Monthly Archives: March 2016

  • Paws For Thought On National Pet Month

    Paws For Thought On National Pet Month

    From April 1st  people up and down the country will be going barking for their pets. From fundraising to raising awareness, there’s a lot to be done for our amazing animals because it’s National Pet Month! So to celebrate, let’s talk about a charity that is close to our hearts at Poundstretcher and The Pet Hut.

    Why we love the PDSA…

    Let’s be honest: vet bills are really, really expensive. We humans have an NHS to look after us when we’re unwell and in need of treatments. Sadly the same cannot be said for our four legged friends. So who can animals count on?

    That’s where the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals comes in… or you know, the PDSA for short.If you’re entitled to council tax or housing benefit and your pet is poorly, you can gain free veterinary care from your local PDSA clinic.

    It all started 99 years ago…

    Thanks to the founder, PDSA provided help across the country with mobile animal carts

    In 1917 way before women even had the right to vote and a mere 6 years after the Protection Of Animals Act gave animals lawful protection from abuse, Maria Elizabeth Dickin opened the first PDSA Clinic in Whitechapel. A privileged woman who wanted to promote animal care and welfare, she was very moved by the poverty stricken working classes’ difficulty in finding affordable healthcare for their animals.

    The PDSA even saved animals during WWII and the blitz!

    Amazingly 6 years later she opened 7 clinics with a handful of travelling carts to provide pet care on the move. By 1934, over a staggering 1 million animals in need had been treated for free by the PDSA. Not content to rest on their laurels, the PDSA even pioneered their own animal rescue squads during World War II and saved 250,000 animals throughout the blitz! With the Allied Forces Mascot Club and the PDSA Dickin Medal recognising the bravery of animals in action, the charity proved that it was rooting for the every man and everyday dog in extraordinary circumstances.

    Creating a gold medal for brave animals saw the PDSA recognising them for their service during the war

    The PDSA Today…

    Now with hundreds of pet hospitals open across the UK and Europe, the charity has become a beacon of hope for pet owners. From delightful dogs and cats to cute critters like rats and snakes, all types of creatures great and small have benefited from their pioneering work.

    The vets at the PDSA provide free health care to a wide range of animals

    With their focusing moving towards helping people choose the perfect pets for their lifestyles and starting a pet fit club to keep animals active, the charity has expanded massively so they need all the help they can get!

    Cute cats and kittens are just some of the animals they help!

    If you’d like to know more about the PDSA, visit their website here!

    To pamper your beloved pets, why not visit your local Poundstretcher and Pet Hut stores? Check out The Pet Hut and Poundstretcher websites now and find your nearest store.

  • 5 Home Hacks You Didn’t Know You Needed

    5 Home Hacks You Didn’t Know You Needed

    Making your home look unique shouldn't cost you your house! With these handy crafting and DIY hacks, you’ll make your home look stylish, new, and will even help you to get a little more organised.

    1. Coffee Candles
    Make your home smell lovely with coffee beans and tea lights
    Wake up and smell the coffee…. No really, now you can! This home hack is one for my fellow caffeine addicts out there and is especially great at vanquishing any strong foul odours instantly. All you need is coffee beans, a small desert dish, tray or jar, and tea lights. Put the beans in your canister of choice, place your desired amount of tea lights and light it up! The coffee beans will soak up the warmth and emit the gorgeous aroma of a slow roasted coffee. Your house will soon smell like Central Perk in no time at all!

    Pro tip: Place in the room next to the kitchen if there’s many of you cooking.

    Skill: Really easy!

    2. Jewellery Drawer
    This cutlery drawer can be transformed in to a jewellery holder
    Hate it when your necklaces get tangled and tied together in a jewellery box? The struggle is real, we've all been there. Why not organise your necklaces and bracelets so you can just grab and go with ease in the morning? Get a standard cutlery drawer, screw in some hooks, and voila you have a new case for your Cartier and Pandora hauls to hang on your wall. You can paint your drawer a colour to match your home or keep the design on for a vintage upcycle vibe!

    Pro tip: In place of hooks, use pins or a small door knob.

    Skill: Medium – getting those hooks in a straight line can be tricky.

    3. Paint And Polish EVERYTHING
    Paint pegs with nail varnish to give your house a bit of colour
    Want to jazz up those plain wooden pegs to use for wedding place card holders or home-made picture holders? Nail polish and nail art pens. Is your stiletto sole warn and scuffed? Make those haggard heels look like Louboutin’s with red nail varnish. In fact if you want to redesign anything, my answer is always going to be nail varnish! It’s cheap, bright, and lasts a while. The best part is that it if you want to change the design you can use nail varnish remover to fade the colour and paint over.

