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Value for Money - Week 2

Monday, 14 September 2009

As the recession has officially taken hold, people are no longer spending their dosh willy nilly! The people of Ireland are demanding value for their hard earned cash and are not content any longer to put up with overpricing and unnecessary overspend.

In this strand we'll be looking at everything from supermarket deals to online steals, prices at the pumps and frugal fashion finds.

Each week we'll look at topical bargains, current offers and penny-wise prices.

Dearbhla Lennon

There once was a deer hunter, now there's a bargain hunter.

Value for money 1:

On yer bike!

Dublinbikes is a self-service bike rental system open to everyone from 14 years of age. With 40 stations and 450 dbs (bikes), it enables you to travel through the city centre, commute between home and work and get out and about to enjoy Dublin city at your leisure.


All stations are equipped for Long Term Hire Card and 3 Day Ticket users. 14 of the 40 terminals allow you to purchase a 3 Day Ticket. Once purchased, you can use the 3 Day Ticket similar to the Long Term Hire Card to rent or return a db from any station in the network.


You can enjoy the many benefits of a Long Term Hire Card for just €10. A 3 Day Ticket costs €2. The first 30 minutes of use is free on every db.
After this first half-hour, a service charge applies.


Subscribe
With the annual card, you pay €10 and can rent a db whenever you want, all year round. The first half-hour of each journey is free; after that, the service charge varies depending on how long the db is used.


For short term hire, a 3 Day Ticket will give you access to all the benefits of the dublinbikes service.
If you only want to use dbs now and again, or you are a visitor to Dublin, choose a 3 Day Ticket. These tickets are convenient, great value for money and can be purchased from any of the 14 credit card terminals for just €2. The first half-hour of use is free; after that a service charge applies.

For more details on rates:
http://www.dublinbikes.ie/subscription/pricing_structure/pricing_structure


How do I buy a ticket?
You can buy a 3 Day Ticket at stations with credit card terminals (Please note that Laser Maestro, VISA Electron debit card and cash are not accepted). This facility is available at 14 station terminals.

Consult the terminal menu to obtain a short-term ticket that you will need to keep throughout the period covered by your subscription. This card contains an ID which you will need to enter each time you hire a bike, in addition to a PIN selected by you. It is important that you keep your ticket in the event that any issue may arise. You must agree to the General Conditions of Access and Use.


If your journey takes more than 30 minutes, a service charge applies which is debited from your dublinbikes account if you have a Long Term Hire Card or from your credit card if you have selected a 3 Day Ticket.

For lots more detail, log on to www.dublinbikes.ie

Value for money 2:

Petrol pricewatch!

The average fuel cost to run a family car in Ireland is €2,500 - €3,000, so it definitely pays to do your research.

www.pumps.ie is a comprehensive online petrol and diesel guide for Irish consumers.
On the site, today's average petrol and diesel prices are listed, giving you a guide to what prices should be like at your local pump.

There is a great price breakdown which explains how much duty/vat we're paying on both types of fuel and how much the fuel actually costs.

But probably the best facility on the site is that you can find the cheapest petrol station near you without having to drive around town like an eejit!

I looked at the petrol stations around Cork city and saw a differential of 5c per litre between the cheapest and the dearest. If you were to fill up consistently in the cheapest one, you would save on average €110 per year- well worth looking into eh?!

Jonathan Dean of www.pumps.ie says:-

"I set up Pumps.ie in 2005 when I saw there was a gap in the market for a Map based database of petrol prices in Ireland. I developed the site in my spare time and input the first 100 or so stations around Ireland, mostly in the Dublin region.
I then shared the site with a few people on various internet forums such as boards.ie and from then on it spread by word of mouth.

The site is a hobby of mine but is really kept up to date by the 3000 members who update 100s of prices on a daily basis. The prices are all entered by members of the public as have most of the petrol stations location, facilities and photographs.

As you know Irish people are fascinated with Petrol and Diesel prices and as such are always keen to find the cheapest fuel in their area.
This has lead to Pumps.ie to be the main petrol price web site in Ireland with 10,000s of visitors each month looking to save some money on petrol."


Another good feature of this site is that there are regular updates on price forecasts, so that you can budget for times ahead. The latest forecast is below:-

Forecast posted on 6/9/09 at 13:15:46
"Further falls in refinery prices this week and continued weakness of the dollar will mean further falls at the pump. Prices you see today are probably at a high and the falls in refinery prices over the past 2 weeks will start feeding into retail prices this week.
Forecasts for 3rd week september. Petrol 1.13 Diesel 1.02, Home heat €480/ 1000 litres"
REF: http://www.pumps.ie/viewPost.php?Post_ID=238

Visit www.pumps.ie for further details

Value for Money 3:


Designer clothes at a fraction of the cost!
www.theoutnet.com


"TheOutnet.com is an exclusive designer outlet where everyone is invited. Brought to you by the team behind the award-winning designer fashion website NET-A-PORTER.COM, theOutnet is the global shopping destination devoted to selling discounted designer womenswear and accessories.


