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Straightforward thinking from directline, in association with Channel 4. Advertising feature.

The best handed down tips from Channel 4 and Direct Line... Direct line have teamed up with Channel 4 to bring you lots of straightforward advice and top tips

Your tips

 You can read all the books and manuals in the world, but we all know it's the straightforward advice someone once told you that you'll always go back to.

So here's your compendium of helpful Aunt Gladys' and reliable Uncle Frank's tips; a menagerie of the nation's knowhow full of the kind of straightforward advice you can always use. Go on. Dive in.

Submit your own here.

Sticker Removal

Easiest way to remove any sticker is to heat them with a hairdryer - heats the glue below and thus allows an easy peel off! Wash the area after well to remove any left on glue! Done stickers are off!


Taking long deep breaths is one of the best ways to calm nerves & if that fails a cuppa will do the job!

Keep Breathing

It is a very simple tip. People forget to keep breathing whenever they get excited nervous or scared. So always remember to breathe properly. Take a step back from whatever it is you are doing think about it and breathe slowly and steady.

Backwards alphabet

Whenever I'm nervous about anything - I recite the alphabet backwards. I'm so busy concentrating on what letters next I forget about nerves and feel calm again (although I did get strange looks while I was waiting to take my driving test!)

Nip it in the bud

My handed down tip to clam down nerves is to nip your own hand this takes your mind of the thing that's making you nervous of course this is only a short term solution but it always works for me at the dentist etc.!!


Try not to think about what you're about to do. Talk to whoever you're with about something completely different. This should take your mind off the nerves.

Yorkshire tea!

My tip is a simple one a nice brewed cup of Yorkshire tea. But its also about how you make it, if you were to rush the tea making process and have a feel rushed when you do it the calming and relaxed outcome will not be at its best. You have to think calm when making and brewing the cup of tea even when boiling the water also remember to let the teabag brew creating a perfect calming tea that will sort anyone stressed out.

Think less breathe more!

My tip is to try not to think too hard and to focus instead on your breathing - big diaphragm breaths. This keeps you calm and lets your instincts do the work. I'm a musician and enjoy jumping off things going fast and anything else that gets my heart racing.

Calming scents

Smell has a powerful and primitive effect on the emotions so if you are facing a stressful situation take chamomile essential oil on a tissue. This has a calming effect slowing brainwaves naturally but without side effects.

Perfect Yorkshire Puds

For the perfect Yorkshire puds - put a few drops of vinegar in the mixture. Makes them lovely and crispy. Handed down through three generations.

Keep Busy!

I always find the best way to overcome nerves is to keep yourself busy in order not to dwell on the focus of your nerves. If you allow yourself time to consider and process the cause of the nerves it can often become blown out of proportion when all sorts of highly implausible outcomes are thought through. Spend time with friends carry out a hobby do some chores - whatever disallows you from spending too much time inside your own head!

Deep breaths

Take deep breaths and count to ten over and over again, it calms your body and your mind and helps those nerves to unwind.

Take a deep breath

When nervous concentrate on your breathing. Take a deep breath, hold, then release all the nerves with the outward breath.....repeat until nerves have gone!!

Tip to calm nerves

When I'm feeling on edge I listen to 'The Girl From Ipanema' by Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz on repeat. Aaaah so relaxing. Also playing solitaire on the computer is very calming.

Children and Long Journeys

To keep you calm by having happily occupied children on a long journey, give them a map with items and cities and countries to cross off or spot. They will now know how far they have come and how long there is to go.

My wife's answer to stress!

There was a young man from Cornwall
Who stressed about all that he did
From morning till night
Was it wrong or it right?
So his wife knocked him out with a lid!

What's the worse that can happen

I am a very positive person and rarely get nervous. If I am going for a job interview or in a situation where the pressure is on I just take a deep breath and relax. It’s about being confident.


To calm your nerves drink brandy and lots of it! Obviously not if your driving though :)

Tips to make you focus...

Starting today make a list of 10 things you would like to accomplish within a year. Whether it be sending flowers to someone just for the sake of it to something huge like walk the Inca Trail at Machu Picchu. Pin the list up somewhere prominent and you can guarantee you will work towards achieving those goals within the year. Just think if you did this for 10 years you would have completed 100 things from your 'to do in my lifetime' list. You may not complete them all but think of the fun you will have trying!

