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Spain Money Saving Tips and Offers

Save money in Spain. Providing regular money saving tips, tricks, offers, cheap deals and guides for people living in or visiting Spain. Covers shopping,restaurants, going out, supermarkets, insurance, bank accounts, utilities, phone/mobiles etc.

Tapas and drinks for 5 people - 51 euros
28 August 2010

One night last week we went out to one of the best tapas bars in the Manilva/Estepona area and was amazed at how cheap it was. We had 4 good sized tapas each (including pinchos) with bread. Between us, we had 4 pints of lager, 2 bottles of decent red wine, and 2 Cokes. The whole bill for the 5 of us came to 51 euros which is extremely cheap.  That's 10 euros per head.  If this had been a restaurant in the area, the bill would have been treble that. We were all full and left very satisfied. 

The bar we went to was by no means the cheapest in the area, so it's possible to eat even cheaper.  But it is definitely head and shoulders above the rest of the tapas places in Manilva.  The bar is called el Molino and has only been open for 6 months or so. 

So if you want a cheap way to eat, go to a tapas bar.

*Photo of the main square in Sabinillas

Like 0        Published at 14:51   Comments (4)

Coke and Diet Coke - 250ml extra free
28 August 2010

Coca Cola are currently running an "anti-crisis" promotion in Spain at the moment.  The 2 litre bottles of Coke and Diet Coke now come with 250ml extra free.  They have basically removed the curves from the top of the bottle, giving the 250ml extra. 

I don't normally buy Coca Cola products.  The supermarket own brand stuff is usually fine for me.  I did however fall for this promotion last week and got a couple of bottles.  I think I paid 1.38€ per bottle.  It seems like a good deal but I'm not sure how long the offer will run for.  Maybe a good time to stock up?

I have also noticed that Lanjaron mineral water is offering 30% extra free on their large bottles.  So there seems to be some good deals on branded products at the moment.

Like 0        Published at 14:21   Comments (0)

You're nicked, senor! Spanish crack down on speeding British drivers with on-the-spot fines
24 August 2010

Speeding British drivers are facing a crackdown on the Spanish Costas to ensure they pay their fines before they return home from their holidays.

Traffic chiefs tired of binning penalty notices they know will never be paid have devised a new system to fine them on the spot.

Fixed cameras have been fitted with high-tech devices which alert the nearest police car immediately when foreign drivers are speeding to give them the chance to chase them down.

The satellite-controlled devices distinguish Spanish-plated cars from vehicles with foreign number plates.

Pictures and details of Spanish cars caught speeding on the cameras are sent instantaneously to a traffic control centre near Madrid which sends out fines by post.

But photos of foreign-plated vehicles are sent by coded Wi-Fi to the laptop of the nearest police patrol car as well as the traffic HQ.

The ingenious scheme gives officers the opportunity to chase down offenders who live outside of Spain - and immobilise their vehicle unless they pay fines of up to £500 there and then.

The devices have been fitted on existing speed cameras in four locations where holidaymakers account for up to half of the speeding drivers.

Two of the cameras are on motorways in the provinces of Alicante and Murcia, both popular with British tourists.

Thousands of expats in these areas who live in Spain but drive UK-plated cars not registered on the national police computer also face new controls under the system.

The extension of the system to other areas favopured by the British like the Costa del Sol has not been ruled out.

A spokesman for the Direccion General de Trafico, Spain's equivalent of the DVLA, said: 'Up to half the speeding motorists in some of the areas where this new system is operating drive foreign-plated vehicles.

'Excess speed is a contributing factor in a third of all fatal accidents so lives may be saved with these new measures.

'This is not a witchhunt against British or foreign drivers. Nor are we targeting specific nationalities.'

'Negotiations are taking place at EU level to try to introduce a system whereby people who drink-drive or speed are punished wherever in Europe they commit their offence.

'But at the moment, except in rare circumstances, non-residents caught speeding on fixed speed cameras never receive their fines because we've nowhere to send them.

'It's a problem across the EU, not just in Spain.'

Tailgating motorists and those whose cars have cracked or broken number plates are also identified through the newly-adopted scheme.

Fines range from 100 euros (£83) to 600 euros (£500).

Civil Guard traffic officer Ricardo Laoz said: 'If non-resident offenders can't pay the fine, we immobilise their car until the fine is paid although that doesn't preclude an appeal.'

Colleague Samuel Santana added: 'Foreigners pay without any problem once they've seen the photo that's been taken and realise it's them.'

Read more:


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Cheapest cities in Spain for shopping
15 August 2010

Valencia, Huelva and Palencia are the cheapest cities in Spain for doing the shopping according to figures released by Centre of Retail Prices at the Ministry of Industry.  Furthermore, in the three cities identified as the cheapest, prices have actually fallen in the last year - Valencia (-7.3%) and Huelva (-6.9%).

The cities of Bilbao and Santander were identified as the most expensive cities to do the shopping in Spain.  According to the study, a shopping basket of goods in the city of Valencia is 19% cheaper than in Santander.

