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Thanks for reading our Prudent Minds Diary Blog which is our real money saving experiences. We will keep updating as and when we have a new money saving experience to report. The savings could be on the internet, high street or might just be something random that we have found which will hopefully provide ways for you to save money from my experiences. There may also be some Prudent Minds updates here and there, which we feel you might want to have a read about.

August Bank Holiday Giveaways
27th August, 2010

It would seem there is a never ending supply of people willing to get us to shop over the Bank Holiday weekend. For me, I don't need an excuse, and an extra day to do it in can only damage my bank balance.

At the Prudent Minds offices we have received press release after press release from stores wanting us to advertise their sale. This information will no doubt be all over the web, the airwaves and the TV screens, but still they want every nook and cranny covered just in case they miss that one elusive customer.

Boots tell us they have a Bank Holiday Mega Weekend; the offer, 10 advantage card points per pound spent. Now that is definitely a lot more than normal, but does it really add up to a saving? Read our information on Reward Cards to find out how to really maximise the Boots offer.

Play.com have a BANK HOLIDAY BLOWOUT ! with upto 80% savings. How much there is that you can save 80% on, I'm not sure, but its worth a look.

Tesco and Asda are both vying for your bank holiday dosh. Asda with savings on furniture, Tesco with deals on the new season clothes - of course, by the time you've been in and got your bargain buy, then filled your trolley with other things you hadn't thought of, they've got the extra business that the sales are designed to catch.

Remember guys and gals, if you didn't need it in the first place, or if you didn't really have the money to spare, nothing you buy is a real bargain. Imagine the money you will save by stopping at home? Stores use these sales to get you in on a good deal, but to the "up-sell" you things you never needed, therefore claiming you as an extra shopper on top of what they would have hoped for.

Enjoy your sale shopping wherever it may be, but enjoy your bank holiday weekend even more, by living within your budget.

Who shops for car insurance?
14th January, 2010

We were having a conversation in the office today about Car Insurance, and comparing notes on how we all go about it. Surprisingly (and perhaps alarmingly) many of us are still sticking with our normal provider, or at best doing two or three searches and going with the cheapest.

This is alarming, especially since it’s clear we haven't taken our own advice, from our Prudent Minds Car Insurance Guide.

For my own part, I did use ONE comparison site three years ago, was impressed with what I found, reduced my own plus my partners car insurance premium by over £50. But nothing since then. The only thing we could all think of, was that I was so satisfied with my car insurer that time around, that I’ve never changed.

One girl said she phoned two insurance companies and went with the cheaper of the two. Many of the people in the office had used price comparison sites in the past, found them helpful, but then not used them again.

Whilst this may all be anecdotal problems for the marketers at the various price comparison sites, it has set us wondering why we just don’t put the effort into getting things cheaper.

We should take a dose of our own medicine and commit to making saving money a New Year resolution. Email in and let us know your car insurance shopping habits.

Redecorating on a Budget
24th June 2009

A Prudent Minds employee wrote:

I decided that our bedroom could really do with a re-vamp, but as we are trying to save as much money as possible I had to think of ways which I could save money. This turned out to be quite succesful and I saved money on the following items:-

Wallpaper - As the plastic which covered the paper paper had come undone a little at the end and as the paper was white it had made it a little but dirty. I pointed this out at checkout and received a 10% discount on the paper.

Paint - The paint I wanted was a pale Grey, so I looked around and tried a few samples but non were the colour I was looking for. I had seen the perfect colour in a Dulux paint which was mixed in store, but that was £18 per pot and I would have needed 2 pots. The my husband suggested that I buy a white paint and a small tin of black paint and mix the colour myself. So I did, the white paint cost £5.99 and the black £6.99 and this was enough to do all the painting I wanted to do. Curtians - Again I struggled with this one as the curtains I wanted were £90, but then I cam up with a brain wave. I bought a material dye and coloured my previous curtains (which are in great condition) the colour I now wanted.

Storage Boxes for my Dressing Table - I always have storage boxes on my dressing table and I had looked around for replacements. I was a little shocked to find that there were £7.99 each, and I needed at least 2! So again I gave it some thought and decided that actually I could use some of the sample papers I had taken when choosing my wallpaper to wrap shoe boxes. I went ahead and did this and am really pleased with the results.

There were a couple of items for which I paid for such as a lamp shade, bedding and cushions, but the lamp shade and cushions were in a sale so that wasn't too bad at all.

Over all the redecoration cost less than £85 which for a total redecoration including curtains and bedding isn't too bad at all! I haven't replaced the carpet yet, I think I am going to hunt for a bargain roll end and fit it myself, when I do find one I will let you know.

