Do you fancy a little queue dodging?

img-full-queues

How to legitimately dodge queues at gyms, attractions, restaurants, etc.

There’s a sneaky way to bypass queues at restaurants, clubs, gyms, attractions, Ikea and more – and you don’t need to be a VIP. All you need is google.

It’s all about Google’s free Popular Times feature, which predicts when places will be rammed (or not). It uses anonymous data from people who opted to share their mobile location to find busy times.

As a result, you can see that on Fridays the London Eye is most popular around 2pm to 3pm, and arriving at 10am should slash your waiting time.

People going to Ikea in Leeds on a Saturday would do well to avoid 1pm to 3pm and instead arrive at 9am or 6pm – or, better still, try a Tuesday.

How to use the Popular Times feature

It’s easy to use. First do a Google search for a restaurant, attraction, etc. On the right-hand side, you’ll see a block with Google’s listing (ie, where the pink circle is in the image below).

ikeaimage

Scroll down within this block and you’ll see a Popular Times graph – if there is one for that attraction. If you can’t see the chart, try clicking the ‘More about’ button (if shown). You can flick between days to find the quietest times.

Not all places will have a popular times graph – it only appears when Google has sufficient data and has been given an establishment’s opening times, so smaller places may not feature it. It works across the UK, as well as many countries worldwide.

Popular Times was also added to Google Maps on Apple’s iOS operating system in January, another way to check how to beat the crowds at shops and attractions.

You can now use it in real time

Where Google has enough data, you’ll now also see a red block showing in real time what you’ll be up against, with a status such as “a little busy”.

This doesn’t work everywhere (for example, in smaller shops) but can be handy on ‘unusual’ days, such as bank holidays or around Christmas.

PopularTimes

‘It’s great for planning a trip’

A few reviewers have used Google Popular Times with great success…

  • Kath says:I used Popular Times in the last few weeks to look at busy days at attractions while on holiday in Germany/Austria. Love it.
  • Anna says:I’ve recently gone part-time at work and used it the other day to find out when it is quiet on one of my days off, to go and do my food shop. Most relaxing supermarket shop ever!
  • Jennifer says: “It’s great for planning a trip to the local Swedish home decor shop.”
  • Jermaine turned the idea on its head to pinpoint lively nightspots: “When my friend and I went to Prague, we had no clue which club was the most popular to visit on which night. So we went through every club looking for the busiest times and followed what it told us. Every time we went out it was accurate.”

Where does the data come from?

Google uses aggregated and anonymised data from users who have opted in to Google Location History. Popular times are based on average popularity over the last several weeks, while live updates are in real time where it has sufficient data.

To turn your Google Location History off, just follow Google’s instructions. When you turn it off for your Google Account, it’s turned off for all devices associated with that account.

Advertisements

Mcdonald’s Food Hack

McDonalds-Big-Mac-Fries

McDonald’s food hack – Spend 70p, get Big Mac & fries for £2 again and again.

There’ve been a lot McDonald’s ‘hacks’ reported recently – which have all been debunked by the fast food giant. Luckily, I’ve found a ‘hack’ that is 100% genuine to get you a cheap Maccy D’s time and time again.

This is a way to get a Big Mac and regular fries for £1.99 (norm £4ish) every time you go into McDonald’s after you’ve made one purchase (cheapest item is a 69p ice cream cone). You can often spot this deal on vouchers in newspapers, or printed on the back of bus tickets, but with this trick you don’t need them and can do it over and over again.

It’s through a promo called ‘Food for Thoughts’, which rewards you with cheap grub if you fill out a quick survey about your experience after you’ve made a purchase. You could do it all in one visit, though it may take a few minutes as you’d need to buy one item then fill out the survey to get your Big Mac and fries voucher. Of course, it’s not the healthiest meal – but if you’re eating there anyway, you might as well do it cheaply.

Here’s what to do:

1. You’ll firstly need to buy any item in McDonald’s and keep the receipt – you may have to ask for it. PS: if you just want a Big Mac & fries, it’s actually cheaper buying a drink or ice cream cone first, then filling out the survey to get your voucher.

2. On the top of every receipt you’ll see ‘tell us how we did’ and the URL of the Food for Thoughts website, as well as a code to input on the website to identify your receipt (see image).

McDonaldsReceipt

3. Simply input the details of your receipt and fill out the survey – it should take about two minutes and it’s just a few questions about your experience.

4. At the end, you should get a five-digit number – write it on your old receipt and it becomes a voucher for a £1.99 Big Mac and fries (normally £4.08 or £4.49 as a meal with a drink).

McDonalds-Receipt

5. Hand it over it to the cashier to claim the offer.

6. The beauty of this is you can keep the deal rolling with every single receipt, so all you have to do is make a single purchase to get your first receipt, use the voucher for the Big Mac and fries and with the subsequent receipt do it again and again – so you have cheap McDonald’s for as long as this survey goes on for.

