Alex Sheridan

Clearance websites

Households and landlords looking to save money on white goods and home appliances may be able to find bargains on retailers’ clearance websites

Recycle with give and take

A number of websites are building community spirit and encouraging recycling in the capital by listing local people who have goods they will lend out at no charge, or give away

Tax relief for spring-cleaning

Half of all charity shops operate tax-efficient “donated stock” schemes - at no cost to donors - while allowing higher-rate taxpayers to reduce their own tax bills by 25p for every £1 an item sells for

The spring home loans deals

Lenders are cutting mortgage rates and increasing product choice as the spring home-buying season gets under way

How to avoid stamp duty

There are a surprising number of loopholes in stamp duty rules that allow more people than just first-time buyers (FTBs) to benefit from the recent abolition of the duty on properties sold for less than £250,000.

Cash-reward credit cards

Eight million customers of Barclaycard, the UK’s biggest credit card company, can now earn cash rebates of £10 for every £1,000 they spend at a range of local shops and retail chains

Best deals on tax-free ISAs

Savers have less than three weeks to use their Isa allowances before the end of the tax year on 5 April; those who have already taken out a tax-free account for 2009/10 should also consider switching older Isas to improve returns

Offsetting your mortgage

With the base rate at 0.5 per cent for a year, offset mortgages are a tax-efficient way to squeeze more value from savings

Protect against fuel price hikes

Worried about the rising cost of petrol or home heating oil? A new "risk management" service offers protection against price hikes

Comparing the comparison sites

If it is big-ticket bargains in homeware you are after, then there are a number of money -saving and price comparison sites you should know about that will save you time and money

Playing the 0-per-cent game

Still in debt from Christmas? Switching your debt to a nought per cent card could save up to hundreds of pounds in interest charges

Keeping energy costs down

The recent big freeze added an estimated £100-plus to the average home’s winter fuel bill. You may be able to save hundreds of pounds in future by switching to a cheaper energy supplier

Keep mortgage costs down

Many thousands of existing borrowers will see their standard variable rates (SVRs) rise, brokers predict. Lenders can change their SVRs at any time, and some have already increased them. More attractive remortgage deals are emerging which could offer savings of hundreds of pounds a month

Property recovery funds

With buy-to-let finance harder to obtain these days, investors looking to take advantage of reduced house prices may be tempted by property “recovery” funds

Home emergency insurance cover

A domestic boiler breaks down every 20 seconds in the UK, often leaving their owners stressed and facing a big unexpected bill

Stamp duty holiday ends soon

Homebuyers should move quickly if they want to take advantage of the current stamp duty “holiday” on properties costing between £125,000 and £175,000

Variable or fixed-rate loan

Borrowers looking for a new mortgage may be better off going for a variable-rate or tracker-style loan rather than a fixed-rate deal, despite the record 0.5 per cent low in Bank of England interest costs

Switching fixed energy tariffs

Summer may seem a strange time to worry about heating and power bills, but experts warn that many thousands of households currently should waste no time in shopping around for a cheaper plan

Offset mortgages and how they work

This type of mortgage allows homeowners to use their savings to reduce monthly loan costs while keeping full access to their spare money