I'm quite surprised by the price differences because the big supermarkets are present in all parts of Spain.  It looks like they charge differently according to the area.



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10 tips to beat the baggage charges
13 August 2010

Confused by new rules on checking in baggage on planes? You're not alone. A recent survey by a leading online travel agent found that almost 40% of holidaymakers are baffled by the new baggage rules, and a whopping one in five travellers have been caught over their baggage limit and fined at the airport.

Many of the no-frills airlines charge for each bag you check in. It's no surprise that serial consumer rights offender Ryanair is the most expensive. Ryanair recently hiked its baggage charges a hefty 33% during the peak travel months of July and August, which for a family of four means an extra £160 in basic baggage costs alone! So what can you do to avoid the dreaded charges? Just follow our top ten tips!

1. Check before you book
Before you book your flight, make sure you know what the airline's policy on luggage allowances is. It's definitely worth shopping around and doing a few sums before you buy your tickets. Once all those extra costs have been added on, perhaps that cheap flight isn't so cheap after all?

2. Can you combine your allowances?
Read the small print before you book. Some airlines will let you add together your family's luggage allowance to spread the weight - and the cost - and some won't. If you're travelling with little 'uns, find out if they get a baggage allowance. Do the research before you buy the tickets!

3. Planning a sporty holiday?
If you have to take specialist equipment, like skis or scuba gear, then pre-book the space and pay in advance, as that will bring costs down. It also may be worth finding out the cost of hiring equipment when you get there, compared to the expense and trouble of taking your own.

4. How heavy is your case?
If you have a hard-shell suitcase, that could be taking up a hefty chunk of your allowance. Invest in, or borrow, a soft suitcase or rucksack, which will weigh kilos less.

5. Weigh before you go!
Invest in travel scales to avoid any nasty shocks at the airport check-in. You can buy these for around a tenner. Weigh your luggage before you go, and remember to take them with you, so you don't over-pack on the way back. Be honest, do you really need to bring home those beach towels you bought?

- Find out more

6. Wear your heaviest clothing items when you travel
If you're wearing a coat with pockets (perfect for storing books, iPod, camera, etc), your heaviest shoes (maybe with flip-flops in your hand luggage) and that 'in case it's chilly' jumper on the flight, that will free up a good few kilos for all those other holiday essentials.

7. Ditch the toiletries
Why worry about possible shampoo spills ruining your clothes? You can free up valuable space - and kilos - if you leave your toiletries at home and buy when you get to your destination. Plus it's a good excuse to do some guilt-free shopping! If you really can't bear leaving your favourites at home, decant into mini bottles to reduce weight.

8. Check the weather forecast online before you go
There's no point packing heavy items of clothing if you won't need them. Pack a light waterproof in case of sudden showers. Maybe plan to visit the launderette mid-break to really cut down on clothing.

9. Plan ahead
Use a little forward thinking with what you have planned for your break, to decide what you really need to take. Be honest with yourself, it might be nice to imagine you're going mountain climbing, but if you're really just going to lie on the beach, leave the boots and helmet at home!

10. Unpack... before you set off
Once you've packed everything, take a good look and take at least five items out. Be strict with yourself! Don't forget, you'll probably want to bring things back home which will raise your luggage weight. And most important of all - you can always buy things when you get there!

Source: Yahoo Finance

Like 0        Published at 00:36   Comments (1)

Has car hire been expensive this summer?
13 August 2010

Car hire prices have shot up in recent years, as everyone is no doubt aware.  Some of the prices people were forced to pay last summer were outrageous.

I was just wondering if prices were still high or have they become a bit cheaper than the last couple of years? The reason I ask is that I have noticed there hasn't been so many people complaining about hire car prices recently on eyeonspain and on other forums. 

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Lidl Spain: Gazpacho
10 August 2010

Lidl in Spain sell a delicious own brand Gazpacho.  It comes in a 1 litre carton and costs only €1.39, which is very reasonable.  All of the ingredients are 100% natural and there are no additives, flavourings of preservatives added.  It is made from:

  • tomatoes
  • peppers
  • cucumber
  • onion
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • wine vinegar
  • salt
  • garlic
  • lemon juice

It is a very healthy, refreshing drink, best served chilled.  It's perfect for the hot summer months.

In addition to Lidl's own brand Gazpacho, they are selling Don Simon (a good brand) Gazpacho for only €1, reduced from €1.75.  This offer is available from 12/08/2010 until 14/08/2010.


Like 0        Published at 01:02   Comments (1)

Tapas in Manilva: A cheap evening meal
08 August 2010

I find that tapas bars are a very cheap way to eat in Spain.  Restaurants in Spain are very expensive.  Prices are similar to the UK, but salaries here are around half the UK equivalent.  The only time we go to restaurants generally is during the day for the menu del dia.  We have some cheap little tapas bars in Manilva pueblo.

Anyway, my wife is up in her pueblo in Jaen for a few weeks visiting her family, so one night last week I couldn't be bothered cooking after a long day at work. So, I headed up to my local and had a very cheap feed and drink.

