You can now watch Freeview channels for free on tvcatchup.com. If, like me, your area has not yet gone digital (2012 for me I think) and you don't fancy paying out the monthly cash for a satellite service, you can now watch an extra 18 channels live on your computer for free and it's legal! You can watch BBC 1,2, 3, and 4, ITV 1,2,3, and 4, Channel 4, Film Four, E4 and More 4, Five, Five US and Fiver, CBBC, BBC News and Dave. There is also a TV guide on the site, so you can quickly check what's on. It's simple to sign up, go to the site, click Become a Beta Tester, then you only need a username and email address for logging in, you don't need a referrer. Happy Frugal Watching!
This little yellow chick will enclose a creme egg (or any similar sized egg) making a really thoughtful, home-made Easter gift for little ones (and perhaps big ones too!). It saves on all the cardboard and plastic packaging and so is a bit "green" too. Get your free pattern HERE.
These eggs won't put on the pounds - they are knitted in lovely colours and patterns and are guaranteed not to put any inches around your waist! Get your free pattern HERE. More free Easter knitting patterns HERE and HERE
This pretty Easter egg basket is knitted in chunky yarn - so it should be quite quick to make and is really unusual in that it's felted - perhaps a good pattern for those who are experienced "felters" as there are no instructions for that. Get your free pattern HERE. More free Easter knitting patterns HERE
This is a free Jean Greenhow knitting pattern for 8 different cute little people who all come with a pocket to slip in a small Easter egg - about the size of a Cadbury's Creme Egg. There are also instructions for a small knittted egg if chocolate is not your thing! As if! Get your free pattern HERE.
Doesn't it just get on your nerves as you struggle with those hard plastic tubes trying to squeeze out the last little bit of hair gel, face cream or whatever - and it just won't come out? You know there's still plenty in there, but the tube is not squashable and there's a hard plastic lid on the end that won't be prised off however many fingernails you break! Well, I got so mad with my tubes that I took it out on them by ripping into them with scissors - this way I made my small tube of eye cream (on the left) last another week and the facial wash was hiding 3 more weeks' worth in the top under that black lid! To keep the contents of your cut tube clean and stop them drying out, you can usually squash one end back up inside the other.
These Easter Bunny egg cozies are small and very quick to knit. They have cute faces embroidered on in a contrasting coloured yarn. A quick and cute make in stocking stitch, ideal for using up all those little bits of left over yarn in your stash! Get your free pattern HERE. More free Easter knitting patterns HERE and HERE
Well, before you decide, think about it very carefully. A disadvantage is that you will have no (or very little) property value to leave your children. This could of course, be an advantage if you have so much property and wealth that you need to scale down the value of your inheritance to avoid inheritance tax. Before you take equity release do your research - your chosen lender should belong to Safe Home Income Plans (Ship) a voluntary industry code that provides consumers with certain guarantees. Ship members explain benefits, obligations and limitations. Their plans also protect against customers ever owing more than the value of their home. Discuss your plans with your children. It may be that, if you need cash, your children can pool their resources and buy you out of your house (at least partially) and then let you stay on living in it, of course! If this is done whilst you are fairly fit and "young" - it may be a great way to avoid having to sell your property some time in the future, should you need to fund permanent care in a nursing home. Other alternatives are an interest only mortgage or downsizing to a smaller house (sometimes difficult in a property slump). Equity release can present you with a lump of cash, which may well then jeopardise your entitlement to some state benefits. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) regulates lifetime mortgages but does not yet regulate home reversion plans. More info at FSAor call 0845 6061234, Ship’s website (www.ship-ltd.org) or call 0870 2416060, www.helptheaged.org.uk or call 0808 8006565, and Age Concern.
I like these textured, knitted Easter egg baskets. They look substantial, as if they really would hold a lot of eggs! There is a pattern for both a round and an oblong basket and I think they would look great knitted in a straw colour and perhaps embellished with embroidered or crochet flowers and ribbon bows. They could be just the thing for all those Easter egg hunts! Get your pattern HERE. More free Easter knitting patterns HERE and HERE
So what exactly is an equity release sceme? Well, there are two main types of plan: home reversion and lifetime mortgages . A lifetime mortgage is a loan against the value of your home but repayments are not usually paid until the property is sold. Reversion schemes involve selling part or all of your home to an equity release company but continuing to live in it rent-free. When you die or perhaps need to go into permanent care, the property is then sold and the equity release company take their percentage from the proceeds. These schemes have a minimum age limit for applicants, varying from 55 to 70 years. You must own your own home outright, or have very little mortgage on it and it must be in good condition and worth at least £50000. Applicants to such schemes should be aware that, as the providers of equity release are businesses and as such require to make a profit, it may be unlikely that the scheme will profit the applicant in the long term. The advantage to the applicant is a lump sum at a time when it is perhaps most needed. Read more in Part 3 - what do you need to know?
Perhaps the main reason anyone opts for equity release is because they are property rich (mortgage paid up and valuable property) but cash poor (little or no savings and/or little or no pension or income). Equity release allows you to use some of the value locked up in your home, but means you can still continue to live in it. Sell and rent back schemes are often confused with equity release - they are not the same thing at all and have had some very bad press lately, with some people losing their homes as their landlords go bankrupt or default on the mortgage on the property. Some people use equity release to pay off a debt, help their children out financially (with perhaps a lump some as a deposit for a house), go on a once in a lifetime holiday, buy a car, have some much needed maintenance carried out on their house, etc., etc. Some unfortunate people who are on very low incomes, may even be desperate enough to take on equity release just to get some money to live. There are a few things to consider before entering into equity release; why? which type? when? who with? What are the drawbacks?Are there any better options? Read more in Part 2.
These cute little Easter chicks can be used as a gift or for decoration and look great knitted in a soft terry yarn. There are also instructions to turn your chick into a bunny! Very cute! Free pattern HERE. More free Easter knitting patterns HERE and HERE
This pattern is for a knitted, 20" jointed bunny, with a delightful pouch into which you can pop small chocolate Easter eggs. This is a slightly larger than normal easter project, but could also double as a lovely baby gift at any time of the year. I have to say, I don't really like the colours it's been knitted in - I think this bunny would look gorgeous in white, with lemon, baby blue, lilac or pink pouch, paws and ears!