Jagged stone aren't always a bad thing!

Keep a small rough edged stone in your pocket and when anxious trace your thumb around the rim of it over and over again. As you focus on it and calm down imagine the stone becoming smoother like your feelings.


I find that eating chocolate helps, it distracts me and you get a real feel-good vibe from the delicious taste.

Exam nerves

Relax yourself physically during the exam take a pause, lay your test a side, and take several slow deep breaths

A little Help

My Grandad always told me the best way to calm nerves was to have a small shot of whiskey

Count yourself lucky!

Close your eyes and count to 10. The simplest and best nerve calmer.

Not getting lost!

No sat nav? No worries. Prepare in advance by studying atlas and remembering key names of towns or roads you need to use. Write them out as bullet points on a small piece of paper and fix it to centre of steering wheel. Print out a route from one of the planner sites as a back up. And remember to allow a bit of extra time so you don't panic if you do make a slightly unscheduled detour! All part of the fun - just tell the kids its a mystery tour!

Mumma knows best

A drop of rescue remedy on the back of the tongue - a ginger biscuit some flat coke and deep breaths - ready for anything!

Get unstuck

If you get chewing gum on a piece of clothing put the item in the freezer for a few hours. Once it's frozen, the chewing gum will be easier to remove as it will break away from the frozen clothing.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy

When you've finished using a lemon in your cooking, take the fruit, and scrub (unvarnished) nails with it to make them nice and bright.

Clean up naturally

Clean your fridge with a mixture of 50% vinegar and 50% water. Vinegar is natural antibacterial agent.

Upstanding ovation

To keep a vase of tulips from falling over, put a copper penny in the vase

Go dental on discs!

Ever had the infuriating experience of getting halfway through a DVD only for it to get stuck because there's a scratch on the disc? Simply remove the disc and apply a thin layer of toothpaste to the underside of the disc using fingertips to delicately rub in. Wash the toothpaste off under the tap then lightly pat dry with cotton wool or tissue. Pop the disc back in and give it another go. You'll be surprised how often it fixes the problem. Works on CDs too!

Want silky soft hair?

Want that salon feeling at home well simply crack some eggs into a bowl pour over shampoo'd hair leave for a few minutes simply rinse off with a blast of cold water and volia a beautiful almost free hair treatment!

No ink marks

To remove ink from clothes : Put toothpaste on the ink spots generously and let it dry completely then wash. Good as new :)

No smells

After peeling onions and garlic rub your hands on the stainless steel taps the smell will vanish.

Removing candle wax

To remove old wax from a glass candle holder put it in the freezer for a few hours. Then take the candle holder out and turn it upside down. The wax will fall out. This can also be done on a range of house hold item if wax gets on them.

Travelling on a plane

Have you ever been travelling on a plane and suffered from sore ear drums dry nasal passages and dry eyes? It does happen and can be quite discomforting especially if your on a long flight. I have discovered a simple solution which is to bring along a sachet of pepper and put a little bit on your finger and sniff it up your nose this will cause you to sneeze which will get rid of nasal/eye dryness, cause your ears to pop and your eyes and nasal passages to hydrate giving you a much more pleasant plane journey.

Let your garden grow

For the first time it looks like we are having a lovely summer. I enjoy my garden but am concious of hose pipes with the water meter and saving money. If anyone in our family has a bath we leave it to go cold and water the garden with it also its great to use in water guns for the kids in the garden

Shine windows

Just use vinegar and newspaper on your dirty windows to get a shiny streak-free finish...EASY!

Burnt tongue!

If you burn your tongue put sugar on it and it will help the pain go.

Sticky problems

When removing blu-tack traces or random marks stuck on your walls the best thing is..blu-tack. Roll it into a ball and the roll it over the offending item on your wall and it'll come off before your eyes! p.s. "don't get stuck with a poor insurance deal visit direct line" or "protect your walls in other ways visit direct line for a great home insurance deal" :-)

Old Socks

Make Ideal covers for cucumbers, aubergines and marrows to protect them against early frosts.

