From scams to savings, Alexis Conran's aim is to aid us in becoming more conscientious consumers.
This week he'll be warning that supermarket offers may not always be the great deals they seem, offering top tips on how motorists can get the best cheapest fuel in their area, and revealing how millions of people are missing out on the best pension plan for them.
Also on the agenda is how the internet highway might beat the High Street when it comes to bargains this Christmas...
Multi-buy deals may not be what they seem
Saving motorists some much-needed cash
- Figures from the AA state that the cost of running a car has risen by 9% since the coalition government took over in 2010.
- Motorists running a popular car like the Ford Fiesta and driving about 10,000 miles a year face annual costs of nearly £4,600. That compares with total costs - including maintenance charges, parking fees, petrol, taxes, depreciation and insurance - of around £4,200 two years ago. These statistics are based on an averagely fuel efficient car.
- Energy efficiency pays - Drivers of more energy-efficient cars benefit from lower fuel bills and also pay lower road tax.
- Petrol vs diesel - It is often assumed that diesels are more economical to run. But if you drive less than 16,000 miles a year and do lots of urban driving, a diesel may not be for you.
- Diesel currently costs around 5p more a litre, meaning the improved fuel economy offered by diesel vehicles only pays off if you drive longer distances.
- A recent survey revealed that motorists will waste £500 million this winter turning on the engine to defrost their windows. Better to do this manually and save yourself some money.
- To save money whilst at the pump you should try registering with PetrolPrices.com and you can tap in your postcode to find the cheapest petrol station near you. Otherwise, if you have a smartphone, download the PetrolPrices app that will tell you where your nearest cheap petrol station is. www.whatprice.co.uk is another website that can help you find the best prices.
Don't miss out on the pension you're entitled to
- The National Association of Pension Funds have released new research that suggests nearly two-thirds of retirees are missing out on bigger pensions to which they are entitled.
- The reason behind people not getting the full benefits is down to them not disclosing everything fully on their forms.
- Experts say such people could boost their retirement income by up to a fifth by taking a few simple steps. Disclosing if they smoke or have an existing medical condition would actually help their money go further in old age.
- Anything that could shorten a person's life can push up the annual payment from your pension provider.
- High blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, being overweight and even living in an area with a high mortality rate can qualify individuals for a better pension.
- Why does poor health potentially mean you could get a bigger allowance? Insurers will pay a higher income to someone in poor health - after all, if your health is poor, you're more likely to die at a relatively young age.
- NAPF estimates between 40% and 60% of people are eligible to qualify for an enhanced rate, but have missed out because they did not shop around or they failed to fill in a medical form properly.
Savvy savings for online shoppers
- New figures, compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) have suggested that online prices are falling at their fastest rate for five years, promising a bumper Christmas for bargain-hunters.
- Competition among Internet retailers pushed prices down by 1.2% in the third quarter compared with the previous year, the steepest decline since 2007. By contrast, high street prices rose 0.8% over the same period.
- There have however been many headlines in recent weeks about one of Britian's biggest online retailer avoiding tax, which has angered many consumers.
- Consumers have more options online than they might first assume, and can look for deals elsewhere using a price comparison site, such as Pricerunner or Kelkoo. However these sites do not compare costs from every available retailer and prices are not always up to date. It is best to use two or three sites, and do your own research, to be sure of getting the best deals.