Making the Most of Sainsbury’s Double Up Nectar Reward

Written by Karen Bryan

sainsburys nectar points double up Making the Most of Sainsburys Double Up Nectar RewardWith a Sainsbury’s Double Up Nectar Rewards’ loyalty card promotion running from today until  12 August 2014, here are my tips for making the most of this offer.

During the Double Up promotions  you can exchange your points for vouchers to double the value of your points. However, this is only for purchases of some categories of items e.g. clothes, electrical and homeware.

You need to have a balance at least 1,000 points, normally worth £5, which you exchange for a £10 ‘Double Up’ voucher to spend on a specific category. The maximum exchange per category is 4,000 points, normally worth £20, for a £40 ‘Double Up voucher.

We don’t have a Sainsbury’s store in Berwick upon Tweed. Most of my Nectar points were earned through making hotel bookings on Expedia (usually 200 Nectar points per hotel booking) and purchases at Homebase and eBay.

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Making a Best Offer on eBay

Written by Karen Bryan

ebay 150x150 Making a Best Offer on eBayI spotted a Simply Mobile Broadband 50GB Data Sim, valid for 12 months, on ebay. Although £79 was a great price for 50 GB of data, I thought I’d see if I could save some more money by making a ‘Best Offer’.

This was my first attempt at making a ‘Best Offer’ on ebay. I settled on an offer of £70, a saving of around 10%. I didn’t see the point in offering too low a price, but at the same time I hoped to make a reasonable saving. The seller had 48 hours in which to accept my offer.

If the seller accepted my ‘Best Offer’, I was obliged to purchase the SIM. However, the seller also had the options to reject my offer or make a counter offer.

Early the following morning, I received an email from eBay to say that the seller had accepted my offer.

I’m encouraged to make more offers on eBay in the future to see if I can save some money when shopping.

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8 Free Things to Do in Edinburgh

Written by Karen Bryan

The beautiful Scottish capital of Edinburgh is one of the reasons why you should visit Scotland. The city is easily accessible by train, bus, plane and coach. If travelling cheaply there is a priority, the GoEuro travel planner tool allows you to compare all the different modes of transport by time and cost for journeys within the UK to Edinburgh.  On a journey between London to Edinburgh, the cheapest option is coach, but the journey takes 9 or 10 hours. You may be prepared to pay more to take a direct train, with a journey time of less than 5 hours.

Below are my tips for free things to do in Edinburgh.

Take a Stroll Along Portobello Prom

Edinburgh lies on the Forth Estuary. Portobello Beach is around three miles east of the  city centre. I’ve occasionally seen people swimming there, but most stick to walking along the prom.

edinburgh portobello beach 8 Free Things to Do in Edinburgh

Portobello Beach

See One Million Pounds

You can see £1 million pounds in Scottish £20 notes at the Museum on the Mound. The museum is closed on Mondays.

edinburgh mueum on the mound one million pounds 8 Free Things to Do in Edinburgh

£1 million pounds at the Museum on the Mound
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My Money Podcast #85

Written by Karen Bryan

The My Money Podcast #85 summarises the article below.

Subscribe to the My Money Podcast from Help Me To Save in iTunes

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Tips on Turning the Dream of Early Retirement into a Reality

Written by Karen Bryan

coinssqint 150x150 Tips on Turning the Dream of Early Retirement into a RealityAs life expectancy increases, the age at which you can claim your UK state pension is rising. Already, the last women to receive a state pension at 60 have already done so; both men and women in their early 50s can expect to receive their pension at age 67; and anybody in their 20s and 30s will have to wait until they are 69 or 70. As the pensionable age seems to be getting ever more distant, the idea of early retirement becomes ever more enticing.

Ensuring that you have a comfortable and enjoyable early retirement will require some careful financial planning. Your pension will need to provide enough income to see you through decades, which may also include the cost of health care and support in later life.

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Review of the Post Office Credit Card

Written by Karen Bryan

post office credit card Review of the Post Office Credit CardI read that the Post Office Credit Card offered an 18 month period of 0% interest on balance transfers with a very low 0.7% transfer fee. To be eligible for that promotional balance transfer fee, you must apply for the card by 31 July 2014 and make the balance transfer within three months of opening. Many other credit cards charge balance transfer fees of around 3%.

