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50% off Sainsbury’s toys

Switch to British Gas (yup you heard it), Tesco tips, 50% off Sainsbury’s toys, advent of a big saving and auto energy switching service. These are our Money Saving ExpertMartin Lewis’ Deals of the Week.

Remember, deals can change quickly, even while I’m on the programme. So always double-check the terms and conditions before spending. Plus, while I hope these deals will save you cash, don’t spend if you can’t afford it, don’t need it, or won’t use it.

I can’t believe I’m saying this but switch to British Gas (even if you’re an existing customer)

Deep breath. And say it… British Gas is currently the cheapest fix on the market. That’s not cheapest of the big firm – that is cheapest across the market. Now much of this is because in since September the price of the cheapest deals has risen by 15%, but it still means for those who haven’t switched this year there’s an opportunity to move to a big name and save.

The new British Gas ‘Boiler Cover Oct 2019’ tariff relaunched last Thursday - it was last around about a month ago, but it's a better deal now as other prices have risen since. It is an online dual-fuel only deal (ie, you must get both gas & electric) that you pay for by monthly or quarterly direct debit, and is only available via comparison sites, including via Martin’s Cheap Energy Club (where you also get £25 cashback) and other Ofgem approved comparison sites, not direct.

As for cost, for someone with typical usage (savings roughly in proportion for other usage)

- A Big 6 standard tariff averages £1,220/year

- The British Gas standard tariff is an average £1,205/year

- This British Gas tariff is an average £1,020/year (not factoring in cashback you may get through certain comparison sites).

The rate is fixed until 31 October 2019, so it won't change before then (diarise to compare again then), though obviously the amount you pay can vary with usage. Most also get a year's basic boiler cover with it worth around £60. You also need to get one of its smart meters if you don’t already have one, but all that means is you won't need to give meter readings in future.

And if you’re already with British Gas then this tariff is a no brainer. Yet don’t expect British Gas to automatically move you to it. You need to take action and switch to it yourself.

Two Tesco Tips… Petrol saving & free crisps

Here’s a Tesco double whammy.

1) Spend £60 or more at Tesco (in store or online) until Sunday 4 November, and you’ll get a voucher for 10p/litre off petrol or diesel to use at a Tesco forecourt. The voucher’s valid for 14 days (if you spend in store) or until 18 November (if you shop online). Not all spending is included though, for example tobacco, opticians, lottery products and gift cards are excluded. Also note, you can’t redeem vouchers at Express stores selling Esso fuel, 'pay at pump' stations or on the Isle of Man.

2) Pick up the October issue of Tesco’s free magazine in store, and inside on page 58 there’s a coupon for a free 6-pack of Walkers Baked crisps (sea salt, cheese & onion or salt & vinegar), which at full price are usually £1.50. The coupon’s valid until Wednesday 31 October or you can get them free with your online shopping by entering the code GR7MY9 at the checkout, and Tesco says there’s plenty of magazines and crisps in stock.

Martin’s Quickies:

Up to 50% off ALL Sainsbury’s toys. Go into a Sainsbury’s store (not online) that sells toys and you can get up to 50% off ALL of its toys until Tuesday (23 October).Over a quarter of toys will have the full 50% discount, including Marvel, Barbie, and Thomas & Friends toys, and all toys will have a minimum of 20% off.

MoneySavers wait for this toy sale every year, as it can be a great one for Christmas prezzies and usually includes coveted kids' brands at decent discounts. For example you could get a Black & Decker first workbench for £17.50 (was £35, next cheapest found is £45 at Debenhams), and a Vtech Grow & Go ride-on for £30 (was £60, next cheapest found is £32.99 at Argos). But don’t assume the sale will always be the cheapest - it’s worth always comparing prices before going to a Sainsbury's store to make sure you're getting a good deal.

£177 of Boots No7 beauty products in £42 advent calendar. From tomorrow (Friday 19 October) Boots will be releasing its normally hugely popular No7 advent calendar for £42 in stores and online. It contains 25 full-size and mini No7 beauty and skincare products, including mascara, nail polish, eyeshadow and a whole of host of creams, which I reckon is worth £177ish if the available products were bought separately – so getting it all for £42 is a great discount, even if you don’t care about advent.

I’d go quick if you want this though, as it tends to sell out very quickly each year, especially online. And of course you don’t have to give this as one present – better to split its contents across multiple gifts.

New automatic energy switching service. Auto-switching site’s where they flip you to another cheap energy provider automatically have been mentioned before. The first of the big boys launched one this week with Gocompare’s Weflip joining the likes of Look After My Billsand Flipper (charges a fee).

This is early days of this, and I’m not sure they’re all yet fully fledged, but I think it is where energy switching is going especially for those who just want it done for them. Though don’t assume they’ll include all the market’s deals.

Brexit transition could be pushed back to 2021

It has emerged that Britain could stay tied to the EU single market and customs union until at least 2021.

That is a year longer than Theresa May had originally proposed.

European Council President Donald Tusk and Theresa May

The Prime Minister told European leaders in Brussels she was ready to consider extending the post-Brexit transition period to help break the deadlock in the talks.

This latest decision has left Brexiteers in rage.

Nigel Farage said a transition extension ‘may mean we never leave’. The former UKIP leader went on to say: “What she’s [Theresa May’s] agreeing to with a further year is another £20 billion of UK tax payers money.”

50,000 children living in toxic households

It has emerged that around 50,000 young children are living in toxic households.

Described as a “toxic trio” of domestic abuse, drug or alcohol addiction, and mental health problems. 15,800 babies are also considered by local authorities to be vulnerable or highly vulnerable, and at risk of harm.

The report from the Children’s Commissioner for England has warned thousands of these vulnerable youngsters could be unknown to social services. Services for high-risk children are under threat, due to council budget cuts which could create a “dangerous shortfall”, they predict.

Piers is PIED by Harry Hill over 'Papoose-Gate'

The Piers Morgan 'papoose-gate' reached a rather messy ending on today's Good Morning Britain. Harry Hill decided it was about time to slam Piers in the face with a custard pie in defence of all the proud papoose wearing dads out there.

Piers then chose to throw a pie in Susanna's face, but we're not so sure why.

Our Good Morning Britain host stirred-up a bit of a Twitter storm earlier in the week when he labelled the papoose (also commonly known-as a baby carrier) emasculating. He even went as far to say that Daniel Craig was an 'emasculated Bond' after the 007 star was seen carrying his baby daughter in a papoose.

Kay Burley: 'I never get upset on telly'

Sky News presenter Kay Burley spoke about the very personal reasons she is taking on her latest charity challenge for Stand Up for Cancer.

Kay, who has reportedly hosted more hours of live television than any other presenter started her career at ITV's TV-AM, explained: “My mum died when she was my age and my little boy was eight months old. I remember her saying to me at the time, ‘I’m going to die’ and I said, ‘I can’t live without you’. And she said, ‘you are going to have to darling and look after your daddy’.

Welling up, she apologised, and said: “I never get upset on the telly.”

Watch the full interview above.

Petition to feature Margaret Thatcher on new £50 note faces opposition

A petition that is calling on Margaret Thatcher to be the face of the new £50 note has received over 8,000 signatures. But as news spreads of the campaign, opinions are split, with some critics going as far to say they won’t use the banknote if Thatcher is on it.

The campaign was launched in response to an announcement from The Bank of England. They’re offering the public the opportunity to nominate British figures to appear on the new £50 note ahead of its redesign in plastic.

Meanwhile, the petition titled: "Margaret Thatcher for the Face of the New £50 Note" is calling for the former PM to be featured, it says, "in the interest of gender equality".