UK lifestyle and money blog

Victoria Sully Nov 2018 Circle Logo

 

Welcome to the Lylia Rose UK money and lifestyle blog.  I'm Victoria Sully, a busy mum of two, wife, full-time blogger and online money-maker.  I’m passionate about making money online, saving money, self-employment, healthy living and blogging.  I’m on a personal mission to be healthier and wealthier!  Thank you so much for joining me.


 

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Category: Discount Codes and Deals

  1. The cheapest ways to get Netflix UK

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    Almost one year ago I wrote a blog post about how we managed to save £315 per year on our TV and broadband in the space of five minutes.  One of the ways was by cancelling our TV licence that was costing us £147 per year.  We barely watched live TV anymore and never used BBC iPlayer.  We decided we could do without normal TV and any BBC catch up services and save ourselves this money each year, especially as we had already signed up to Netflix and couldn’t justify the cost of both.  So, Netflix won and we have been very happily working our way through their offerings for just over a year now.

    I love reading Netflix hacks online to get more out of my subscription and today I’m going to share with you the ways you can get Netflix cheaper, as well as a clever way to access the US Netflix library. 

    The cheapest ways to get Netflix UKImage

    Try Netflix for free

    First things first, your first 30 days with Netflix are free by signing up for a trial directly through their main website.  There’s no commitment and you can cancel whenever you like.  Even if you don’t think you’ll want Netflix, you might as well try it out for free to see.  Straight away you’ll save money as you won’t need to pay anything for the first month.

    Share a subscription

    The best way to reduce your Netflix subscription fees once you’ve signed up is to share the subscription between 2-4 people.  Currently the most expensive package is £9.99, so you can split this between four people, share the login details and be able to watch on one screen each. 

    Choose the cheapest package

    If it’s just you watching and you have no one else to share the subscription with, then simply choose the cheapest basic package to keep costs down.  At only £5.99 per month that’s just 20p per day to be able to watch thousands of films and shows on one device.  I’ve seen rumours online that suggest Netflix might be introducing a cheaper mobile-only plan, but until then choose the basic package to keep costs down.

    Use a VPN to access US Netflix

    It’s possible to unblock Netflix with a VPN so you can watch all the shows that are available in the US library too.  There are almost twice as many shows in the US Netflix library, so you can almost double your content. 

    Buy discounted Netflix gift cards

    Check out online discounted gift card websites and marketplaces such as eBay to buy other people’s unwanted Netflix gift cards.  When you add a gift card to your Netflix account they will use your available gift card balance first, before taking any payments from your bank account.  You can also save a search on eBay for Netflix gift cards so you don’t miss out.  Just after Christmas is a great time to check if people are listing unwanted vouchers they got as a present.

    Ask for Netflix gift vouchers as gifts

    As well as searching for discounted Netflix gift cards, you can also ask friends and family for Netflix gift cards for your own Christmas and birthday presents.   It’s much better to get something you can use and want for you birthday, plus this will save you some money too as you’ll not have to pay your subscription fees yourself for a couple of months or so.

    Download your fave shows to watch offline

    If you love to watch shows whilst travelling, using your mobile phone, then this can get quite costly using mobile data or having to pay for WiFi in certain places.  Instead, download your favourite shows to watch offline.  Simply store them on your device and watch them without any internet connection wherever you are!

     

    Netflix can be a surprisingly cheap way to watch all your favourite shows!

     

    More ways to save money:
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    100% renewable energy with Bulb, £50 credit & cheaper tariff than Big 6
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    Where to get affordable family travel insurance for a pre-existing medical condition
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    3 tips for cheaper car insurance

    The cheapest ways to get Netflix UK (1)

  2. Blog giveaway – Win a free annual Kids Pass membership

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    It’s almost half term and to celebrate I've teamed up with Kids Pass, the UK’s No.1 Family Discounts App for your chance to win a FREE Kids Pass annual membership.

    The Kids Pass App gives you instant access to 1,000’s of offers, including up to 40% off cinemas nationwide (7 days a week, adult and child), kids eat free at 1000’s of restaurants, up to 65% off family days out, up to 10% off UK family breaks and up to 50% off Eurocamp holidays!

