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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.

Plenty of tourists around but is anyone spending money?
01 August 2011

There seems to be lots of tourists around this summer so I thought this would be a big boost to the Spanish economy, but I'm not sure.  I think it's going to be a bad year for the Spanish hospitality industry.

With all of the problems in places such as the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the booming German economy, it was predicted to be a good year for the Spanish tourist industry.  There definitley seems to be more tourists around than usual, with the Germans being a notable presence this year on the Costa del Sol at least.  I've seen coach loads of them piling in to Gibraltar this summer, which I've never seen before.  The figures from Malaga airport show an increase in visitor numbers compared to last year.  So everything looked setup for a bumper summer for the Spanish hospitality industry.

However, the bars and restaurants, at least on the western Costa del Sol have been very, very quiet.  A lot of other people I've spoken to have said the same thing.  The expat/British places seem to be doing ok, but the Spanish bars and restaurants have been absolutely dead.

When we first came to the Manilva area (where I now live) on holiday in July/August 2008 it was impossible to get a table on the main square in Sabinillas.  We would have to wait up to an hour to get a table anywhere on the square.  Fast forward to July 2011 and the square is perhaps a third to a half full.  This includes Friday and Saturday nights in the peak season!!  I remember last summer was pretty bad but this year is even worse.  Most of the bars and restaurants on the square are Spanish, which makes me think that the Spanish are just not spending money and are eating and drinking at home instead.

In fact, there have been items on the news and in the Spanish press about how the Spanish are really cutting back on their holiday spending.  They are going on holiday for shorter periods and are shopping around for the best deals on the internet and are not going out as much on a night time.

To be honest, it's no surprise that people are not going out as much.  The bars and restaurants are far too expensive.  Spain is no longer a cheap place for holidays.  I went to a cafe the other night that was charging 6-8 euros for an ice cream.  What a joke!!

Like 0        Published at 00:33   Comments (2)

Free jamon iberico tapas with a drink
17 July 2011

Following on from my earlier post about Spanish bar and restaurant owners finally reducing prices and putting on special offers, our local bar had a special offer on last night.  For each drink you ordered, you'd get a free tapa of jamon iberico.  A few weeks ago, the same bar had a free mojito night.

So keep an eye out for special offers in you local Spanish bars.



Like 0        Published at 16:31   Comments (0)

Holidaymakers in Europe should 'beware speeding crackdown'
14 July 2011

British drivers are being warned to stay within the speed limit while in Europe (Chicago Options: ^REURTRUSD - news) this summer.

According to research from the Post Office , many of the most popular European destinations with British holidaymakers are taking an increasingly tough approach when it comes to speeding.

The Post Office says that thousands of British tourists could be caught unawares and out of pocket by on-the-spot fines, with the average offence costing £53.

Although some police officers carry card machines, many demand that that these fines be paid in cash, with those who fail to cough up the money having to face the embarrassment of being escorted by police to the nearest cash point.

In Italy, the maximum fine for speeding is around £3,000, while in France, one of the most favoured destinations for Britons travelling by car, it is around £1,400.

Research at Dover and Hull ferry ports revealed that three per cent of holidaymakers admit to having being stung by a speeding fine while abroad which the Post Office says, given that around 6.4 million passenger cars leave the UK by sea every year, means Britons could in total be paying up to £10 million in fines abroad every year.

Neil Greig, the director of policy and research at the Institute of Advanced Motorists said: “It is essential that when visiting another country you study the particular traffic laws of your destination before you travel. Claiming ignorance to local speed limits isn’t the answer. Last week the UK opted out of the cross border enforcement directive so European traffic police know it’s an on-the-spot fine or nothing when it comes to stopping Britons speeding on their roads.”

He added however that it was far from just speeding which could land holidaymakers with hefy fines. “Traffic police are also able to enforce regulations on carrying safety triangles, spare lamps, reflective jackets and even satnavs with speed camera monitors in them. As at home the solution is simple drive considerately and legally and you have no reason to worry.”

Source: The Telegraph

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Have Spain's restaurant and bar owners finally realised Spain is in crisis?
06 July 2011

Since the start of Spain's economic troubles in 2008, I have been amazed at the behaviour of a lot of Spanish bars and restaurants.  Many have made no attempts to reduce prices or put on special offers.  Some have even put prices up prices to cover the shortfall from declining customer numbers.  Crazy behaviour.  Contrast that with what happened in the UK during the recession.  There were/are some amazing restaurant deals around.

All this seems to have changed this year, with lots of places putting on great value deals and reducing prices.  I went for a wander last week in my local area and noticed the following special offers:

- 2 tapas bars offering 3 tapas + tubo for €6.00

-2 Spanish restaurants on the sea front offering menu del dia (8-9 euros), which was unheard of previously for this location

-1 bar offering a racion of paella and a tubo for 3 euros

-a new Spanish grill place offering Solomillo/Chuleton/Roast Chicken/Suckling pig + salad starter + chips + rice + drink for between 8 and 10 euros.  All day/night.  I tried this one last week and it was excellent.

I'm sure there are more places in the area doing good deals at the moment but hese were just the ones I happened to see.

I notice that most of the expat type places are just as expensive as ever.  They seem to think they can charge UK prices in Spain...


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Pay rise for everyone working in Gibraltar: Income tax is being cut
05 July 2011

Income tax is being cut in Gibraltar, which is good news for the thousands of frontier workers who cross the border every day.  While the rest of the world seems to be raising taxes, it's nice to see Gibraltar doing the opposite.  I've not proper;y calculated how much better off I will be but I think it will be around £400-500 per year.

Here's the details from the budget announcement in the Gibraltar Chronicle:

-  All taxpayers on Allowance Based System will receive tax cut of at least

£300 or 2% of tax now paid, whichever is greater. This will be received by

the 2500 taxpayers who are already paying an effective rate of tax lower

than that that will be paid by Gross Income Based taxpayers.

-  1900 taxpayers presently on income Based System will now be better off

under the Gross Income Based System and will receive more than £300 or


-  In the Gross Income Based System the top rate reduced to 28%, the

bottom rate is lowered to 6% and the income bands are changed,

delivering tax cuts of £160 to £1460 to 13,450 taxpayers.

-  Effect of above tax cuts and other changes is that

- Everyone earning up to £8,000 p.a will continue to pay zero tax

- Everyone earning up to £15,000 p.a. will now pay tax at an

effective rate lower than 11%

- Everyone earning up to £20,000 at an effective rate lower than


- Everyone earning up to £25,000 at an effective rate lower than


-       Everyone earning up to £40,000 at an effective rate lower than


- The maximum effective rate of tax in Gibraltar is now 24.99% (not

reached until income of £300,000) and the rate begins to fall.

-  As a result of these tax cuts

- 43% of people who pay tax now do so at an effective rate less than


- 85% of people who pay tax now do so at an effective rate less than


- 100% of taxpayers who pay tax now do so at an effective rate less

than 25%

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Spanish supermarkets are now open on a Sunday
03 July 2011

The likes of Lidl, Aldi and Supersol are now open on Sundays, at least on the Costa del Sol.  I'm sure other touristy parts of Spain will be the same.  They will open every Sunday in July and August.   Mercadona never seem to bother opening on Sundays in the summer.  Not sure about the other big supermarkets.

Lidl was packed today, so I don't think I will be doing the shopping on a Sunday any more!

Like 0        Published at 23:57   Comments (1)

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