The cheapest way to watch Freddy Kreuger or scary zombie, slasher horror movies as well as normal telly is to get a Saorview box and take out a €7 per month Netflix subscription. There's a huge amount of customer inertia when it comes to switching TV or broadband packages. Now is an utterly brilliant time to move your custom as Eircom has put it up to Sky and UPC by launching its own brand new telly offering with the not very amazing name of eVision. It's bloody good value, with an entry-level package of €10 per month compared with €27 at Sky and €28.50 at UPC. For a better package, including Sky Sports or movies, it has a very slimmed down offering with eight channels against Sky's 18 or UPC's 16 stations.
Best: Eircom eVision €49 per month
Avoid: UPC €72.50
Saving: €282 per year
contact www.eircom.ie or local outlets
Getting a replacement iPhone after your one has been snatched by a skanger costs ridiculous amounts of money. Getting insurance isn't a bad idea if you work in a city centre or tend to be a bit of a crime magnet. Based on iPhone 5 cover with accidental damage, theft and loss.
Best: Gadgetinsurance.com €6.79 per month
Worst: Carphonewarehouse.ie €14.99
Saving: €98.40 per year
contact www.gadgetinsurance.com or 0818 286 456
ELECTRICITY AND GAS BILLS
The battle has been lost. The heaters are on full whack. The November target was missed. Even though a bunch of energy companies have frozen prices until the new year, it doesn't make them less evil and mean. We're still paying way, way too much for our energy. However, you should be able to shave up to 13 per cent off your ESB or Bord Gais bill by switching to the cheaper operators. Signing up for online billing and direct debit payments brings the biggest savings. For a family using €100 per month in gas on the standard Bord Gais tariff and another €100 per month on the standard ESB package. Quotes from Bonkers.ie.
Best: Flogas Optimiser direct debit €1,041.45 per year
Avoid: Bord Gais standard €1,200
contact www.flogasnaturalgas.ie or 1850 306 800
Best: Airtricity direct debit €1,071.77 per year
Avoid: ESB Standard €1,200
contact www.airtricity.com or 1850 81 81 10
Combined saving: €286.78
Thanks to Michael Noonan whacking up the Dirt tax on deposits, savings accounts are now about as useful as a chocolate teapot. The PRSI hit is also particularly nasty. This has made the An Post state savings accounts the only option for consumers looking to make a return. Calculations are for the return on €10,000 locked away for five years on the state savings account and a perfectly average EBS account with the same interest rate. But with all the sneaky taxes deducted.
Best: State Savings account €1,100
Avoid: EBS €585
contact www.anpost.ie or local post office