Thursday, 12 March 2009
Marie's Thrifty Thursdays
Recently (this past week), our car insurance came up for renewal. The quote we were given by our insurance agent was outrageously high. Probably because our car is an older model and a bit of a gas guzzler. Normally, Todd and I, after a bit of grumbling amongst ourselves, would just have paid it. We are those kind of people. We are loyal through and through, and usually like to stick with what we know. This time however, we thought to ourselves . . . no way. There has to be a better deal out there than what we are getting. So Todd went online and shopped around. At Compare.com he put into the search all the particulars of our car etc. and came up with an insurance company that can give us the same cover for roughly half of what the first company was quoting. Big saving! Ka ching! Ka ching! I'd much rather have the money in my pocket than in theirs! One had to wonder how much more our loyalty was costing us through the years, and how much we could have saved, had we only shopped around a bit more. Lesson learnt!
I had seen Compare.com advertised on the telly, but had never used them for anything before. They are rather good and on their page you can make price comparisons for lots of big ticket items, such as telly's and cameras, and of course car insurance!
These days it really pays to shop around for most things before you dig your hands into your pockets and buy. I came up with a few online spots that you might find very helpful in your own quest to be thriftier and save some money.
1. chemistdirect.co.uk This place promised to beat any other UK Chemist's price on prescriptions. If you are a person who needs a lot of prescriptions, this is a God send.
2. petrolprices.com You put in the post code of your town and they find you the nearest garage selling the cheapest petrol in your area.
3. mysupermarket.co.uk Compare the price of any supermarket item or even the cost of your whole trolly here. They calculate the cost of thousands of items at all the major supermarkets in the UK and you then send your order to whichever supermarket you choose to use.
4. furnituredeal.co.uk This is an online furniture retailer, which cuts out the middle man and offers discounts on a wide range of furniture.
5. moneysavingexpert.com/tipnote/cheap-restaurant-deals Save money on eating out. This site lists current offers at hundreds of eating establishments, including buy one get one free deals.
6. daysoutuk.com This site offers some 300 days out vouchers in the UK and Ireland. This includes theme parks and major attractions and is worth taking a look at if you are planning a day out with the kiddies.
7. moneysupermarket.com They claim to be able to find you the cheapest deals on home, motor, travel and life insurance. Another part of the site utilities and still again there is a section on both credit card and mortgage offers.
8. energysavingtrust.org.uk/calculator/checklist This is a government site which offers tips on saving energy.
9. myvouchercodes.co.uk Discount coupons for thousands of stores, including Next, Asda, etc. Some are in store offers and others on-line offers. Worth a quick boo if you are looking to buy something to wear or for your home.
10. thephonebook.bt.com Search the phone book online instead of calling one of those expensive directory enquiry lines.
11. hotelscomparison.com This is one anyone can use as it compares the prices of hotels worldwide, finding you the best deal possible on hotel accomodation.
12. couchsurfing.com Find a place to stay for free at home or abroad. Register at this site for free and request to couch surf at other members homes. Another international site.
13. readitswapit.co.uk List the books you own but don't want on this free site and browse through thousands of other members books to find one that you do want to read, and swap.
The internet is full of thousands of sites just like these that can help you to save money on just about anything. It is worth it to do a search and find out just what is available. I know that most of the sites I have mentioned here this morning are applicable mostly to the UK market, but I know there are just as many sites out there for people living in other countries. It's worth the time to search and to "shop around."
Got leftover cooked potatoes? Here is a truly delicious way to prepare them in a delicious way the second time around. In face I often find myself cooking extra potatoes just so I can make this the day after.
*Swiss Potato Casserole*
A thoroughly delicious way to disguise leftover potatoes and one that you would not be ashamed to serve a guest in your home. It tastes and looks wonderful! This recipe is quite easily doubled or tripled. It's a perfect buffet dish.
2 1/2 cups potatoes, cooked, peeled and cubed
3/4 cup ( 6 ounces) sour cream
1/4 cup shredded raw carrot
1 cup of shredded swiss cheese (emmenthaler or gruyere)
1/2 of a small onion, finely minced
1 TBS chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dill weed
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Lightly butter a 7 or 8 inch baking dish. Set aside.
Combine the potatoes, sour cream, 3/4 cup of the cheese, carrot, onion, parsley, salt, dill and pepper in a medium bowl. Mix well together. Transfer to the greased baking dish. Sprinkle with the paprika and remaining 1/4 cup of the cheese.
Bake, uncovered for 25 to 35 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbly. Serve hot or warm.