Overnight Shipping from Hong Kong to the UK (via DHL)

I recently got a shipment from Hong Kong for one of my projects. Picked up by DHL at 11am on Thursday, it was delivered to me at 9am the next day!

It was an early afternoon pickup, so it could get the 5pm flight, though still an achievement! If it’d have been collected later in the day, it’d have probably been a 2 day delivery instead.

DHL tracking - Hong Kong to UK

How To Get 50% Off at Restaurants with the TasteCard

I recently signed up for a month’s trial of the TasteCard scheme. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a green and black card that gives you either 2-for-1 or 50% off your bill.

Naturally assuming it’d just cover England, Scotland and Wales, when I looked at their map of participating restaurants, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a lot of restaurants in Dublin had signed up for the scheme.

Though TasteCard advise to book in advance, I actually popped by one of the restaurants, Luigi Malone’s, showed my TasteCard, and my bill had 50% off at the end – including the main, dessert and even drinks (which I wasn’t expecting)!

At a cost of £ per year, if you dine out at any of the restaurants, cafes or takeaways listed on their map, the card could easily pay for itself after a few meals. If you’ve got a big family or are planning a big meal out at one of the accepted locations, it’s a no-brainer!

Super-Comfortable Danish Merino Wool Socks

Over the years, I’ve build up quite a collection of various brands of hiking socks! While some are better than others, I recently came across much discussion on the benefits of wearing merino wool hiking socks rather than more traditional thick socks.

A quick search on Amazon, and I discovered these, which seemed to be the most popular, so I thought I’d buy them and see if they were any good. After all, Amazon has a great returns policy, so I could send them back if they weren’t up to scratch.

Sadly, brown was out of stock, so I opted for green. They arrived from Amazon within a couple of days.

The underneath section of the sock has an extra layer of soft merino wool, making them extra thick and comfortable on longer walks.

The toe section is nicely sewn, and there’s no lumpy stitching on the inside that’ll be uncomfortable.

They’re long enough to come above any high walking boots, and have elastic sections around the mid-foot and ankle sections to avoid them slipping off too easily.

Overall, a great all-rounder. To give them a real test, I’ll be wearing them on my Ireland trip next week.

10 Tips for Saving Money

For those that know me, I’m often seen as a very frugal… (okay, tight!) person. I’m always looking for ways I can save money.

Anyway, here are 10 tips I’ve found useful.

  1. Pay subscriptions in USD where possible

    1. Most global businesses have their base pricing in USD, so other currencies will face less preferential pricing.
    2. Whilst this doesn’t save as much as it used to (due to an ever worsening exchange rate), it can be around 10% cheaper to pay in USD (even taking into account GBP>USD conversion fees).
    3. For example, Spotify charge US customers $9.99/mo (~£7), whilst Brits pay £9.99/mo.
  2. Use cashback sites

    1. Sites such as TopCashback and Quidco ‘track’ your purchase and give you a percentage of the sale back in cash a few months later. There’s really nothing to lose, so sign up if you’re not already using a cashback site.
  3. Audit your monthly expenses

    1. If you’ve got a few minutes to spare on a Sunday afternoon, take a look through your bank statement or PayPal account, looking for any odd transactions. You’ll thank yourself later.
    2. Also, decide if you really need that Spotify Premium, Amazon Prime, Netflix or Sky TV account.
  4. Buy own-branded products where possible

    1. There’s often a stigma around buying own-brand goods. However, the difference is generally insignificant – apart from the fact that brands have massive marketing budgets that they need to pay for somehow!
  5. Prepare your own packed-lunch

    1. You’ll be amazed at the amount you can save. If you’re in the office 240 days a year, buying a £3 sandwich everyday will set you back £720. If you prepare a packed lunch (~£1) instead, you’ll save £480/year.
  6. Buy used or refurbished products instead of new

    1. For high value items such as an iPhone, it’s worth buying new so you have the warranty.
  7. Add more to your basket to qualify for free delivery

    1. If the online store offers free returns, you could even return any unwanted items later.
  8. Buy essentials in bulk (if you’ve got the space!)

    1. For household essentials such as kitchen roll, toilet paper and dishwasher tablets, you’ll often find bulk packs are discounted.
  9. If you’re not in a rush, consider buying from China

    1. Using websites such as AliExpress, you can buy almost anything that you’ll find on Amazon, eBay or in retail stores, but often at half the price. You just have to wait a few weeks for delivery.
  10. Make use of any other discounts that might apply to you;

    1. Student Discount
    2. NHS Discount
    3. Emergency Services Discount
    4. Armed Forces Discount
    5. 60+ Discount (OAP)

ALWAYS haggle if you’re

This excludes Chinese sellers – you’ll usually end up with a lower quality product.

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