How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitiser

The first casualty of the global coronavirus pandemic was hand sanitiser from supermarket shelves. With the government advising frequent and thorough hand washing, prior even to the introduction of social distancing measures and lockdown, sales of hand sanitiser surged worldwide. It’s no surprise, given the fact that the World Health Organisation and the CDC have advised the best way to prevent the spread of germs is through regular handwashing. However, in the absence of soap and water, hand sanitiser containing at least 60% alcohol has been recommended. With stocks cleared from shelves, shops implementing restrictions and limitations on purchases of hand sanitiser, experts have advised homemade sanitiser could work just as well.

Homemade Hand Sanitiser

With stocks diminishing, trips to the supermarket and medical stores reduced to bare necessities and essentials, homemade hand sanitiser may be the way forward. The key to effective hand sanitiser is the percentage of alcohol it contains, the crucial ingredient required to kill the coronavirus cells. Experts have advised anything containing less that 60-70% alcohol will simply not suffice. Dr Stephen Morse, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University has reassured the public that homemade hand sanitiser is “about as effective as using soap and water,” if made correctly.

How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitiser

The key ingredient, as mentioned above, is alcohol. Known as isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol, this forms the active base of the mixture. You will require this key ingredient, as well as aloe vera gel, a bowl, a spoon, a funnel and either a spray bottle or liquid soap container. First, pour 2/3 cup of alcohol into the empty dry bowl. Then, add 1/3 cup of aloe vera gel to the bowl and mix thoroughly. Once blended together, pour the mixture into containers. To mask the strong smell of the alcohol, add a few drops of an essential oil, such as lavender.

Save Money in Coronavirus Lockdown and Self-Isolation

With more time spent at home, by more members of the family, the periods of lockdown and self-isolation could leave you with a nasty surprise in the form of your utility bills. With the Money Saving Advice Guide, save money on the costs of the coronavirus lockdown, by following our key tips below!

Turn Down Your Central Heating by One Degree!

It may not seem too much and you shouldn’t even feel it, but if you turn down your central heating thermostat by one degree, you could make some concrete savings. In numerical terms, you could save yourself up to £80 with this simple yet effective cost-cutting measure. Also, with warmer weather finally on its way, this is the perfect time to make this small change.

Are Your Sofas Covering Radiators?

Absorbing your heat and preventing rooms from getting warmer, sofas and chairs will prevent efficient and cost-effective heat circulation. Make sure your radiators are free from these obstructions and you will use less energy and enjoy more efficient heat.

LED Bulbs

Being at home more, you are more than likely to be keeping your lights on more. Even though the clocks have gone forward, spring isn’t quite yet in full swing. So, for those dreary days that still loom over us, make the switch to LED bulbs. Despite an initial outlay of around £100, for the average household, you could easily save around £35 a year on your electricity bill with this simple money saving move.

Turn Off Appliances

Ok, there’s somethings that you simply cannot turn off, like a fridge or freezer. However, unbeknown to many, most electrical appliances that are still switched on will continue to drain electricity, despite being powered down. Energy experts refer to this phenomenon as “phantom loads,” whereby an appliance, such as a laptop, will use electricity despite being powered down and even shut down completely.

Save Money and Keep the Kids Stimulated and Entertained

With the first week of the coronavirus lockdown almost done with, for some it’s been an unprecedented and entirely stressful affair. Working from home, distracted and occupied in equal measure, it’s not been easy. Plus, with most kids off school and the absolute need to keep them stimulated, entertained, organised and learning, this could quite possibly the trickiest part. At the Money Saving Advice Guide, we’re with you every step of the way, while also guaranteeing to save you money! Join us in another instalment of how to keep the kids entertained and stimulated during the coronavirus lockdown!

Lego Spelling

Great fun for the youngsters and the older kids alike, this activity can engage and engross both in a shared learning experience. All you need is a set of Legos and small sticky labels. Write the letters of the alphabet on the small tabs and place them on the side of the Lego pieces. Jumble them up and they’re aware.

Learn with Scrabble

While it’s a great game, for the youngsters it can be quite tricky and challenging. However, in preparation for ranking up to playing with the big boys, Scrabble alphabet pieces can be used to copy spellings and learn new words.

Hula Hoop Group

With time outdoors limited during the lockdown and the beaming spring sunshine offering a much-awaited treat, this fun activity will keep the kids thinking, while also enjoying the sunshine in the garden. All you need is disposable polystyrene plates and hula hoops. Write rhyming words on the disposable plates and hand them over to the kids along with the hula hoops. The aim of the game is group together the rhyming words in the hula hoops, laid out on the ground. The fun could be endless.

Money Saving Ideas for Keeping the Kids Entertained during Coronavirus Lockdown

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on March 23, a virtual lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus is in place in all but name. With movements restricted, everyone cooped up indoors and seemingly little option beyond expensive streaming services to keep the kids entertained, the last thing we want is for the coronavirus to cost us more than it already will. They’re already off school, so why not look into fun activities which will also stimulate the brain cells, while keeping them happily occupied too? Join the Money Saving Advice Guide for some great ideas on how to keep the kids entertained during the lockdown!