    Want to try Kids Pass for yourself? Start a £1 trial for 30 days

    How to save money on days out this February half term with Kids Pass

    Blog giveaway – Win a free annual Kids Pass membership - half term save mon

    Are you struggling for ideas for days out this February half term that will keep the whole family happy as well as your bank balance? For just £1 you can sign up for a trial Kids Pass membership and gain instant access to 1000’s of family friendly offers on the Kids Pass app!

    This really is the best £1 you’ll spend this half term, as you could potentially save over £90* in just a week…

    • Planning a trip to the cinema? You’d save on average £10.34 on your cinema tickets
    • Fancy a meal out? You can cut £15.90 off your food bill
    • Taking your tot for a sensory day at the aquarium? Average savings of £24.00 on aquarium tickets for the whole family
    • Off to see furry friends at the zoo? You can save your family £40.00 on zoo tickets

    *based on family of four (2 adults, 2 children)

    How does it work?
    You pay £1 for a 30 day trial membership, after this you can cancel or continue your subscription for £3.99 per month. For these 30 days you have full access to all the offers on the Kids Pass app and website.

    Blog giveaway – Win a free annual Kids Pass membership

    What does it get me? 
    Instant access to 1,000’s of offers, including up to 40% off cinemas nationwide (7 days a week, adult and child), kids eat free at 1000’s of restaurants, up to 65% off family days out including leading theme parks, and up to 10% off UK family breaks and up to 50% off Eurocamp holidays.

    Does one membership cover the whole family?
    Yes! Your Kids Pass covers the entire household, that’s Mum, Dad, the kids (whether you have one or ten!), Granny and Grandad too!

    How do I use it?
    You can download the free Kids Pass app from all major app stores, which is easy to navigate, or you can use the Kids Pass website to search for offers.

    How do I redeem offers?
    Most of the offers are completely digital meaning that tickets or promo codes can be sent straight to your phone, however some tickets are still paper and will be posted to you via Royal Mail.

    What’s the catch?
    There isn’t one! You can cancel your monthly subscription at any time.

    Claim your trial
    Join over 2 million members and click here to start a £1 trial today!

    Win a free annual Kids Pass membership

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    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Giveaway terms:

    • There will be one winner
    • The prize is a free annual Kids Pass membership
    • There is no cash alternative
    • There is no limit on the number of entries per person, follow the instructions to enable multiple entries
    • Winners will be notified within 28 days
    • Prizes will be sent within 28 days of receiving the winners email address
    • The winner must claim their prize within 28 days or it will be forfeited
    • All entries must be received by the date and time specified
    • The winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter & notified by email
    • Giveaways are open to the UK only 

    Prize terms:

    There are no other alternatives to the prize offered and the prize is not transferable (no cash alternative). Entry is open to residents of the UK only.

    Blog giveaway – Win a free annual Kids Pass membership

  3. Save money on contact lenses with a Waldo subscription

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    Poor eyesight can be a costly nuisance.  Not only do you have to deal with not being able to see things as you should, but there’s the cost of eye appointments, prescription glasses and contact lenses to consider.  I’ve suffered with short-sightedness since I was around 12 years old and it really has been frustrating at times, especially when I forget my glasses, as well as very expensive.  In this blog post I’m going to take a look at how it’s possible to save money on contact lenses with a subscription from Waldo

    You can even try Waldo lenses for free, so read on to find out more.

    Did wearing glasses give me poor eyesight?

    When I was in junior school I always wanted glasses.  In fact glasses and a brace were top of my list!  My mum was of course horrified by these strange things I longed for, but back then I thought people turning up to school in glasses was so cool.  I guess it must have been around this age that people started to notice things wrong with their sight and so more and more of my friends were turning up to school with specs.  I wanted to be part of the glasses gang!

    _Save money on contact lenses with a Waldo subscription [canva image] (3)

    Unfortunately I got my wish.  I always wonder whether I made my sight bad myself, if that’s possible, as I wore my best friend Hannah’s glasses for whole school day’s at a time when we started senior school.  I soon noticed I couldn’t see the school chalkboards unless I was sat close to the front of the classroom and so my mum took me to get my eyes tested.  Sure enough I was short sighted and needed glasses.  My wish had come true!

