The ultimate Christmas DIY gift guide: part 2

posted by Jenny in Money saving Leave a comment

homemade christmas presents

Festive DIY gifts

Back in November we posted the ultimate DIY gift guide with plenty of ideas to make your own pressies for Christmas.

The thing is, it’s easy to tell others to have a DIY Christmas and say it’s cheaper than buying presents but what kind of folk would we be if we didn’t practise what we preach? Terrible folk, that’s what!

I had tried to select a range of gifts for the original post that seemed thrifty, but how could we be sure they actually were? There was no proper evidence to our claims and so a decision was made; each member of the MoneyAware team would make one of the presents from the post.

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Skint Dad’s homemade sniffle sorter-outers!

posted by Skint Dad in Budgeting, Money saving, Wellbeing Leave a comment

As a busy dad of three, our pal Ricky Willis A.K.A. Skint Dad knows all about the woes of winter illnesses, and has some cheeky tips to help keep them on ice – over to you, Ricky! 

Hot water bottle and winter woolies

Put these winter warmers to the test!

As winter approaches and the weather turns from a gentle breeze to a bitter blast, the Skint household is full of cold.

Whether it’s just bad luck or we genuinely all have weak immune systems, for the last couple of weeks one or more of us have been suffering from constant sneezing, a runny nose and a total feeling of being run down.

We don’t usually take much in the way of medicines (unless it’s absolutely necessary) and much prefer to try homemade remedies instead, which sooth the throat, warm the tummy and start to relieve congestion.

So, without further ado, here are a bunch of beautifully easy cough and cold remedies we use to get us through the winter months.

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The downshift challenge: What’s it all about?

posted by StepChange MoneyAware in Budgeting, Money saving Leave a comment

Money Saving Expert logoYou’ve probably heard of Money Saving Expert and the great advice from Martin Lewis
and the guys on budgeting and getting
the best possible deals.

You may not, however, have heard of their downshift challenge and how it could help to reduce your supermarket spending costs.

As you’re probably well aware we’re all about saving money and we love a good challenge, so naturally we decided to find out more!

We chatted with Steve Nowottny, consumer & features editor at, to get the low down on the downshift challenge and to find out how you could help your budget by saving money on the all-important weekly shop.

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Know your rights – November’s debt news

posted by Laura in Childcare, Debt, Debt companies, Debt Law Leave a comment

Debt news

Catch up with this month’s debt news!

There’s been so much going on in the world of debt news this month, I hardly know where to start.

How about the holiday pay plans a’brewing?

Or the fact that as a nation we’ve been conned out of £24m by telephone fraudsters this year?

Or the news that Wonga is removing their sponsorship from kiddies’ football kits?

If you’ve not had time to catch up with the latest debt news, it’s time to put your feet up and have a read…

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9 cheap, easy and homemade hair rescue remedies

posted by Charlotte Bjorndal in Budgeting, Money saving, Wellbeing Leave a comment

Give your hair some loving!

Give your hair some loving!

With all these hectic festive goings on to contend with, you’d be forgiven for letting your hair fall prey to the elements. Winter is far from a follicle’s best friend, and can leave our locks looking dry and tired. With all the get-togethers we’ll be attending, this simply won’t do! 

But here’s the rub…all those fancy hair treatments we see in the shops can seem a bit of a frivolous purchase when you’re trying to stick to a budget.

It’s all very well for our hairdressers to insist we abstain from the cheap stuff with all its chemicals, but when things are tight, lustrous locks are the least of our problems.

I’ve been doing some internet detective work, and it turns out there are some fantastically thrifty home remedies to keep your tresses in check. I even have some of my own tricks of the trade to share too…

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Sweet dreams: 5 ways you can sleep better

posted by Mental Health Foundation in Debt, Need to Sleep, Wellbeing Leave a comment

You may have read about our Need to Sleep campaign, which highlights the fact that 7.4 million people across the UK have trouble sleeping at night because of money worries. As well as affecting your sleep, it can impact on your relationships, your job, and your health, including your mental health.

34% of people who can’t sleep because of money worries say it makes them feel lonely, and 39% say it makes them feel helpless.

We asked Joanna Carson from the Mental Health Foundation to give us an insight into how sleep problems can affect mental health, and what you can do to get a better night’s sleep. Over to you, Joanna!

distressed woman in bedroom

How does lack of sleep affect mental health?

When I talk to people about the ways they can look after their mental health, sleep is by far the most popular topic.  While most of us don’t get enough sleep, we still see it as one of the important factors to a happier life.

Sleep isn’t just “time out” from our daily routines; a good night’s sleep helps our bodies and minds to rest, repair and re-energise.

Sleep is something everyone needs and it’s essential for both our physical and mental health – so why aren’t we sleeping better?

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MoneyAware taste test: It’s not easy being cheesy

posted by Jenny in Budgeting, Money saving 1 Comment

selection of cheeses

Delicious cheddar!

What does cheese say when it looks in the mirror? Halloumi! Hallou-mi, get it?

Erm, anyway, you may have guessed, this week the MoneyAware taste testers are taking on the cheese challenge and as usual we will be trying out a premium, supermarket and basic option.

I’ve always had a close relationship with cheese (mainly because it’s delicious) but it wasn’t until I had to do my own food shop after moving out (sob) that I realised that this dairy treat could become quite costly. Accepting that I was well and truly in the real world now, I ditched the brie and moved onto the hard stuff.

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