Budget petrol price watch

Back in April 2010, when the government of the day announced their budget, they froze a rise in petrol duty.
All the speculation in the media, was that petrol duty would be increased.
One day prior to the budget, in my area all the garages put up the price of petrol by 1p, then on the day after the budget, they increased their petrol prices by 2p per litre.
The reason given at three petrol stations I filled up at in the week following the budget, was "VAT has been increased in the budget" or "Every petrol station is increasing their prices as we have higher taxes!" - all complete lies!

In the new government's budget today, PETROL, ALCOHOL and CIGARETTES have had their duty FROZEN!
This means there is no increase in the tax we pay on them and as such, the prices of them should remain the same.

I will be watching the prices in my area, will you be watching yours?

Less product for more money?

Less product for more or the same price, increases costs on everyone. It is a great way to hide inflationary or above inflation price rises, from the average person.

I will add to this post as I come across goods that show companies are taking the British people for fools, by charging a higher price or the same, for less product!

Monster munch - Now more than 40p a bag, for just 9 crisps in a packet!
Fairy washing up liquid - Used to be 1 litre bottles for a pound, (on offer in supermarkets) - then it dropped to 750ml three months back, today it is just 650ml per bottle for a pound as a "special offer" in asda - product size is close to halving, which represents a 35% increase in price (Inflation is at 3.5% per month?)

Feeding time - the wonders of baby rice

If you are expecting or have just had a baby, I cannot emphasise more, the benefits of having in your cupboards, a packet of baby rice.
It is bland, it's seemingly of not much use, but baby rice in our house, is a godsend.

Take for example the throwing away of four rusks, mashed up in a dish with milk and heated, only to find it's either too lumpy or too runny.
Add more rusk and it soaks up next to none of the existing mix - too lumpy, add more milk still the lumps remain.
Here's where the baby rice comes in handy, add a small amount of baby rice and hey presto, an even texture that will soak up a too runny rusk and give baby a good meal.

Add baby rice sparingly as it thickens up any sloppy dinner well.
Feed as a meal on its own or add baby rice to any meal to fill it out.
It will also save on washing, too runny a meal and you have to change baby's top or bibs.

Direct line motor insurance

Direct line motor insurance

According to Direct line (motor insurance) the following events demonstrate how they "help" their customers:

  • For 8 years with the same car (basic 1600cc), the price rises every year at the renewal, to a price above what the same policy would cost a new customer - reasons given for the increases in price include - "you are a manual worker and therefore more likely to have a claim" - "we have had lots of claims in the last year for this type of vehicle" - "other companies are also putting their prices up" - "you have an older car and it is more likely that parts will be harder to find or it will be written off"
  • Car is changed to a 2 year old car, different model but still a basic 1600cc - the price to insure it increases (again above the price a new customer would pay). Reason given - "It is a newer vehicle and spare parts will be more expensive"
  • Car is changed again, this time to a smaller engine, just 1200cc, the price to insure it goes up!
    Reason given - "You are halfway through the year of your insurance" - once again more expensive than for a new customer - I am then offered a choice, I can terminate the policy and start again as a new customer for an admin fee of £25, or I can keep the policy and change vehicles for an admin fee of £15.
  • Car is changed again, this time to a 2 litre engine (I am expecting the price to go up) I am not disappointed, the price goes up, but as we want to continue to insure the 1200cc for a short while, fully comprehensive, I am told that to insure that vehicle also, would be an extra £436!
    Reason given - "Once you change your insurance to the 2 litre car, the 1200cc has nil no claims bonus on it and is charged at the full rate without any discount!" - I stated the obvious, that no car has any "no claims" as this is applicable to the driver not the vehicle - "errrr I am not sure what you mean" says the advisor, I bet he doesn't...

To summarise how good Direct line motor insurance are with their customers:

- 1600 car, insurance increases every year for 8 years
- a newer 1600 car, the price goes up
- a drop down to a 1200 car, the price goes up
- a 2 litre car, the price goes up
- to keep the 1200 on the insurance, the price goes up
- admin fees applied to existing loyal customers, becoming penalty charges as profits are clearly being made on them. (It is unlawful to make profit from a penalty charge!)
- new customer's receiving cheaper insurance than loyal existing ones.

Is there any scenario where Direct line motor insurance charges an existing customer LESS?
In 15 years, I haven't come across one yet...

World cup cashback offers - BEWARE!

Anything and everything has been promoted with a link to the world cup finals in South Africa, in a bid to sell you something.

One of the most common so far, are the television cashback offers.

The Time's reported on Saturday that those offering money back per England goal scored, offered little if no value to the customer at all.
One example they gave was a 38 inch flat screen television set, on an England cashback of £10 per goal scored (excluding penalties), for £829.99 - said to be a "Sale" price, with a well known high street retailer.
On further inspection, the same television set is available with another high street retailer, not in a "Sale" nor does it have the cashback offer, for £649.99

To break even with the cheaper priced set, England would need to score 18 goals to be equal in value.
In reality, England average 6 goals per world cup finals they play in.

Of course, here at frugal ways, we are well aware that football is not about the quality of the TV set, nor is it about all the add on sales pushed in your face, it's about the event and as long as you can get to watch it, then all will be fine.