Free beer and cider
To help you celebrate the FA cup this weekend, TopCashback is offering all new members £10 worth of beer or cider for free from any UK store. All you have to do is sign up to the website, spend £10 on beer or cider, then upload your receipt. It means you'll get a decent result on the day - regardless of who wins. The offer is valid until Sunday 3rd June.
Free ice cream
Nothing says 'Bank Holiday' like a free ice cream, and Magic Freebies has spotted a way to get your hands on a box of four Cornetto Classico - for free. You'll need to find someone who uses the Shopmium app, and ask them for their referral code. Then you need to download the free app and sign up using the code. Then you buy the ice creams, scan the receipt into the app, and you'll get 100% cashback straight into your bank account
Greggs offers regular freebies to its loyalty app users, and at the moment it is giving away free cookies. To qualify you just need to download the app, and the free cookie should appear. Then you need to show it to staff in your local Greggs and you'll get your freebie. Even if you don't fancy the cookie, it's worth signing up, because there are all sorts of freebies from time to time, and eventually something will appeal - even if it's just a free cup of tea.
Free kids' meals
The users of HotUKdeals.com have put together a brilliant thread of free kids' meals for half term. Among the offers are 'kids eat free' at Bella Italia and Las Iguanas. There are also freebies and huge discounts available everywhere from Frankie & Benny's to La Tasca. So wherever you fancy eating, it's worth checking this list to see if you can get a freebie.
Free cinema tickets
This is a fantastic deal, which essentially means you could be paid for going to the cinema. To help you keep the kids entertained this Bank Holiday and half term, Topcashback.co.uk is offering free cinema tickets to new users. All you have to do is sign up on the website then spend at least £5 on a ticket, and you'll get £10 cashback. The deal is valid until 9th July.
Save money on shopping: ten great tricks
Save money on shopping: ten great tricks
The more work you are prepared to put in, the more you stand to save. If you put your shopping list into mysupermarket.com, you can identify where each individual items is cheapest, and can technically buy every single item at its lowest possible price.
If that sounds a bit too much like hard work, a reasonable compromise is to shop at two supermarkets: once at the weekend and once mid-week. You can buy each item at the cheapest of the two shops, and save money without devoting hours to shopping.
There are several deal-sharing sites, including hotukdeals.com and latestdeals.co.uk. Most of them have a ‘freebies’ section, where you can get items completely free, and all have a section where they post fantastic deals that are well worth taking advantage of.
They will often point the way to coupons for brilliant discounts too.
The more time you have spare to spend looking for these, the more you can save.
It’s worth following your favourite brands on Facebook or Twitter. It’s also important to pick up in-house magazines, try your free local paper, and check any letters from supermarket loyalty schemes for your vouchers. If you have a Nectar card, visit the website before you shop, so you can upload the latest deals to your card.
While you’re in-store, keep your eyes peeled for promotions on packets, and on receipts. Often the deal-hunting websites will offer a short cut to many of these, but if you have the opportunity to do some legwork, you will find plenty of others.
Compare the price of your branded goods (after you use the coupon) with the cheapest supermarket alternative. If the discount makes it the cheapest option, then feel free to use it immediately.
However, if it doesn’t bring the price down below the own brand price, then don't throw it away. Hang onto the coupon, and check Mysuupermarket.com every few days to see if there’s an offer running on the brand at any time before the coupon expires. A deal plus a coupon is often the cheapest option.
Prices change all the time, but it pays to have a shopping list annotated with the usual price - or an old receipt - on hand when you are shopping. When something is on sale, compare it to the usual selling price from your list, to decide if it’s really as good value as it purports to be.
The frugal experts have decent storage areas at home, so if there’s a very special deal on washing powder or toilet paper, tins or toiletries, they can stock up for a few months at a knock-down price. It’s not generally worth doing on fresh produce, or packets with a short shelf life though, because throwing something away that’s out of date will undo all of your good work.
There can be some incredible bargains in the ‘yellow sticker’ sections of the supermarket. Most stores will have a spot for fruit and vegetable reductions, somewhere for chilled food price cuts, one for bakery products, and a final one for those with a longer shelf life that may be a bit battered, or separated from the outer packaging. Check them all for a possible discount.
The ’yellow sticker’ items will usually be reduced at least twice a day: once in the afternoon and once later in the evening. If you can wait to shop at around 7.30pm or 8pm you can get astonishing discounts.
If you want to time your shop exactly, then your best bet is to ask in store when they do their final reductions - don't be shy!
Get to know the rules around freezing ‘yellow sticker’ items, so you can buy when they are cheapest and use over the following weeks and months.
Don't assume something is perishable without checking. Everything from cheese to beansprouts is fine to freeze as long as you treat them correctly (beansprouts need blanching, chilling in ice water, and freezing immediately).
It’s never worth buying something just because it’s cheap: you also have to be able to factor it into your life. If you can't immediately think how you would use that over-ripe avocado, a pack of cut-price tongue or kippers, then don't buy them.