As Natalie Massenet, Founder and Chairman of NET-A-PORTER explains, "Great fashion won't disappear - it will go to theOutnet and we are delighted to create a vibrant, fun and edited destination for the global sale shopper to call her own."


TheOutnet offers every style hunter the opportunity to find that designer item that will set their heart a-flutter.


As part of the NET-A-PORTER group and with continuing relationships with our favorite designer partners, theOutnet is able to stock a dazzling array of designer looks.

We are able to guarantee authenticity with each and every item sold on the site.


Each month theOutnet hosts time-limited Pop-Up Sales, Giveaways and Going, Going, Gone Sales that will give you that 'get it before it goes' buzz.

The Pop-Up Sale will host themed designer sales that will be available for a limited time.

The Going, Going, Gone Sale is a new way for the fashionista to snap up a designer label at an irresistible price - watch the price drop as the clock ticks but hurry or you may lose it."

REF: http://www.theoutnet.com/aboutus


For further details on sales at theoutnet.com see:- http://www.theoutnet.com/Help/Flash-Sales?exclude=T

Value for Money 4:


Restaurant meal deals:


1. Wagamama in both Dublin and Cork are offering two main courses for the price of 1 at the moment. Offer is valid until midnight on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 and is available through www.pigsback.ie .

All you have to do is register with www.pigsback.ie (which is free to do) and print off the coupon which can then be used in the Dublin/Cork restaurants. It's as simple as that. The voucher looks just like below but you must register to get the accompanying ID. Terms & conditions are to be seen on the voucher face.

"Pigsback was launched in Ireland in 2000, in the UK in 2005.
Pigsback.com is designed to make advertising work for the mutual benefit of consumers and brands. It offers a unique, interactive and targeted experience for its members, to whom the service is free.


REF: www.pigsback.ie


2. www.menupages.ie
MenuPages.ie is an online dining guide with notifications on restaurant deals and even better, real reviews from real customers.


Discover some of the best Irish restaurants on MenuPages.ie
. View menus
. Book tables online
. Organise Parties
. Earn MenuPoints* and eat out for free
. Search list of first-hand accounts of eating in Dublin restaurants.
. Check restaurant ratings
. Post your eating out experiences online

*In order to Earn MenuPoints*, post reviews, book tables online and access lots of other good stuff, you must be a registered member of MenuPages.ie and logged in.
To log in is easy, quick and completely free.

This week I've chosen two of the best deals on offer on Menupages:

Augustine's restaurant, 7 Washington Street, Cork, have a special Market Tasting Menu with produce from the local artisan producers in the English Market at a special price of €22.00 for six courses.


The menu is available Tuesday to Thursday, all evening. Courses include gazpacho, soup, pork belly, cheese board and dessert.
Bear in mind though that it's a taster menu so the courses may be a little on the small side. However online reviews are absolutely glowing and generally the ratings are 4-5 stars.


7 Washington Street, Cork City, 021 4279375


My other choice for this week is the Mimosa Champagne Bar & Grill, Kilkenny
€20 Tapas Tasting Menu with Wine, perfect for groups. Get a selection of tapas from the menu with free glass of wine to accompany the food. Availability: 7 days, all evening!

Again, glowing reviews online, good food and great atmosphere and I'm assured you will go home full for your €20!


25 John Street, Kilkenny City, 056 777 0696

Value for Money 5:

Holiday voucher:


Save €50 on your holiday
€50 discount with voucher code: TRAVEL2009


How to get the discount:


1. The discount applies to flight+hotel packages with travel before 30th September 2009. The booking needs to take place during the period 10th August through 15th September. This offer is only eligible for flight+hotel and flight+hotel+car bookings made online on Expedia.ie. The booking value needs to be €500 or higher (before taxes and fees).


2. Using the coupon to get the discount:
On the rate details page, select the 'I have a voucher' option and enter the code TRAVEL2009. Then click the "apply and re-price" link to update the rate and see prices with the discount applied.


Bonus:
If you log on to www.bethrifty.ie you can also get up to 10% cashback on your holiday!
. Cashback for Hotel Booking 10%
. Cashback for Car Hire Booking 8%
. Cashback for Flights 1%
. Cashback for Packages (hotel+flight OR hotel+flight+car) 5%

This would take even more valuable YoYos off your final bill, particularly if you were thinking about a family holiday!

To earn cashback on this site, all you have to do is sign up and shop!

There are three stages:
. Visit the site @ http://www.bethrifty.ie and sign up.
. Now, whenever you want to make a purchase online,(ie with Expedia), visit BeThrifty and click on the link for Expedia.
. You will then be sent direct to your chosen store (ie Expedia), where you shop as normal. You will earn cashback on whatever you spend.
. The cashback will be credited to your BeThrifty account. This can take up to thirty days. When the cashback shows in your BeThrifty account, it can be paid either direct to your nominated bank account or paypal account.

*It is important to mention that all of the deals discussed were correct at time of going to air, however offers are subject to change by individual company/website.

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