Series packed with money-saving tips, with Denise Lewis and Dom Littlewood. The team helps a woman struggling to juggle the family finances and care for her husband with dementia.
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with Dominic Littlewood and Denise Lewis.
Whether you're a spender or a saver,
we could all do with knowing how to make the most of our cash.
So we've found simple advice for you to do just that,
and taken it to people right across the UK.
Whatever help you need with your finances, we are Right On The Money.
Morning, and welcome to Right On The Money,
the series that will bolster your bank balance
without having to put in too much effort.
Sounds good to me, Dom.
And today's show is full to the brim with unmissable tips
and expert advice.
So let's see what's coming up.
With the cost of elderly care rising, we go all-out to help
this woman save money to look after her husband.
When the money runs out, I do not know what we'll be doing after that.
And is big always best when it comes to supermarket shopping?
We challenge one family to shop savvy.
So, that's obviously quite a shocking amount for you.
You weren't expecting it to be that high?
I wasn't at all. That is atrocious.
Now, finding time to sort out those household bills can be a bit of a
headache at the best of times -
especially when so many of us are juggling busy lives.
But for one lovely Welsh pensioner,
keeping on top of those expenses has become nigh-on impossible.
So let's see what we can do to help.
Would you like your coffee and a cake now?
81-year-old Brenda lives in Cardiff with hubby of 57 years Huw.
There we are.
We first met in the autumn of 1957.
We married on December the 19th in St Mary's Church in Whitchurch...
Oh, and he was cleaning the car there.
They would say we've built a lovely home together.
But two years ago, everything changed
when Huw was diagnosed with vascular dementia,
a condition that affects his thought processes and mobility.
He's a shadow of the person,
in the two years.
I try to stimulate him an awful lot.
I'll sit down and we will do the crossword.
A young goat, three letters.
The answer's "kid".
And Brenda is determined they should keep living together
in the family home.
I am Huw's full-time carer.
Is that better?
As hard as it is with Huw at home,
I would not, while he still recognises me,
put him in a care home because,
there, he would not get the stimulation that he gets
within our home.
But caring for Huw has had a big impact on the family finances.
Brenda is paying for private carers to help her cope with looking after
him and, in one year, half of Huw's savings have gone.
I find it very difficult to come to terms with
the way money is going out.
And when the money runs out,
I do not know what we will be doing after that.
Well, try not to worry, Brenda, because you're about to get
a visit from money-saving expert Sarah Pennells.
She's here to try and help Brenda work out how to stay afloat
whilst maintaining that all-important extra care
that Huw needs.
Brenda, just tell me a bit about what's changed about Huw.
What is still there is his sense of humour.
I went out one day, and I told him that I was going with Gloria.
And he looked up to the carer,
and said, "Have you got ten hours to spare?"
What are you paying for? How much are you spending on this care?
Just under ?3,000 a month.
That's a huge amount of money, isn't it?
Huw is among the estimated 850,000 people in the UK
living with dementia.
Of those, two-thirds are paying some of their own care.
In Huw's case, because he has a retirement nest egg,
he has to meet most of his care costs.
Brenda, we're going to try and make sure we get you some really good
advice so you know where you stand, and you can plan for the future.
That would be a load off my mind.
We'll do our best.
Before tackling whether Brenda is entitled to any extra help
in paying those care costs,
Sarah is determined to save her money on her household bills,
and something has caught her eye straight away.
One of the things you're paying for is ?76 a month for storage.
What are you storing?
Because Huw has to have a bedroom downstairs, I have a settee,
chair and a coffee table.
I always thought that I would put it back in the room when...
..Huw no longer needed the room.
But it is stupid thing to do.
I've heard about losing a quid down the back of the sofa, but a grand?
That's a lot of cash, Brenda. Sarah reckons she'd be better off
getting rid of the furniture altogether.
It's ?1,000 a year that could be in your pocket.
We could try and sell it, try and get some money for it,
and the you could have that money in your pocket and not in the storage.
So, shall we do it now?
No time like the present! Shall we go and take you down there?
Yes, yes, let's.
Here's your coat.
We'll get you some money, honestly, mark my words.
Storing our belongings is something of a national obsession.
Nearly half a million of us like to keep something in a lock-up.
And, after taking a few pictures,
Brenda's unwanted furniture goes straight online, so it's no longer
gathering dust but helping to pay towards Huw's care.
What if they don't sell?
What would you do then?
Give them to charity.
