Repurposing: Simple Storage Ideas

Storage can be an issue for us all. I have some nifty repurposing ideas for tidying and storage solutions in the home.

Washing Basket Toy Box

Takeaway Tub Drawer Separators

Cardboard Bow Holder

Cereal Box File

Cutlery Drawer Jewellery Tidy


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How to Get Free Ebooks

I am a massive book lover, and I always get asked where I find free ebooks. I thought I’d let you in on some of my tricks:

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Search Amazon Top Free 100

Authors, especially self-published ones, want reviews or to get readers invested in a series. The best way to do this is offer your books for free during promotions. Some even have the first books in their series permanently free.

You can find free books by simply typing ‘free books’ into Amazon’s search bar or by searching the top 100 free books in a certain genre.

Join NetGalley

NetGalley is a site where book reviewers can request to read ARC copies of books before they are published in exchange for a review. You are more likely to be given an ecopy of a book if you have a review platform such as a book blog or social media page where you post reviews.

Check out NetGalley here: NetGalley.co.uk

Start a Review Platform

As I mentioned above, a review platform will help you get accepted for ARC books on NetGalley, but it will also help you to attract authors who want reviews for their books. Some may approach you, but you can also approach them and let them know who you are and your platform reach.


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Everything I Made from One Bag of Plain Flour

During a pandemic it seems everyone wants flour. Why? Because it’s long lasting and can be used in variety of ways. I had this post idea when someone told me they bought 10 bags of plain flour to stockpile. I couldn’t comprehend why a family of four would need to stockpile that much flour, considering they didn’t regularly use it anyway. I wanted to prove how far one bag of flour can go!

I buy a 1.5kg bag of Tesco own brand plain flour for £0.60p

Pizza Bases

I made pizza bases on 2 different occasions. You can find my recipe here: Simple Pizza Base Recipe. You can get 2 10 inch bases from 350g of flour.

Total= 700g

Pancakes

A batch of pancakes using 135g of plain flour served my family of 4 for 2 breakfasts. I use the BBC Food recipe: American Pancakes

Total: 135g

Jam Tarts

My kids love making jam tarts. We make 12 out of 250g flour. You can find my recipe here: Jam Tart Recipe

Total= 250g

Fairy Cakes

These fairy cakes are super simple and only require 115g of flour. We make these regularly, but only made 1 batch using this bag of flour. I use this recipe from Student Eats: Plain Sponge Cupcakes.

Total: 115g

Oaty Biscuits

With 75g of flour I make 8 large oaty biscuits. You can find my recipe here: Oaty Biscuits. We made 2 batches of these biscuits (16 in total).

Total= 150g

Fork Biscuits

Fork biscuits are so simple to make and taste amazing. I make mine using plain flour and bicarb, but here is a recipe from Cook With My Kids if you are interested in making your own: Fork Biscuits Recipe. I made one batch of 12.

Total= 150g

As you can see, out of a 1.5kg bag of plain flour I made:

  • 4 x10 inch pizza bases
  • 12x breakfast pancakes
  • 12x jam tarts
  • 12x fairy cakes
  • 16x oaty biscuits
  • 12x fork biscuits

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Can I Still Sell Unwanted Items During a Lockdown/ Pandemic?

Yes, you most certainly can still sell unwanted items during a lockdown/ pandemic, but there are some ways to do so wisely. This post is aimed at selling items locally i.e via Facebook Marketplace etc. I always get questions about selling items this way during a lockdown as there is to be no contact between households outside of work or school.

*If you are selling online, the Post Office and couriers are still open to do this.

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My tips for a non-contact local sale:

  • Advertise on your post that the collection must be non-contact.
  • You can request that the money be transferred through Paypal or that the buyer puts the cash through your letterbox in an envelope.
  • Arrange a time for collection and place the item outside (in a safe, dry area or a water tight bag) and let your buyer know where it is.
  • Ensure communication with your buyer: check that they have collected the item and that they are happy.

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DIY Valentines Chocolates

I wanted to re-share my post on a cheap Valentine’s gift idea from 2020! If you are looking for an inexpensive foodie gift, then this is the post for you…

Sensibly Frugal Living

These chocolates are not only good for Valentine’s day, but they also work well as birthday and Christmas gifts too. They are simple to make and decorate, and cost me just £2.60 to make 15. That works out at 3 gifts.

*prices correct on Tesco.com at the time of posting

What you will need:

  • Petit Four cases £1
  • Chocolate x2 £0.60p
  • Sprinkles £1
  • Saucepan
  • Bowl
  • Spoon

Method:

  • Lay out your petit four cases on a tray.
  • Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water on the stove. This method prevents the chocolate from tasting grainy.

  • Spoon equal amounts of the melted chocolate into the cases.
  • Top with sprinkles.

  • You can leave them to set at room temperature or in a fridge to speed the process up.
  • Once set, you can remove from the cases. I like to leave mine in the cases.
  • You can gift them…

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5 Quick ways to Save Money

A lot of people live paycheck to paycheck and wonder how they’ll ever be able to save money. I have 5 quick ways to save a little money on everyday bills and expenses, so you can start your savings journey.

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Negotiate Internet Services

If you are not happy with your internet expenses, ring up and let your provider know. Tell them you want a better deal or you’ll search elsewhere to see if they will accommodate you. Perhaps have them go over everything you are paying for to see if you can downgrade your package etc.

Negotiate TV Packages

Ring up your TV provider (such as SkyTV or BT) and negotiate your payment. If you pay for certain channels, see if you can do without some of them. If you ring up and threaten to cancel your subscription, they will be more likely to help you lower your bill. You will probably have to start a 1 year+ contract at a lower price, just remember to keep track of when the contract ends as the prices will go back up.