    Painting your heels with nail polish keeps them on trend and in style!Pro tip: Clean with rubbing alcohol and use white nail varnish to make the colour pop!

    Skill: Easyish – especially if you have a steady hand.

    4. A Real Corker Of A Board
    Sticking corks on to a board can make a great memo board for your kitchen
    This home improvement tip is probably going to be my new excuse to increase my Prosecco intake! If you have an old picture frame lying about unused and you’re willing to save your wine corks (drink responsibly), this will add a rustic French countryside vineyard look to your kitchen. If you can remove the glass from your picture frame safely so the back is exposed, that’s perfect. However if the glass plate is fixed in place, don’t worry you can still do this! Paint over your frame so the shine of the glass/wood doesn’t show through. Wait for the paint to dry and gather your corks together. Arrange them so they fit well, which is a lot easier said than done! If it’s your first try then don’t have a go at crazy patterns just yet, aim to make neat-ish rows. After you’ve got your order sorted, grab your craft glue or hot glue gun and start sticking! Leave over night to dry and you have your very own home made ‘cork’ board! Pin up your memos to organised throughout the day or add some favourite photos for nostalgia!

    Pro tip: Leave the paint and glue to dry, don’t be impatient!

    Skill: Fairly difficult – purely because the corks will be tricky to align.

    5. Mark Your Mug
    Personalise your mug with a sharpie and bake your cup so it lasts forever
    Whether you’re looking for a cute personalised party favour or if you just want to tell the world exactly how you like your tea, this is the home hack you’ve been waiting for! Grab a permanent marker and a porcelain mug that you don’t mind altering forever. Draw on your design using your marker pen and bake the mug in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the cup with an oven glove when baked and let it cool. The brilliance of this home crafting tip is that you can do anything you want from his and hers mugs to writing your very specific mug cake recipe!

    Pro tip: Don’t put it in the dish washer, the design stays if you handwash only!

    Skill: Unbelievably simple!

    Haven't got time to get crafting? No need to worry, you can check out our fabulous home range here for more ideas for sprucing up your habitat!

  • 14 Signs You're A Chocoholic

    14 Signs You're A Chocoholic

    During Easter we’re all bound to indulge in our favourite sweet treats. But for some it’s a gateway to a whole new league of chocolate crazy.

    For the chocoholics of the world, it can be hard to admit to your cravings for that sweet nectar from the Nestle and Cadbury gods. So here are 14 signs to help you work out if you’re simply a connoisseur of the cocoa or a full blown choco-addict:

    1. You think about it every waking minute morning, noon, and night. You probably even dream about a land composed solely of chocolate.
      You can buy top quality chocolates at cheap prices
    2. You may have been caught by your significant other raiding your rather large chocolate stash at 4am.
      Chocolate is sweet, good for your health... and addictive.
    3. A holiday doesn’t just mean a new adventure. It’s a journey in to an odyssey of new cocoa infused goodness.
      Stock up for Easter at a great value with Poundstretcher
    4. Your favourite leisure activity is throwing Maltesers in the air while shouting, “Make it rain!”
      Maltesers are perfect for Easter
    5. Who’s your best friend? This giant chunk of chocolate, that’s who.
      Buy great value food from Poundstretcher
    6. If someone says they don’t like chocolate you suddenly develop deep trust issues about your relationship.
      If someone doesn't like chocolate you become suspicious
    7. When you have a break, you don’t just have a Kit Kat…
      Buy your favourite confectionery from Poundstretcher
    8. When someone mentions the milky way or ‘A galaxy far, far away…’, you don’t think about space or Yoda.
      Chocolate stars are the ultimate treat
    9. How do you eat your Cadbury Crème Egg? You annihilate it.
      Buy Cadbury Creme Eggs from Poundstretcher at great value
    10. Had a bad day? Get that emergency bar of the extra rich 99.9% dark chocolate because it’s bitter... like your soul.
      Chocolate solves everything. Enjoy your favourites from your local Poundstretcher now
    11. Had a good day? Get ALL THE CHOCOLATE and celebrate.
      Check out our wonderful range of chocolate at Poundstretcher
    12. When Yorkie said it wasn’t for girls, you went in to full blown protest mode and ate a case load of them in defiance.
      Yorkie chocolate is not just for girls. Buy yours from Poundstretcher at value prices.
    13. You always like to remind people that chocolate never disappoints. Even when it isn’t good, technically it’s not bad either.
      Buy sweets and snacks from Poundstretcher at great value prices
    14. Got a question? The answer is always CHOCOLATE.
      Happy Easter From Poundstretcher to all the Chocolate lovers

    We have tons of sweet deals on chocolate and other confectionery that you'll simply adore! So make your Easter a happy one and hop on over to your local Poundstretcher. To find your nearest store, click here and prepare for chocolate heaven!!