I was hoping you were going to say that, because somebody else will get
some use out of them, who needs them, and you don't have to pay
that storage fee, which...
You'll be ?1,000 better off after a year, Brenda.
Just think of the ?1,000!
Even if Brenda gives the furniture to charity,
that's an annual saving of at least
?912 on storage costs.
And it seems Sarah has caught the selling bug.
When hubby Huw was first diagnosed, Brenda bought three wheelchairs from
a private supplier for a total of just over four-and-a-half grand -
but they're no longer suitable.
There are a couple of specialist websites where you can sell
second-hand items, sort of mobility aids, chairs, wheelchairs.
So, we can just try and get some of that money back,
because it looks like it's in very, very good condition.
Oh, it is in very good condition.
Brenda has managed to sell one of the three wheelchairs back to the
company she bought it from.
However, three months on, she's still waiting for the money -
but, not for long, because Sarah's determined to bolster
Brenda's bank balance.
They've got the chair? They picked it up.
And you've not been paid?
Would you like me to try and find out why you've not been paid,
and see if I can get that money for you?
Well, I should have made the phone call myself, shouldn't I? But...
You've had a lot of on your plate, Brenda,
but I'd be happy to do it, so, erm,
I think we'll try and see what has happened to your ?500. Yes, yes.
Oh, hello, I wonder whether you can help me.
I'm just here with somebody who's a customer of yours. I'm just, er...
Don't worry, Brenda, when it comes to sniffing out cash,
our Sarah is like a truffle dog.
So, what's the verdict?
Lovely, thank you very much.
Cheers, then. Bye-bye!
She's apologised for the not-very-good customer service,
and says they'll try and get the money into the bank account tomorrow.
Bingo! That's an instant ?500 in the pot.
Plus, if the other wheelchairs sell, that could increase by another
1,300, and maybe there's a lesson to be learned when it comes to
buying medical equipment - don't fork out on big, expensive things,
until you're sure you need them.
The local authority might put you in touch with places where you can
sometimes borrow equipment and see whether or not it works.
Just always check and see whether you need it before you buy it first,
because these things are expensive.
With Sarah on a savings roll,
it's time to turn her attention to another set of wheels,
and the amount Brenda is paying on transport for Huw.
We are relying on taxis.
There's only one taxi firm that we can use.
Erm, and they're very, very helpful.
But, it does cost.
Every month, the couple make six trips to the park and shops,
which soon adds up.
So, do you reckon between ?80 and ?100 a month?
Yes, it could be.
So, if we could get that cost down for you,
you'd be able to take Huw out more?
Let's see what we can do. Definitely.
Sarah has invited round driver Peter from Cardiff Council's Ring Ride
scheme, which offers subsidised journeys for people in need.
It's a great service from around the Cardiff area.
We pick people up from door to door, we take them shopping, hairdressers,
and their doctor's appointments.
How much do you charge?
Because Brenda's been saying that the taxis that she uses
at the moment, obviously, can be quite expensive.
It's 80p for the first mile.
Yes. Goes up to ?1.20, ?1.40 and so forth.
I paid about ?5 from Morrisons back here.
To here? That would be 80p for you, Brenda.
That's good, isn't it? That's a big save, isn't it? I had no idea.
Sounds like you're a bit of a well-kept secret amongst some
people who could really benefit.
Yes. So many people around Cardiff don't know about the service.
No, I'd no idea at all.
Well, that's what we're here for, Brenda.
So, would you like to take Huw out now, just to see if we can
get him outside for a little trip?
Yes. Are you happy to help, Peter? I can do that, yes.
Many councils and charities offer Ring Ride schemes.
Find out if there's one in your area by doing a simple online search,
or by calling your local authority.
Brenda, from what you've seen so far,
what do you think of this service?
Oh, it's superb.
Peter's said that this journey you make to the supermarket
would cost you about ?1.40 using this service.
It costs me about ?30.
?14 there, ?15 back.
Please give me the telephone number!
Right, well, you'll be on that phone.
You'll be on speed dial, won't you?
I will, I will.
If Brenda parks the taxi rides,
that would be another ?1,200 a year saved.
By hitching a ride on Peter's bus,
Brenda and Huw can get out more and still save money.
So, next time, you'll actually have to go out and get coffee and a
sausage roll, won't you? A hot dog?
Did you enjoy that?
Until now, Brenda has shouldered most of the responsibility for
caring for Huw.
