. Most of us are extremely savvy when it comes to finding the deals, thanks to price-comparison websites, travel search engines, and a choice of discount airlines. We also know to avoid travel outside school term time or during public holidays when prices rocket and both roads and airports become congested.

On my travels I have picked up a few other simple tips – some learned the hard way! – that can stretch the budget further, save time, or simply make the trip more enjoyable.

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With or without you: do you need to own a car?

Take a look around you during the rush hour or when hundreds of people are heading towards a popular weekend destination and you could easily believe that the car was the only mode of transport available. Of course, for many people that’s exactly what it is because of inadequate public transport, mobility issues, or simply lack of local services. Yet many others have allowed themselves to become dependent on the car and interpret convenience as necessity. One day we just can’t imagine going shopping, doing school runs or even visiting friends without driving. But what is the price of that convenience? The rising cost of living combined with the recent recession, air and noise pollution, and the ever-worsening congestion have made many to look for alternative modes of travel. Continue reading

Green cleaning: lemon juice and cheap cola

My own attempt at becoming a savvy consumer has never been only about paying as little as possible for everything: it still is more about getting value for money, minimizing the impact on the environment, and only buying what I need. Paying more for one multi-purpose product can work out cheaper in the long run than buying several seemingly cheaper items, many of which might end up gathering dust as unused and unnecessary. Continue reading

Railcards and split tickets: tips for off-peak train travel in the UK

A travel bug bit me many years ago and started a life-long passion for exploring new places . Whether the destination is a buzzing city on the other side of the world or a little seaside village on the English coast, I enjoy the change of scenery all the same. My husband and I travel whenever we can, and as a car-free family we do most of our journeys in the UK by rail. Although the ticket system can seem confusing at first and the walk-up prices sky-high, there are ways to find cheap fares and even bag a bargain.  Continue reading

Eating out: food glorious food

Eating out was one of the little luxuries in life we weren’t going to give up but as the saying goes, there is no such thing as free lunch. It’s easy to enjoy a pretty affordable one though!

You can easily find online vouchers for 2-4-1 deals at main chain restaurants and many UK supermarkets allow you to convert their loyalty card points into restaurant tokens. If that sounds like a bit of a hassle, these little tips can help you save money with little effort: Continue reading