  • How To Make Your New House A Home

    How To Make Your New House A Home

    You’re moving out – finally!

    You are officially an independent adult human being! Congratulations!

    Now, this may come as a shock to you but the only way I can say this is to be blunt and quick like I’m ripping off a band aid: you’re gonna be broke.

    we offer budget products that are top quality at PoundstretcherForget the days when you could go in to town on a spending spree. You’ve got furnishings, heating, water, electricity, healthy food and more to worry about. It’s pretty scary to think that you can’t shout ‘I need an adult’ when a spider invades your new humble abode… because now you’re the adult!

    Whether you’re going to university this year or fleeing the nest, realising that the bank of mum and dad stops here is daunting. Especially when you have a creative vision, an eye for style, and high expectations for your new home as a fully fledged adult.

    You don’t need a massive budget for a chic home.

    Cosy living room on a budget Above left to right: Bonsai Tree Light from £9.99, Ornate White Vintage Mirror £14.99, Hampton Kitchen Trolley £19.99, and Vintage Wooden Boxes from £3.99

    Think you can’t have nice things? Think again! You can unleash your inner Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen to make your home unique with a timeless theme. Retro never goes out of style because there’s always another decade out of the way and a newer generation to romanticise it. If the time period is vague then you have more freedom to mix and match a blend of eras in your home. Think baroque inspired mirrors, rustic chipped wood furnishings, and kitsch kitchenware.

    Make your home cosy… this is your little hideaway from the world!

    Make your home cosy and stylish without breaking the bank Left to right: Luxury Shiny Throws from £6.99, Ceramic Kettle £19.99, Butterfly Candle Holder £1.99, and Pink Heart String Lights £3.99

    Like a little woodland creature with its nest, your home is your sanctuary. Everyone needs to be able to get home from work, cocoon themselves in a throw, light a few candles or fairy lights for a relaxing glow, and put on the kettle for a brew. There’s zero judgement here. Want to dance about in your pants to Madonna’s Vogue? Go ahead and werk it. Peckish? You can eat cereal for dinner instead of breakfast. You’re living independently now and the world is your oyster.

    Learn to love cooking!

    Keeping organised while cooking has never been cheaper! Left to right: Three Piece Tea/Coffee/Sugar Set from £2.99, Victorian Salt and Pepper Pots 99p, Mason Jars 59p, and George Foreman Grill £14.99

    Now you have your own kitchen, this is your chance to fulfil your dream of being the winner of Come Dine With Me. To avoid heading in to angry Gordon Ramsey mode when you can’t take the heat in the kitchen, make sure everything is organised. Nothing says ‘I’m an adult’ like a fancy pants kitchen appliance and a spotless worktop. Keep glass mason jars handy for storing long life food like pasta, lentils, and spaghetti… as well as making cocktails. Infamous for being staple student food, you’re going to be using those ingredients a lot if you’re heading off to university!

    Set the house rules… quite literally.

    Wall murals show house guests who is boss in a fashionable way! Left to right: Royal Cushions from £3.00, Hessian Wall Canvas from £2.99, Wall Decal £1.99, Dog Mug Set £2.99.

    Your home may not be the palace of Versailles but you can still live like Marie Antoinette. Holding court with guests should be enjoyable… but you’re bound to get that one person who leaves the seat up and demands a very specific type of tea. Only one person rules this roost… and it’s likely the dog. Remind them who the queen is when they make themselves comfortable with not-so-subtle cushions and mugs that point this out. If all else fails, simply point them out to the rules written on the wall.

    Keep it tidy... even if this means you shove everything in a box just before guests arrive.

    Moving home? You need storage boxes from Poundstretcher! Left to right: 4 Tier Storage Unit from £19.99, Geneva Media Storage Tower from £12.99, Preserves Jar from £1.99, and Faux Suede Ottoman Storage £16.99

    Convince everyone you’re a tidy functioning adult by getting storage boxes. As soon as visitors see an alphabetised DVD shelf and an Ottoman, they’ll congratulate you on your transformation from inbetweener to professional grown up.