The couple have two sons and a daughter, but Brenda has rarely
confided in them about her money worries.
So Sarah has arranged to meet son Jeremy to see how much he really
knows about his parents' situation.
Brenda, earlier, you were saying that you wanted to have a chat with
your children about money and the choices you've got and next steps.
Tell me what you would like to talk about, in particular, with Jeremy.
I think this programme has highlighted to me
that I've had my head in the sand,
and I've just paid out money,
and not involved them at all.
And I think it is time, now,
to spread the responsibility.
Like many of her generation, Brenda prides herself on being independent,
and, so far, she's not confided in her children about how much
their dad's care actually costs.
Mum has been very stubborn.
Is that fair, Brenda, are you stubborn?
I think you are really typical of a lot of people in your situation,
where you want to keep your independence and you actually don't
want to be a burden on your own children.
But, actually, I mean, Jeremy said he wants to get involved,
and I think you're recognising that you need that help.
At the end of the day, they're 80 years of age and we don't want them
to feel stressed.
And she knows we're always there to support her on it.
She's always known that.
Jeremy, we've been having quite a close look at how much
your father's care is costing and,
would you feel comfortable telling Jeremy?
Oh, yes, yes.
?2,500 a month.
I haven't ever told you that, have I?
No, no. We've never known.
Once you add in the day care, as well,
it's getting closer to ?3,000 a month.
I wasn't aware of the amounts.
And, obviously, it's a huge
eye-opener from my point of view.
It's often hard to tell close family just how difficult things are,
but, by talking to Jeremy today,
Brenda has taken the first steps to sharing the burden.
Join us again, as Sarah delves deeper into how Brenda can fund
Huw's care costs.
And there's also plenty of food for thought about making sweet savings
on her favourite foodie treats.
Oh, look at those cakes!
What did I tell you?
And we look forward to seeing Brenda little bit later on
when she'll be chatting to us about the whole experience.
Now, Sarah Pennells is back with us, along with Aimee Moore
who's a money-savvy carer.
Sarah, we saw you save Brenda a tidy sum on her household bills earlier,
and we're always told to switch and shop around,
but for someone like Brenda, it's not really that easy, is it?
I think she felt rather overwhelmed by the task and actually how to get
started, because she's spending so much time caring for Huw
that I think she found it hard to sit down and set aside some time.
That's really typical of so many of us, but what can be done
to help the process?
Well, I'd suggest, first of all, splitting it down into stages.
So, make sure that you gather together your paperwork or your
online statements, so you know exactly what you're paying
for your insurance, your broadband, your gas, electricity and so on.
And then, look around at a couple of different price-comparison sites
to see what's on offer.
Aimee, you're a mum of three children with special needs.
Tell us what you did that enabled you to care for them full-time.
Well, for me to be able to give up my job,
I needed to bring in an income that covered the amount that I would
be losing by giving up the job.
So I started using coupons and cashback apps for your smartphone,
and that's the general gist of it, that's the basics.
And how much have you managed to save?
In four years, just under ?50,000.
?50,000? Yeah. Wow!
That's incredible. It is, it's a lot of money.
And it's enabled me to be a full-time carer to my children.
Aimee, can I ask you to give me some examples of some of the things
which you've saved and you'd recommend to people?
What are the real winners out there?
There's all sorts, really.
I mean, obviously, I've got three young boys,
so we use a lot of toiletries, nappies, wipes and stuff like that.
There's always coupons out there for it.
Don't go into a store and pay full price.
Wait until it's on a buy-one-get-one-free offer,
and collect your coupons ready,
because the baby events are always run every three to four months.
Your friends and family must love you.
They do, yeah.
For someone like me, who's useless at this sort of thing,
where would I find all these coupons?
I put all the links to the coupons and all the apps
on my Facebook page, so it's easy for people that don't have time,
like Brenda, who's very busy.
She doesn't have the time to look for them, so they're all there.
Sarah, all this sounds too good to be true. What do you make of it?
I think it's great the way that Aimee's showing that you can make
those savings - and they may seem small initially,
but they do really add up.
Thanks, Sarah. Thanks, Aimee.
Now I, for one, love to shop, but doing a big shop in a busy
supermarket is something I don't look forward to.
Why? Well, it starts with fighting for the car park spaces,
the kids throwing things in the basket all the time...
It's quite stressful, I tell you, Dom.
Well, let me tell you, Denise,
that the way we do our grocery shopping is changing.
