There is an old saying, of Scots origin, that “many a mickle makes a muckle”. Roughly translated it means that if you watch the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves! Here, we look at the many ways to shave a few costs, and save a few quid, by taking up every offer and opportunity you can find.
An online tool that applies every voucher code on the internet when you check out
Honey is a freely downloadable browser extension that once installed on your laptop automatically searches for valid current voucher codes while your shopping. At the checkout stage, it applies the best deal to make sure you don’t miss out on any savings.
To start getting vouchers automatically, first, add Honey to your web browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, Opera). A little “h” button appears in your toolbar.
Shop normally and when you reach checkout Honey will pop up and test every available voucher code, applying the codes that save you the most money. It’s really that easy.
Honey works on 21,000 stores including Expedia, Groupon, Topshop, ASOS, Macy’s, Sephora, Nike, Adidas, GoDaddy, Domino’s, and H&M. 7 million people use Honey, and last year it saved them over £250 million.
How to switch your supplier for gas and electricity
Switching bank accounts and energy suppliers is nowhere near as hard as you might imagine. For example, to change energy suppliers, you only need your postcode, a recent energy bill (or ability to answer a few lifestyle and/or home size questions) and about 10 minutes. By using an Ofgem accredited energy comparison website like uSwitch, you’ll be surprised just how easy it is — and yes, you really can save hundreds of pounds a year by changing energy plans.
Eating out, shopping or enjoying a day out
According to Moneywise.com, whether you are eating out, shopping or enjoying a day out there are plenty of discounts to tempt older customers. This is their advice:
B&Q’s Diamond Club offers over 60s a 10% discount when shopping in store on Wednesdays. New members also get £5 off a £30 shop. By registering the card and using it every time you shop you can also earn discount vouchers.
Boots Shoppers aged over 60 with a Boots Advantage card can join More Treats for Over 60s. You’ll get 10 points for every £1 you spend (compared to four points per £1 for regular cardholders) plus £25 off glasses at Boots Opticians
In addition to a free eye test, Specsavers customers aged 60 also qualify for 25% off glasses and lenses.
The Garden Club loyalty scheme at Wyevale Garden Centres is available to all customers but over 60s get double points on Tuesdays.
Planet Organic offers a 5% discount to customers over 60 in store with proof of age. The discount is not available online.
At ATS Euromaster a Club60 discount scheme entitles cardholders to 15% off servicing, brakes, wipers, exhausts and batteries, including products and labour costs, a Class 4 MOT for £30, or £20 with a service plus selected offers on tyres and seasonal promotions.
And if it’s culture you are after
Over 65s qualify for cheaper membership at English Heritage which offers unlimited access to over 400 historic sites across the UK. Single over 65s pay £49 a year, compared to £56 for its standard adult rate. A joint adult membership is £99 compared to £74 for two over 60s. You can bring along the grandchildren for free too.
National Trust offers a discounted senior membership deal to the over 60s who have been a member of the National Trust for five years out of the last 10. It’s £51.48 a year for an individual over 60s membership, compared to £69 for a standard adult. A joint over 60s membership is £82.50, compared to £114 for a standard joint membership. Call the Supporter Services Centre on 0344 800 1895 for more information.
Many museums and attractions will offer discounts so it’s always worth asking. For example, entry to Longleat Safari Park, House and Gardens is £26.73 for over-60s if you book online, compared to £29.70 for standard adults. Meanwhile, adults visiting the Beamish Open-Air Museum pay £19 while over-60s pay £14, and you can return for free for a whole year.
Royal Shakespeare Company offers 20% off all seats (except premium) on Monday and Tuesday evenings and all midweek matinees if you’re aged 60 or over. These tickets are for selected performances only. They’re not available for groups of more than eight people or on premium seats.
Silver screenings for silver surfers
Many cinemas offer concessionary rates and some do special discounted screenings.
The Odeon’s Silver Cinema screenings start at just £3 for over-55s. Tea, coffee and biscuits are thrown in before the film.
