Deck the halls with up to 50% off Christmas decorations
Recent graduate? You could be owed £100s, 2for1 cinema trick, up to 50% off Christmas decorations and free Santa video. 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.
Recently graduated? Check now if you’re owed £100s
If you know someone who has recently graduated from uni you need to listen up and spread the message to them – they could be owed £100s.
Normally, once graduated, they should only start repaying their student loan the following April after graduation, and only then if they’re earning above £21,000. Yet around 103,000 recent graduates, in the last 3 years alone (and many more beforehand) across the UK have begun inadvertently paying back their loan earlier than they needed to. This isn't an issue due to the Student Loans Company (SLC), but is usually down to an admin error by the graduate or their employer.
To check if you're due a refund, look at your old payslips to see if student loan repayments were deducted when they shouldn’t have been. Or you can call the SLC on 0300 100 0611 and ask them to check and give your money back. Just say you think you started paying back your student loan before the April following your graduation, and you would like to reclaim that money.
There are no restrictions on how far back you can claim, so while many doing this will be recent graduates, there's nothing to stop you doing this even if you overpaid years ago. I’ve heard of many successes, with some graduates getting back up to £500, like Tom who tweeted “@MartinSLewis Thank you @MartinSLewis 5 minute phone call to student loans company and got £315 back from paying too early in 2009 #justintimeforchristmas #thankyou #genius”
2for1 Star Wars film for £1.20ish
Those darling TV meerkats (or annoying little pests depending on your view) run a promotion where, if you become a CompareTheMarket.com customer, you get access to 2for1 cinema tickets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for a year. Yet they’re not always the best route. But you can use it to your advantage.
Get yourself a one-day, UK-only travel insurance policy and even if you choose not to travel, technically you still qualify. The cheapest I’ve found them at is £1.17. And then you’re able to use the 2for1s. Plus I’ve checked and it’s valid on the new Star Wars film – and you can even get the 2for1 on Boxing Day, which falls on a Tuesday this year.
Up to 50% off Xmas decorations
Currently go online or in-store to House of Fraser you can get up to 50% off Christmas decorations and 40% off artificial Christmas trees. For example you can get a Linea 6ft Champoluc pencil Christmas tree for £24 (was £40) and a Champagne star Christmas tree topper for £8 (was £16). Delivery's £3.50 or you can collect from a store for free.
Debenhams (online and in-store) also has up to 40% off Christmas decorations, Christmas trees and up to 60% off selected crackers. For example you can get a 12-pack of red and gold Christmas tree crackers for £9 (was £24) and 62-pack of silver and white baubles, beads and star for £10.80 (was £18). If you can wait till after Christmas though, the discounts get boosted to up to 70% off so it's up to you if it's worth the wait.
Plus, if you go online or in-store to M&S you can get 3for2 on selected Christmas decorations and gifts. The discount will be applied automatically at the checkout and the cheapest item will be free. The items included in the offer are clearly marked, and generally includes items like baubles, lights, crackers, wrapping paper, games, pyjamas and gloves. Delivery's £3.50, or you can collect from a store for free.
Free personalised video from Santa
For a bit of fun if you go to the Portable North Pole website you’ll be able to create and email (or share via Facebook) a personalised video message from Santa to a friend or family member. Even better add a photo of them and yourself in the message too. Be careful though as it also offers ‘premium videos’ which you’ll have to pay for, so if you’re asked to enter payment details go back and select the free video.