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How to drive down the cost of car insurance

It’s May so it must be time to renew my car insurance! The Minted mobile, my trusty Ford S-Max, is nearing its ten-year birthday. As it’s still going strong, I reckon I shouldn’t be punished for its advanced years, so I set out to find the cheapest policy available. Last year I couldn’t fi...
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Cheap prom dresses: how to be a budget belle of the ball

Shopping for prom dresses, not skiing, was how I spent the half-term holiday. I was hoping for a lovely bonding experience with Dear Daughter of trying on wonderful creations. Instead it was a horrible slog of ghastly backless bling and, in one specialist shop, the most barefaced, hard-sell tactics ...
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Specsavers v VisonDirect: which is cheaper for contact lenses?

wo Goggle-eyed from trying to find the cheapest contact lenses? Me too. Having seen a lot of promotions recently on trains and planes for websites with cut-price offers, I decided to see if I could get a better deal than my local Specsavers. Unfortunately I have astigmatism which means the lenses I ...
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Six alternative ideas for cheap half-term fun

Half-term is imminent – where does the time go? Mercifully it looks as if it will be mostly warm. Still, even when the sun shines, entertaining the kids can be pretty expensive if you go to theme parks or museums. I’ve put together a few alternative (and cheap) ideas for holiday family fun – suitabl...
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How to get cheap opera tickets

While thousands of tourists flock to London’s Royal Opera House (ROH), for many of us opera remains unapproachable, elusive, and above all, too expensive. This is fake news, however, when opera tickets are more affordable than you think – and less highbrow too. A seat at the ROH may cost as little a...
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How to hang up on broadband bills

Breaking up is hard to do, so they say. I’d agree, especially if your unreliable boyfriend is a telecoms giant like BT. We’ve been in a long-term relationship for about seven years and I’ve put up with all sorts of bad behaviour: poor service, slow broadband, line crackle and so on. The final straw ...
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Would you go grey to save money on haircare?

I’ve been so busy this week that I had to cancel my appointment with the hairdresser. In the grand scheme of things it’s a minor drama, I know. My hair is straggly with split-ends, the roots are showing and the bits which retained any colour have now turned orange in the summer sun. When I’m slobbin...
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Can’t afford a girls’ weekend away? Five alternatives

Fancy a trip away with the girls? If you're going abroad, it's going to cost 20% more than it used to because Brexit and all that nonsense means the buying power of the pound has dropped. For some, that’s going to make chillaxing with friends unaffordable this year. So here are some ideas from ...
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Father’s Day barbecue: fork that!

You can tell summertime is here. A fug of charcoal settles over every garden on Saturdays. Groups of men in brightly coloured shorts crowd around burning bowls on tripods, clutching beer cans, undeterred by the black, billowing clouds being produced. Yes, it’s barbecue season and what better excuse ...
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Why can’t I find cheaper car insurance?

Why, oh why, has my car insurance gone up by a massive £95.20? I’ve had no accidents, we’ve not moved house – everything is the same as last year. There seems to be no good reason to whack up my premium by over 40%. I am outraged. I should have a loyalty bonus for sticking with Churchill, not a pena...
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Now champagne is cheaper than mouthwash, how to find the best bubbly bargains

Just off the return flight from Miami and I find I’ve landed into the middle of a champagne war. The supermarkets are vying with each other so hard that Tesco’s Louis Delaunay champagne is now on for £9 a bottle if you buy six. At that price, the Daily Mail has noticed, it’s £1.20 per 100 ml wh...
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How does anyone afford a family holiday these days?

Will summer ever come? This unending, grey cold is making me ill, I swear. My normal antidote would be to book a family break somewhere hot (see photo of the Philippines above, yes please!). This year though it’s different – has anyone noticed how expensive flights are at the moment? I’m looking at ...
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Water load of nonsense with my bill

Bit of a cold shower moment yesterday: my six-monthly water bill was a whacking £417.09. That’s 23% more than the last one. Obviously Minted HQ is quite a large house and there are a few of us living here. The washing machine is on almost permanently and Darling Son likes to take very deep baths, mo...
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