Letter Matching

This is a great game for the toddlers! Requiring no more than a loo roll cardboard insert and small balloons, this will get them thinking, while providing a stimulating challenge. Label the loo roll inserts with letters of the alphabet and the small inflated balloons too. Jumble everything up and leave them to stack, assemble and match the letters.

Alphabet Hunt

Another great idea for toddlers requiring few materials is an alphabet hunt which matches with their toys. All you need is small squares labelled with letters from the alphabet and they’re off! The aim of the game is to match the letter to the toy whose name begins with that letter. You could make it a little more challenging by hiding some toys, in a safe place, just to add to the mystery of the hunt.

Pipe Cleaner Letter Decorations

Pipe cleaners are available in the stationary sections of most supermarkets. Movements are restricted, yes, but you could pick them up when out on your next stocking up of essentials. A good exercise for eager minds and fidgety hands, forming letters from pipe cleaners will provide stimulation and require concentration. Individual letters can be joined up into words. Also, the older kids can focus on words rather than letters. The final products should also make up for great decorations too.

Coronavirus and your money

Taking time off work because of the Coronavirus seems to be the new standard as everyone is encouraged to maintain some social distance between each other. A lot of jobs have been put on pause and this may have some detrimental effects for you as you may be facing a drop in income and the amount of money in your household. Your employer may have had to temporarily lay you off or reduce your working times and you have to be ready to adjust to whatever situation you may face.

COVID-19 has proven to be a massive threat and everyone is taking appropriate measures to protect themselves. The effects of all of these are going to be very stressful as people will want to plan ahead and save money as well as other important things. This is definitely a financial-based emergency as well as a health-based emergency.

Things you can do right now:

  1. Make an emergency budget

If your income is something you are worried about, a budget for the immediate future is essential. Money needs to be watched carefully as people can access budget planner tools to try and manage their income a lot better. Writing things down will allow people to visibly check up on themselves regularly.

  1. Talk to your creditors regarding payments

If you have completed a good budget monitoring your income and you feel you still may struggle to pay essential bills, then you should reach contact with the people you owe. In this crisis, organisations will all be struggling with money and provided arrangements can be made, things can be put on ho to allow an accumulation of more money.

  1. Avoid loan sharks

With a decrease in money in a lot of homes, people may turn to snatching up loans for the short term. Loan sharks are illegal lenders which target people and end up leaving you owing a large amount of money. This is best avoided and should look to other options to avoid any huge issues with finance and money in the future.

Save Money on Your Beauty Routine: Homemade Hair Masks

Why waste money on expensive over the counter products that are overpriced and full of chemicals when you can make your own organic homemade hair masks. With our series detailing how you can save money on your beauty routine, we’ll be covering all the beauty essentials. Today’s topic is haircare!

Coconut Oil or Olive Oil Hair Mask

For scalp and hair dryness, coconut oil and olive oil have acute moisturising and hydration properties. Applied once a week, as part of your normal haircare routine, coconut oil and olive oil hair masks offer max definition, without any chemicals or toxins. Simply warm half a cup of coconut oil in the microwave on a low setting until liquified and apply to your hair from roots to tips, gently massaging in until fully saturated. Leave the coconut oil to soak for an hour, covered with a shower cap, before rinsing and shampooing your hair. For hair that is very dry, leave the oil soaked in overnight and wash in the morning. If you’re using olive oil, follow the above instructions. However, you won’t need to warm it up first.

Avocado and Honey Hair Mask

An extremely effective hydrating hair mask that utilises the therapeutic properties of honey and avocado will love your hair hydrated, radiant and gleaming. Avocado contains fatty acids which coat hair cuticles and help retain and hold moisture while honey acts as a natural humectant, drawing moisture from the air into the strand. An olive oil base will boost the natural remedial properties of both avocado and honey, when applied to the hair. Taking one ripened avocado, one tablespoon of honey, one tablespoon of honey and one-eighth cup of coconut milk, combine the ingredients in a blender. Apply the mixture to your hair, from roots to tips, then shampoo and conditions as normal. You should be left with radiating hair that exudes a deeply natural fragrance.

Save Money on Your Grocery Shop by Growing Your Own Veg

With spring fast approaching, now is the time to sort out your garden and get your green fingers out so you can save money on your grocery shop by growing your own vegetables. Make the most of this year’s growing season and, with the Money Saving Advice Guide, slash your grocery costs while enjoying organic homegrown produce. To give an example of how many savings there are to be made, a 1kg bag of baby carrots could set you back around £3.30 at the supermarket. However, growing your own would only cost you 25p! Below, you’ll find our pick of the most cost-effective and highest yielding vegetables you can grow at home.

Lettuce

A weather-hardy and fool proof crop to grow at home, lettuce is incredibly high-yielding, convenient and easy to grow. With a broad range of varieties and appearing in all sorts of shapes and sizes, you could cover family’s salad costs for the better part of the year, by growing this resilient crop. Whether you choose to sow directly into the ground, grow it in patio pots or containers, lettuce looks after itself. You can choose between loose leaf varieties, which you can pick and eat directly, or a head-forming lettuce for a bumper crop. Many varieties exist and all are equally high-yielding and easy to grow. It’s the perfect start for a beginner.

