MoneySavingExpert.com is dedicated to saving you money on anything & everything by finding the best deals and beating the system. It's based on detailed journalistic research, cutting edge tools and has one of the UK's largest web communities.
Moneysavingexpert.com is the brainchild of Martin Lewis. He created it back in 2003 for the mere sum of £100 and is still the owner (100%). His mission is to help people in the UK to save money in a plethora of different ways whether it be a link to a "50% off pizza voucher" or advice on how you may be able to pay less council tax each month. Besides the advice and useful links, there is a great forum that, like with the rest of the site, has discussions on a wide variety of issues relating to money saving. Constantly throughout the site there are reminders to join the 'moneysavingexpert' email mailing list, which sends the individual a weekly digest of the latest news and offers relating to money saving.
Personally, I have been using the site for the last few years and I have to say that the concept of the site is brilliant. For example, If I ever decide that I want to change one of my energy suppliers, this is the first place I would look for the best advice on who to go with. Also, as someone who uses public transport a lot, I have come across many deals and vouchers etc that have genuinely saved me money.
Let's face it, with the way the economy is right now, any site that pools this amount of information aimed at saving money, has to be an amazing thing!
There are some great functions on this site including, amongst many others, their 'Megashopbot', 'Amazon Discount Finder', 'Budget Airline Flight Checker' and 'Tunechecker'. I have personally used all the aforementioned in the past and they do save you a lot of time not having to trawl through different sites trying to find the best deals yourself. Having one site that contains such a myriad of different 'screen scrapers' is a definite winner in my opinion.
The header of the site contains the basic navigation consisting of 11 key money saving areas such as 'Cards/Loans', 'Shopping', 'Deals/Vouchers'.' Banking/Saving'; this system seems very logical and straightforward. However, once in your area of choice, it becomes more and more confusing as to where you should look. This is mainly down to the amount of information available in each section. You find yourself reading about a particular topic but then within that text, there will be hyperlinks to other useful sections, so a few clicks later and you find yourself reading about something else that although highly useful and informative, isn't necessarily relevant to what you originally set out to learn about.
This site really is a labyrinth and unless you frequent it on a regular basis, you will get lost in it's massive tangle of information.
I have to say that if ever there was a site that needed a complete visual overhaul, this is the one. Fair enough, it's not here to win design awards, it's here to give information; unfortunately, that's the problem. It's been laid out in such a way that the eye doesn't know where to settle. It's as if the site was made a long time ago by someone who knew more about web development than communicative and user friendly design and then over time it's just been built on to the point where they feel there's no going back.
Even though there's no external adverts on the site (which is clearly a great thing), it still contains a lot of internal adverts that just add to the visual distractions. Basically, there isn't anything on the site that shouldn't be there, it's purely the way it appears that needs desperately reevaluating.
Overall, moneysavingexpert.com is a great site and it's good to know there is such an invaluable resource available. I've seen Martin Lewis on various TV programs and listened to him discussing ways to save money on the radio and I have no doubt that he is very sincere with genuine motives. However, my only bugbear with the site and it's email updates are that whilst endeavoring to save people money, it almost encourages more spending. For example, when I receive my weekly email illustrating various vouchers that I can use to get discounts and reductions etc, it tempts me to purchase things I otherwise wouldn't have thought about, ultimately not resulting in a money saving at all. Saying that, I certainly wouldn't want to put anyone off using this site because, all shopping issues aside, it genuinely does give excellent information and advice on how to deal with often frighteningly realistic financial issues.