Are you a Canny Squirrel?

Everything is getting more and more expensive and we are getting worried!
We are going to search out the best deals available and look for ways to make and save you money every single day.
Here at Canny Squirrel we can share our ideas and make sure that we are all better off as a result. Come on in and be a Canny Squirrel today!!!

I never pay full price for anything....well that's a bit of an exaggeration, but you know what I mean.
We should always be trying to get a better deal on the things we buy and the services we use.
With Loans and Mortgages getting harder and harder to come by, unemployment on the increase and fluctuating fuel and gas prices, every penny counts!

This is the ideal place to share your thrifty tips and help everyone save and make money and become Canny Squirrels.

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Are Supermarket Basics as good as brand named products?

Well, what a couple of weeks it's been. The markets have remained in turmoil - one day up dramatically and the next day crashing back down again.

People are starting to get worried about the implications and fall out of what's been happening this year. Unemployment is up and we are all more concerned about the future.

Supermarkets are changing their focus - When Britain is booming they bring out their expensive, high quality products such as Tescos "The Finest Range", or Morrison's "The Best" and charge a premium!

Look at any supermarket today and you will see the focus has changed - to The UK's Biggest discounter or Deal of the Week etc etc.

But the question is - Supermarket basic ranges are much much less expensive than brand names, but are they just as good quality?

Sainsbury has recently been voted Britain's cheapest supermarket - which is quite surprising really. Sainsbury has historically portrayed itself as a high quality, higher priced retailer.

Times are changing though and Sainsbury have brought out their blue and white packaged basics range - quality at cheap prices.

Last time I was in I bought some vegetables, grapes and tea bags to try them out.

The highlight was the teabags - 31p for 80 Tea Bags - Fairtrade!!!

Two immediate questions - 31p for 80 teabags - they must be awful!
31p for 80 teabags - how can they be fairtrade?

The teabags were absolutely fine - served them up to loads of people and everyone said they were great - before I told them the price.

Have you tried any Supermarket basic products - let us know your reviews!!

Give them a try and save cash!!


Recycle your old Mobile for Boots Points

Here at Canny Squirrel we have looked before at how fantastic a loyalty scheme Boots Advantage is.

Boots have now launched a scheme that allows you to recycle your mobile phone and also get Advantage points added.

Click here to see how much your phone is worth

I just tried my old Sony Ericsson - must be about 4 years old but worth £8.33 in points!

Give it a go and see how much yours is worth.

How much are your bills going up by?

Today the Bank of England announced that inflation is up at 4.7%. We can question whether this is a true reflection of the cost of goods or not, but the most important factor is by how much YOUR bills are increasing by.

The BBC have developed a simple calculator that will help you work out how much your bills are going up by.

Gas, Oil and electricity are the main factors affecting the increase, so if you haven't checked your prices, check them here today:

Rising Gas & Electricity prices!

Click on the title top access the calculator.


Car Boot Sale thoughts

Have you been to a car boot sale before?
Having moved house, I decided that it was time to get rid of all the bits and pieces that build up over the years. I suppose there were a few options - (1) sell on ebay (2) sell on Gumtree and (3) Car Boot sale.

A Car bootery seemed the best option due to the volume of stuff to sell.

After doing a bit of research into the various car boot sales around, we decided to go to the biggest one - on a Saturday morning in Kinross.

After packing everything up on the Friday night into boxes and deciding on rough prices, the car was packed and ready for off.

We were told to get there about 8am as the boot sale opened at 9am. That would give us time to get the stand set up.

We arrived about 7.45am - and the place was packed! We were shocked thinking that we were early. We checked in with the office and were given a pitch to set up our stall.

Just as we got out of the car we were surrounded by people asking if we had CD's. Before we knew it they were in our boxes, flicking through CD's looking for a bargain.

They turned out to be Ebay traders looking for the most popular CDs.

As the morning went on trade was brisk, with a number of our higher value items selling quickly. A bacon roll and a plastic cup of tea, set us up for the second half of the morning. 8am until 1pm was quite a long time to remain focused, remain standing and remain profitable!!

Sore Feet and reduced trade about 12.30pm signalled the end of our boot sale experience.

We made over £300 from bits and pieces that would have been sent to landfill or kept for years on end in the back of a cupboard.

Would we do it again? Absolutely!

Have a look round your house and see what you have that's surplus to requirements and then book your car boot pitch.

Our Key Learns:

(1) Research the actual boot sales in your area - which one suits your booty?
(2) Plan ahead and arrive early
(3) Watch out for Traders - don't sell anything until your ready, and make sure that keep an eye out for chancers!
(4) Take a cash float with you
(5) Take a supply of plastic bags
(6) Browse other stalls to make sure your not selling your items too cheap
(7) Make sure you stop for tea!
(8) Make sure you give any items you have left to a Charity shop.
(9) Enjoy!

A bad day on the markets!

What a difficult time we are going through worldwide. Today we saw Lehman Brothers go bankrupt and Meryl Lynch being taken over by Bank of America.

Stockmarkets around the world plummeted with Financial stocks suffering particularly badly.

The word on the street is that it's not over yet. There's still more to come, so we need to be even more canny with our money and thriftyness.

I went searching for a funny youtube clip for Canny Squirrel to lighten the mood of the day.

Have a look at this one!!


Kath Kelly's next 5 ideas to save money!

