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Topic: Useful apps and websites  (Read 1305 times)

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Useful apps and websites
« on: August 15, 2019, 02:55:02 AM »
I just posted in Welcome Wagon!  I am a returning member but I have been out of touch with modern life for the last few years, living in a developing country in Asia.  I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with just not understanding what is available and where to get it.  Back in the day, it seemed options were few and now it seems they are limitless.  I also don't really understand what conveniences are available that might be useful this time around.  When I visit the US, I have a vague understanding of things like Hello Fresh and Uber and subscription boxes but this isn't something I have spent any energy on because it wasn't available where we are. 

So I guess that is now my question. 
-What apps and websites dare useful to find information? 
-Is there a one-stop shop for learning about where to buy insurance (home contents, travel, pet) or car sharing or mobile phone plan options? 
-Is there a UK equivalent of ebates? 
-What services/conveniences are now available that didn't exist 10 years ago, that you feel enrich your life? 
-WTF is the difference between Uber and Lyft and do I need either? 
-What is the best app/website for housing these days? 
-Is Amazon still the most convenient online retailer?
-What are the best loyalty programs for savings?

Hopefully you get the idea.  I honestly feel like I have lived on another planet or have been cryogenically frozen for 10 years.  I need help!

ETA:  Where is a good place to buy non-flat packed furniture?  Besides John Lewis (which isn't really my style and can sometimes be pretty expensive)?

« Last Edit: August 15, 2019, 03:41:09 AM by Sara Smile »


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Re: Useful apps and websites
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2019, 06:00:12 AM »
I love this site. Martin Lewis is a godsend for moneysaving tips and recommendations and comparisons for almost everything.  https://www.moneysavingexpert.com

Amazon is great. I use ebay a lot too. Both the US and UK sites. But be prepared to pay customs/VAT for things you bring in from the US.

Right Move and Zoopla are the most frequently mentioned for property searches.

March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.


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Re: Useful apps and websites
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2019, 08:04:00 AM »
The coolest thing for me in the last few years is grocery delivery, although I prefer to use click and collect.  Tesco works for me but I haven't tried others.

I'd also recommend a monthly sim only deal for your phone, like giffgaff.  Then buy an unlocked phone on Ebay and your mobile bills will be cheap.

Also, the digital channels you get for free are good so no need to pay for cable unless you want sports.  Netflix is great but you probably already know that.


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Re: Useful apps and websites
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2019, 08:15:20 AM »
The coolest thing for me in the last few years is grocery delivery, although I prefer to use click and collect.  Tesco works for me but I haven't tried others.

I'd also recommend a monthly sim only deal for your phone, like giffgaff.  Then buy an unlocked phone on Ebay and your mobile bills will be cheap.

Also, the digital channels you get for free are good so no need to pay for cable unless you want sports.  Netflix is great but you probably already know that.

We were hoping not to have to get Sky and just use Netflix.  We hardly watch TV anyway.  Like maybe once a week.  What do you do for internet?  I know in some countries, internet only is so expensive you don't really save anything and you might as well buy a bundled service.


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Re: Useful apps and websites
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2019, 08:21:25 AM »
Our son only uses internet and also has AppleTV to provide all the apps he needs. We have Firestick which provides all the apps we need plus Amazon Prime for all their content.

We both use Virgin as we have fiber to the estate, but plenty of options available. The good thing about the apps that come with Firestick, AppleTV etc is live streaming of all the BBC and ITV channels which are included in your TV licence.

For finding an electric/gas provider we use uswitch.com. For insurances we use compare the market.

https://www.comparethemarket.com/?SRC=CU03&TrackerID=43700044013558113&ds_rl=1251650&ds_rl=1251650&ds_rl=1251650&gclid=Cj0KCQjwhdTqBRDNARIsABsOl9-6FxRCFG6JjRnZqsoeZMDozPaLrTVIOnyO4ALcUfVPrUjiQEYAoyIaAnn5EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

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Re: Useful apps and websites
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2019, 08:24:42 AM »
Our son only uses internet and also has AppleTV to provide all the apps he needs. We have Firestick which provides all the apps we need plus Amazon Prime for all their content.

We both use Virgin as we have fiber to the estate, but plenty of options available. The good thing about the apps that come with Firestick, AppleTV etc is live streaming of all the BBC and ITV channels which are included in your TV licence.