Dusting knicknacks

To get the dust off small and intricate knicknacks place an old stocking over the hose of the vacuum cleaner allowing you to clean the objects safely and speedily. This can also be good for finding dropped contact lenses!

Sweet as honey!

Honey particuarly manuka honey can be used for multipurposes. Not only can it be used to sweeten food but it can also be used as a antibacterial facial or hand wash. Mix the honey with some oats and sugar and use on the face or hands which will create cleaner clearer and more radiant healthy looking skin!

DIY - gloss paint

When using gloss paint after a while it starts to go thick and is harder to paint with. Add a generous squirt of any old washing up liquid (i.e. hand dishwashing liquid) to the paint. Give it a good stir and it will go further spread better and will not leave brush marks.

The 5 minute rule

There's always something you can do in 5 minutes. Waiting for your husband to polish his shoes, there are always little 5 minute jobs that could be done.

Diarrhoea remedy

If you can't find medicine for diarrhea find a teaspoon of coffee powder add some lemon drops and swallow (not the teaspoon!). Drink a glass of water afterwards if you don't like the taste. It's a lifesaver!

Olympic's fun

Get the kids to organise their own Olympics this summer. All the events can be replicated with a bit of imagination!!

For beautiful painted nails

Paint your nails as scruffy and as rushed as you like. Then do the washing up. The washing up liquid removes the excess varnish from around the nail and the water sets the varnish quicker. You're then left with clean dishes AND beautiful painted nails!


If you have any flowers you want to keep alive all u need to do is put some lemonade in the vase your using and it will keeps ur flowers alive longer and fresh.


I am married with 5 children (3 grown up). My saving tip is if you have friends with children then swap clothes that are (grown out of )or (put weight on type) this saves everybody a fortune if you know a few families with similar tastes.

Wallpaper paste solution

Mix your paste in a bucket then tie a piece of string across the centre of the bucket when you have pasted some wallpaper place the bristle end of the brush on the string and the handle on the bucket edge this will keep the handle paste free

Make a delightfully light cake

Replace 10g of flour per 100g with cornflour this will make a lovely light cake that will be a delight to eat

Kill weeds the eco way ...

When you've finished boiling an egg or making pasta don't throw the boiling water away ... pour it over paving slabs or areas where you have unwanted weeds and they'll be dead in a couple of days. You don't need harsh chemicals/vinegar or anything else to do the job effectively.

Strange but true

Lost your bath plug? They seem to vanish into thin air, so pop a golf ball in its place and hey presto a novelty bath plug that works too!

Sunburn relief

Have you again underestimated strength of sun abroad? Cheap and very effective instant help for sun burn is natural white yogurt! It is cooling and most importantly it speeds up the healing process!

Black bananas

Bananas going black? Don't throw them freeze them. You can freeze them skin on or skin off. I prefer to freeze them peeled and sliced. They can be eaten straight from the freezer they taste creamy. Or you can use them in smoothies.

Glass cleaner

Cut a potato in half and rub over glass. Rub clean with dry cloth and viola!

Doggy bags

Don't buy "doggy" bags use old freezer bags instead.

Troublesome keys and squeaky hinges

To cure squeaky hinges rub gently with the tip of a lead pencil- the graphite will lubricate the metal without corroding it. Similarly a key that "sticks" can be lubricated by rubbing over the grooves as well as inside the keyhole with the tip of the pencil.

A time saving "step"

I have a pretty (but good size) basket that fits on my stairs! Anything I find during the day that needs to go upstairs gets put in it and I then just go upstairs once rather than running up and down lots all day! (it does the same again upstairs later!) - toys hairbrushes socks(!) it's surprising how much time it saves!

Dust away

To get rid of dust behind radiators put a damp towel on the floor and blast behind with a hairdryer!

Reuse old sponges

If you have any old sponges cut them up and mix them in with the compost when you're repotting plants. When you water the plants the soil will stay damp for longer: especially useful when you're going away on holiday!


When wallpapering make sure you measure each piece against your wall and don't just measure the one and cut the rest from that template. Your wall could vary slightly if you're in an old house and you could end up with lots of waste if your pieces are too short. Always measure it twice too to avoid a wrong cut!