That's according to a survey which says that, while we're still doing
the weekly shop, half our trips for groceries are for smaller purchases
of less than six items.
Ah, but the question is, what saves us more money?
Sticking to the big shop,
or making daily trips down to our local store
to buy the bits and pieces you do need?
I can feel a Right On The Money challenge coming on.
The Woodwards, like many busy families,
tend to do all their food shopping in one weekly hit -
with the odd top-up in between.
I'm Rebecca. I'm Darren.
And we're married, and we've been together for 13 years,
and married eight years. Eight years.
We have a daughter, who's six years old, Francesca.
I tend to do a lot of the food shopping.
The reason being, if Darren goes, it costs twice as much.
So, what do they reckon it all adds up to?
?50, ?60. About 80.
Well, that's nice and clear, then!
We usually do a weekly shop and then at the weekend, top up.
I do try, in my head, to make a plan.
However, I don't always think that plan always goes...
To plan... ..to plan, no.
Step forward, financial expert Michelle McGagh.
She's just spent a year where her weekly shop was a mere ?31 -
and that's for two people.
And the way to do this, she says, is through planning,
planning and more planning.
If you don't know what you've got in your cupboards,
then how do you know what you need to buy in the supermarket?
Put together a really, really accurate shopping list.
The list is really, really important.
If you've just got it in your head,
chances are that you'll forget something or you'll end up
buying things that you don't really need, but if it is not on the list,
you don't buy it.
That's a great tip and there is more to come.
Thank you. Oh, I need my purse.
But first, we've set Rebecca and Darren a Right On The Money
Week one, they'll do their usual weekly big shop at the supermarket.
Week two, they'll shop every day at a local convenience store.
They'll keep every receipt and at the end of the challenge,
Michelle will crunch the numbers and calculate which way of shopping is
easier on the family purse strings.
So, it's week one and the Woodwards are back from the big shop...
Have you got everything?
..with a bootload of booty.
But our family seem a little underwhelmed by their haul.
It doesn't look a lot, I don't think.
No, it certainly doesn't look a lot, to be honest.
It does look a lot.
I'm glad someone's happy.
And the cost?
I think it was ?100 almost exactly.
Maybe just a pound over but ?100.
That's probably what we spend.
I don't think we realise we spend it, to be quite honest,
because we're just so used to going and doing the shopping,
we're not really checking what we are spending, to be honest. Yeah.
Back at HQ, Michelle is watching the drama unfold.
Because we're doing fajitas tonight, and we want it to be quick,
we've bought the packet lettuce.
Everyone knows pre-prepared veg is a total waste of money.
It doesn't take that long just to chop up some lettuce.
Well, I'm glad we're not filming in my kitchen, Michelle.
And you might want to look away now,
as Darren makes a schoolboy error with his frozen veg.
As you can see, we've already got some veg in.
I'll be honest, I didn't know we had a full bag of veg.
Essentially they're going rogue on their shopping.
They don't know what they need, they're impulse buying,
they're buying things that they think that they need or things that
just catch their eye.
That's where you are really going to waste a lot of money.
Rebecca and Darren are keeping a video diary of their meals and
shopping as week one progresses.
Despite starting out with the best intentions, Rebecca's meal plan goes
out of the window as their busy lifestyles get in the way.
We are making a curry.
So, I did have to go out and buy some lamb,
cos everyone wanted lamb rogan josh.
I did nip and buy a few more bits from a supermarket today,
because we needed it to be quick for tea tonight,
so we bought fresh stuff instead of defrosting the stuff out of the
freezer because it was quicker.
At the end of week one,
it's time to pack up all their receipts and send them to Michelle.
Next, week two,
and the challenge is to only buy what they need for their meals
that day - and it's over to Darren.
I have not made a list today, because I spoke to my wife regarding
what I'm going to need, so I've got a rough idea of what I'm going to
need for making tea, anyway.
With cottage pie on the menu, Darren's after mince and carrots.
I've been to the shops and I've looked in the freezer
and we've actually got mince already in the freezer.
Oh, my word. You've got to be kidding me.
As I've gone in the cupboard,
you can see
we've actually got four carrots.
But, as the week goes on, Darren gets into his stride
with the daily shop.
Oh, so this is what we're having for tea tonight.
I don't know if they've saved any money, but this family certainly
knows how to rustle up some tasty dinners.
It's time to pack up those receipts and send them to Michelle.
