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We reveal our guide to organising a kids birthday bash without busting your budget — plus, get a free fiver from our rewards club

HAPPY birthday to you . . . and you and you . . . and you. This week is the busiest of the year for birthdays. So if you are forking out a small fortune for your child’s celebration this week, you are not alone. A new study has found that parents splash out £126 on average for a child’s party — while […]

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HAPPY birthday to you . . . and you and you . . . and you.

This week is the busiest of the year for birthdays.

Alamy
The average British household spends more than £5,000 on kids’ birthdays as they grow up[/caption]

So if you are forking out a small fortune for your child’s celebration this week, you are not alone.

A new study has found that parents splash out £126 on average for a child’s party — while 16 per cent admit they spend much more than they can afford.

Daniel Zelkind of zeek.me, the giftcard marketplace behind the study, said: “Despite a fall in consumer spending, it seems kids’ birthdays are the one occasion parents feel they are unable to compromise on. It’s surprising how many parents feel under pressure to stretch themselves.”

But there are some simple ways to cut the cost of hosting a kid’s party. Here is how to do it.

  1. Share a birthday party: Organising a joint party with a classmate of the birthday boy or girl is a great way to save big. That is especially true if they share the same group of friends. Just ensure both families are happy to stick to the same budget.
  2. Plan ahead with party supplies: Pick up basic paper plates, plastic cups and cutlery from pound shops. Or go online to eBay, Amazon and partyrama.co.uk for cheap deals on character party supplies. But do order in plenty of time so you aren’t stressed about whether things will arrive before the big day.
  3. Cheat on the cake: Elaborate custom cakes can cost upwards of £100. Instead, make or buy a plain cake then decorate it with themed cake-toppers that cost around £3 from eBay. You can even add plastic toy figures for a couple of quid.
  4. Make and bake: DIY parties where kids make their going home gifts are a big trend. Try a “graffiti” party with cheap canvases and homemade stencils or Bake Off-style challenges.
  5. Discount days out. For smaller parties, getting out of the house to do an activity is cheap and easy. Tickets for Saturday morning matinees at the cinema are usually just a couple of pounds — and ideal in winter. See myvouchercodes.co.uk and Groupon for local deals.
  6. Fireman Sam fans: Ask your local fire station if they host fire safety talks. Some are happy to speak to children and show them around for free. You only need to pay for refreshments and party favours when back at home.
  7. Bag a bargain: Cut party bag costs buying bulk favours from a pound shop. Or use zeek.me to buy gift vouchers at up to 25 per cent off the normal price, which you can spend on favours or presents.

Getty - Contributor
Mums are more generous than dads, spending an average five per cent more[/caption]

  •  PRICES are correct at time of going to press. Deals and offers subject to availability.

Fancy a free fiver?

YOU can get FREE cash with super Sun Savers just for buying your favourite paper.

Our brilliant new rewards club, which launched this week, will pay back our most loyal readers.

Sun Savers is The Sun’s brand new rewards club
The Sun

Just pick up the paper each day to collect your Sun Savers codes and we will GIVE YOU £5 when you have ­collected 28.

This isn’t a one-off and there is no limit to how much cash you can save.

For every 28 codes you enter, we will give you a fiver. So over the course of a year, that could add up to £65.

We are keeping it super-simple. You don’t have to enter codes from consecutive days, so don’t worry if you forget a day or two.

Scan 28 codes from The Sun can you’ll earn one of these!
Simply collect 28 codes and we’ll give you £5 for FREE
Specimen
Get a real fiver every time you enter 28 codes from The Sun. Yes really. #sunsavers

In fact, it is completely up to you how much you save.

Download our easy Sun Savers app and quickly scan your code using your smartphone. Or go online and enter your code at sunsavers.co.uk.


What is Sun Savers? Here's everything you need to know about our new rewards club


To get you on your way, join today and we will put a bonus £1 in your Sun Savers wallet tomorrow. And the good news doesn’t stop with free cash.

With Sun Savers, we give you the best hacks, deals and tips to save money every single day.

TO JOIN: Don’t worry, folks — joining takes just 30 seconds, in three steps.

All we’ll ask of you is your name, your date of birth and an email address to get you on the way to your first crisp fiver.

You can choose to save or cash out straight to your bank account or instantly with Paypal.

Don’t delay — join Sun Savers now!

Best deal since sliced bread

If you buy a Marks and Spencers sandwich, you could win a free lunch worth £5.50

SAVER SPOT 1: There is such a thing as a free lunch! M&S has hidden 100,000 vouchers for a free lunch main and drink, worth up to £5.50, in sandwich packs.
SAVER SPOT 2: Look good for less. New customers at ASOS can get ten per cent cashback via topcashback.co.uk/asos. The offer has no closing date.

