£5 or less National Express tickets, prescription prepay season ticket and January restaurant deals
£5 or less National Express tickets, prescription prepay season ticket, travel insurance and January restaurant deals. These are our Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis’ Quick Deals.
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.
Do you need multiple prescriptions? You could save on a ‘season ticket’
In England each prescription costs £8.60 a go (in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, prescriptions are free, and some also qualify for free prescriptions in England, for example if you're under 16, 60 or over or pregnant), and newfigures disclosed by the NHS Business Services Authority show that last financial year (2016/2017) over 800,000 people paid for 13 or more prescription items, which in total would have cost around £110/year each on the medicine (was £8.40 each last year).
Yet, it’s possible they could have saved on average £50 each by getting an NHS prescription prepayment certificate – it’s basically a season ticket for prescriptions and means you pay once and then get free prescriptions for the period covered. A 12-month season ticket costs £104, or a three-month one costs £29.10. So as a rough rule of thumb, if you pay for at least 13 prescriptions in a year - or four in a three-month period - you can likely save with a prepay certificate.
Ask you GP or pharmacist and if it’s likely you’ll need lots of prescriptions it may be worth getting one from the NHS Prescriptions site, or forms are also available at certain pharmacies, or alternatively call 0300 330 1341. They can also be backdated by one month – so if you've realised you are getting a lot of prescriptions and a certificate is worth your money, you can buy one and claim the cost of your prescriptions back by a month.
January restaurants deals
After all the heavy-eating during Christmas, restaurants in January get less business so are offering big discounts. Here’s a round up of what’s on offer…
- 2for1 Carluccio’s valid every day: Until Thursday 8 February, when you order two main meals at any Italian restaurant chain Carluccio's, you can get the cheapest for £1. Just print or show a voucher on your phone from Vouchercloud. The voucher’s valid every day, though you can only use one voucher per two meals, so if there's four or more of you you'll need multiple vouchers.
- 50% off Bella Italia valid every day: Register at Bella Italia and you can get a voucher for 50% off main courses, valid until Friday 9 February. One voucher code's valid for a table of up to six people, just print it or show it on your smartphone when asking for the bill.
- 2for1 Prezzo except Sat: Register with Prezzo to get a 2for1 voucher on all main courses (excluding La Famiglia) when you dine in Sunday-Friday until Wednesday 31 January. One voucher's good for the whole table and you can either print it or show it on your smartphone.
- 40% off Harvester every day ends Sunday: Download the Harvester app and register to get 40% off all full-price adult and kids' main meals between 11.30am and 10pm until this Sunday (14 January). One voucher is good for the whole table, and it can't be used with any other offer, earlybird or evening set menus, kids' meal deal, starter bundle offer, breakfast or takeaway.
£5 National Express tickets
Go online to National Express, and you can currently get single coach fares for £5 or less for travel until Friday 20 April. There are 1million seats available, though they are randomly spread on hundreds of its routes so it’s a matter of being flexible and searching. Seats include singles from Birmingham to London for £1.50 (travelling at 2pm on 26 March, a seat 20 minutes earlier on the same day costs £12.60), London to Cardiff for £2.80 (travelling on 26 February at 4.30pm, at 6.30pm same day it costs £28), and Manchester to Sheffield for £2.90.
Popular times are expected to go quickly, and there's limited availability during peak times, half-term and Easter holidays. The tickets are 'restricted' fares, which aren't amendable and are non-refundable. There's a £1 booking fee per transaction and you can print your tickets at home for free, otherwise you'll pay an extra £2.50 to have your tickets posted to you or £1 to have them sent to your mobile phone.
Booked your holiday? Get your travel insurance ASAB (As Soon As you've Booked)
This month, millions of you are booking your summer holidays, so at the same time make sure you book your travel insurance too. You need cover from the moment you go, yet far too many people book a holiday and then leave the cover until later. Sadly too often I hear stories like “I’ve just been diagnosed with cancer, I was due to go on holiday in six weeks, but now need chemo. The airline won’t refund my ticket, what can I do?”The unfortunate answer is not a lot. You're only covered for cancellation if you have insurance BEFORE an illness/injury, job loss, jury service call-up etc. So whether going away soon or later this year, buy ASAB.
There are many cheap, decent value policies available online and via comparison sites from as little as £9 for a year’s European cover for an individual. If you go away two or more times a year then annual policies usually win. Plus, if you’re skiing or snowboarding you’ll NEED winter sports add-on for full cover, as this pays out for medical costs from ski accidents, damaged gear and cancellations due to piste closure. Check if your current policy includes this - if not, get a quote to extend it, then see if you can beat it buying new cover that includes winter sports.