The Bargain Hunter

  • @johnmatthewhall

* Bucking the trend for hi-tech, high-cost stereos, Tesco's own-brand MC-907 is the undeniable choice for bargain hunters. The Tesco Value CD player costs just 16.49 and was this week named Britain's best hi-fi in the Reevoo Customer Choice Awards 2009 finishing ahead of JVC and Sony models that retail at 663 and 750 respectively. Cheap and very cheerful.

* BT is offering customers free phone line installation until 30 June. Having a new or second line installed usually costs 122.50 but under this deal, securing a connection is totally free and doesn't even depend on having a previous master socket. The only drawback is that you'll need to sign up for an 18-month contract and make a minimum of 10 calls per month.

* Travelodge has unveiled a whole host of cheap breaks as part of its autumn getaway campaign. The hotel chain has reduced 50,000 rooms to 9 per night and another 100,000 to 19 in more than 360 hotels. The offer opened on Thursday and works on a "first come, first served" basis, so best be quick if you want to stay in top locations for rock-bottom prices.

* Restaurant chain Ask has launched a great "buy one, get one free" deal on main meals. Simply visit, fill in the voucher, print it off and then take it with you to any Ask or Ask Italian restaurant to pick up your half-price dinner. The offer is valid Sundays to Thursdays until 31 May.

* Finally, the National Trust is slashing its membership costs in a bid to boost numbers. The price of joining as an individual has come down from around 50 to just 35.63, with joint and group rates seeing similar cuts. As if that weren't enough, the NT now accepts direct debit payments and you'll even get a pair of National Trust binoculars usually priced 14 thrown in for free.