    Be careful what you wish for

    If only I had realised what a bother needing glasses would be for the rest of my life.  My eyes aren’t so bad that I need to wear the glasses all the time, but sometimes I think that’s worse as it makes me more likely to forget them when I need them.  I am not allowed to drive without glasses and everything is pretty blurry all day long.  If you’re across the road from me then I wouldn’t be able to tell who you are!  Often my husband has thought I’m ignoring him from the other side of a room as if he smiles at me I can’t tell.  I can’t read signs such as menus behind café counters until I’m really close and even then it can be a struggle.  I forgot my glasses for a theatre show once and it was all a big blur!

    If only I could go back and talk some sense into my younger self who wanted glasses so desperately!

    The benefits of contact lenses

    _Save money on contact lenses with a Waldo subscription [canva image]

    Luckily there is a solution to wearing glasses all the time and this is to wear contact lenses.  I’ve been pretty terrible at wearing my glasses as an adult and usually just squint to try and see things far away.  It’s not helping with preventing wrinkles!  My glasses are normally in my car and that’s where they stay as I have to wear them for driving.

    As a young adult I decided to give contact lenses a go and they really have been a lifesaver in so many situations.

    Here are the benefits of contact lenses:

    • No bulky frames – I often found I was put off by my glasses frames.  It’s actually why I first tried contact lenses as I was having driving lessons and found my glasses really off-putting as I wasn’t used to wearing them so much.  I needed to concentrate on driving, but felt distracted by the frames I wasn’t used to seeing.  Once I got contact lenses I was less distracted by the glasses frames and able to tackle the task at hand.
    • No change in appearance – I’m always very self-conscious in my glasses.  As a kid I loved them and thought glasses were the coolest thing ever.  I wanted to wear them all the time.  As an adult, and even when I was an older teenager, I became more self-conscious of my appearance and really disliked having to wear glasses.  I’ve never felt they’ve suited my face.  Contact lenses take this worry away as no one can even tell I’m wearing them.
    • They won’t fog up – Most mornings when I get into my car and put my glasses on, they steam up!  It also happens when I open the oven door – a whoosh of hot air and I can’t see a thing!  Luckily contact lenses don’t have this problem and my sight is never obstructed.
    • They’re great for sports – I love to workout at the gym and had worn my glasses a few times, but they start slipping off and moving around if my workout is intense.   Contact lenses stay put and don’t distract me from my workout.
    • My vision is clearer – I mentioned they don’t fog up, but my vision overall is clearer.  With glasses I can get reflections and lines of light almost bouncing off them from car headlights at night.  With contact lenses it’s like seeing through my own eyes with perfect vision.
    • They’re comfortable – once you get used to them then they are really comfortable.  I even forget they’re in my eyes and often leave out my empty packets on the side to remind me to take them out before bedtime!  My glasses leave indents on my nose when wearing them and get in the way, especially with my young children jumping all over me!

    Save money on contact lenses with Waldo

    _Save money on contact lenses with a Waldo subscription [canva image] (1)

    You might now be thinking, well that’s all well and good, but aren’t contact lenses really expensive?

    They definitely used to be and I remember paying around £30 per month for daily disposable contact lenses, but times have changed.  Contact lenses subscription company Waldo is disrupting this industry by offering affordable contact lenses for just £12 per month that are premium quality.  By cutting out retailers and selling online only, they are able to offer high-quality contact lenses at the most affordable price.  There are no hidden costs either as delivery is free.

    Waldo believes contact lenses should be more affordable and the process simplified.  They’re cutting out the middlemen to keep costs down as well as making life easier for us by sending affordable contact lenses every month, hassle-free.

    Here are some of the benefits of Waldo lenses:

    • They have a super fine edge design so they’re comfortable to wear and reduce any sensation of something in the eye when blinking.
    • They are made with 58% water to keep the eyes moist all day long.
    • You’ll have UV protection with 70% of UVA and 95% of UVB rays blocked.
    • The lens design mimics the cornea to provide HD vision.
    • It’s a subscription service so they’ll be delivered to your door every month.
    • Delivery on subscriptions is free.
    • The original lenses are only £12 per 30 lenses.
    • They offer a free trial to see if they’re for you.
    • You can modify, pause or cancel at any time.

