Today, a HGV driver and his family from Pontefract, Yorkshire, are announced as the UK’s savviest family in 2012, after showcasing their money-saving talents in the national Nectar Savvy Family competition.
Dean and Ashlea Stenton and their two sons Dawson and Ciaran were originally selected from over a thousand hopefuls, to go head to head with six other families in a blogging competition. For six weeks the families kept thousands of readers updated at nectar.com/savvy with advice on how they save money on everything from shopping and days out to holidays and household bills.
Winning Dad, Dean Stenton comments, “We’re completely over the moon to have won. We’ve always shared our advice with friends, but we never thought that thousands of people would want to read about our tips online. There are hundreds of ways to watch those pennies, but the key to finding a good deal is patience – understand the market value of a product or service and then wait for the right price to come up. You should always remember that it’s your money you’re spending, money that you worked hard for, so why not try to get the most you possibly can for it.”
As the country as a whole continues to tighten its belt, people worried about their finances should take heed of some of the Stenton’s top tips and simple advice to help their money stretch further, including:
• Save on electricity bills by charging mobile phones, iPods and satnavs in the car on the way to work
• Learn the prices of your weekly shopping items and write a list down of all of the everyday, every week items that you buy, and carry it with you to compare prices in stores you visit
• When visiting places in the UK, search the website of the local radio station for the area you are visiting for deals and vouchers. Some of these sites also connect to cashback websites
• Save water by using toilet bags. These are bags that swell up to occupy up to a litre of water space in your cistern, thus saving water with every flush. Many suppliers give these away for free
• The rail companies put their tickets on sale 12 weeks in advance. To get the very best prices check daily once you are 12 weeks away from your travel date
Jasmine Birtles, Nectar Savvy Family competition judge and founder of Moneymagpie.com says: "With family budgets becoming increasingly stretched, it’s encouraging to see that people like the Stentons are so passionate about saving money and wanting to help others do the same. By involving the whole family, they showed that being careful with your finances doesn’t mean you can’t have fun together. It was a very close call in the end, but the Stentons truly deserved to win the 2012 Nectar Savvy Family competition.
“This is the fourth year I’ve judged the Nectar Savvy competition and it’s fascinating to see how the nation’s money-saving skills have evolved, in particular with the almost daily use of online resources and voucher sites. However, many tried and tested traditional household tips dating back years are clearly still very popular.”
Fellow judge James Frost, Nectar Marketing Director, adds: “This year’s competition has been a great success. Not only did we receive more entries than ever before, the final families have been fantastic at getting involved and sharing their intriguing money saving tips with the nation. The economic climate is clearly still taking a hold with more families than ever before wanting to pull together to help each other save money.”
As a reward for all their penny-watching the Stenton family have won a recession-busting prize package that includes four easyJet flights to any destination; a Sainsbury's giftcard worth £500; £500 from BP to spend on fuel; £500 for the family to spend at Vision Express; a free week's car hire in Europe courtesy of Hertz; a year's cover from British Gas on a Home Care policy; a Nintendo Wii console package courtesy of American Express and 50,000 Nectar points.
To read all the Nectar Savvy Family blogs visit nectar.com/savvy
About Nectar Savvy Family
Nectar Savvy Family 2012 Finalists:
· The Stentons, from Pontefract – WINNERS
Dean (42), Ashlea (39) and their two sons Dawson (9) and Ciaran (8)
· The Cumbos, from Luton
· The Augrandjeans, from Clacton
· The Seppings-Palmers, from Hull
· The Dingwalls, from East Kilbride
· The Yates, from Ambleside
· The Drivers, from Worcester
2012 Top Ten Tips (all families)
1. Ask clothing stores about when sample ranges arrive, these are usually free or at cost. Ask if they'll let you have a look at what's left after the staff have had their pick
2. Before going anywhere, search for it online but add the word ‘voucher’ or ‘savings’ after it and 9 out of 10 times you'll find a deal
3. Get a water-butt for outside to collect rainwater for your plants, garden and car-washing, rainwater is FREE and in abundance most of the year
4. Combine a big, home delivery grocery order with an equally frugal friend or neighbour to cut down on food costs, delivery charges and to reduce your monthly fuel consumption by not driving to the shops
5. Take unwanted clothes that aren’t fit to sell on ebay to a cash for clothes point. Some units offer up to £1 per kilo
6. Check out your local college for cheap or even free beauty and hair treatments
7. Join a community allotment project if you want a taste of growing your own without the commitment of taking on a full plot. All equipment is provided and you can take home fresh produce
8. If you live close to an airport, sign up to parkatmyhouse.com where you can earn money for renting your driveway or parking space to holiday-makers, or go to the site to find cheap places to park for your own holiday
9. Ordering a takeaway? Use sites like hungryhouse.co.uk where you can get 20% off your normal takeaway order, just by ordering it via just-eat.co.uk. Enter your postcode, then look out for the red 'discount' icons and you will qualify for 20% discount there too. Go via Nectar eShops and you can earn Nectar points for your takeaway too
10. Go to your local council website and have a look at their events page. Often there are free or cheap family events listed that you may have otherwise missed out on, especially if you are on holiday in the area
Nectar, the United Kingdom’s leading coalition loyalty programme, is owned by Aimia, a global leader in loyalty management.
In 2012, Nectar is celebrating 10 years of rewarding British shoppers and has given back over £1.7 billion of rewards to collectors, including money off shopping, travel, days out and cinema tickets.
Over 18.5 million collectors earn Nectar points when shopping for groceries, doing DIY, booking a holiday, paying household bills, buying petrol and even getting their car serviced. Collectors also earn Nectar points every time they shop online via nectar.com at over 500 leading online retailers.
Nectar was awarded the “Best card-based loyalty programme” at the 2012 Loyalty Awards for Europe and the Middle East.
For more information about Nectar, please visit: www.nectar.com