Another benefit of the Post Office Credit Card is that overseas purchases don’t incur a fee. I wasn’t interested in that as my Halifax Clarity Card and Nationwide Select Credit Card offer this.

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Great Customer Service from 1and1 Web Hosting

Written by Karen Bryan

1and1 150x150 Great Customer Service from 1and1 Web HostingRunning two websites when you’re not a very techie person can be a real challenge. I try to do as much as possible myself. However, there are some tasks, e.g. editing php files and dealing with MySQL databases, which, after a couple of disastrous attempts, I no longer tackle. I have a friend who helps out with technical issues, but I try to ask him to do as little as possible.

Recently, I had problems uploading photos to my travel blog. At first, I thought it was a plug-in conflict, but when I was also unable to publish new posts, I deduced, based on a problem a couple of years ago, that it was an issue with database capacity.

For my travel site, I’m on the 1and1 Business Package, which costs £12 a month and gives me unlimited webspace, traffic and MySQL databases, plus a free website builder. I logged into my account and sure enough the database was 50% over capacity. Rather than ask my friend for assistance, I thought I’d phone 1and1 to ask if they could increase the capacity of the overfull database. They told me that they couldn’t do that, but could transfer the existing database into a new larger capacity database. Read the rest of this entry »

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Could You Be Doing More With Your Hobby?

Written by Karen Bryan

alcohol Could You Be Doing More With Your Hobby?Hobbies are incredibly popular in the UK, with the majority of the population having at least one pastime they turn to as an escape from the pressures of the world. That popularity has made them into a big business: a study in 2013 revealed that Brits collectively spend £18 billion on hobbies every year.

But can your expertise in a particular pastime translate into expertise on the stock markets, and successful investment? There are plenty of hobbies that have a clear impact on the markets, and where major occurrences have led to major stock fluctuations.

Films

Cinephiles have a hard time of it nowadays, as multiplex ticket costs rise alongside extra expenses like 3D and IMAX. There may be good news though, as paying close attention to the film charts and predicting the next big blockbuster (or, indeed flop) can lead to some good investment insight.

This year’s biggest box office so far has come from X-Men: Days of Future Past, the latest in the long running series of comic book movies from 21st Century Fox. Released on May 23, the stock price of Fox rallied as the film dominated the charts, rising 4.4% in the two weeks after the film was released.

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Review of Ashoka Shak Dundee

Written by Karen Bryan

When I was staying at the Premier Inn Dundee North, I noticed that one of the nearby restaurants in Camperdown Leisure Park, the Ashoka Shak, did a £7 Indian buffet lunch from 12.30 to 3pm, excluding Mondays and Tuesdays. The restaurant location is handy if you’re driving through Dundee, as Camperdown Leisure Park is just off the Kingsway ring road at the Coupar Angus junction.

ashoka shak exterior 426x375 Review of Ashoka Shak Dundee

The weather forecast for the next morning was rain dying out by around 11am, with more rain by mid afternoon. I planned to visit Camperdown Park during the dry slot in the late morning and then have lunch at Ashoka Shak, before driving on to Stirling to check in at the Premier Inn Stirling City Centre.

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Review of Tesco Bank Internet Saver

Written by Karen Bryan

coinsstackssquint 300x198 Review of Tesco Bank Internet SaverThe 12 month bonus rate period on my Halifax Online Saver, which pays an interest rate of 1.3%, matures next month. Therefore, I’ve been looking for a replacement instant access account as a back up option if the rate of interest paid on the Nationwide Loyalty Saver drops.

A couple of the highest rate instant access accounts have restrictions on the number of withdrawals and/or can only be operated in branch or by phone. I want an account which has unlimited withdrawals and can be operated online.

The current issue of the Halifax Online Saver only pays a rate of 0.9% on balances between £1 and £19,999. In the past, the Santander eSaver paid a good rate, but it’s now only paying 1%.

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