(6) Rather than shopping in Charity Shops, consider shopping at Church Jumble Sales - not so many shoppers and better deals.

(7) Give people gifts such as second hand books or homemade chocolates that you know they will like. You will be relying on other peoples good will.

(8) Make the most of free food, including mince pies and wine at Christmas events, buffets at art and book launches, free samples at farmers' markets and deli counters.

(9) Visit department beauty counters for free make-overs and to try perfumes. The assistants will often give you lots of free samples. You can also get free haircuts, manicures or facials by being a trainee's model at a beauty college or salon.

(10) Join your local library to avoid paying for books, DVDs and a range of magazines - you can order books, especially new hardbacks for as little as 60p.

Well that's Kath's tips, if you have any of your own please leave a comment. We love getting comments here at Canny Squirrel - so just click the comments button and leave us your tips.

Canny Squirrel

How she lived a year on just £1 a day

Have you heard the name Kath Kelly?

Kath bet her friends that she could live on just £1 per day for a year. This would really encourage her to come up with some ingenious ways to save money and survive the credit crunch in the process!!

Kath has now written a book which is available at Amazon - but here's a wee taster of the ideas she came up with to help save money:

(1) Collect as many coupons, leaflets and free papers for vouchers. They often have 2 for 1 meal offers, free cinema showings and free entry to many events.

(2) Look in shop windows and on noticeboards for "free to collector" goods. We have also looked at Gumtree in the past at - they also have a free to a good home section.

(3) Never ignore Market Researchers! They often have freebies to give away and questionnaires to complete. Often these questionnaires can result in you being sent shampoo, alcohol samples, etc etc.

(4) Go shopping at the end of the day to benefit from end of day reductions in delis and shops. Look for dented tins and also 2 for 1 offers. Also learn how to "stretch food" - eg Buy a chicken, roast it today, use the spare meat in a risotto and then use the bones to make soup the next day!

(5) Leave notes instead of using your mobile phone and also use the internet at the library.

Another 5 tips coming tomorrow........

Have you heard about Big

Just came across this, this weekend and it looks like it's worthy of a mention on Canny Squirrel!

A new website called - here's what it's all about:

The free, ethical, stylish way to recycle your wardrobe is the new and exciting way to swap things you don't wear for things you will, OR turn your unwanted clothes back into cash. It's really simple. Add some clothes you don't wear anymore to and soon you will start receiving offers (swaps, cash or a combination of both) from other members. Join now – it's 100% free!

How good is that!!

Visit it here at - It has Ladies, Gents and Kid's clothes!

What to do if you booked with XL

What to do if you booked with XL:

If you have booked a holiday and haven't flown yet - don't go to the airport as your holiday no longer exists. You do need to take action to try to recover your payment.

If you booked an XL holiday, or a flight with Freedom Flights, you should get your money back by claiming a refund from Atol. Your travel agent should be able to help.
For more information call the CAA helpline on 0870 5900927 or go to

If you only booked a flight, flight bookings aren't covered by Atol, therefore you will need to try to recover the payment via your credit card company. Your credit Card company provide guarantees incase of such events, but only if you spent over £100 on the ticket.

You must have paid by either VISA credit or Mastercard to be eligible for this guarantee.

If you paid by Visa Debit Card you need to contact your local bank. They will contact the company any try to get a the funds back - but there's no guarantees that they will be able to do this.

If you paid by Maestro or any other debit card, you have unfortunately lost your money.

Most insurance policies don't protect agains flight airlines going bust. However check your policy as some still do. Post Office is one and has been advertising in the papers this weekend.

Good Luck!

Let us know how you get on by adding a comment


Canny Christmas

It's scary.....that's the shops starting to build their Christmas displays! From today it's 109 days til Santa comes!

You know what that means - added expense!!!

Here's a few tips to help you avoid putting Christmas on your Credit Card!

(1) Start now - get a Jam Jar or a bowl and add all your spare change in every night. Anything from 50p downwards stick in the jar. You will be amazed at how quickly the change adds up. Before you head off shopping get some bank bags, count the change and exchange it at the bank for notes.

(2) Stop now - for the next 70 working days don't have a posh coffee on your way to work. - That would be over £140 saved. Instead add an extra £2.00 to your Jar every night.

(3) Start now - Do you usually buy lots of presents at one shop. Buy one the shop's gift cards - you know the ones you can give as presents. Every time you get paid - go to the shop and add some extra cash onto the gift card. This will then help pay for your shopping spree at that shop. Boots would be a good example. This would allow you to save up cash, benefit from their link save deals, collect Boots Advantage points, and have flexibility when you buy - they often have 10 times the number of points events in the lead up to Christmas!

(4) Make a list of all the people you need to buy for and start chipping away over the next couple of months. This will help spread the cost.

(5) Think about your skills, can you make some presents this year. Homemade presents always go down a treat! Especially homemade sweets!!!

(6)If you use a credit card that provides vouchers - eg Tesco or M&S - why not keep the vouchers you get all year and use them for the Christmas Dinner shop or for gifts.

(7) If you send a lot of Christmas cards, start buying stamps now - again spread the cost!

(8) Consider purchasing a live Turkey that you can look after for next year's dinner! - Do you have space in your back garden?....err maybe that's taking it a bit far!

Anyway - as the scouts say - Be Prepared!!!