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Money-saving tips with the low pound

With the pound low and the recession not over yet, many expat families will need to make their money go further

24 November 2009

WITH the pound low and the recession not over yet, many expat families will need to make their money go further. Here are some ideas you might consider:

-- Buy your rail tickets second-hand for savings . See sites including www.zepass.com, www.kelbillet.com and www.trocdestrains.com. When buying from the SNCF buy tickets in plenty of time to take advantage of reduced-price deals like Prem’s. If you have at least three children look into getting the SNCF’s carte famille nombreuse reduction card - a similar card for families with at least one child and on low-incomes has also been introduced - the carte enfant-famille. Both also offer money off for a range of other shops and services as well as train tickets.

-- Use price comparison sites before making important purchases. Several leading sites have now signed a “trust charter” with the government - look for the blue and orange charte comparateurs logo. These include www.kelkoo.fr, www.easyvoyage.fr, www.leguide.com, www.pricerunner.fr, www.shopping.com and www.voyagermoinscher.com

-- Those who use EDF for electricity can have a lowered rate if they are on low incomes, called the tarif de première nécessité. Details on 0800 33 31 23 (French) or from this site.

-- Look into the interest-free loan and tax rebates available for green renovations - Connexion has helpguides on these.

-- Buy the return leg of trips to the UK from the UK version of airlines’ websites in pounds - you may make savings on the French euro price. Compare the prices of items like books on both UK and French versions of international sites like Amazon. Even with transport fees you may find cheaper deals in pounds.

-- For how to get up to 20% off kitchen white goods, and other money-savings ideas, see the Practical section of our website.

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