Boot bargain? Back of the net

These football boots at Sports Direct are almost half price

SAVE BIG: Score a saving with Under Armour Spotlight BL FG Men’s Football Boots, were £99.99, now £50 at sportsdirect.com.
SAVE: £49.99

Save 39p on your milk this week at Tesco

SAVE SMALL: Lap up this deal. A2 Semi-Skimmed Milk 1 Litre was £1.39, now £1 at Tesco. Until September 26.
SAVE: 39p

 

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Consumer rights

Can you claim compensation if your flight or train has been delayed or cancelled due to snow?

AS FREEZING temperatures and heavy winds blast the UK, Britain’s transport network has been thrown into chaos. Over the weekend, parts of the country were plunged into -12C over night as people woke up to a blanket of up to 12 inches of snow. Dozens of flights to and from Heathrow Airport were cancelled on […]

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AS FREEZING temperatures and heavy winds blast the UK, Britain’s transport network has been thrown into chaos.

Over the weekend, parts of the country were plunged into -12C over night as people woke up to a blanket of up to 12 inches of snow.

If your flight or train has been cancelled you may be entitled to compensation
Getty Images - Getty

Dozens of flights to and from Heathrow Airport were cancelled on Sunday with more delays reported to affect passengers travelling today.

National Rail reported weather related delays to Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, Great Western, and Virgin Trains routes.

You rights differ depending on what method of transport you’re using top travel with and where you bought your ticket.

So if you’ve already booked your tickets or you’ve been left stranded partway through your journey thanks to the snow, you need to know your rights.

Passengers who’s flights are affected by bad weather are not entitled to compensation
Getty Images - Getty

Can I get compensation if my flight is delayed or cancelled by the snow?

Birmingham and Luton airports were temporarily closed on Sunday, whilst flights to and from London’s Heathrow, Gatwick and City airports suffered severe delays and cancellations.

Passengers who’s flights were with a European airline or departed from a country in the European Union, UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland have rights under EU laws.

If your flight has been delayed for two hours or more then the airline has to give you food and drink, access to phone calls and emails and accommodation if you’re delayed overnight, including transport to and form the airport.

The airline should give you vouchers to get these things at the airport but if they don’t, keep the receipts and you can claim expenses from the airline later.

As well as food and drink, passengers who’s flights are delayed by three hours or more are entitled to compensation if it’s caused by the airline, like a technical fault.

Unfortunately, if your flight is cancelled or delayed by severe weather conditions like ice and snow, you are not entitled to your money back.

Will my insurance cover me if my flight was delayed?

IF you can’t claim compensation directly through the airline, your travel insurance may refund you.

According to comparison site MoneySuperMarket.com, if you’re delayed at a snowbound airport then a standard travel insurance policy would usually cover you.

Policies vary so you should check the small print, but a delay of eight to 12 hours will normally mean you qualify for some money from your insurer.

Remember to get written confirmation of your delay from the airport as your insurer will need proof.

If your flight is cancelled entirely, you’re unlikely to be covered by your insurance.

But if other flights are still departing then you may want to challenge the airline who may be obliged to pay out.

It’s best to check the status of your flight before setting off to the airport. You can check if your journey is affected by the weather here.

Hannah Maundrell, Editor in Chief money.co.uk said: “There is a chance the airline won’t pay compensation if your flight is affected by bad weather, as this counts as extraordinary circumstances.

“Extraordinary circumstances, such as snow, will not automatically entitle you to claim for inconvenience– but it’s always worth asking.”

Can I get my money back if my train is delayed or cancelled by the snow?

Getting to work on time using public transport can be a struggle even without adverse weather conditions, and with a 3.4 per cent price hike in train fares in 2018 every penny matters.

Train passengers may be entitled to money back if they apply through the Delay Repay scheme
Getty - Contributor

Unfortunately, you cannot claim compensation for train journeys that have been delayed or cancelled by severe weather, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t apply.

Most train companies have adopted “Delay Repay”, a national scheme used to compensate you for unexpected delays even if you are a weekly, monthly or season ticket holder – and sometimes this includes bad weather.


BLACK MONDAY UK weather leaves more than 10,000 homes without power, hundreds of schools closed and travel chaos as ‘Black Monday’ sees 12 INCHES of snow fall overnight


Passengers are entitled to compensation each time for any delay of 30 minutes or more, whilst season ticket holders need to submit claims for compensation for delays on specific trains.

You will need to apply for compensation from the specific rail company directly and how much you are entitled to varies with different companies.

You can find out details from different rail companies here.

Today has been dubbed “Black Monday” thanks to the travel chaos caused by the snow over the weekend.