She'll work out whether the daily shop or the weekly shop
put the biggest strain on the family's wallet.
So, the first week, the big shop,
plus three, four, five,
six, seven top-up shops.
Oh, my goodness.
The grand total...
So that's obviously quite a shocking amount for you.
You weren't expecting it to be that high. No, I wasn't at all.
That is atrocious.
So, the daily shop, the total was ?133.
I had a feeling, that...
So, it turned out that the daily shop was ?35 less than the weekly
big shop - that's a saving of 20% on their food bills.
But that's not the end of the story, because savvy Michelle believes that
everyone, including the Woodwards,
could slash their grocery bill even more with a bit of forward planning.
And she's got a tried-and-tested recipe for success -
his and her shopping boards.
These are going to be for your shopping lists.
Right. Start looking at your cupboards and seeing what you've got
and what you haven't got.
If you're running low on your cereal, you can pop it on the list.
Yeah. If you see that you are running low on bananas or whatever
it is, you can pop it on your list.
Before you go to the supermarket,
all you need to do is take a picture of these boards.
Yeah. Making a list and planning meals, I think, would help us.
And Michelle's on a roll.
It is batch cooking next,
making bumper portions of their favourite meals
to stick in the freezer. Oh, lovely, Tupperware!
That way, they'll be able to heat them up quickly midweek
and avoid those pricey top-up shops.
I found the experiment quite eye-opening, actually. Yeah.
I think it's really highlighted our habits and perhaps bad habits
that we've fallen into. Yeah.
And how much money we're actually wasting.
Yeah, because we were both quite shocked at how much we spent.
So, should they be shopping weekly or daily?
When it comes to the big weekly shop versus the daily shop,
if they planned better and they did one big weekly shop,
I reckon they could get that bill down by half and it would be much
cheaper than the daily shop.
And Darren and Rebecca are here, alongside David Taylor,
who writes a blog about how to be more savvy with your money.
Now, Darren and Rebecca, how did you find the whole experience?
Erm, quite enlightening.
Surprising, as well.
I was mortified, really,
about how much I actually spent on food and the ways I shopped.
And the ways that we threw money away.
It was very, very educational towards us regarding where the money
was going and how much was being thrown away, you know.
I have to say, watching the video, the film,
I did chuckle, because it's something that we all do.
Everybody does. Yeah, yeah. All families do it.
I hold my hand up, I am probably the world's worst, you know,
when it comes to food shopping.
But is it going to affect the way you shop in future?
Yeah, I think so, yeah.
It's been a difficult ride for us, because we both work full-time.
We've struggled a little bit, but it has made us aware of where we can
spend the money in the right way.
We've not thrown anything away in the last five, six weeks.
That's brilliant, wow. That's the brilliant thing for us.
If things are lurking in the fridge that are looking like they're going
to go off - meat especially, which is expensive -
just trying to make something and stick it in the freezer.
Talk to me, Darren, in particular, because, when I watched you,
you reminded me so much of my husband.
You send him out for a shop, five items, and he comes back with bags.
Yes, I did, yes.
So the part that made me chuckle, because I know we've all done it...
..the pre-packaged lettuce.
Yeah. You know?
I hope that's a thing of the past.
It is, yeah. I mean, you're not that busy you can't chop up a lettuce.
No. I know, that was a bit bad. Certainly not, no.
I think I used it because sometimes I make sandwiches for work,
so just to be able to grab some lettuce...
But, yeah, I have been better on that front.
It's so costly, but, David, it's becoming more and more frequent.
It does, and I think we are being led into more convenient shopping
in the UK.
We're working longer hours, people have got families.
I do understand it, but nine times out of ten, you're paying double
for, you know, chopped onions. It's one onion in that bag,
something that will cost you ten, 13p,
you're going to spend between 50p and ?1 for.
It is going to take a little bit more of your time, but you're better
off investing in a little tool that slices it, or a blender.
You'll make your money back over the course of the year
doing it yourself like that.
One of my absolute bugbears, and I am embarrassed to even admit this,
is wasting food.
Well, there's a few apps out there.
So, it goes along the lines of you basically put the ingredients in,
what you've got in your fridge - they might look like total random
ingredients to you, you might not know a recipe for that -
but you pop them into the app, it will kick you a recipe back.
That's absolutely remarkable.
If you just search "onion, pepper, tomato," something will kick back,
recipe-wise, instantly anyway. You don't need an application, really.
That's really good. I'll definitely look into that.