Kid's mess

Can't get pen or ink off furniture? Tried all major cleaning products? (esp kids bedroom furniture) Try hairspray! Spray onto stain and wipe off. May take a couple of sprays but won't damage wood and is safe cleaner around children. Cleans all manner of stains! Even felt tip.

Keep that lemon!

Once you've finished bleaching your nails and cooking take the rest of the lemon bung it in the microwave for 2 minutes and it'll be a doddle to clean!

I hate ironing

Hang washed shirts on a clothes hanger to dry on the line - they usually don't need to be ironed when they're dry.

Keep your chin up!

For the more portly woman (or man!) dust a light brush of bronzing powder on either side of your lower jaw - like a 'magic-chin' who makes things disappear it will magically disguise any unwanted extra chins.

Recycle laudry tablet containers

I use the see through containers that have liquid tablets in to organise my draws. I also use them on shelves.They are see though and stack on top of one another. My beauty drawer has all my make up in it. I can find things easily and quickly. Also use them for all odd bits and I find things easily. Now my hubby uses them for his DIY bits and pieces. I would love to try and win a break for our 19 year anniversary had a tough year with the recession like a lot of people today.

Keep your flowers fresh for longer!

Add a dash of lemonade (or sugar) to the water in your vase of flowers to help open them up putting them in warm water also helps keep them looking healthy as it contains more oxygen then cold water.

Sparkly spoons

Stand your teaspoons in bleach for ten minutes. This removes all old tea stains and makes them sparkle like new. Don't forget to rinse them before stirring your cuppa!

Music madness

When you are at a music festival choose left or right and walk around the outside all the way to the front of the stage - then make you way into the crowd. You will be ten times closer to your favourite band without any stress or pushing. Get there just before the previous band finishes and you will be able to dash right to the front while everyone elses dashes for the loo!

Making plastic pots pretty again!

No chemicals required - put the stained Tupperware in the sun for an hour or two to bleach the stain! If any remains add some vinegar to a sponge sprinkly with a bit of baking powder and scrub off any offending marks. Job's a good un!

Perfect meringues

I was sceptical but this really works - when baking meringues put a wooden chopping board under the baking tray and the meringues stay a beautiful white colour!


Contrary to popular opinion counting sheep will rarely help you sleep. Try to imagine relaxing scenery or a build a complex picture in your mind instead. You'll use a lot more mental energy and should fall asleep quicker.

Shoe polish

When polishing shoes just before going out avoid shoe polish and getting it on your clothes. Use a banana skin. It shines them up a treat!

Crystal clear

Don't spend a fortune on cleaning products use eco friendly natural lemon juice or white vinegar. For sparkling windows put a spot of white vinegar with a spot of washing up liquid into hot water & wash windows. Squeegy off and buff up with newspaper - crystal clear!

Cheap exfoliating

Scrub your body with demerara sugar. It is far cheaper than any beauty product and it dissolves - leaving a cleaner bath/shower than other products!

Tight solution

Don't throw away old tights. Cut the foot off and then cut rings off the legs. The rings can be used in the garden to tie up plants. Saves buying twine.


After taking something off the wall that has been put up with blue or white-tac it may leave residual tac on the wall. Safely remove it by taking some other tac in a ball and rub it across the wall. Hey presto it will remove with ease without removing half the wall with it!!


Keep a pile/bowl of dried conkers in each room to keep spiders away.

Dont have a paddy - rice is nice

If you have accidentally immersed your portable mp3 player or mobile phone in water don't switch it on. Simply place it in a container of uncooked rice grains for 24 hours. The rice will absorb the moisture and it may save ££££s in repairs.

Foggy Glasses

Nothing worse than your glasses fogging up on a cold day to prevent this coat them with a thin coat of toothpaste I didn't believe it either but it works

'Sorry we've lost your bags...'

Always keep some socks and underwear and a toothbrush in your carry on luggage in case the airline lose your baggage and it take days to get it back to you if they ever do at all!

Get busy with the fizzy!

To keep plugholes clean and free-flowing pour down a couple of spoons of bicarbonate of soda then add a cupful of vinegar and let the fizzing get to work!

Avoid claims for frozen and burst pipes.