    Try Waldo contact lenses for free

    Sign up for a free trial of Waldo contact lenses to try them yourself.  You’ll get 10 pairs of contact lenses for free.  You just have to cover a one-off shipping fee of £2.95.

     

    Sign up here: https://www.hiwaldo.com/pages/free-trial-sign-up

     

    Save money on contact lenses with a Waldo subscription

    In association with Waldo.

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  4. How to lower energy bills on a PAYG tariff

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    This blog post is in association with Boost.

    It’s that time of year when we’re all feeling the pinch after Christmas and looking for ways to cut back, spend less and save as much money as possible.  This can be particularly tricky when it’s also the darkest and coldest time of the year.  We’re all using more energy than normal just to see and stay warm.  There’s always lots of advice out there for lowering energy bills, but what if you’re on a pay-as-you-go tariff?  Is it still possible for you to reduce your energy bills? 

    Years ago I used to be on a prepayment meter.  I was only around 18 or 19 at the time, having moved out of home at age 17, and I had no idea about how to save money whilst using a prepayment meter.  I didn’t even have the internet or a laptop as it was 15 years ago and smart phones didn’t exist. I was clueless about the ability to switch suppliers or how to save money when it came to my energy bills.

    Luckily times have changed a great deal since then and thanks to the internet and smart technology, there are plenty of ways you can begin to save money on your energy bills if you are on a pay-as-you go tariff today.

    What is a PAYG meter?

    A prepayment or pay-as-you-go (PAYG) energy meter is exactly as it sounds.  Rather than using energy and being billed afterwards for what you’ve used, you instead pay upfront for the energy.  You’ll have a PAYG meter installed and you’ll need to top-up a card, key or online in advance of using the energy.  Then once the energy runs low you’ll receive a warning and you’ll know it’s time to top up again.  It’s a great way of tracking exactly what you’re spending on energy and you’ll be aware each week of how much you are using.

    Tips on lowering your energy bill if you’re on a prepayment meter

    How to lower energy bills on a PAYG tariff

    Here are some actionable tips to help you reduce your energy bills if you’re on a PAYG meter:

    1.     Compare suppliers

    Most energy companies will revise their tariffs once per year, which means you may no longer be on the cheapest tariff for your area after the year is up.  It’s always advisable to check a comparison site each year to see which energy company is the best value for you.  Don’t think you can’t switch suppliers just because you’re on a prepayment plan, or because you are renting.  Most energy suppliers offer a prepayment tariff and if you are responsible for paying the energy bills then you have the right to choose a cheaper supplier.  You should always compare different prepayment plans as it could save you hundreds each year!

    2.     Join Boost.  Get up to £30 free credit.

    If you switch to dedicated PAYG energy supplier Boost then you’ll get a free smart meter installation as well as up to £30 credit; £15 credit for gas and £15 credit for electric.  To get your smart meter installation (& £30 free credit) you just need to click here to go to Boost and a code will be populated for you to save. 

    All you need to do is 1) sign up to Boost online 2) book a free smart meter installation 3) get installed before 30th April 2019 and they'll apply the credit!

    Boost is a part of the trusted OVO energy brand so you know you are in good hands. Boost specialises in PAYG Energy, their whole focus is on giving customers the power to control their energy, the way they want. As part of the OVO group they do everything to ensure the best service possible for PAYG customers. 

    OVO has been recognised as the uSwitch Energy Supplier of the Year.  They were also number one in the 2015 and 2016 Which? energy customer satisfaction surveys, so you can be sure you’re in good hands.

    How to lower energy bills on a PAYG tariff

    3.     Claim your heating benefits

    If you are of a certain age, claim certain benefits or meet certain criteria (such as being on a low income and having dependants) then you could qualify for some financial help towards your energy bills during the winter months.

    If you were born on or before 5 November 1953 then you could get a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’ of between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills.

    There’s also the Warm Home Discount scheme which helps eligible people who are struggling with their energy bills.  If you qualify you will receive a one-off £140 payment to go towards your electricity bill.

