There are some purchases that you never dwell on the cost of. If you're taking your partner to a fancy restaurant, getting a few drinks with the guys from work or heading to the cinema with a couple of kids in tow, it'll cost whatever it costs, right? Maybe not! Here are a few tips and tricks we've found which can save you money on everything from groceries to gourmet meals.
Get a NUS Student card... and no, you don't have to be a student
Save on clothes, supermarket shopping, restaurants, bars, bus journeys, flights...
That's right, there's a great little work around you can use even if you've never enrolled at a university or college - because you can get a NUS card with a whole range of online courses. Head to GoGroopie, and pick a course from the Education and Learning section (we went for Introduction to Microsoft New Features for £4, but you can get courses for as little as £1.99). Then head to the NUS website and fill in the registration form, selecting ECareers for your study location, and Professional/Vocational for the subject. Wait for your card to arrive, and browse the massive list of discounts in the meantime - you can use your student card on everything from Amazon to the Co-op.
Get a year's worth of Meerkat Movies for a few quid
2-4-1 cinema tickets at the majority of cinemas on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Whether you love or hate those adverts, Meerkat Movies are a perfect replacement for those who miss Orange Wednesdays - and don't fancy paying £40+ for a family outing. But we've found a better way of getting those deals without switching your energy supplier, or taking out some car insurance. Head to Compare the Market, and then to their travel insurance page. Then click on single trip insurance, and choose your location - somewhere in the UK is likely to cost you the least money (make sure your deal with give you Meerkat Movies - it should let you know before you leave the site). Then make your purchase and receive a year's worth of 2-4-1 cinema tickets! Some people have got this deal for as little as £1.07.
Sign up to the Gourmet Society or Taste Card for some tasty dining discounts
25-50% off your food bill, 2-4-1 meals, 40% off cinema, money off day trips...
If you love going out to eat these are great little cards to keep in your wallet. The offers from The Gourmet Society and Taste Card seem to be identical, right down to their introductory deal - try the card for £1 for the first 60 days. Both will allow you some awesome discounts on restaurants and bars in your area. We had a look, thinking it would be mostly chains getting on board, but there's a surprising number of independent restaurants in the Toon that use the scheme, on both sites. There's sometimes a couple of restrictions on when you can use the deals (book in advance, or only available in the week) - but for £1 this is a sweet deal. You can even get full membership from The Gourmet Society for £7 if you have a student card!
Start using Zeek, and try paying with gift cards
Save money anywhere that offers giftcards - that's clothing, dining, travel, the works
Do you have a collection of gift cards gathering dust in a draw somewhere, for shops that you know you'll never go into? Zeek is the solution - it's a website for buying and selling gift cards for a ton of different shops, restaurants and websites. People with unwanted gift cards pop them up on the site for a reduced price; so you can buy a £15 gift card at Foot Locker for £12.70 (that's a 15% discount on your new trainers). This is a great way of dropping the cost of a group meal, or a new wardrobe. You can also use any additional discount codes you find online alongside your gift cards - so you can make some great savings here. Zeek is also great for last minute gifts!
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