If you think your pipes are frozen turn off the water at the valve and header tank to cut down the water that can escape. Any damage occurring as a result of the incident should therefore be minimal which could in turn mean you can avoid making a claim.

Stop slugs

When you have cut the kids hair put the hair around the seedlings in your garden slugs won't go near it and its kind to the birds


Keep crusts and stale bread chop it in to breadcrumbs and pop in to freezer bags ready for when ever you need to make bread sauce or need breadcrumbs.

Stop food waste

So many people waste food by filling up their chest freezer and then forgetting what is at the bottom. To prevent this take a piece of laminated paper and stick it on freezer. Then write (with a washable pen) everything you have in there along with their sell by date. This may take a little time at first but once you have itemised everything it will be easy. Each time you use something you simply wipe it off the list and each time you buy something write it on the list. Since doing this I have had no food waste.

Clean your binds or shutters

Blinds can gather dust to keep them clean put an old clean cotton sock on your hand and then run your hand along each slat. It's quick and easy and a great use for old odd socks.

Shiny sink!

After you've taken your make up off in the evenings with a face wipe leave it to dry out on the side of the sink. In the morning when you have brushed your teeth and splashed your face you can use the wipe to clean the sink and around the taps. Eco friendly and money saving!

So(da) long to smells

Keep an egg cup of bicarbonate of soda anywhere you want to keep scent-free (e.g. the fridge). It will absorb all the smells!

Need an envelope

For sending the numerous letters and monies into school instead of using a new envelope each time keep the reply paid envelopes that come in all the junk mail and then just cross out the typed address (or put a sticky label over it) and re-use - helping both the environment and your wallet

Washing up......

Whilst running the hot water for the washing up to get it warm fill up a watering can so you don't waste any!

Toothpaste teaser

To get that last tricky bit of toothpaste (or anything in a tube) cut the end off with a pair of scissors and dip your toothbrush in to get those last dregs of toothpaste.

Got any change?

If you are ever bogged down with small change put all your small coins in a vending machine press coin return and the machine is likely to fire back your money in larger value coins. The vending machine is glad to have plenty of change and you can travel lighter.

Silver bright

To get your silver clean use toothpaste. It gives your silver a wonderful shine and is a lot cheaper and better for your silver than the silver cleaners you buy in the shops.

Bottle bottom benefits

Cut the tops off empty plastic milk bottles. The lower portions of the bottles can be used to line a drawer to sort nails, screws, batteries and other items that may come in handy or to soak paintbrushes after decorating.

Having a cuppa

When you ve had a lovely cup of tea don't throw the tea bag away use it to fertiise the plants in your garden!

Sunburn relief

Cover the affected area with Shaving Cream/Foam the redness and pain will soon disappear.

Launch pad

Establish a place in your house (near the door) to put everything you'll need tomorrow. Keys, train ticket's, letters to post, whatever. Saves hours in the morning looking for it all!

Out of shaving foam?

If you run out of shaving foam shampoo makes a great substitute - it works just as well and leaves your face smelling fresh as a daisy!

How to open a jar without the aid of the world's strongest man

When having difficulty opening a jar tap the sides of the lid lightly a few times with the side of a spoon or knife. This decreases the pressure and ensures that the lid unscrews easily without having to use excessive force.

Teething problems?

Scratches on glass surfaces can really spoil the look. Simply in some toothpaste (whitening toothpaste works best) in a circular motion and the scratches disappear!

Tricky stains

When you have pen, paint, nail varnish or anything on hard surfaces like wooden floors or tables, spray with deodorants and rub off - it lifts the stain easily with no trace of evidence.

No more mildrew

In the last 10 years or so I must have gone through around 30 shower curtains because they start to look dirty and mildrew builds up on them making them look unsightly. Now I soak the shower curtain in water containing 2 capfuls of bleach for 2 hours. This restores and really cleans well and removes mildrew. Also for soap marks clean with vinegar.

Handy charger

If your mobile phone goes dead when you need to use it quickly remove the battery and rub it in between your hands. Put the battery back in to the phone and it should give you a few minutes to finish that important phone call.

Nail it

When you have finished painting your nails put a bit of hairspray on top so they won't chip for a couple of days!