Picture House chain, which has cinemas across London and in major cities, offers membership packages. For £45 a year, retired members get four tickets for screenings in Picture House’s regional cinemas plus £2 off further tickets at any cinema. Added perks are priority booking and 10% off food and drink. The Retired Member Plus package costs £85, offering the same perks but with eight free tickets. Prices rise to £50 and £95 respectively for the London-based cinemas.
Vue offers Senior Screenings at selected cinemas for a discounted price. You need to be over 60 and although there is no free popcorn, you do get a cuppa and a biscuit.
Theatres very often offer discounted rates for senior citizens so it’s always worth asking before you book tickets.
Once you are 60 you become eligible for a Senior Railcard. For £30 a year you get a third off all rail travel. If you live in or visit Wales and are aged over 55 you can travel throughout the country by train at discounted rates with an Arriva Club 55 ticket. This offer means that all return tickets in Wales are £27, potentially saving you a lot of money. Senior Railcard holders get a further discount of £1.
Scot Rail’s Club 50 is available to everyone aged over 50 and offers 20% off tickets for journeys in Scotland if they are booked online.
National Express offers a third off its standard coach fares for over 60s. The Senior Coachcard costs £12.50 a year plus £2.50 postage and packaging. Other local coach companies may also offer discounts.
If you live in Scotland, you can get free bus travel around almost everywhere in Scotland, and as far as Carlisle and Berwick-upon-Tweed, with National Entitlement Card, Scotland.
For continental rail travel across 30 different European countries, seniors can get 10% off adult fares with Interrail’s Senior Pass.
Great deals on the great British countryside
If you’re a Club member and qualifying occupant you can get an additional 25% off club site pitch fees in all seasons except high season with the Camping and Caravanning Club.
Join Britain’s walking charity the Ramblers Association as a lifetime member for £460, instead of £770 if you’re aged 60 or over.
Keeping fit for less
Visit your local sports and leisure centre for off-peak or 60 plus discounts on gym, swimming and exercise classes. Many local authorities across the UK offer free swimming to people aged 60 or over.
Better Gyms have reduced membership for seniors. It’s open to people aged 60 or over, but in some areas, it may be available if you’re over 50 or 55. There’s more information about the reduced rate membership on Better Gyms’ website.
DW Fitness has reduced ‘senior’ membership, but only for those aged 65 plus. The offer isn’t available in all clubs. You’ll need to bring proof of age when you take out membership in order to get the discount.
Staying safe online
To make the most of these deals it’s impossible to avoid using the internet and sharing important information online. Don’t let the risks deter you from taking advantage of the great offers we have described in this article, but do take care and follow the advice of AgeUK below
Scammers can create fake websites which look official requesting you to provide personal or financial information. For example, a fake bank website may be set up asking you to update your account or security information. Often, they will look very similar, and only a few tiny details may be different.
There are also websites which are set up to look like a copy of a service offered by government websites. Although they are not necessarily illegal, these websites charge extra money if you use them rather than going directly through the official government department. If you aren’t sure about which website to use, go through GOV.UK, the Government’s official website, to find what you need.
Scammers will send bogus emails in the hope that people will enter their personal details. They may direct you to a fake website, trick you into thinking you’ve won a lottery or prize, or pretend to be someone you may know who has been stranded somewhere and needs money.
Some emails may also have a link or file attached for you to click on or open. These are sometimes called spam or junk emails. Opening these links or downloading the files may be harmful to your computer.
If you see a suspicious email, don’t reply with your details or open any links or documents. Delete the email straight away. If the email claims to be from an organisation, phone them directly using the phone number found on their official website and ask them.
To help protect you while shopping or banking online, follow these simple tips:
- Beware of pop-up messages that warn you about a website’s security certificate. They may direct you to a fake website that’s designed to get you to hand over your security details.
- Use online retailers with a good reputation, as either high-street shops or established online stores.
- Cross-check information on the internet to see if anyone has experienced problems with the retailer.
- If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is, and be cautious of anything offered in an unsolicited email.
As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch, but it’s well worth making sure you are not missing out on these great offers. Just remember to take care online and only trust well-known companies!