More than 10,000 homes have been left without power after an overnight deluge of snow.

Around 12 inches of snow fell in some parts of the UK overnight, leaving treacherous driving conditions and flights grounded across the country.


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Christmas 2017

What is the Luvabella doll and where can you buy one ahead of Christmas 2017?

AN artificial intelligence doll called Luvabella has been tipped since early on as this Christmas’ must-have toy. The doll hit shops on Sunday October 1 – and it has been flying off the shelves ever since. How much does Luvabella cost? The Luvabella doll has a recommended retail price of £99.99. The toy is made […]

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AN artificial intelligence doll called Luvabella has been tipped since early on as this Christmas’ must-have toy.

The doll hit shops on Sunday October 1 – and it has been flying off the shelves ever since.

The toy is tipped to be a sell out this Christmas
Luvabella

How much does Luvabella cost?

The Luvabella doll has a recommended retail price of £99.99.

The toy is made by Spin Master – the company behind last year’s Christmas sell-out, Hatchimals – and has already featured in Argos’ top toy prediction list for this year.

But some parents think that the Luvbella doll has spooky resemblance to Chucky, the horror film character.

 

Most retailers started selling the doll on October 1
Luvabella

Where can I buy Luvabella cheapest and where is it in stock?

Here are the cheapest prices we’ve seen:

How can I get alerted when Luvabella is in stock?

Many of the retailers will be getting their stock at different times.

But the clever bods at money saving website LatestDeals.co.uk have created a Luvabella stock checker.

You can sign up to get email alerts when the doll is in stores or online, ready to buy.

You can also sign up for alerts directly from retailers – including The Entertainer.

How to save money on your Christmas shopping

CHRISTMAS is just around the corner, here's how to treat yourself without splashing too much cash.

  • LOOK FOR DISCOUNTS Visit websites like Vouchercloud, Myvouchercodes.co.uk and Vouchercodes.co.uk to look for discounts before buying.
  • EARN CASHBACK Before you buy anything, visit cashback websites like Quidco or TopCashback, to see if you could earn money for shopping.
  • COMPARE Find the cheapest deal buy using websites like Pricerunner.co.uk or Kelkoo.co.uk.
  • SIGN UP to newsletters. Most retailers will offer exclusive discounts to loyal shoppers.

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Christmas 2017 gifts and shopping

Where to buy the Star Wars Jedi Training Remote cheapest this Christmas

STAR Wars fans gearing-up for the release of the latest film this week can now feel like a Jedi in a galaxy far, far away thanks to the latest must-have toy. Smyths toy store has named the Jedi Training Remote toy as its top toy for Christmas. Based on a device from the original films […]

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STAR Wars fans gearing-up for the release of the latest film this week can now feel like a Jedi in a galaxy far, far away thanks to the latest must-have toy.

Smyths toy store has named the Jedi Training Remote toy as its top toy for Christmas.

The Jedi Training Remote has been named as Smyths top toy for Christmas

Based on a device from the original films which helped train the Jedi heroes, the toy is propeller-powered and shoots “sting beams”, which you must try and avoid to complete your training.

And thanks to its object detection system, users can also use “the force” to control its height and keep it in mid-air – without touching it.

The remote has an RRP of £29.99 but Smyths currently has it on sale for £24.99 – that’s the cheapest The Sun Online could find it.

Argos has it on sale for £29.99 while you can order it from Amazon for £39.99 – a difference of £15 when compared to Smyths.

Laura Molloy, of the toy store, said: “The flying toy that’s flying off the shelves is the Star Wars Jedi Training Remote.

“It has proven to be a really fantastic way for fans of all ages to recreate iconic scenes from the films.

The remote is on sale for £25.99 at Smyths
The remote is on sale for £25.99 at Smyths

The world premiere of The Last Jedi took place in Los Angeles on the weekend
Getty Images - Getty
The world premiere of The Last Jedi took place in Los Angeles on the weekend[/caption]

“We have stock for now but we know that hot lines have a habit of selling out quickly before Christmas, so we will do everything we can to ensure we don’t disappoint anyone coming through our door in finding one!”

The training remote is made by British inventors, Wow! Stuff.

Be warned though – even though is takes less than 30 minutes to charge-fully, you’ll only get five to six minutes of flight time.

Star Wars fever is set to grip film-goers this week, as fans prepare for the release of The Last Jedi on Thursday.

The sequel to 2015’s The Force Awakens, the film will continue the story of Luke Skywalker and new heroes Rey and Finn.

As well as the film, fans have a vast range of toys and other merchandise they can treat themselves to this Christmas.

And if you’re lucky enough to have some of the original toys from the 1970s, you could be sitting on a small fortune, with some figures being sold for as much as £26,000.


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