RANDOM MONEYSAVING TIP NUMBER 55 Wholegrain rice is better for us, but always takes longer to cook. if you can plan ahead, soak it in cold water overnight and you can shorten your cooking time by around 15 minutes. Saves time and money.
RANDOM MONEYSAVING TIP NUMBER 54 You can keep celery for around a month if you wrap it in foil in the fridge. But if it's already gone a bit limp, stand the whole thing in a large jar of cold water for half an hour (it sometimes helps to slice another piece of the bottom of the root) and it will recover.
RANDOM MONEYSAVING TIP NUMBER 53 If your runny honey has gone solid and white in the jar - don't waste it. Remove the metal lid and heat the glass jar in the microwave in 10 second bursts until the honey is runny again. Quick tip: put the jar on a small microwaveable plate first as it can be too hot to pick up after heating.
RANDOM MONEYSAVING TIP NUMBER 52 Just because your eggs have a date on them doesn't mean you have to throw them out when that date is reached. We all know that there's too much food wasted on the planet! To test for freshness all you have to do is gently place your egg in a bowl of cold water. A fresh egg will sink to the bottom and lie horizontally or, if slightly older, may tip up slightly one end. However, eggs that float have gone off and need to be thrown out.
Yes, you really can make money from other people's supermarket till receipts and it's easy - although the opportunity to do it may not always be that often. Here's how Asda has a policy of being 10% cheaper than the other supermarkets - the Asda Price Guarantee - not just cheaper, but 10% cheaper! They have a website where you can check your Asda till receipt HERE. From chatting to the checkout operators I have found out that people rarely do this! I wonder why? It's free money! You can check both online and store receipts by entering the numbers along the bottom of the receipt above the barcode. It's simple and quick to do, but you do have to wait 3 hours from the time you paid (24 hours for an online shop) to when you check your receipt on the site. You will then find out if Asda is going to give you a voucher for the difference in price between it and the other supermarkets. If you have a voucher due then just print it out, retain it with the original receipt and present both at the checkout when you next shop at Asda. So - to get back to my original tip - look in the store/trolleys/carparks for other people's discarded receipts.They need to have over 10 items on them and preferably be long ones as the more items on the receipt, the more likely there will be a voucher to collect! Asda has no loyalty card scheme, so the receipt has no identity as such and can be used by anyone! From my own receipts I regularly get vouchers back most weeks, worth anything for £0.95p to £5.95!
Need some fresh ideas for what to sell on ebay? Read on!
Ebay is ever popular with those of us who need to make a little cash. Once you get the hang of it it's fairly trouble free (excepting all those buyers who leave you negative feedback for stupid reasons which have nothing to do with the item you sold them at all!). However, it's quite hard to see what will sell well and for how long. Some things have a limited popular life in my experience and then buyers are on to the next crazy thing.
I sell anything I can from around the house - clothes I no longer fit into, ghastly presents people have given me (someone will love them), things I've won in online competitions, old bits of jewellery, button or ribbon collections, fabric offcuts and much more. I look at it as a form of recycling - keeping stuff out of landfill, if you like.
If I'm having a clearout I look at each item and think:
1. Can I use it for, or turn it into, something else?
2. Can I sell it on ebay?
3. Is it suitable to send to a charity shop?
4. Should it just go in the bin?
5. If it needs to be binned, can I salvage some bits of it to re-use or sell on ebay?
And that brings me to one of my breakthrough moments - I noticed the hose on my elderly Dyson vacuum cleaner has a small hole; I don't want to buy another hose as they're around a tenner and the Dyson itself is probably on it's way out, but what if I could find a second hand cheapy on ebay? I can't, but if my Dyson finally gives up, there's a few attachments I could sell before I binned the thing - including the hose - if it didn't have a split in it!
It depends on someone wanting that odd thing that you have! A friend of mine bought a strange looking, small piece of machinery off ebay to mend his lawn mower. His lawn mower didn't work, but someone else had the foresight to take all the useful bits off their own dead lawnmower and sell them - and for a couple of pounds my friend fixed his lawnmower. It's just an idea..
It can also work with odd items from sets of cutlery or china - they don't have to be antiques or collectables, but they do have to have been a named, popular make, then other people who've lost or broken items from their dinner service or cutlery set can replace them at small cost. Take good, clear photos and write a very full and accurate description useing all the correct brand names in the title post and in the body of the description itself - that way your item will be more easily found in a search.
Always try to offer postage on your items (so smaller items are easier to sell) as I have found that bigger, "collection only" items tend not to sell well - if at all. But that does also depend on your location.
So, give it a go - as you're standing over the rubbish bin with something in your hand ready to throw away, think again - you may be able to make some money from it!
RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 50 Fill any spaces in your freezer with empty used ice-cream, margarine or other plastic food containers filled with water. Fit lids on tightly and just remove the frozen container when you need the space for food. This will save your freezer continually working to "cool down" the warmer spaces in your shelves, thus saving you money on your electricity bill, particularly in very hot weather.
RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 48 Save the water from steamed or boiled vegetables and use it to water your potted plants. Strain your veg through a colander to a jug or bowl and not down the drain, the plants will appreciate this "feed" of vegetable water and it's free!
It might seem odd, but adding a second (or even third) driver to your car insurance could actually bring down your premium by a hefty chunk. Adding someone with a good driving record to your insurance can be worthwhile; my son saved money by adding his (female) partner and a friend saved money by adding his father. Give it a go on your next quote - it's always worth finding out!
If you can't afford to pay your insurance premium in one lump, pay for it using a 0% credit card - spreading the cost monthly with your provider can cost up to 29.9% interest on top of your premium. On a £300 car insurance, paying like this could add whopping extra £50 on your premium! However, do ensure you pay it all off within the year.
According to the media, every third Monday in January is "Blue" Monday. This means that it could be the time you are facing the realities of Christmas debt, you've given up on all your new Year's resolutions, other bills are coming in, it's dark and the weather is horrible! Well, if you have the Blue Monday blues I can offer some ideas to help; Debt Don't worry yourself into sleepless nights over debt - stop spending on all but the necessities, NOW and call Step Change, a free, non-judgemental debt advice charity, NOW! Then think long and hard about what you might NOT spend next Christmas! Start planning now and you can hopefully get though Christmas without debt in January 2016. Save Nectar points all year (to spend instore at Argos and online in many other retail outlets), save Tesco Clubcard points and don't spend instore unless you really need to, but use for other Clubcard offers and gifts, or keep an eye out for their "doubling up" offers next December. Do online surveys from polling organisations like Valued Opinions that pay you in vouchers (M & S, Amazon, Boots etc) then save them all to buy gifts next Christmas. Resolutions Who needs them anyway! Think about today and what you want from it - then enjoy! Weather, darkness etc. Bulbs are up in the garden, spring is on its way, we are way past the shortest day - and so yes, every day it's getting lighter and we'll all feel better. Hold on to that thought! (and Happy Frugal New Year)