instagram envelope_alt facebook twitter search youtube_play whatsapp remove external_link loop2 arrow-down2

The Bargain Hunter: Eye tests, flu jabs, bra fittings and funeral plans

Student luxury on a shoestring

When you think of student life, you may not picture luxury — more beans on toast and bad wine than fancy restaurants and free-flowing champagne. But luxurystudent.com, a concierge service and private members’ club for students in London, aims to offer ‘a truly unique service for those who seek the finer things in life’. Typically, the standard Luxury Student membership costs £50 a month, but right now freshers can get a three-year membership for just £50. That’s a saving of £1,750, which is a lot of beans on toast. For your £50 membership, you get a virtual PA service which will help you with everything from organising parties to proof-reading university assignments, plus a complimentary gym membership and a Michelin-star meal for two every month. You’ll also get invitations to events at private members’ clubs and access to The London Guest List — a concierge service for night clubs, tables and free passes to the high life.

Free eye tests for the whole family

To encourage all family members to take their vision seriously over half-term, Vision Express are offering a free family eye test during school holidays. When parents book a child’s eye test, they can receive an adult’s appointment for free. The offer is valid throughout each half-term and can be booked by phoning your local Vision Express and asking for the free family eye test. Find out more — including your nearest store — at visionexpress.com.

Work means money

Gimi (gimitheapp.com) is a pocket money and chores app to teach kids as young as six how to earn, save and manage their cash. Parents can set up a weekly or monthly allowance for one child or more, as well as nominating chores for their kids to earn additional money — and giving them interest on their savings. Other adults can send money, too: for example, if Gran wants to give a £5 savings boost. The app, which is completely free and does not require a bank account to use, is available on iOS and Android.

Get more from cash-back websites

Register your debit and credit cards with a site such as quidco.com or topcashback.co.uk and every time you make a transaction at one of the partnered retailers, the money is sent directly to your account. What’s more, you can also search the internet for shopping vouchers and discount codes that can be entered into the retailer’s website, so you receive the discount as well as the cash back.

A personal trainer for pennies

Research shows that having a personal trainer to guide you improves the chances of achieving your fitness goals by 73 per cent. Yet out of the 9.7million gym members in the UK, fewer than 3 per cent use personal trainers — with most refuseniks blaming the prohibitive costs attached to the service. Auro (auro.fit) is a fitness app via which users can select pre-recorded audio workouts to hear a coach provide guidance on proper form, motivate them to keep pushing and highlight errors that often lead to injuries. It’s available to download free via the App Store and Google Play with a free trial, after which a subscription is charged from as little as £4.16 per month.

Missing out on a Premium Bond payout?

When did you last check your Premium Bond numbers? More than 1.5million prizes, including five worth £100,000, remain unclaimed according to new figures from NS&I. In total, the unclaimed prizes are worth more than £60million. The good news is that they are valid forever — unlike lottery wins, which lapse after 180 days — and if you register online, it also means you’ll never miss another prize. Check nsandi.com to see if you’re due a payout. If you don’t have your account details to hand, don’t panic. You can call or write to NS&I and ask for a replacement Bond record to be sent to you. You can call on 08085 007 007 or write to them at: NS&I, Glasgow, G58 1SB.

Save money on your flu jab

If you don’t qualify for a free flu jab on the NHS or at work, you can often get it privately at your GP, but prices vary and can be up to £20. The good news is that it can be significantly cheaper from major high-street pharmacies, and especially supermarkets. According to moneysavingexpert.com, Boots charge £12.99, while at Lloyds it’s £11.50 and at Superdrug it’s £9.99. But as is so often the case, the major supermarkets can cut the cost even further: Tesco charge £9 per jab, Asda just £7.

If the bra fits, wear it — and if it doesn’t, get a refund

Finding the right bra size can be frustrating. It seems that every retailer has a different way of measuring you. To eliminate such lingerie frustration, Debenhams have a ‘Bra Fit Guarantee’ offer. If you have a bra fitted (for free) in-store, and it’s not the most comfortable bra you own, you can return it within 30 days – even if you’ve worn it. As long as you can prove the bra was purchased under the guarantee (it should say so on your receipt), you can get a second bra fitting or a full exchange.
If that second bra still isn’t up to the job, you can give it up altogether with a full refund, if you return it to the store within 30 days together with proof of purchase.

Cover your funeral costs before it’s too late

According to Sun Life research, the average funeral now costs £4,271 — up 122 per cent over the past 15 years — and it’s causing financial hardship for the bereaved. But only 62 per cent of people make specific financial provision for their own funeral — and of those, only 59 per cent leave sufficient money, leaving grieving families with an average £2,559 shortfall. Rather than leave your family with a hefty bill, why not plan for your own funeral, both in terms of what you want and how you are going to pay for it? Find out how much you need to put away with Sun Life’s funeral calculator, while the Perfect Send-Off planner is an easy way to record your funeral wishes for your family’s reference. See sunlife.co.uk for both tools.