Shops, restaurants and pubs are finally open for their first full weekend in England. But before you go splashing the cash, we round up nine ways to save money or grab a freebie. The Mirror has spoken to bargain-hunting experts including LatestDeals co-founder Tom Church, Coupon Kid Jordon Cox and self-confessed Coupon Queen Holly Smith.
Until earlier this week, only shops that have been deemed essential - such as supermarkets and pharmacies - were allowed to open in England. Meanwhile, hospitality businesses have only been allowed to serve takeaway food. If you are planning on visiting a restaurant or pub, keep in mind these places are only allowed to serve food and drink outside for now.
They are expected to be allowed to reopen for indoor service from May 17 if the roadmap out of lockdown stays on schedule. Spotted a clever money-saving tip? Email [email protected]Tom Church is the co-founder of LatestDeals
Free beer at Pizza Express
One freebie Tom recommends is at Pizza Express, where you can get a free bottle of Peroni or Peroni Libera when you buy a main, Sunday to Thursday
The offer is not available at all restaurants so be sure to check the Pizza Express website first to see if your local is taking part in the deal. If your restaurant is taking part, click on the deal to download the offer. Pizza Express is giving away the booze until May 16, 2021.
Free wine at Miller and Carter
Another freebie highlighted by Tom is a free glass of wine when you sign up to the Miller and Carter mailing list.
The freebie is for one 175ml glass of house wine. While the mailing list is free to sign up to, keep in mind you will be agreeing for them to send you email updates. You can sign up for the free wine offer on the Miller and Carter website.
However, it may take a day or two for the voucher to be emailed to you - which means you might not get it in time for this weekend.
Free mac and cheese balls at Byron Burger
Byron Burger is giving away free mac and cheese balls throughout April for a very good reason. The freebie is in conjunction with Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, with the mac and cheese balls given to everyone who checks themselves or encourages someone else to. You can read the full terms and conditions on the Byron Burger website.
Join mailing lists for discounts
There are loads of big-name shops and restaurants that will give you money off just for signing up to their email mailing lists, as pointed out by Tom.
For example, New Look will give you 25% off and H&M offers 10% when you agree to receive their email updates. Keep in mind that most of the time these discounts will not apply against sale items and some will be for online items only. Check the terms and conditions carefully when you receive your discount.
The following restaurant chains also offer money off when you sign up online but these are only available in the week.
- Sizzling Pubs - GBP5 off a GBP15 spend
- The Vintage Inns - 20% off
- Beefeater - 25% off
- Brewers Fayre - 25% off
Tom said: "I've had food cravings for the last seven months and am planning on a restaurant rampage. "All the big chains have offers on but most local restaurants will have deals too."Jordon Cox runs his Coupon Kid website and is a pro at finding discounts (Image: Jordon Cox)
2-for-1 meals with Meerkat Meals
If you buy an insurance policy through Compare the Market, you will automatically qualify for Meerkat Meals. Meerkat Meals offers two for one on starters, mains and desserts in thousands of restaurants every Sunday to Thursday.
Not all restaurants accept this discount though, so check the Meerkat Meals website carefully before you plan your night out. Popular brands that do accept the promotion include Pizza Hut, Frankie and Benny's, Chiquito, Bella Italia, Zizzi, and Prezzo. You can Meerkat Meals with any insurance policy - we spotted the cheapest costs around GBP1 for one-night UK travel insurance.
But really you should only take out insurance that you will actually use. Jordon said: "It's a good offer with a lot of different restaurants included - it could add up to a lot in savings if you go regularly
Search for voucher codes
Having a quick Google for voucher codes could end up saving you money at your favourite shop or restaurant. Jordon reckons it could save you anywhere between 10% and 30%.
The Mirror has dedicate page full of voucher codes.Holly Smith is a self-confessed bargain queen (Image: hollyvlogs/Instagram)
Look out for sales
There are plenty of sales on right now as retailers try to shift the stock that has been building up during the lockdown. Holly recommends checking out Debenhams and Dunelm for up to 90% off select goods, The Works for up to 70% off and Matalan for up to 50%. Of course, always check prices only too before making a purchase to make sure you really are getting the best deal.
Tastecard free trials
If you dine out a lot, Holly suggests checking out the 60-day free trial from Tastecard, which gives you two for one meals at select restaurants.
Keep in mind you will be charged at its usual monthly rate of GBP5.99 once the trial has finished, so make a note in your diary if you do not want to pay. Popular restaurants where you can use Tastecard include Ask Italian, Burger King, Chiquito, Giraffe and Pizza Hut.
McDonald's 20% off
Holly points out that McDonalds has 20% off everything on its menu until April 20, 2021, when you order via its free app. Prices do vary between restaurants but typically, a Big Mac would be reduced from GBP3.19 to GBP2.55, or you can get a box of six McNuggets for GBP3.67 instead of GBP4.59.
You have to order your food via the app to get the deal - meaning the money off will not be applied if you order at a till point.