If you’re not a fan of Big Macs – or fancy something different – McDonald’s says you can ask for a Fillet-o-Fish or Veggie Deluxe instead.

There is no expiry date once you have written your five-digit code on the receipt – but the numbers are trackable, so you can’t just write five random numbers on there. McDonald’s has said this is valid in all of its restaurants.

Happy eating!

 

 

Get a FREE letter from Santa.

What ever you call him. He is part of the magic of Christmas. Farther Christmas is probably your child’s favourite person at this time of year so why not help make it feel a little more special.

santa

As parents, trying to plan the perfect Christmas, getting  something for FREE to put a smile on your little ones face sounds like a great deal to me so why not take advantage of this great offer and get a FREE letter from Santa curtesy of The Royal Mail.

Royal Mail

So for the price of a stamp, ok its not completely free,The Royal Mail elves are helping Father Christmas this year by delivering children’s letters to him. It’s not just a one way communication method though.

Get your children to sit down and write their very own letter listing all the things that they would like for Christmas and make sure you send it to the following address.

Send your letters to:

Santa/Father Christmas
Santa’s Grotto
Reindeerland
XM4 5HQ

Remember to include your full name and address so he can write back.

Make sure you send any letters before 9 December 2016 so Father Christmas has a chance to reply. I’ve been made aware that Father Christmas is also able to rely in braille or large print, if this is of use to your child but make sure you let the elves know.

Portable North Pole

If you’d prefer a video then you have options too.

While it hasn’t launched this season as yet, the Portable North Pole gives you a personalised video for free. There are paid options but you don’t need to do them to get the full magic.

We’ve used them for years and it really makes it feel that Christmas has started early.

Happy Christmas 🙂

Christmas Gifts For Dads That Don’t Take Life Too Seriously. Part 1

Part of being a great dad means having a sense of humor in life. Help your dad celebrate the lighter side of fatherhood with a funny gag gift. He’s sure to share a few laughs while feeling like the luckiest dad in the world. See below for a selection of 5 great gifts for dad in this first part of our dad gift guide.

dad-christmas

Senior Moments memory workout.

As Dad watches the kids grow, he’ll start to feel older and older with each kid’s birthday and milestone. Help him stay young and sharp with the Senior Moments Memory Workbook. It’s filled with brain teasers, puzzles, quizzes, memory games, and advice to keep his mind sharp and his memory strong.

senior-momentsGet this at amazon here. £6.99 & free delivery with Book orders over £10

What’s your poo telling you 2017 calendar.

In later life we all need to keep of those aches and pains but even more importantly, we need to remind our dads that they should be checking out their poo. We all remember that Gillian McKeith woman don’t we?

The authors of the bestselling book What’s Your Poo Telling You? deliver a whole new year’s worth of facts, tales, trivia, and illustrated descriptions, covering the ins and outs of poo, pee, and farts! Actual* medical advice inside.

poo

Get this at amazon here. £9.99

Half a pint glass.

Let’s admit it, dads don’t do halfs, do they? The tiny glass it comes in seems unimpressive and it feels like it’s gone within seconds. However, understandably, some dads no longer have the capacity to drink such large quantities at once so we must give in to the faux pas that is the pint glass’s less impressive sibling.
half-pint2

 

Get this HERE. £8.75

Mini Drone.

Let our old dads experience  a little bit of fun in their later years with this novelty, but quite fun, mini drone.

This quadcopter is absolutely great for beginners so it’s great for old dads, it has a special headless mode which keeps it easier for the user to use the remote control, keeping forward as forward and left and right as they should be using its special algorithm inside the drones micro-controller.

It also does several pre programmed trick so dad can pretend he’s cool and trendy.

mini-drone

Get this mini drone HERE. £18.25

Sandal Socks.

Just, why not.

Cotton socks printed with a sandal design

  • Wear the classy socks and sandals look all the time!
  • Cotton
  • A great gag that gets worn again and again
  • Guaranteed to put some fun on your feet!
  • Contents: 1 x pair of cotton Sandal Socks

 

socks

Get these great sandal socks here. £3.79

 

 

Black Friday Retailer Deals.

This time we take a look at what plans the big retailers have for Black Friday this year.

amazonLast year amazon sold more than seven million items on this day alone. They sold an astonishing 86 items per second and it proved to be the online retailers biggest EVER sales day in the UK. Are they going to beat that this year?

The most popular items in their Black Friday sales event were Fifa 16, Kindle Fire, Samsung TV’s and the Xbox One.

Check out the amazon Black Friday webpage here.

 

2000px-argos-svg

For starters Argos have advised shoppers this year to check their Black Friday opening hours, does this mean they are planning some big publicised doorbursting bargains?

The best way to keep check of this is by signing up to their newsletter and of course checking back here.