This is what I had:

  • 2 x Ensaladilla de Pulpo (octopus, onion and green pepper salad)
  • 1 x Carne con tomate (cubes of pork in a tomato sauce)
  • 1 x Ensaladilla de pimientos (roasted red pepper and onion salad)

Each tapa came with a piece of bread and each tapa only cost 50 cents.


  • 2 x Claras (shandy)

Total cost was a bargain 4 euros and I was full afterwards.  You can't even get a McDonalds meal for that price.

Those living in Jaen, Granada and Almeria provinces will no doubt know that tapas is free when you order a beer or glass of wine in the bars there.

Like 0        Published at 22:34   Comments (4)

EHIC Plus: Travel Insurance for the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions
08 August 2010

EHIC Plus is a top-up travel insurance policy for those with an EHIC card, and is particulalry useful for those with pre-existing conditions and the elderly.   The EHIC Plus policy covers all treatment costs in a state-run/public hospital but will also cover private ambulances and repatriation back to the UK.  Also covered is the standard non-medical things like possessions and flight/holiday cancellations.

Here are some details from the EHIC Plus website

  • No upper age limit for single trip insurance
  • Cover available for Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Underwritten at Lloyd's
  • Insurance for trips up to 4 months
  • More competitive internet prices
  • Kids go free on Annual family policy
  • 24 hour medical assistance
  • Affordable Winter Sports package
  • Very suitable for school trips
  • 14 days money back guarantee

Policy cover as standard:

  • Hospital Benefit
  • Cancellation and Curtailment up to £5,000
  • Baggage, delayed baggage and lost documents
  • Personal Accident
  • Legal expenses
  • Missed and delayed departure
  • Hijack and Mugging

Winter sport benefits   
Ski equipment
Avalanche cover
Piste closure
Lift pass
Ski lessons

Benefits of EHIC Plus Holiday Cover
ЄHICPlus is the smart choice for low cost annual travel insurance and single trip travel insurance. EHIC reciprocal health arrangements mean no need to pay for expensive Medical Care Expenses insurance. 24 hour medical Assistance will get you home from Europe if you have had to claim on your government EHIC entitlement. Get you home medical assistance and cancellation coverage can be extended to include pre-existing conditions that have been fully disclosed to Insurers.

Single trip from £5
Annual cover from £20
Annual family cover under £40

Like 0        Published at 22:07   Comments (2)

Nationwide Flex account: New charges for using card abroad
02 August 2010

Using your card abroad

We will introduce a commission charge and a cash withdrawal charge for transactions in currencies other than sterling. These will still be among the lowest in the market and will replace the existing 1% fee for transactions made outside the Visa Europe region.

From 1 November 2010 you will be charged the charges shown in the table below when you use your card anywhere abroad (or make payments in currencies other than sterling). These include all charges that we have to pay to other organisations on your behalf.

Charge Amount Applies to cash withdrawals Applies to card purchases (see note 1)
Commission charge for non-UK transactions 2.00% of the transaction amount Yes Yes
Non-UK cash withdrawal charge (as well as the commission charge) £1 for each withdrawal (see note 2) Yes No

Even with these charges our current account products still represent excellent value for transactions carried out in currencies other than sterling. Most of our competitors charge between 2.75% and 2.99% commission and some have a minimum charge which can make small transactions more expensive.

With Nationwide you could save between £15.42 and £21.90 when spending £1,000 on holiday - this is based on you making four separate £50 purchases using your card and eight separate £100 cash withdrawals.

  £50 card purchase £100 cash withdrawal
Nationwide £1.00 £3.00
Alliance and Leicester £1.38 £4.74
Barclays £1.38 £4.75
Co-operative Bank £1.38 £4.75
Halifax £2.88 £4.25
HSBC £1.38 £4.75
Lloyds TSB £2.50 £4.99
Natwest/RBS £2.63 £4.75
Santander £2.63 £4.74

We take both the commission charge and the non-UK cash withdrawal charge from your account on the day the transaction is shown on your account. This may not be the same day you carried out the transaction.

The commission and non-UK cash withdrawal charges will be shown separately on your statement to make it possible for you to see the cost of using your account for transactions in other currencies.

Source: Nationwide

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Lidl Spain: Breadmaker for €44
01 August 2010

Lidl in Spain will be selling a breadmaker machine for €44 starting on Saturday 8th August 2010.   they also sell various different types of flour, especially for breadmakers.

Here's a picture of it:

Here's some information about it, taken from the Lidl website:

  • 850 W
  • LCD display programme.
  • To bake bread quickly and easily at home: mix, knead, and bake the bread ferments automatically.
  • Base slip.
  • With 12 programs.
  • With scheduled start timer 15 hours.
  • Rod mixer and pan with nonstick coating quality CORFLON ® ILAG ® brand.
  • Includes instruction manual with recipes.
  • Accessories: measuring cup, measuring spoon and extractor rod mixer.
  • 3 year warranty.

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