The mint leaf of sleep

If you are having trouble sleeping a mint leaf placed under your pillow will help you drift off into a natural full night sleep

Bright windows

Shake a teaspoon of cornflour with water in a spray bottle and use to bring windows and mirrors to a streak-free shine.

Need a bag

I always forget my recycling bags but I have found when you get an umberella I always threw the cover away but now i stuff it full of carrier bags so I (nearly) always have one on me.

Blu-tac tip

After taking down your Christmas cards you will have a pebble-dashed wall of Blu-tac. The best way of removing it is to use your wad of growing Blu-tac. Apply and twist and for more stubborn little blue blighters dab.

Turkish bath

Turkey is now one of the biggest holiday destinations for the Brits and after years of Turkish holidays for myself my tip would be to bring a bath plug. Because of the Turkish religion they believe in washing in running water so most of the traditional Turkish hotels will not have a bath plug.

Sparking mugs!

To get your mugs really clean and rid of tea and coffee stains put a Steradent or similar tablet in and fill with water. Leave for a few hours and the mugs will be really clean and stain free!

Lemon fresh

For a quick & easy way to clean the microwave stick half a lemon in a bowl of water & microwave on full for 5 minutes the lemony steam makes grease & debris slide off with no scrubbing!!

Compost clever

Line the base of your kitchen compost bin with a few sheets of old newspaper - it will keep it from getting smelly save money on bin liners and you can tip it in with the compost.

Recycled kid fun

Keep empty wine/juice bottles, jars etc clean off labels and use tester paints or paint you have in garage and have fun with kids painting/designing the bottles with lots of colours and themes. Fill holes of bottles with beautifully coloured wax candles and have as decoration around the house. Can be useful to light up the home and relax. The personal touch is uplifting and the kids get a self esteem boost by making lovely items. Jars can used to store pens etc. Cheap and cheerful!

Sea lion survival tip!

I was once told by a Royal Marine that had just completed his cold training that if you were ever chased by a sea lion that you had to run in zig zags! Now on the straight they are very fast (surprising due to their size but can go faster than a human!!) But they have to face their prey whilst chasing it so zig zagging means they are slowed down by their constant course changes! You never know when you'll need this tip so remember it well!

How to keep spiders' webs away

Put a fresh conker in every room - if it is a big room have a bowlful and you will never have a spider as they hate the harmless gas that the chestnut gives off. If you then have flies use citronella oil to keep them away.

Saucy tip

If you want to make a sauce or custard in advance and keep it hot for the meal rinse a wide-necked thermos flask with hot water put in the sauce and cork it tightly until required. Added advantage it won't form a thick skin like it could in a saucepan!

Squeaky doors

Use washing up liquid on squeaky hinges

Bike holiday tip

When taking your bike on holiday on the back of your car and the weather isn't great. Place a shower cap ( free ones from hotels will do) over the saddle to keep clean and dryon your journey. Then when you reach your destination your good to go without the discomfort of a wet seat.

Stuck on you

To get rid of those annoying sticky glue marks left behind when you take labels off or hard to remove dry wipe pen from boards use surgical spirit. A bottle from the chemist costs very little.

No bruised nails!

When hammering in small nails use a comb to keep them steady to avoid bruised fingers and thumbs!

Which side of the car is the fuel cap

Check the picture on the dash - the side of the pump that the hose is on on the picture should be the side of the car where the fuel cap is!

Avoid excess baggage charges

Take small (keying type) scales when flying. Some foreign airports seem to suggest your luggage is overweight when it isn't. Showing you know the weight often resolves the dispute quickly.


In summer keep your eyeliner in the fridge, it will go on so much easier when it's not soft!

Bleach tile rescue

When you decide to get a new toothbrush use your old one to clean your tiles. Cover the top in bleach and then scrub your bathroom and kitchen tiles and watch them sparkle again.

Home Made Easy Meals

when I make a roast shepherd's pie chilli etc I make as much as I possibly can and then freeze in portion sizes. Then when we are pushed for time or the kids are "starving" I have something healthy and homemade to give them

Icky chopping boards!

To clean a chopping board after use sprinkle with baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) rub into board with a clean cloth - good as new.

