Winter’s coming on – here are some tips from Eric Wiltsher to help keep your wallet warm!

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Don’t throw old bits of soap away

We all do it, but why? Here’s the plan.

We all have or use those bottles of hand soap and when they are empty they end up in landfills. Please don’t throw them away.

When they are empty, put all your saved small pieces of soap in side and half fill the bottle with water. For roughly a month you’ll need to shake the bottle regularly. You will see the soap turning into liquid form and when it does, top the bottle up with water. Give it a good shame and guess what you a new bottle of liquid soap.

Why do we do this?

When you visit many restaurants you can still BUY potato skins deep fried.

However, we peel potatoes at home and throw the skins in the bin – have I missed something?

What you have is a perfect snack pre-prepared for a TV snack.

How to really save money in chain stores!

We all see those great big adverts for this week’s special, but we don’t need any rights now, yes?

Let me share this one story. You can hand blenders in stores at there normal retail price all day long. We know they are built to last long and yet when there are on special offer, no don’t need one of those. Then when it goes wrong, nine times out of ten they are back to full price. Small kitchen gadgets that you know will go wrong take up little space.

However, you can save upwards of £10/€10 by buying during a sale. The same works for kettles, toasters and especially steam irons.

Next don’t stick to one shop

In the retail what you call special offers are known as loss leaders.

The store can often take a small loss on products to get you in the store and LEAD YOU to full priced products – a great example is coffee. You will see coffee at half price and by the time you have done your week’s shop in the store you have probably given the store owner more profit than they would normally get from you. If you have the space, by the loss leaders in bulk. If coffee is on special offer, get 12 jars. Check the special offers and once done, got to the next store and pick up there offers in bulk. Sugar and Tea are also great examples of loss leaders.

Over the course of the year you can save enough money to have a top notch meal out, just by shopping the CWF way.

Want to save fuel?

In today’s world we are talking serious investments on, often, a weekly basis to fill up the tank.

I know we all drive carefully to save fuel; I write that very tongue in cheek.

However, there such silly little ways to stretch the fuel. One of the worse culprits of easting into your fuel usage is air-con. It positively devourers fuel. You really don’t need it on every day, if you are slightly warm, open the window a little. It will save you money.

Another GREAT WAY to save money on fuel is connected to your tyres. If the tyre pressures are wrong not only can you damage the tyre wall but a flat, or low inflated, tyre causes drag and, yes, it eats into your fuel economy. A few seconds when you fill up to check the tyres and that’s a few extra trips to the shop(s) you have.

Central Heating

Even in a modern eco house the walls get cold. So what we do is fix radiators to cold walls.

That’s smart. Half the heating does not keep your tiny toes warm, it just heats the wall. It’s very easy got to your DIY store and get a roll of radiator backing. Silver on one side and whit on the other.

Cut the roll down to suit your radiator – at the right size you won’t even see it. Double sided tape will hold it in place.

You will notice a difference, the radiator will radiate more heat into the room, rather than heating up the walls.

Like House Plants?

The experts who often gain sponsorship from soil supplier will have you believe you need to change the soil in house almost per annum.

Now correct me if I’m wrong, but you don’t change the garden soil every year do you?

It is true that house plants will draw goodness from potting soil and eventually they can struggle to get all the nutrients needed. However, rather than take all that soil to the tip, just feed the soil with what today and really low cast tablets that you place in the soil.

Cheaper than re-potting, easier than re-potting and do you really want to keep throwing things away that really are good?

Check the shed!

We all do it. You need to make a repair and or replace a worn out tap washer.

So off we go to the DIY store and buy a packet of differing washers as they only sell them in packets. The unused ones get dumped in the shed and the next time, yes you guessed it. You go the DIY store and buy another packet. Before we reach the punchline, just think of how many times you needed a washer, light bulb, plug, fuse and off your go to the DIY store – it’s your time.

Instead wander to the shed and take stock. Note it down on your phone or laptop and next time you need something, see if you already have a replacement part.

This correspondent will bet it will, at some point, save you time when you are really under time pressure.

Don’t you just hate the price of scented candles?

Many times we buy expensive scented candles from a cottage-industry shop. When you also buy some candle wicks.

They are for sale.

When a suitable number of candles have died you will collect enough wax to fill one the empty glasses – really you will. Now for legal reason I can only say, remove the old candle wicks, also remove the small metal holders that retain the wicks. Now you need to turn the solid wax back into a liquid. You know how to do that.

Then you take one of the empty candle glasses. Hold the new wick uprights and pour in the liquid wax. Don’t pour it on yourself and if you do this is the legal statement. You do any of our tips at your own discretion.

Finally trim the wick down and you have another nice smelling candle and the CWF way saves you money.

A MUST is a roll of self-amalgamating tape.

So you drive down the road and that horrible sight come from the bonnet, steam.

Now let everything cool down and top up with water. BUT WAIT! It will take a few minutes for the car to get up to temperature and if there is a tiny leak in a hose you will only see it when the engine is warm. If you see such a leak, switch the engine off. Clean the hose and then wrap self-amalgamating tape around the hole. It will hold until you get to the first one of those instant fix-it places.

The second use it the nightmare of a leaking pipe in the house.

Grab your tape again and wrap the hole in self-amalgamating. It will hold for hours if not days in the home saving a costly call out.

Eric Wiltsher

Eric is a former BBC TV, radio & online journalist. Now lives in Slovakia and is MD of a digital media company

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