Yeah, I think I will, as well. Yeah.
And there's a lesson learned for all of us.
Thank you, everyone.
Thank you. Thank you.
While Denise downloads her app,
I'm going to take a stroll around Stockport Market to find out what
people think about one of my favourite pastimes - haggling.
Do you ever haggle in the shops?
No. Only when I'm abroad.
A lot of people are like that.
They don't mind doing it in the markets in Istanbul or somewhere...
..but they feel embarrassed back home.
Yes, but are you allowed to do it back home? Of course!
Where's it say "no haggling"?
See? Now look what you've started already. Yeah.
People don't mind being a bit cheeky.
Oh, right. Well, I shall be trying that one.
Mr Butcher Man, can I have a quick chat?
It's about your customers here in Stockport.
Are they savvy? Yes.
They're just watching all the time.
You know, if something goes up, they know straight away.
Oh, right. Literally pennies? Yeah, yeah.
Are there certain cuts of meat that people ask for
to try to get a good deal?
No. People are expecting, you know, like, shin beef, that kind of thing,
they expect it to be cheaper, where it's not any more.
All the chefs are making it.
It's the in thing, should we say.
Oh, the chefs are killing it for you? Yeah, yeah.
I mean, just things like ox cheeks used to be, like, a giveaway.
Very expensive now.
What about haggling? Would you ever haggle?
Not in England, no.
Because we're not hagglers, are we?
Ah, Wally's Finest Fruit And Veg.
How you doing? How long have you had this stall, Wally?
I've been on the market 57 years.
They've always wanted bargains.
No matter what, they've always wanted bargains.
And you can't get better values than here.
Right, what's a bargain? What are you flogging here?
Everything's cheap, haven't you noticed?
Two for a pound, strawberries. Two strawberries for a pound? Yeah.
Two strawberries for a pound?!
You have to suck them - they last then. Ha-ha!
I'm getting out of here.
I've had enough of you two.
Now, earlier on, we met Brenda,
who was finding it tough to keep on top of the family finances
after becoming her husband Huw's full-time carer.
Let's see if we've managed to help her tackle those bills.
81-year-old Brenda from Cardiff and husband Huw have been married
for 57 years, but their life changed dramatically
when Huw was diagnosed with dementia two years ago.
While Huw is fully aware of myself and the children,
he will never go into a care home.
Because the couple are having to pay most of Huw's care costs themselves,
their savings are dwindling rapidly.
It's a problem that affects around 560,000 people in the UK
with dementia - and their loved ones.
I don't know, when our money runs out, exactly what happens then.
You have no idea what the future holds.
Money expert Sarah Pennells has already been busy,
saving Brenda thousands of pounds on storage, medical equipment
and transport costs.
This journey will cost you about ?1.40 using this service.
Costs me about ?30.
Now she's back for another visit and, today,
she will tackle the household bills.
Brenda and Huw's gas and electricity meters are ticking over
faster than they once did.
You are going to use more energy...
We're going to use a lot more energy, because we have people
sitting with Huw overnight and, although you turn it down,
you don't turn it off. Yeah.
What we need to do is make sure you're getting the best value,
bearing in mind your bills are going to be higher, so...
As Sarah inspects the latest energy bill, there's the first bit
of good news for Brenda.
Right, OK, Brenda, the first thing I've noticed is
you're about ?150 in credit. Yeah.
So, we'll get that money back for you anyway.
I've also found you a cheaper deal on your gas and electricity.
So, when you switch, you'd save about ?335 a year.
Every penny counts, doesn't it?
Well, you will be quite a lot better off, anyway. Yes, yes.
335 smackers in the Bank of Brenda with just a few clicks?
Switching energy suppliers is not complicated.
All you need is your recent meter readings and to shop around
on comparison sites.
And it seems like Brenda's been paying over the odds
on the home insurance, too.
Now, Brenda, I've noticed that you have your buildings insurance with
one company and your contents insurance with another one.
I think a lot of people did that in the old days, because you used to
have to have your insurance with the mortgage lender,
but those rules were abolished quite some time ago.
It is more expensive if you have two policies.
So, at the moment, you're paying over ?400 a year
and I can get you a policy for about ?122 a year.
It's well worth doing. Right, that's good news.
Saving some more money.
Glad you're happy, Brenda.
With savings like this, we're all happy.
Another ?290 in the bag.
Good job, Sarah.
But she's just getting started.