Radishes

Available in a range of colours, sizes and shapes, radish is another fool proof vegetable that can be easily grown at home. Resilient to bolting and easily grown almost anywhere, radish is the gift that keeps giving. With a tasty zing and edible leaves, make the most of every part of the plant. All you need to do is make sure the soil remains moist, which is hardly a problem in our spring and summer climate!

Stay tuned for more homegrown vegetables that could save you money!

Money Saving Tips for Students: Budgeting

Budgeting is an important part of growing up and learning to take care of your own economy. It is important to make a budget so you can be aware of your incomes, expenses and any surplus or deficient in your money. As a student, this is a great way of saving money and taking care of your financial health. Keep reading to find out some great tips to save money as a student!

  1. No-Spend Days

Have at least one ‘no-spend’ day each week to save money as a student. It is an incredibly simple idea that is surprisingly difficult – but it is entirely worth it. Even if you just spend money on a bus fare or a small snack at the library café, you probably spend a little money every day as a student. This all adds up and sneaks into your deficient on your student budget. Having a no-spend day requires some forward planning – aka a budget – and will help you save money over time.

  1. Lose the TV License

As a student, you really shouldn’t be spending all your time watching TV. And, if you have Wi-Fi then using streaming services like Netflix, Hayu, Amazon Prime or HBO could actually save you money in the long run! If you do have a TV licence at your student home, you can also get a refund to cover the summer months while you aren’t at uni. This would also help with budgeting and sticking to your student budget.

  1. Quit the Overpriced Gym Membership

So many gyms have great student deals now that it just is not worth it to pay an overpriced gym membership fee. Your university may offer a cheaper facility, or you can just get a £5 yoga mat and wipe out that Blogilates for a home workout session!

Save Money on Your Beauty Routine: Homemade Foot Scrubs

Your feet are probably the most prone part of your body, taking a daily battering from all the arduous tasks you must undertake at work and at home. However, they are also probably the easiest to take care of with homemade remedies. From exfoliation to treatment for dry, cracked heels and simple pain relief and invigoration, homemade foot scrubs can do a lot for your feet. Why pay over the odds, when you can make your own all organic and chemical free foot scrubs at home? In this post, we take a look at some of the best homemade foot scrub recipes.

Tea Tree Mint Foot Scrub – Refreshing and Invigorating

Comprised of key ingredients such as tea tree and peppermint, this foot scrub will provide refreshment and invigoration. Tea tree oil is a powerful and all-natural antibacterial, antiseptic, antimicrobial and fungicide compound. Combined with peppermint oil, which provides a warming effect that can contribute to mild pain relief, this foot scrub has a clearly tangible effect.

Place a handful of sea salt in a glass or ceramic bowl. Mix in olive oil, peppermint oil and tea tree oil well into the sea salt. Once a uniform consistency has been achieved, apply the foot scrub to your feet. Leave the scrub on your feet for ten minutes. After ten minutes, rinse and pat dry. Use your favourite moisturiser, or one of our homemade moisturisers, once you have dried your feet.

Milk Foot Scrub – For Cracked Heels

Mix one cup of milk into five cups of water in a foot bath tub. Soak your feet for ten minutes. Then, in a separate bowl mix together baby oil and sugar, creating a thick paste-like consistency. Apply the paste onto your feet in circular motions to aid dermal penetration. Complete the treatment with a pumice stone scrub, then rinse and pat dry. A thick layer of moisturiser, or petroleum jelly, under socks will ensure your feet are as soft as a baby’s bum.

Money Saving Tips for Students: Food

The start of the academic year usually means a bank account full of student finance for most students. By the end of term, that number in your bank account has dwindled down to a fraction of its former glory. Every student has experienced the daunting seconds between the moment you tap your card on the machine and the instant it approves the transaction. One of the biggest expenses most students don’t realize they spend on is food; it’s so easy to spend £1.50 on a coffee every day and forget that it adds up to nearly £45 at the end of the month. Keep reading to get some interesting tips on how to cut down spending on food as a student!

  1. Cook Less Meat

Meat is an expensive product that makes the basis of many simple meals. That’s why people spend so much on it: most people don’t know about meat alternatives that offer great flavour and act as filling alternatives for meat. For example, getting your protein through eggs, beans or peanut butter would be a cheaper alternative. Also, filling your plate up with vegetables instead would let you save your money for other student activities!

2. Use Supermarket Coupons

Your Tesco Clubcard will become your most tapped card by the end of the academic year. Getting a membership card or obtaining coupons from your most frequently visited grocery stores is an easy way to save money without even trying. By the end of the month, you should be able to knock a few pounds off your food bills.

 3. Plan Ahead

Meal-prepping is one of the easiest ways to save money on food as a student, and it also saves time! By planning your meals and prepping 4-5 portions of that meal, you can save yourself from unnecessary spending on takeaways and Starbucks.