Last year Argos went big with photography discounts, slashing prices by up to 50% across most brands. Their big deal was wiping £150 off the price off one of their Vax vacuum cleaners.

Check out the Argos Black Friday page here.

 

asos-logoFans of Asos will be hoping that they get some more of the same this year. Last year customers were offered a voucher code entitling them to a 20% discount at checkout.

A good tip – Bookmark items that you know you want to buy a few days before the day – click on “save for later” and you’ll be able to see if it goes on sale on Black Friday.

Check out the Asos Black Friday page here.

 

tesco

 

Known mainly for selling groceries, Tesco last year cut up to 70% off hundreds of products from TV’s to hair straighteners.

The company may well match their 70 per cent off electrical items from 2015, though this has not been confirmed.

Check out the Tesco Black Friday page here.

 

john-lewis-photo

Last year the store boasted a 15.5 per cent increase in internet sales during Black Friday and raked up to £187.7 million in one week.

Electrical goods such as TVs and laptops were some of the most popular items which were reduced.

Check out the John Lewis Black Friday page here.

 

boots

Boots is one of the stores expected to push their Black Friday discounts hard this year. Last year Boots offered great deals on most fragrances but nothing, in our opinion as good as their usual 3 for 2 Christmas offer. One highlight last year was the 50% off Emporio Armani She Eau de Parfum deal. Lets hope we get to see something similar this year.

Visit the Boots Black Friday deal page here.

 

halfords

The popular bike store are getting themselves ready for this years Black Friday and already have details of some deals on their dedicated Black Friday web page. Last year they were offering great discounts of up to 50% on some of the most popular bikes, scooters and toys.

Check out their Black Friday Page here.

 

 

 

 

 

When Is Black Friday 2016?

Until a few years ago Black Friday was an event we all laughed at on the news, watching crazy Americans fight over 70″ TV’s but now its frimly part of the British retail calander.

Shoppers this year are expected to spend an average of £203 each, an overall £3 billion on Black Friday alon, so here is what you need to know to make sure you get the best deals possible.

jingle-all-the-way

It would also be worth looking at our post here showing you what tricks retailers use to make deals look more appealing.

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday, as a term, was first used to describe the day in which most shops “moved into the black” – meaning they had reached their break even point but today its a day for massive bargains, well supposedly.

black-friday

As a concept it works, customers queue for hours, even days to get their hands on the biggest bargains. Unfortunately, as we see all too often on TV, the mania that ensues can descend into violence as people punch, steal and argue over the latest discounted gadgets and appliances.

When is it Black Friday in the UK?

Traditionally Black Friday is the day after thanksgiving – an American holiday which falls on the fourth Thursday in Novemember.

This Year Black Friday will fall on the 25th November – but while some shoppers continue to fight for the best deals in store, many retailers expect the majority of Black Friday business to be done online.

What else do I need to know?

It’s not just Christmas presents you can get your hands on – many airlines and holiday websites also do great Black Friday deals, with some offering flights for just a few pounds last year.

And if you don’t find what you’re looking for on Black Friday, there’s always Cyber Monday.

 

 

Black Friday Reality

November 25th, make sure its in your diary, as that’s the date set for this years Black Friday Sale. Like the arrival of Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve, this once American only tradition has now become one of the most anticipated sales events of the year.

Many of the retail deals are legitimate bargains, but others are nothing more than ordinary sales wrapped in shiny packaging. How can you tell the difference? Well, we have all the secrets to help you decipher all the sneaky trick that retailers use to clear unwanted stock.

shopping

Massive Deals are RARE.

Mega Deals are the staple of every Black Friday sale aren’t they? No? Well, they should be. Blockbuster deals that have people queuing around the block are few and far between and usually offer very limited stock for very limited times.

The products look good, and the prices certainly sound good, but the reality of actually getting your hands on one of these items isn’t so rosy.

crowd

In 2015, for instance, Sears plastered a Kenmore Elite washer and dryer on the front page of its Black Friday ad, with the promise of 51% off on the pair. But the fine print below the deal revealed that there were approximately only four available per store.

Discounts Are Often Inflated.

Black Friday deals aren’t just hard to come by, but most of the time they are just simply over stated. Its common for retailers to hike prices pre sale allowing them to make larger cuts come sale day, making their tiny discounts more appealing.

If you shop this year on Black Friday, don’t pay attention to the supposed percentage of the discounts. Instead, judge the value of a product based on the sale price and how it compares with the item’s price at other stores.

 

Always Read The Fine Print.

Finally, even if you manage to avoid all of the above tricks and traps, you could still be faced with more fine print. Retailers have a way of making some sales difficult to actually claim.

Certain deals may require completion of a mail-in rebate. Other products are available at their advertised sale price only for a few hours and then go up in price. Keep an eye out for such fine print and exclusions — usually located at the bottom of a Black Friday ad or beneath individual deals within the ad — so you aren’t surprised when you get to the store on Black Friday.