Clear windows

When washing windows whatever you are using finish by scrunching up newspaper and using to dry the window. This leaves a great streak fee shine and is cheaper than any of the fancy cloths you can buy.

Shoe scuff remover

Favourite shoes covered in scuff marks? Just use some nail varnish remover on them!

Suffering from green Fly in your greenhouse?

If greenfly in your greenhouse is becoming a problem hang some Marigold plants in the greenhouse and this distracts them completely.

Treat verrucas with banana skin

Use the inside of a Banana skin to help treat Verrucas. The skin can be placed on the Verruca (using a plaster to cover) overnight. I've found this method works a treat.

Perfect poached eggs

When poaching eggs add a tablespoon or two of white wine or rice vinegar to the simmering water and slide the eggs in as gently as you can for perfect poached eggs every time!!

Opening small plastic bags in supermarkets

Those small plastic vegetable bags never want to open and licking your fingers to try is just not hygienic just run your hand over any frozen food in your trolley and your hand will be damp enough to open the bag easily .


When u dont have shave gel then use conditioner instead it works just as well.

Litter your bin

Cat litter adores undesirable odours. Sprinkled on the base of a pedal bin it neutralises whiffs within. It also has the power to subdue that deadly wheely bin pha-phew. And for an encore it quells teenage trainers' ripe smells.

Save on cheese

When cooking with cheese cut down by 10% and add a generous teaspoon of english mustard instead - the mustard will enhance the cheese flavour and save you money and calories.

Hand exfoliator

Pour some olive oil into your hand and some table salt. Use as an exfoliator by rubbing your hands and fingers with the mix. Then wash off with warm water? The results are better than any salon or shop bought one! Hands are silky smooth and soft.

Off the boil

When cooking boiled potatoes or most vegetables one simmered for 75% of the time needed quickly bring to the boil and turn off heat and keep covered for the remainder of time that they would have still been cooking they will be perfectly cooked and you will have save approx 25% of the power you would have used.

Tomato sauce stain remover

If you or your children spill something tomatoey like spaghetti bolognese on your clothes you can get rid of the stain by rubbing in some Head and Shoulders shampoo and then washing in the machine.

Feed your flowers

Put a teasoonful of sugar and afew drops of bleach in the vase with your fresh cut flowers keeps them sweet fresh and longer lasting.

Make-up the mess

If you spill food drink or even make up on the carpet make up removal wipes are a great help. I always use then and they are ready to use. They don't contain harmful chemicals so they are safe to use on the carpet.

Happy life

My Dad used to say ' Live every day as your last and one day you'll be right!'

White distilled vinegar

Always handy to have and brilliant at most cleaning chores. I put approx one measure water to vinegar and keep in a spray bottle and its ideal for cleaning worktops and marks on carpets. I also use it instead of fabric conditioner and no it does not make the clothes smell.

Expect good things

Whatever happens remain positive - happy thoughts bring happy events - staying positive keeps you young and vibrant and costs nothing!!! Laughter is the best medicine so try and watch some comedy that tickles you chuckle factor and feel the tension slip away- finally give someone a compliment and lift their day!

Gardening tip

Sprinkle used coffee grounds around your plants to add nitrogen to the soil and deter pests

Just a spoonful...

Does cutting onions make you cry? Placing a teaspoon in your mouth stops any tears - weird but true! (You could truly take your mind off the onions by adding something yummy to the spoon like a bit of honey.)

Watering cheat

When you finish with a plastic bottle cut the bottom off then bury it neck down next to plants in the garden. When you come to water the plant do it through the plastic bottle and water will get to the roots quicker.

It's a steel!

One household tip for removing odors such as fish, onions or garlic from your hands is to rub them across something made of stainless steel like a knife! You can even buy stainless steel 'soap' ...

Hot tip

Never microwave baked beans without a cover-go on try it but have your J-cloths ready.

Chocolate cereal

Instead of buying your fussy family lots of different cereals in every flavour going buy plain cereal and let them jazz it up! We use chocolate powder in milk to make it chocolate cereal (also strawberry powder too!) or add fruit/honey/nuts to vary things a little!


Out of toothpaste? Dip your brush in baking soda and a bit of water. Scrub as usual and they will come out clean and bright!

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