Even though Brenda only has to cater for herself and Huw,
she regularly spends up to ?500 a month on groceries.
Brenda's best friend, Gloria, thinks she knows why.
I mean, she does like a bargain, but she does shop in nice shops.
Do you think that she could maybe get a bit more for her money,
make her pounds go a bit further?
Well, she could...
..but will she?
So, come in, Brenda...
That's a good question, Gloria.
Let's put it to the test.
Oh, look at those cakes!
What did I tell you?
Sarah's lined up two versions of Brenda's favourite treats -
her usual premium brand and one from a low-cost supermarket.
Come on, then. Right!
I like that one, yeah.
It's good, isn't it?
Definitely! Hope you come again!
By opting for cheaper brands, Brenda could save a packet.
They're both gorgeous.
Time to find out if her regular buys are worth the extra expense.
I prefer the paler one.
Well, I have to say, Brenda, you've got very expensive tastes.
OK, we're not going to convince Brenda to swap all the time,
but even if she replaces the odd French Fancy every now and again,
she would save a bit of extra pocket money.
I do waste on food.
But we've shown you a way that you can cut back
and still have a treat. Yeah.
So, ?60 a month, you reckon?
We could halve that cost for you
and you could buy exactly the same thing.
Yes, and buying more economically.
That's a possible ?360
saved a year
just by shopping around.
And there's another tasty savings morsel from Sarah.
She's discovered that Brenda can save even more
on her TV and broadband package by switching to another provider.
So, I think there is quite a competitive market out there. Yes.
It's worth doing, isn't it? Oh, yes, that is definitely worth doing.
That's another ?240 a year in the pot.
We really are on a roll.
And Sarah is nothing if not dogged when it comes to saving cash.
So, Brenda, tell me about your dog, Henry,
because you've had him for quite some time, haven't you?
Yes, he's eight years old now, and a very lively dog.
Because looking after Huw is a full-time job,
Brenda can't walk her pet pooch as often as she would like.
But, to make sure Henry gets to stretch his little legs,
she regularly pays for a dog-walker
and also gets some help from a local charity.
How much are you paying for the private person?
How much are you paying them, per week, to walk Henry?
OK. So, at the moment, you're paying ?36 a month.
That's ?432 a year spent on walkies?
Hello, Teigen, come in, come in.
But Sarah's found out that Brenda doesn't need to pay anything.
And right on cue,
charity worker Teigen has popped round to see Henry.
So, Brenda, the charity have said that they will now cover
all the walks for Henry that he needs in the week.
Oh, that would be marvellous.
That really would be.
I think Henry's pleased!
He's speaking, isn't he? Oh!
So, it gets the thumbs-up from Henry, thumbs-up from you,
and that's ?36 a month saved.
Lovely, thank you very much.
Thanks to Sarah's sterling work and the help of Teigan's charity,
Brenda has saved another ?432.
So far, Sarah has helped Brenda save bags of cash,
but, before she goes, she wants to tackle the biggest issue of all -
the cost of Huw's care.
She's invited along Janet Davies, an expert in care planning,
to discover if Brenda and Huw are entitled to any extra funding.
Janet, I think lots of people are in a similar situation to Brenda,
and the whole thing just seems incredibly confusing.
You're right. It's confusing for people who are looking
on the outside.
For people like Brenda, who are facing it head-on,
it's incredibly confusing.
Why is it that some people pay and some people don't seem to pay
for their care?
In Wales, the line drawn in the sand is if you have more than
?24,000 in capital, you are classed as a self-funder.
Or, if you have less than 24,000,
the local authority will look to contribute towards your care.
As Huw and Brenda's savings take them just over that limit,
they're classed as self-funders.
But as they are nearing that ?24,000 threshold,
the next thing for Brenda to do is apply for subsidised care
with the local council and undergo a means test.
It's wise to have the conversation with the local authority now
and it's good that we've got the process started.
It's difficult, because you are going to have to disclose financial
information to the local authorities.
And I know it's not necessarily an easy thing for a couple that have
been independent all their lives that have to do,
but it is something that you're going to have to do.
There are different threshold rules in England, Scotland
and Northern Ireland.
If you're in a similar situation to Brenda and Huw's,
contact your local council, or organisations like the
Alzheimer's Society or the NHS.
With Sarah's time in Cardiff over,
let's see if she's managed to work her money makeover magic.
That's a grand total of ?3,769 -
a welcome boost to Brenda and Huw's coffers.