Cash for Old Gold
20th June 2009

Prudent Minds staff member tells us:

A family member had told us that we could actually get quite a bit of money for unwanted gold, even if it was broken. So I spent one evening clearing out all the unwanted gold we have, there wasn't a huge amount to be honest, just a broken chain, odd earing's and rings that I will never wear again. What we had didn't even fill an earing box.
First of all my husband went to a shop in a local town, but he was offered very little. We are not sure why this was, but we think it might be because most of the gold was mine and I wasn't there, they may have thought it was stolen? Anyway, a few days later, we went to a bigger town to a shop we had been recommended to use. I was parking the car and my husband had walked over whilst I got a space to save time. They did ask who's the gold was, and Danny said some is mine, but most is my wives, to which they said that I would have to be there to say that it was okay to sell. So over to the shop I went, they asked for my ID and I had to sign to say I was happy to sell, which being as they offered me £154 for some old gold which I thought was worthless I was very happy to do!

Selling Old Mobile Phones
12th June 2009

Well, I have to say this was a total success, not only were my old phones processed really quickly (I had my cheque within 2 days), I was also paid the full amount which had been quoted.
I have been looking round the house this weekend for any other old mobile phones which I can send off.

Selling on Ebay
10th June 2009

Well, we have taken the plunge and have advertised and sold our first item on Ebay. It is a record, thought it would be good to start simple, and it has sold for £10.50. We now need to package and post the item and will keep you posted as to how we get along.

Mobile Phone Contract Cashback
1st June 2009

As previously mentioned we took out a mobile phone contract back in September on which cash back could be claimed. We sent the first claim off in May and yesterday received our first cheque for £20! Whoop! No questions asked and no problems! I think the next claim is due this month, I will have to check my list tonight.

Items sent for Sending old Mobile Phones
1st June 2009

Bag and instructions for postage arrived for sending old mobile phones. I am going to package them up tonight and will send them off tomorrow. Watch this space and I will keep you updated as to what happens next.

Cash for old Mobile Phones, 23rd May 2009

Free Dental Treatment, 17th May 2009

Free Sky Box, 9th May 2009

Mobile Contract Cashback Cont from Sept 2008, 9th May 2009

£40 4 Day Break, May 2009

Saved hundreds on Car Insurance, 28th April 2009

Saved £200+ by using a Pre Paid Prescription, 14th Feb 2009

Hair Colours for £1.94, 23rd Jan 2009

Present Approval, 1st Jan 2009

Checking our Monthly Outgoings, 27th Nov 2008

Present Approval, 27th Nov 2008

Purchasing Presents in Advance, 11th Oct 2008

Mobile Phone Contract, 7th Sept 2008

Short Break, 23rd June 2008

Health Insurance plan for a few pounds, 14th June 2008

Eating Out on a Budget
All Year Round

3 courses and a glass of wine each for £26.95 per couple or
A Starter, Main Course and Coffee for £12.50 each

We do like to treat ourselves to a nice meal out as often as possible and we have used meal deals offered by some of our favourite restaurants to make sure that our money goes a bit further and to ensure that we don't feel we are missing out on treats.

Our favourite Pub Restaurant offers 3 courses and a glass of wine each for £26.95 per couple which is great value for money. Usually it does cost us slightly more as we do tend to have an extra drink, but if you wanted to you could really stick to the deal and not have another drink at all.

And one of our favourite Indian restaurants offers any starter (except fish dishes) and any main course from the Traditional Favourites (again excluding fish dishes) with Rice or Nan Bread, along with a Coffee to finish for £12.50 per person. Again this is great value for money but may cost slightly more as you would normally buy a drink or two.

Both these offers are week day offers, but I know the Pub Restaurant does include Fridays. This actually works out really well for us as weekend dining is not on the cards due to my husband's job.

2 Nights Away - Free of Charge, 5th May 2008

Watches and Jewellery at Goldsmiths for £1.99, 14th Nov 2007

Other Prudent Minds News

Cashback Credit Cards
June 2009

Focus is being added to Cashback Credit Cards including the advantages which they offer, but also the potential disadvantages too. We have already done some work on Cashback Credit Cards, but we will be revisiting this topic over the next week to look at any more information which we can add to Cashback Credit Cards.

Loan Calculator
June 2009

If you are considering taking out a loan in the near future, look at our Loan Calculator which will be able to give you more of an idea how much you will be looking to pay back on your monthly instalments. Remember that it isn't just the APR or Interest Rate which you need to consider, but also any fee's which may be applied to the loan.

Using Credit Cards Abroad
April 2009

This week we have been concentrating on using credit cards abroad. This is a much bigger subject than we first envisaged so we will be revamping this section for a few more days. This section will involve a thorough search on our part to look at the credit cards available and find out which is the best choice to reduce your cash and spending costs whilst on holiday.

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Updated on 27th August, 2010

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