The pennypinchers’ guide to the web

Everyone wants to cuts their costs in January, so we offer the best sites to save money

Ali Hussain

The Times

FANCY getting your parking fines paid off? Or being rewarded for using your mobile phone? A new breed of internet sites has started to offer innovative ways to make and save you money with little or no effort from you.

MAJICARI will pay your parking fine if you write a good story about your experience and win votes for it from its users. The site, four weeks old, pays the writer with the most votes each day through a sponsor. This comes as consumer champion Which? urges drivers to appeal against parking fines, and said many are uncontested by councils at appeal stage anyway. Matt Robinson, who founded majicari, said 20 fines have already been paid, most for £50. Arecent winner was Alison Tay-lor from Ealing, west London. She was forced to park after her child was sick. She left her car for 10 minutes to take the child to a friend’s house and was fined. An appeal was rejected.

This offers money each time you make a call on your mobile. It is a free service that can be used alongside an existing contract. Obtain your Noodle number by texting 81025. Calls made by dialling the Noodle number first before dialling the person you want to call earn money. Customers make 2p a minute if they make or receive a call in peak hours and 1p at other times. You can also make money by signing up a friend. After obtaining a Noodle number and password by text, you register at to set up an account. You can then see how much money you have accumulated. There is no need to provide bank details, though transferring money to your account is easier if you do. You have to wait 60 days after setting up your Noodle plan before you can withdraw money. Always check with your mobile provider before making Noodle calls as it may not allow you to use your bundled minutes.

One of the most useful websites for discounts on goods and services is uk, which constantly updates users with special discount codes from high-street retailers. Most of the discounts are for online customers. All you have to do is enter a pass code when you reach the checkout section of the website to get the savings. There are discounts of £10 at Dixons for orders over £249. You can also get free delivery at Currys with the code AWSALEDEL if you spend over £199. Some codes are available as printable vouchers to take into shops. John Lewis, Threshers and Body Shop are among retailers to offer them.

Many discount sites have teamed up with cashback websites such as and to offer moneyback offers. These sites give you extra discounts if you make the purchase through them. Quidco offers a 10% discount if you make HMV purchases via the site as well as 7% for John Lewis goods.

Shop-bots such as or are also useful. These scour the internet to find the cheapest deal for your item online. If you wanted to be savvy, you could use a combination of these sites to bolster your savings.

The website allows you to find the cheapest fuel within 10 miles of your postcode, saving up to 14p a litre. On Friday, the Total service station in Sloane Avenue, Chelsea, was charging 119p a litre, but just over a mile down the road on Ebury Street, the Shell station charged 102.9p.

BT broadband customers can take advantage of a new scheme in conjunction with the Spanish internet firm Fon, to create the largest free wi-fi network in Britain. While there are already 11,500 wi-fi hotspots around the country, most charge a fee. Starbucks for example, offers wi-fi in all its coffee shops but customers have to pay £5 an hour.
The BT project aims to transform “home hubs” – the boxes that plug into the phone line and transmit the wi-fi broadband signal round the home – into public transmitters. BT customers with a wi-fi hub who register can have free access to the new network on the move.

This site offers free mobile- phone calls to those aged between 16 and 24 if they accept advertising on their handsets.
Blyk offers 217 free texts and 43 minutes of free calls per month in return for customers receiving up to six advertising texts a day from firms such as Coca-Cola and L’Oréal. Subscribers have to complete a marketing survey.
A spokesman for Blyk said that there was a screening process to make sure that “inappropriate” adverts were not sent to those who signed up to the site.