The Great Join Up And Save Hunt

MSE_Martin
MSE_Martin Posts: 8,273
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Money Saving Expert
What's it about?

Become a member of various clubs and societies and you can often bag extra discounts and exclusive offers. So what are the good ones out there - which clubs are worth joining and what are the best discounts?

An Example


Sign up to The National Trust and you get free entry to all its sites, free parking in its car parks and a 10% discount in some outdoor shops.

A family membership costs £54.75 a year when paying by Direct Debit, so visit five or more places and you can easily make your money back. The price of visiting Bodiam Castle, Emmetts Garden, Scotney Castle Garden & Estate, Clandon Park and Claremont Landscape Gardens is £64, so become a member and you'll be quids in.

What to do
To reply if possible include a link to the Club/Society, how much it costs, and what the discounts available are.

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Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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Comments

  • Best one for all round savings is this club :)
  • savingsgirl
    savingsgirl Posts: 8,227 Forumite
    bless you Edinburghlass.
    I would recommmend joining the huggies and pampers clubs if you have a baby/toddler in nappies as they send you lots of money off vouchers. I always look on the back of food packets etc of clubs to join as I always get sent freebies and money off coupons :)
    Auntie Savingsgirl 24/9/06 :j
  • Take it up a notch - try to see if you can find membership cheaper at a partner organisations which gives reciprocal benefits! Youth Hostels Association - 10% discounts on outdoor gear etc as well as cheap accommodation (you can cook your own food rather than eating out when away). Membership in England Wales about £15pa, life £200 but join the Scottish YHA and it's £8pa or £80 Life and you can still use hostels in England Wales!! Believe similar is possible for National Trust but not sure about Huggies and Pampers Club:rotfl: . Same benefits - as an EU rule on discrimination now prevents organisations restricting membership to residents of a particular member country - so shop around on the web for memberships! An organisations own web-site should tell you who they have partner arrangements with too! :j
  • If joining RSPB join at a reserve rather than online or by post as you get loads of extra freebies plus you get free entry to all the special events at the reserve you joined at for 12mths. You can still pay by direct debit so getting 3mths free membership as well. I signed up for family membership which is £48 regardless of how many children you have. I have 4 kids and they all came away with stationery sets, cuddly toys, filofax, badges and magazines plus me and hubby got a book each worth about £20. Membership also includes free entry to all RSPB sites and we get to go to all the special events free which include bat nights, wildlife photography instruction, birdwatching for beginners etc which would normally be charged for.
    £2 coin savers club = £288
  • wrote:
    I have joined the Ramblers Association for £25 pa (less for pensioners its £18 per couple I believe) and most outdoors clothing shops will give 10|5-15% discount on their goods. THe Ramblers Association also provides a guide which includes discounts on a lot of B&B accommodation.

    When going on Rambles if you happen to be meeting at a National Trust carpark take your National Trust members card or sticker for free parking.

    I have also joined English Heritage which is similar to National Trust and again this gives free entry to all the properties for the annual membership o around £65 per couple (better value for families and OAPs).
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  • xadoc
    xadoc Posts: 152 Forumite
    Have been considering investing in the National Trust's Lifetime membership.

    It's £985 for an individual, £1,190 for a couple... and £1,354 for a family (including limitless kids, it seems) :eek:

    But, benefits as I see it for family membership for us are:
    • We're both 29.
    • We have no debts, no kids, are both gainfully employed, pay decent amounts into pensions, have used up our ISA allowances and paid off our mortgage.
    • There's reciprocal benefits for similar organisations all over the world and we like to travel/visit National Trust type properties.
    • Frankly the entrance fee puts us off going to NT properties at the moment (where's the logic in that!) but we'd be far more inclined to visit (trust me on this) if we'd already paid for it.
    • We do plan to have kids at some point.
    • How smug will we feel at age 75 if we're still fit and able and enjoying NT membership having paid for it when we were 29 (assuming the NT exists then!)?

    Downsides
    • Apart from being £1,354?
    • Seem to need to actually have an address in the country it's bought in, so can't apply elsewhere - e.g. in Australia to get cheaper, so would definitely be the full £1354.
    • We get to be lifetime members of the NT at the grand old age of 30?! Street cred suicide!! But did we have any to lose?
    • Our kids would probably hate the National Trust (and us) forever.
    • If we died before we recouped the money we'd be bitter, but dead, so presumably wouldn't actually care/have more important things to consider...

    Lifetime membership vs. individual/annual (nerd alert)

    If entry to a NT property costs a (conservative) estimated £5 per adult in 2006, and the cost of NT entrance increases by an estimated 5% year on year, and even if we never have children and thus only ever pay entry for 2 adults each time...
    If we only visit 1 property a year we'd have recouped our money by age 72 (assuming we live that long).
    If we visit 2 properties p/a we'd have recouped our money by age 60
    If we visit 3 properties p/a we'd have recouped our money by age 54
    If we visit 4 properties p/a we'd have recouped our money by age 50
    If we visit 5 properties p/a we'd have recouped our money by age 47

    If annual family membership, currently £54.75, increases similarly by 5% year on year (ignoring 'extra months' DD benefits) we'd have recouped our money by age 46.

    So, the question is... have we bought lifetime family membership yet?;)
  • olgadapolga
    olgadapolga Posts: 2,263
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    You might do better to join the National Trust for Scotland - membership is a bit cheaper and you can still access all of the properties in England etc . . .
  • Clowance
    Clowance Posts: 1,831
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    Personally we join the NT for a year at a time every few years. As we dont tend to visit the same properties in our area over and over again, but make an effort if we go somewhere new on holiday to see what there is , this works out relatively cheap.
    We have two kids age now 9 and 11, and since the youngest was about 3 have been visiting, they always enjoy racing round the grounds. It does mean that you have to rush round the house before they get bored though. But they actually dont really mind seeing different things, especially if the cafe is dangled as a treat.
    So I wouldnt personally go for lifetime membership, I dont think you would get enough use out of it, unless theres a car park you regularly use.
  • nightsong
    nightsong Posts: 523
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    Clowance wrote:
    Personally we join the NT for a year at a time every few years. As we dont tend to visit the same properties in our area over and over again, but make an effort if we go somewhere new on holiday to see what there is , this works out relatively cheap.
    We have two kids age now 9 and 11, and since the youngest was about 3 have been visiting, they always enjoy racing round the grounds. It does mean that you have to rush round the house before they get bored though. But they actually dont really mind seeing different things, especially if the cafe is dangled as a treat.
    So I wouldnt personally go for lifetime membership, I dont think you would get enough use out of it, unless theres a car park you regularly use.

    We've done this as well. IME, children up to the age of about ten are quite happy with the NT, as there are usually extensive gounds and icecreams available - we used to take picnics generally as my OH found the teashops infinitely depressing :D If you live near several properties or even just one very nice one, it can double as a local park For example, we lived in Sevenoaks. Knole Park is free anyway but we could go into the house. There was also Chartwell, Ightam Mote and a couple of other small places within a few miles so we got a lot of use out of it. Other parts of the country are less plentifully supplied, but it's still useful on holidays.

    It would be an unusual teenager who would be seen dead at a NT property though.
  • Sui_Generis
    Sui_Generis Posts: 1,177
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    xadoc wrote:
    Have been considering investing in the National Trust's Lifetime membership.

    It's £985 for an individual, £1,190 for a couple... and £1,354 for a family (including limitless kids, it seems) :eek:

    It IS worth it as I paid annual subs for 15 years before cancelling and I'd paid more than the lifetime sub by then.
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