Shop Around for Car Insurance Quotes

If your car insurance is due for renewal, make sure you get new quotes and shop around. Don’t just assume that your best quote from previous years will still be the best this year. If you get a better quote elsewhere, ring and tell your current insurer as they may price match it.

Compare Energy Quotes

If you are already conscious about saving energy, the next step is to compare energy quotes. Ask your neighbours who they use and compare your bills. Ring your provider and ensure that you’re on the best package for your needs. If you do choose to switch supplier, don’t worry about a loss of supply etc. Your new supplier will handle the switch over.

Check Your Mobile Phone Data Plan

If you are not using your allocated data each month, rarely use all of your free call minutes or texts, maybe it is time to ring up your mobile provider and see how you can cut costs. Maybe they can help you by lowering your bill for a fixed period, or offer you a smaller package.

Even if you can get £10 off of each of these bills each month, that is £50 saving! Over the course of a year, that would be a whopping £600! Anything savings is better than paying more than you need have to.


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What is VidDay?

This post is a collaboration with VidDay. I was compensated with promotional codes for the product.

When I was contacted by VidDay, I hadn’t heard of the company or their concept before. I headed straight over to check it out and was impressed by what I read and the reviews for the product.

VidDay is an online, video gift company. Perfect during these crazy times, right? If you can’t see a loved one, are in self-isolation, or have family that live in another country, a personalised video gift could be the perfect answer for birthdays, anniversaries etc. Not only that, for every VidDay video sold, they plant a tree.

The cost depends on the length of video, but starts at just $5 (or £ equivalent). It is easy to use with a step by step process, and the video can be sent directly to your recipient and downloaded.

I even tried it out myself! I made a Valentine’s VidDay video for my husband and children and it was incredibly easy. I can’t wait for them to see the finished result. It is such a lovely, personal gift to receive on any occasion.

If that’s not reason enough, VidDay provides FREE get well videos everyday, and throughout February they are offering FREE thank you videos, perfect to thank those who have helped you in any way (big or small) during this last year.

Check out VidDay for yourself here: Vidday.com


A Frugal Pizza Tip

Pizzas are reasonably cheap to make or buy, but I make them super cheap with this little frugal tip:

Next time you are at your local supermarket, check the reduced bread section for any yellow sticker items to use as pizza bases. No, this doesn’t just have to be actual pizza bases, it can be pitta bread, focaccia, naan. If you can pop into the store during the evening at about 7pm, you will be more likely to get some great bargains. I managed to get a 6 pack of pitta bread for just £0.10p before.

If you are buying reduced, you must freeze the items straight away if you are not eating them that day or the next. Just pop your bread in the freezer in the packaging, and when you want a pizza, take it out of the freezer and packaging, and allow it to defrost on the counter for a few hours.

Top with tomato puree, cheese, and anything else you have to hand, and then bake.

My children love these super frugal, quick to make pizzas for lunch. The above picture is one we made with rosemary and garlic focaccia bread that I bought reduced for £0.60p. I love them because I can use up the leftovers in my fridge and make use of my yellow sticker bread bargains. Not forgetting that I can skip the dough making process.


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Celebrating Valentines Day at Home for £5.25!

2021 is taking its lead from 2020, and with Valentines Day coming up, many are looking at ways to celebrate at home and on a budget. My husband and I don’t buy each other cards and gifts for each other, instead we spend time together with a nice, evening meal.

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For simplicity when making these posts, I do like to find a meal deal/ easy to make dinner and a bottle of fizz. For the purpose of this post, I shall use a meal deal we enjoy from Tesco.

In the vegetable aisles in Tesco you will find their stir fry meal deals. You can buy one type of vegetable stir fry kit, one bag of noodles, and one sauce of your choosing for £2.50!

  • Rice noodles or soft noodle
  • Vegetable stir fry (various)
  • Stir fry sauce (various)

Budget Drink Options:

So that is a vegetable stir fry meal and a 75l bottle of wine for £5.25


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Freezing & Defrosting Bread

I get asked a lot about freezing leftovers, but in particular, bread. Bread is something that can most certainly be frozen, and it defrosts very easily. If you are worried you won’t use your bread within the use by date/ before it goes bad, then here is a little bit of information about freezing and defrosting bread:

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Freezing Bread

  • Whether you have a shop bought loaf of bread or you’ve been baking a mountain of bread rolls, they can all be frozen to be used at a later date.
  • Bread can be frozen for up to 6 months.
  • Write the date you froze the bread on the packaging or tub.
  • Bread freezes well in it’s packaging, but as long as you use something air tight, whether that be a tub or a ziplock bag, it will hold up well in the freezer.
  • If you think you’ll only need to defrost a few slices here and there, I would advise separating the slices before you freeze it to make them easier to separate once frozen. Perhaps put a sheet of baking paper in between.

Defrosting Bread

  • Did you know that if you are making toast you don’t need to defrost your slices? Yep, just pop them straight in the toaster.
  • Bread can be defrosted overnight to be ready for breakfast the next day. If you need it for lunch, simply take it out what you need a few hours before.
  • I like to place my defrosting bread inside a folded tea towel and set it on the counter.
  • You can also defrost bread in the microwave. I’d defrost the slices or rolls etc individually on a plate for 15-20 seconds on high.

I hope this helps anyone wondering about freezing leftover bread or their bread bakes. I love to raid the reduced section of my local supermarkets for bread that I can pop in the freezer and use at a later date. This helps me save a lot of money.


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