For finding an electric/gas provider we use uswitch.com. For insurances we use compare the market.

https://www.comparethemarket.com/?SRC=CU03&TrackerID=43700044013558113&ds_rl=1251650&ds_rl=1251650&ds_rl=1251650&gclid=Cj0KCQjwhdTqBRDNARIsABsOl9-6FxRCFG6JjRnZqsoeZMDozPaLrTVIOnyO4ALcUfVPrUjiQEYAoyIaAnn5EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
This is how out of touch I am.  I don't know what a Firestick is.  I swear I am not 100 years old.  If I find out my MIL knows what a firestick is (and she is stuck in 1950), then I might as well just give up on life now.


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Re: Useful apps and websites
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2019, 08:25:14 AM »
I literally just remembered that Groupon was once a thing.  Do people still use that?


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Re: Useful apps and websites
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2019, 08:59:54 AM »
Groupon still exists, but I don't think it's as big as it once was.  There was a Costco deal through Groupon a few months ago, and that's how I learned Groupon was still going.

Larrabee recommended all the sites I would have: moneysavingexpert.com for consumer advice, Rightmove and Zoopla for housing, Amazon are evil but soooo convenient (I still buy from them, but I hate myself for doing it).

eBay are good for finding bargains and generally quick turnaround.  To avoid import duty, I limit my searches to EU only.  If I don't care when it gets here and next year is fine as long as it arrives and it's cheap, I'll even buy things from Hong Kong (they come by container ship when it's convenient for the seller, which can sometimes mean 2 months later, but usually 4 to 6 weeks).

We don't own a TV and only watch streaming or replay services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Channel4 on demand, etc.  We stopped watching BBC iPlayer when they (rightly) made that subject to TV license, but  we are still able to find enough to watch between the streaming services and Youtube that we never get bored.  Without giving any money to Sky.
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Re: Useful apps and websites
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2019, 11:58:28 AM »
Marks and Spencer has good furniture for decent prices

I do streaming only too (but we pay for our TV license because almost everything we stream is BBC).  Internet is getting cheaper, you can even just use a mobile internet box (like from EE) which works really well (and even do month to month, top up, etc). This works okayish in parts of the Highlands, but I imagine would  quite well  in London.  (I don't have mobile internet myself, I have EE superfast broadband, which is surprising since I live in the countryside, but there you go)



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Re: Useful apps and websites
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2019, 12:05:54 PM »
I'll even buy things from Hong Kong (they come by container ship when it's convenient for the seller, which can sometimes mean 2 months later, but usually 4 to 6 weeks).

Ooooh, so that's how it works!  I get a lot of handy little things from China and always wonder how they can do it so cheaply. I mean, volume, I know but that only gets you so far!  ;D
March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.


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Re: Useful apps and websites
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2019, 12:21:56 PM »
I like my US TV shows and movies so we pay for a nowtv subscription, I watch while crocheting and doing other things. I bought their box (it's technically a roku box, but branded nowtv) on black Friday last year for £5, it has a 4k output and we haven't had any issues with it, and have installed the apps that weren't available on our TV (like UKTV Play for taskmaster).


For my kitty due to my allergies we get tigerino litter from zooplus online, it's the only fragrance free clumping litter I've found. We order her food through there too because it's cheaper than our supermarket.

I haven't found a UK equivalent of ebates. Everything is more expensive here with less selection than in the US!

For bulk food orders a few of my friends get together every couple months and use Suma Wholesale. We're a bunch of specialty diet folks so it saves some money on high quality stuff I've had a hard time finding elsewhere. It gets delivered to one, and we all go pick up our orders the next day after she sorts it.

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Re: Useful apps and websites
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2019, 12:31:16 PM »

For my kitty due to my allergies we get tigerino litter from zooplus online, it's the only fragrance free clumping litter I've found. We order her food through there too because it's cheaper than our supermarket.


I'm fairly sure there is no scent added to the Aldi or Lidl clumping litters. I don't smell anything at all and nothing seems to be listed. Take a look anyway, you might be able to save a lot!  :)

March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.


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Re: Useful apps and websites
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2019, 12:34:58 PM »
Recently I've been using MySupermarket.co.uk  before I shop to see what is on sale where! It's really useful.  :)
March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.


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Re: Useful apps and websites
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2019, 01:13:20 PM »
I'm fairly sure there is no scent added to the Aldi or Lidl clumping litters. I don't smell anything at all and nothing seems to be listed. Take a look anyway, you might be able to save a lot!  :)
Ooh, thanks for the tip! We need more litter and they just redid the interior at our aldi so worth checking out!

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Re: Useful apps and websites
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2019, 01:24:24 PM »
Ooh, thanks for the tip! We need more litter and they just redid the interior at our aldi so worth checking out!


My nearest 2 Aldis have been out of the clumping litter for a couple of weeks so I had to go to Lidl instead. I don't know if it's a local issue or nationwide.  The Aldi clumping is in green packaging, the lightweight non-clumping is in red.
March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.


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