    4.     Reduce how much energy you use

    Being on a prepayment meter means you are really aware of how much money you are spending on energy each week.  Use this knowledge to your advantage to see where you can reduce energy.  Here are a few tips to get you started:

    • Make sure you always switch off appliances when not in use instead of leaving them in standby mode. 
    • Only boil enough water for your cup of tea, instead of boiling a full kettle of water.
    • Heat only the rooms you are using and not empty rooms.
    • Only wash a full load of laundry and turn the temperature down.
    • Eat more healthy plant-based and raw foods to reduce how much you use the oven.
    • Put on cosy socks and a jumper and cover yourself in a throw before turning the heating up.
    • Turn the thermostat down slightly, even by 1 degree.
    • Use draught excluders along the bottom of doors.
    • Turn off the ligthts when you leave a room.
    • Use energy-saving lightbulbs.

     

    Hopefully this article will show you that it is possible to make some smarter and money-saving choices with a prepayment meter. 

     

    Great blog posts to read next:

    How to eat more eco-friendly and save money
    How to cut household expenses with renewable energy
    15 ways to reduce plastic consumption
    Click here for a free trial of contact lenses

     

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    How to lower energy bills on a PAYG tariff

  5. How to cut household expenses with renewable energy

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    When Ben and I first switched to a renewable energy company around seven or eight years ago we were shocked by the cost.  We were trying to do our bit for the environment, but at the time we couldn’t afford to pay a premium to be greener so we begrudgingly had to switch back to our old supplier.

    Luckily times have changed and sustainability is a hot topic.  In recent years we have actually been able to cut our household expenses by using renewable energy.

    Here’s how:

    Getting free energy from solar panels

    How we reduce our bills using renewable energy - photo of solar panels on o

    When we were looking to buy a home we were interested in any energy saving features they had.  Luckily we were able to find a home with solar panels already installed.  Going forward we would definitely look for another house with solar panels, or alternatively we would make the investment ourselves.  As the new home owners the tariff simply transferred to us.  Not only do we use the free solar energy before anything else, which reduces our bills, but we also sell the surplus back to the grid.  These quarterly payments add up and they pay for two-thirds of our annual energy consumption (gas and electric).  That’s quite a saving!

    Investing in a log burner

    Almost four years ago we invested in a log burner and we have been very lucky to not have to buy a single piece of wood yet!  Ben’s late mum worked locally at a place that had woods on their grounds.  They let us know whenever they had felled trees and were more than grateful for us to take the wood off their hands, as were we!  We’ve also had family members call us whenever they’ve cut trees back, or their neighbours have, and want us to come and clear the wood.  Ben, my husband, is always looking out for free wood opportunities on Facebook too.  Plus we get lots of offcuts and smaller pieces that are great for kindle from Ben’s own workshop.  I’m sure we’ll have to buy some wood soon as we are running low, but it must have saved us a small fortune to not buy any for four years and it might even stretch to five.

    (Just to note you should never just take wood you find lying around in woods and forests.  In some counties you can apply for a licence to give you permission to collect felled wood on Forestry Commission owned land, otherwise you’ll need permission from the landowner.)

    Switching to a renewable energy supplier

    We had been wasting money needlessly for the first few years in our new home as we had stuck with the same energy supplier.  I never realised how easy it was to switch and the great savings we could make.  In 2018 we took the plunge, did a price comparison and switched to renewable energy company Bulb.  This saved us £264 compared to our old supplier British Gas and the most amazing thing is Bulb use 100% renewable electricity and 10% green gas.  This definitely aligns with our values and we’ll be looking for green energy companies should we ever switch again.

    To get £50 credit with Bulb simply use our referral link: https://bulb.co.uk/refer/benjamins1007 

     

    Those are the three ways we use renewable energy at home.  Amazingly all three ways have been saving us money too!

     

    Great blog posts to read next:

    7 ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle
    3 Important Reasons to Choose Organic (other than your personal health)
    13 eco-friendly ways to start saving money in the kitchen
    Plastic is not fantastic – the dirty secret of where our recycling really goes

    Save time and money with Look After My Bills

    How to cut household expenses with renewable energy