I feel more positive now, because I know that there is help out there.
And that is so important...
..because I just did not know where to go...
..or what to do, and this programme has come along at the right time.
Thank you very much.
And all the way from Cardiff,
Brenda's here with best friend Gloria and Sarah Pennells.
And I've got to say,
you look like you got a lot out of this experience, Brenda.
Yes, I have. I reduced many bills, thanks to Sarah.
I also had the furniture which I put into storage,
which was costing me a lot of money -
they've sorted that out, as well, for me.
It has been a big help for me.
Which is great. Now, Gloria, how long have you two been friends?
About 40 years.
40 years! We worked together.
Yeah. And have you seen a big difference in her attitude
over this experience? Yeah.
She's much happier now,
because she knows what she's doing with her money and it's helping her,
because she's not spending half as much as she used to.
Good for you! We like a haggler on this programme.
I have learnt to haggle, and I have been successful with, erm,
the television package.
Because I rang up and cancelled all my television package.
And they phoned me back and asked me who I was going with
and they underpriced
that company by ?3.
So, you didn't even need to haggle? They phoned you up...
They contacted me, yes.
..and dropped the price down? Right.
Very good. Brenda, one of the things you have done is actually talked to
your children about just how expensive it is to look after Huw.
Has that helped lessen the burden o you think?
Yes, because they were very upset that I kept it very close.
I'm an independent person.
And I thought I could handle everything.
So, what I am concerned about is when we run out of savings,
because that is a big, big worry to me.
Sarah, what's the answer there?
So, the state will step in and it will provide funding.
So, you can get what's called a financial assessment once your
savings get below a certain level.
It is worth checking with your own local authority, though,
because some of them do have a policy where they will pay toward
someone's care if they need that care in their own home -
so just check.
Can I ask you, Brenda, what would be your tips to other people?
You have to ask questions before you take anybody out of hospital.
You have to ask questions.
Where is the help?
And your advice, Sarah, would be?
Well, there are groups that you can contact, like Alzheimer's Society,
Age UK, and also carers' organisations, often organised
by your local council.
You just have to look for it.
Brenda, Gloria, it's been lovely meeting you.
Now, if you'd like Sarah or any of our experts to help you save money,
get in touch by e-mailing us...
And if you want more money-saving tips,
our website is a good place to start - here's why.
Our website has everything you need to sort out your spending.
We've teamed up with the Money Advice Service to bring you
easy-to-use money-saving tools to plan your budget,
calculate the cost of your car or credit card,
and give your money a complete health check.
Download them at...
And Sarah's here to answer questions from some of the people
we've met today.
We've got Michelle, she's the mother of two young children,
and she wants to know, how does she save on the family food bill?
I'd say plan your meals.
You don't have to plan every single meal, but I'd plan the main meal
for weekdays, because that's when time is tight.
Secondly, sounds obvious, but eat what you buy.
You've got some tired old vegetables, turn them into soup
and freeze them or have them for lunch.
And then, lastly, use special offers and coupons.
You really can make some savings.
Sarah says, "What's the best way to start kids off with a bank account?"
If you want to have a current account, then normally,
your child has to be at least 16, and with some banks, it's 18.
The other option, if your child's a bit older, maybe a teenager,
and you want to teach them about managing their own money,
there are some apps that are aimed at teenagers and they come with a
prepaid card that you, as a parent, can load up,
and then you can actually track your child's spending.
Ooh, Big Brother!
And the beauty of that sort of card is that they can't go overdrawn.
That's right. They can never spend more money than has been loaded up
on the card in the first place. Like it!
Sarah, thank you for all your advice, and thank you to all our guests.
And, in fact, thank you to you at home for watching.
I hope you picked up loads of tips to help boost those coffers.
So, until next time, cheerio.
'From the heights of the Scottish Highlands
'to the shores of East Anglia, I've travelled across Britain...'
We got a fish!
'..to learn about the food I cook for my family...'
Tell me, what is so good about these potatoes?
'..and to show you the most simple and exciting everyday recipes...'
Dominic Littlewood and Denise Lewis are back with a new crop of ideas to save you pots of cash in the easiest ways possible. Today, the team helps an 81-year-old woman struggling to juggle the family finances and care for her husband with dementia. Can the team show her how to regain control of the household bills and save her more money towards care costs? Plus with the cost of groceries rising - we find out whether the best way to save money is the big weekly shop or the daily trip to the store. The results are surprising!