Bargain Hunter: The baa-bargain that can reduce energy loss and cut heating bills


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The Independent Online

An easy way to cut soaring heating bills is to use an environmentally friendly draught excluder made from 100 per cent wool. Called, fittingly, Chimney Sheep, it costs from £15 and can save homeowners up to £75 a year on energy bills.

The award-winning device – it has been handed a Green Economy Award for energy efficiency – prevents the loss of 4 per cent of household heat through the chimney. It’s made of thick, flame-retardant wool felt to block a chimney, effectively and temporarily, and provide maximum insulation.

The cost of a Chimney Sheep ranges from £15 to £65, with different dimensions available to fit all chimney shapes and sizes. For more information visit

Chance to make savings  at Marks and Sparks

Marks & Spencer has an in-store “20 per cent off” deal on clothing, beauty and homeware until Monday 16 December. To get the one-off discount, print off the voucher at and use in any branch.

The word is cut-price  e-readers at WH Smith

Fancy an e-reader for Christmas? WH Smith is offering two of its e-readers at reduced prices. The Kobo Mini has been cut from £59.99 to £29.99, while the Kobo Touch has been slashed from £79.99 to £39.99. The deals are available at branches or online at There are almost four million books available for the devices at

Don’t get steered into high car-hire insurance charges

If you’re skiing over the Christmas break, watch out for the car-hire excess insurance scam. This is when car rental companies charge you hundreds of pounds to cover the excess – the amount of any claim you agree to cover.

With excess sums set as high as £2,000, it can be tempting to simply pay £100 to £200 at the car-hire counter for a policy that covers this cost. But if you plan ahead you can get a policy for a tenth of the price.

At, for instance, you can get excess cover for £21 for the week, or £3 a day. Other extras to be wary of include a charge to hire a sat nav, which could be £100, or a child’s seat at £50.

Catch these wheely good deals at Evans Cycles

Evans Cycles is offering an extra 10 per cent off the cost of kids’ bikes and BMX bikes until 18 December when you use the special code VCPXMAS. You’ll find full details of the offer at

Other deals available through the VoucherCodes site include 15 per cent off at Flowers Direct using the code AWXMJVPRO15 until 15 December.

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