Vouchers: Do You Use Them?

Vouchers, coupons – whatever you want to call them, do you use them? Whether you use physical paper copies or stack codes online, there are vouchers or voucher codes out there for pretty much everything!

I am signed up to all the major supermarket loyalty cards and regularly use their coupons to save money on my shopping. I am currently saving up my points on these cards for Christmas but will still often use their vouchers if I can get more points to add to my balance!

I ask this because although I use coupons, I was shocked to find out the mega savings some people can get. We all know how much people in the US can save with coupons as we see it on shows such as Extreme Couponing. But in the UK, it is quite a rarity.

We recently visited our static caravan down in Camber Sands and we met a young mum who had managed to spend just £80 on her holiday at the park for her family of five. Her family were in the best range of caravan which would normally cost anywhere between £400-£600 a week.

How did she do out? Voucher code stacking. By scouring the web for the best deals, she was able to secure an awesome but cheap holiday for her family, saving over £300 in the process. An awesome saving, I am sure you will agree.

Vouchers – do you use them? I certainly do – and after a success story like that, I will continue to do so too!

2014 Christmas Comping Challenge: An Update

You may have noticed that there has been a lack of posts on Keene On Saving recently and here I finally am with a Christmas Comping Challenge update. Well, things have been a bit busy around here but I’m back with more ideas for content than ever so keep your eyes peeled!

So how am I doing? My Smurfs 2 DVD finally turned up and was going to be put in the Christmas presents pile but Jack found it – so that’s a no go! I recently won £20 Love2Shop vouchers; these will be going in the Christmas pile if my parents help to buy Jack’s new bed, otherwise we will be using them towards it.

I have £17.52 in Nectar points and we aren’t touching these until Christmas so will hopefully have a decent amount saved. We recently used our Clubcard vouchers (needs must) but we are slowly building them up again and have just over £3. Amazon vouchers add up to £19.50 so all in all, we currently have a decent amount ready for Christmas.

What is my plan of action for the next few months? I plan on adding any survey money to the Christmas fund (I am finally seeing a decent income from my freelance work so can now start to save this), entering competitions for presents and selling any unwanted junk round my house on various selling sites. I also have a piece of sports memorabilia that I need to get valued – a friend of Steve’s would like it but we don’t want to under or over charge him!

What actions do you plan to take?

Best & Worst: Moneysaving & Money Making Books

This post was actually requested a couple of months back after I posted a picture on my Instagram of the books that currently reside on my desk. These books are here to inspire me and remind me to do certain things – and some of my readers were interested to see just how helpful I found them. I won’t lie – some are more helpful than others. However, I will go into each book, one by one – and give you some positives and negatives. Here I bring you the best and the worst of the moneysaving and money making books currently in my possession.

Best moneysaving and money making booksThe Family Manager Takes Charge (Kathy Peel) –  available here

This isn’t primarily a moneysaving book nor is it primarily a money making book. This book is designed to ‘get on the fast track to a happy, organised home’. What this book does have to offer however is everything you need to get on top of your finances and truly be as organised as you want to be. By being on top of your finances, you are bound to save money! I dip in and out of this when needing inspiration and this really does help. Some sections aren’t relevant to me but that is generally the way with most organisational books or blogs.

ProBlogger: Secrets For Blogging Your Way To a Six Figure Income (Darren Rowse & Chris Garrett) – available here

There are so many blogging books around yet this one hardly gets mentioned anymore, in favour of books such as Blog Inc. Whilst I never started blogging with the intention of earning an income from it, I am lucky enough to be able to do so and when searching for books on blogging, I came across this one. Darren Rowse is perhaps better known as the man who launched ProBlogger.net in 2004. He has a wealth of knowledge and whilst some of the information he shares may not be that easy to understand for brand new bloggers, other bloggers should be able to utilise his techniques to their advantage.

Get Rich Blogging (Zoe Griffin) – available here

I found out about this book via London Beauty Queen and was interested to see what fresh ideas Zoe had. Whilst the information she gives is sometimes more relevant to the UK audience than other books, most of the book tells us exactly what we already know. It’s worth a read but don’t expect to learn too much from it.

The Greatest Guide To Winning Competitions (Karen J Jones) & Winning Consumer Competitions (Kathy Kantypowicz)  – find a similar book by Karen J Jones here & a copy of Kantypowicz’s book here.

You may be wondering why I have included competition books. You may not know it but I love to enter competitions and these can often save you money – and even make you money at times. Where does the saving come in? When you win something you would have been buying anyway! Where does the making come in? When you win cash prizes! I recently read a fantastic post on Young Adult Money where David talks in more depth about making money through giveaways. Whilst both books are a little outdated now, the best one is surely the Winning Consumer Competitions book – it was the book that got me interested in comping when I was about 11!

The Money Diet – available here / Thrifty Ways For Modern Days available here / The Three Most Important Lessons You’ve Never Been Taught available here – all by Martin Lewis

I make no secret of the fact that I love Martin’s website moneysavingexpert.com and that I always try to catch his TV shows when they are on. The knowledge he has is astounding and this shows in his books. By far the best is The Money Diet, giving  you a number of ways to save up to £6000 a year! Thrifty Ways…is a handy little book of moneysaving tips from the community on the MSE forums and the book I like the least, The Three Most Important Lessons, is basically a rehash of everything Martin has said previously. I know that The Money Diet has helped me; I hope it can help you.

The Thrift Book (India Knight)  – available here

My least favourite book of them all. There are some handy moneysaving tips in here – however, India’s tone often comes across as patronising and the majority of the tips are rehashed from other books such as those by Martin Lewis.

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What books do you feel are the best and worst for moneysaving and money making? Do let me know in the comments below.