Martin Lewis' Deals of the Week: Grab a free memory foam pillow worth £50
Stock up on stamps before the price rises, prescriptions up 20p to £9, free £50 Tempur pillow, HMRC scam warning and £15 Google Home mini. These are our Money Saving Expert Martin 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.
Stock up on stamps to avoid the hike next week
April is the season for public service prices hikes; council tax, water bills, energy prices, and more are going up. Yet I thought I’d bring you a couple of the less known ones today.
On Monday (25 March) the price of a first-class stamp for a standard letter will increase from 67p to 70p and to 61p from 58p for a second-class stamp.
For a large letter the cost will go up by 5p to £1.06 (first-class) and to 83p (second-class).
Yet, as stamps don’t have a price on them, most just say 1st or 2nd (Or 1st or 2nd large for the bigger ones) on them and there’s no expiry date, buy them now (last date to get them is Sunday) and they are valid in perpetuity after.
So while it’s only pennies, if you’re going to send, even a big batch of Christmas cards, you may as well stock up now, like Simon who said "I bought £500 of stamps when I retired nine years ago and still have about £200 worth. I must have a saved a fortune."
English prescriptions are going up to £9 on 1 April – can you save with prepay certificate?
Those who pay for prescriptions in England will see a 20p price rise on 1 April from £8.80 to £9 (they're free in the rest of the UK) - costly if you need them regularly.
Yet you could get a prepay certificate (kind of like a prescription season ticket) which gives you unlimited prescriptions for that time – a three-month one costs £29.10 and a year’s costs £104 – these aren’t going up.
Generally these win for those who get a prescription every month, but occasionally more. A freedom of information request showed info from the most recent year available (2016/17) that over 800,000 people could have saved on average £50/year by buying one. You can get one at NHS prescriptions.
Free £50 Tempur travel pillow: Go quick if you want this, as until 11.59pm tonight (21 March), newbies visiting a participating Tempur stockist (find your nearest) including most branches of Dreams, Bensons for Beds, John Lewis and Furniture Village, and take part in its 'Tempur Comfort Trial' – it involves you lying down on a few different mattresses and filling out a short five-minute survey online – and you’ll be able to get a free Tempur ‘memory foam’ travel pillow that retails for £50.
To get it, once you’ve completed the survey, a confirmation screen will give you a date to revisit the store (from Thursday 18 April) to pick up your free pillow (take a screenshot of the confirmation screen to show in store, or take a print out and photo I.D with proof of address).
If you do the Tempur Challenge at John Lewis your pillow will be sent directly to your home address for free from 18 April. And if you’ve done one of these ‘challenges’ before, you won’t be able to do it again.
Trick to get a Google Home Mini for £15 (normally £49). Until 14 May, sign up to music streamer Spotify’s £14.99/month ‘Premium for Family’ subscription (allows up to six people within the same household access to its premium service), and you’ll get a free Google Home Mini voice-activated smart speaker (normally £49).
However it’s worth noting if you cancelled your membership after one month, you’re still eligible for the free mini, so you could get it for £15.
There’s nothing in the T&C’s stopping you from doing this, but when my team contacted Spotify to check if it's okay, it declined to comment - and in the past similar freebies from other retailers have been pulled early amid a rush of new customers signing up - so we can't guarantee it will work for you.
If you already have the Family subscription you can also get the freebie; log into your account (you must be the primary account holder) and you’ll be told your Google Home Mini has been reserved, and you’ll be sent an email when it’s ready for you to order.
Finally, beware fraudsters pretending to be from HMRC. I wanted to remind you HMRC will never cold call you out of the blue, nor will it email you about refunds.
One particularly alarming scam at the moment is seeing fraudsters ring, often from a number that looks similar if not identical to HMRC’s own number, and tell the victim that they will be arrested for tax fraud, unless they instantly hand over payment details and pay a fee - sometimes in excess of £4,000 – people are falling for this – it’s easy to do.
Beware of ANY calls asking for your personal and payment details. Genuine organisations like banks and HMRC will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, password or bank details.
HMRC has a detailed guide on how to spot bogus calls and you can forward suspicious emails and details of calls claiming to be from HMRC to email@example.com
and texts to 60599, or contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 if you’ve lost money.