2 for 1 Tickets @ Merlin Attractions.

Look for promotional packs of Cadbury chocolates, including Chocolate Orange Minis, Dairy Milk Giant Buttons and Crunchie Rocks (available for £1-£2.99 at most supermarkets until early Sep 2017), to get a voucher for 2for1 entry at more than 20 Merlin attractions.

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The voucher’s valid until 31 Jul 2018 at attractions including Legoland, Thorpe Park, Chessington, Alton Towers, Sea Life centres and sanctuaries, the Dungeons and Madame Tussauds. Some dates are excluded at selected attractions, including some in August – see ‘more info’ below.

Just present the voucher at your chosen attraction when buying one full-price on-the-gate adult ticket (usually up to £60) and another person will gain free entry.

How much can I save?

As on-the-gate tickets cost up to £60 at Legoland, this deal could save you £59 if you buy one of the cheapest promotional packs of chocolate and want two tickets. Even compared with buying tickets online in advance, where they’re generally cheaper (they’re up to £45 each at Legoland), you’d save a significant amount with this deal.

There’s also the added benefit of not having to commit to your plans seven or more days ahead – allowing you to wait and see what the weather’s like, and simply rock up at the gate with your voucher.

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Do you fancy a little queue dodging?

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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).

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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.

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‘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.

Mcdonald’s Food Hack

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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).

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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!

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.