One pound Ikea breakfast
New energy price cap to be lower but not low enough, Ryanair booking trick, £1 Ikea breakfast, free Halfords inter car check and next year’s self-assessment deadline news. These are our Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis’ Tips 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.
Tomorrow a new energy price cap will be announced at £25-£60 cheaper – but you’ll still be overpaying by hundreds
Tomorrow, the energy regulator Ofgem will confirm the new price cap that lasts for six months, starting on 1 April. This is the max firms can charge for their standard tariffs on typical usage - the expensive ones they leave 11m non-switchers on. As the price cap is based on an algorithm in which wholesale prices (those the energy firms pay) is a key element, analysts are predicting a drop of £25-£60/yr for those on standard billed tariffs, depending on who you listen to.
The current cap is £1,178/yr for someone on typical usage (use more it’ll be higher, use less and it’ll be lower). The new cap could be as low as about £1,120/yr, but the cheapest tariffs on the market are about £800/yr FOR THE SAME USAGE. So don't be fooled - a fair price isn't a cheap one.
Compare NOW to find your cheapest, using Martin’s Cheap Energy Club (also gives you £25 cashback if it can switch you) or any Ofgem approved site - some of the top tariffs from big names are ONLY available via comparison sites, like EDF’s Simply Online 1 Year Fix Feb21v3 tariff at £870/yr and British Gas Energy Plus Protection Feb 2021v4 at £875/yr. Both tariffs also let EXISTING customers switch to it, so if you’re currently with it, it’s a no-brainer saving. With both tariffs if you don’t already have a smart meter you’ll need to get one if possible.
Don’t buy the ticket Ryanair wants you to - a trick to save up to 60% on seats and hand luggage
New research done by my team this week has found that there’s a way you can get seat reservations and cabin bags for up to 60% less with Ryanair by booking its ‘value’ fares rather than its more prominently featured ‘regular’ fares.
Here’s what to do… when you chose your flights, its most prominent option is the ‘Regular’ fare which costs typically £21/per person/flight, and includes 'Priority boarding and two Cabin Bags' (one additional wheelie bag as well as the small carry-on - everyone can take for free) and a reserved seat in rows 18-33.
Yet there are two other options too, Value and Plus. Choose the 'Value' fare, then add the extras separately - if you added all three extras it’s roughly £9-£25 extra per person per flight. Choose a select seat (around £3-£11 each way for rows 18-33) and 'Priority & 2 Cabin Bags' (£6-£14 each way). We checked 20 bookings and the average saving was 30% doing it this way, but in one case a family of four could save £99 on return flights from Luton to Bologna - a whopping 59% saving on the Regular fare. On four of the 20 bookings it was cheaper to book the regular fare rather than value.
Even better, if travelling with kids under 12 this trick works best as they already get 'free' reserved seating as long as one adult reserves a seat (up to 4 kids with one adult), and as it costs parents 'from £4' to reserve this seat.
£1 Ikea breakfast: Visit any Ikea store with a restaurant and you can get a cooked six-piece breakfast for £1 (norm £2.50 or £1.75), until Friday 27 March, on weekdays before 11am, and anyone can get it – you don’t need to be an Ikea Family member to get it. The six-piece breakfast includes a sausage, bacon, omelette, hash brown, baked beans and a grilled tomato. There's also a veggie option which includes a vegetarian sausage and mushrooms instead of bacon.
Free Halfords Winter: Drive to any Halfords store or Autocentre (over 700 nationwide) and you can get a free winter car check (it says it’s worth £15ish). You’ll get a battery health check, headlight and brake light check, windscreen wipers and chip check, and an MOT due date reminder. It should only take 15 minutes and you don't need to book in advance. Be warned though, they may try to upsell to you, but there's no obligation to buy anything or act on any advice you're given. These checks are completely free.
Self-assessment deadline is changing. For those who struggled to do your tax self-assessment in time for last Fri's deadline – a very important note that next tax year they're changing the deadline to 30 NOV! So diarise it now, to ensure you're sorted by then!
Important Disclaimer: This isn't strictly true (or true in any way), but put it in your diary anyway. That way you'll be done in plenty of time and it'll save the panic.