Money-saving tips: cheap prescription sunglasses and quality takeaway swaps

The focus remains on cost pressure. Inflation was reported to have hit 9.1 per cent this week and there were warnings of a hike to a £3,000 energy price ceiling later in the year.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t easy tips and tricks to get you started.

Every Friday, one of our expert team of personal finance journalists rounds up five tips we think are worth mentioning that can help you save money or make money amid sky-high inflation and skyrocketing bills.

This week features take-out swaps, a half-meat trick, cheaper prescription sunglasses, holiday organization and library entertainment.

Fast Indian: Instead of ordering from a takeaway restaurant we use Cook – I like the Lamb Dupiaza, my wife the Kerala Prawn and the Mango, both £5.50 (stock image)

1. Skip takeaways for upscale stores

Our household doesn’t do much take-out – we order an Indian every few months and that’s about it

However, I know that Friday night temptation after a long week at work and as a parent. Cooking a curry from scratch or having a pizza dough made and proofed in the oven is not ideal.

The key to the take-away fix is ​​simplicity, yet maximum flavor. In the pandemic, we turned to upscale frozen food store Cook for curries and have continued to use them.

My wife and I have one dish each, usually a lamb and shrimp number, total cost £11. We cook up some rice (get 50p microwave bags if you really don’t feel like it) and pop a naan from the freezer into the toaster.

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A take-out equivalent usually costs three times as much and the Cook dishes taste great. It’s also ready in the same amount of time it would take us to pick up the phone and wait for a takeaway to arrive – if not faster.

It currently has an Indian for two for £15, including two main courses, a side dish, rice and naan. A perfect opportunity to try it.

Regarding pizza I go to Wholefoods or Waitrose where they have it The Northern Dough Co frozen pizza dough.

They cost £2.50 for two people. I like the rosemary flavored one.

Thaw it, crank the oven up (I have a cheap pizza stone too), put in some quality canned peeled plum tomatoes, mozzarella (usually around £1.50) and whatever else you have floating around in the fridge (often in this house). vegetables and ham).

I guarantee it tastes a lot better than big chains (at a fraction of the cost) and other quick pizza alternatives in supermarkets – and it’s not far off the quality of a good independent restaurant with a wood-fired oven. My daughter also likes to take part.

I also pointed out Northern Dough Co to This is Money editor Simon Lambert, which they say is both a big fan of quality pizza and picky.

A man who makes his own dough, Simon uses a recipe refined by his brother, the former chef, which in turn was passed down to him by an Italian foodie.

Having recently bought a pizza oven (don’t worry, it was second-hand, so he got a deal), Simon tried out Northern Dough Co’s pre-made dough the other weekend. His verdict: really good quality, good tasting pizza dough that was very easy to work with.

2. Half Meat Trick

Speaking of food – food inflation is rising sharply which was a major factor in the rising CPI – I’m on a bit of a health gimmick right now.

One step I’ve taken is halving meat from recipes – better for my waistline and the environment.

Let me give you an example: I often cook chili in batches – instead of using 500g good quality ground beef, I used 250g and put the other half in the freezer for next time.

I replace the missing 250g with a zucchini, a carrot, a frozen block of spinach and 50g cheap red lentils.

It tastes almost the same, but the most expensive, unhealthiest, but tastiest ingredient has been partially removed. I do the same with curries (substituting sweet potatoes for half the chicken). Try it!

Start spreading the news: A recent trip to NYC was expensive — but at least I had my travel money sorted

Start spreading the news: A recent trip to NYC was expensive — but at least I had my travel money sorted

3. Open a second checking account for holiday pay

Earlier this month I went on vacation to New York. The exchange rate is miserable as the pound struggles against the dollar.

I like to use a mixture of cash and card abroad. I always pre-order my currency to be picked up from a local exchange for a slightly better rate.

When it comes to cards, I’m a big fan of checking accounts with no overseas fees for spending or withdrawals. I’m also happy to keep it separate, a holiday savings account if you’d like.

I booked NYC last summer so I had £50-£100 in it every payday with a few taps on my phone meaning my travel money was sorted by the time I left.

I use star as my secondary account for it. chase and Monzo also offer the same offer without international fees.

4. New library life

Look, it’s no secret that the library is free and a great resource in local communities (if you’re lucky enough to still have one).

However, having neglected my local one for many years, I have a new library life through my three year old daughter.

We trundle in here at least one Saturday a month and she spends hours choosing books from the huge children’s collection, going through them, and it’s essentially free entertainment that does her good.

It’s also saved me from buying more books, which outgrow her pretty quickly.

In addition, our local library offers all kinds of free events for children, from Spanish classes to toddler story time.

It will soon have a full load of summer holiday activities for kids. It’s worth checking your local website to see what’s going on and to help support it.

Queen of Cool: I can't guarantee you'll look as good in her sunglasses as Her Majesty did on the recent anniversary flyover, but you can at least get them for a good price

Queen of Cool: I can’t guarantee you’ll look as good in her sunglasses as Her Majesty did on the recent anniversary flyover, but you can at least get them for a good price

5. Prescription sunglasses for less

I never lose my prescription glasses. However, I keep losing my prescription sunglasses, which as a short-sighted person is a real pain, especially in summer.

I am an avid customer of glasses directly for more than a decade. Compared to the cost of a pair of sunglasses at my optician, this site is much cheaper.

This time I’ve opted for two simple pairs of sunglasses (instead of more expensive designer ones) and they look great. They’re £30 each with decent UV protection after using a discount code and these aren’t just for new customers.

There always seem to be discount codes. For example, right now you can get 30 percent off designer eyewear with BTQ30, or 50 percent off with a pair free and tints half price with code 3IN1.

All you have to do is enter your last prescription (while it’s still valid) and from experience they usually arrive within two weeks.

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Money-saving tips: cheap prescription sunglasses and quality takeaway swaps

Source link Money-saving tips: cheap prescription sunglasses and quality takeaway swaps

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