    You can get all these products and more in store now. So why not have get your home essentials in person? Come visit us to browse and look here for your nearest store.

  • Top 5 Mason Jar DIY Hacks

    Top 5 Mason Jar DIY Hacks

    Mason jar madness is in full swing and everyone wants get their hands on these beauties! Who knew something so simple could be so useful? So to celebrate our new range of mason jars, here’s 5 DIY hacks to make life a little less jarring:

    1. The Salad Sensation 

    Mason Jar Salads are healthy, nourishing and great value

    With the warmer seasons approaching you’re going to be in the mood for a  refreshing salad. Luckily thanks to the humble mason jar, eating healthy has finally become cool!  Mason jars are a wonderful alternative to plastic tubs and keep your food fresher for longer thanks to their tight seal. Say goodbye to limp lettuce and soggy spinach by layering your salad ingredients inside the jar. Start with wet ingredients at the bottom and the drier food like leaves or croutons on the top. When you want to eat your salad, turn the jar upside down to put the ingredients on a plate for you to mix it all together. Make a few day's worth so you can simply grab a jar out the fridge and go! My personal favourite combination is lettuce, sweetcorn, carrot, and beetroot with balsamic vinaigrette and wholegrain mustard dressing.

    2. The Floral Fancy
    Mason jar floral arrangements are great for budget weddings
    If you’re planning a wedding or just looking for a great excuse for special someone to buy you flowers, this is the mason jar hack for you. The ultimate proof that you don’t need an expensive vase to house your horticultural delights, simply add water and flowers to your jar and hey presto! You get a charming country style centrepiece. You can add a splash of paint in a colour of your choice or decorative ribbons and buttons to give it that personalised touch. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could always tie some yarn round the opening and use your mason jar as a hanging flower arrangement.

    3. The Rustic Refreshment
    Mason jar cocktails, mocktails and drinks
    Drinking from mason jars has long been known as a staple in the sunny southern states of the US but now it’s going global! It's a cute alternative to a martini glass and with its sturdy handle, you can keep a good grip on your drink. Try cutting some fresh fruit and adding to lemonade for a bright and flavourful mocktail or a classic lime, lemon, and coke mix. If you're in the mood for something stronger mix gin, elderflower, lemonade and cucumber slices for a refreshing cocktail. The mason jars will add a countryside charm to your garden party without costing a ton!

    4. The Tiny Terrarium
    Tiny mason jar terrarium for plants and gardening

    You can pretty much create your own world in a mason jar by using it as a terrarium! They’re low maintenance making them brilliant if you’re new to gardening or all thumbs instead of green fingers. First layer some moss on the bottom of the jar. You won’t have any water drainage holes in the glass mason jar so it’ll soak up excess water and serve as a great base for your mini earth. Add some stones on top of the moss like you would in a pot in order for the water to drain properly from the soil on top. A starfish plant, spider fern, and aquamarine are all teeny tiny plants that will thrive in your mason jar. When your greenery is inside, add some cute figurines like dinosaurs and other animals so your little world can go wild.

    5. The Fairy Jar

    Fairy lights in a mason jar make a great bedroom light

    Ever wanted to catch a falling star or find some fairies as a kid? Well this hack is for you. Add some cute fairy lights inside your mason jar to make a bright centrepiece for a wedding, outdoor party or even just to make your bedroom shine a bit. Paint your own designs on to make it more you. Use a star shaped stencil to preserve the glass and paint the entire jar, then remove your stencils so the light can shine clearly through patterns.

    The possibilities are endless with mason jars which is why we’re so excited to bring you a sneak peek of our range! At just 59p they're a brilliant value essential for Summer!

     

    So come visit us to get your mason jar crafting started, find your local Poundstretcher here.

  • The Do's And Don'ts Of Travelling

    The Do's And Don'ts Of Travelling

    Want a blissful escape instead of the holiday from hell? Don’t worry, we’re here to help your adventure be as stress free as possible with these travel handy tips.

    1. DO travel light.

    Travel light with our hand luggage and suitcase sets from Poundstretcher
    We’ve all been there: bouncing up and down on the suitcase trying to fit everything plus the kitchen sink inside. Airlines have different weight requirements for luggage so it’s always best to stick to the motto less is more, especially if you’re going through the shopaholic’s paradise known as duty free. After all you might end up paying even more for those discount extras!

    2. DON’T forget your sun cream.

    Get your holiday essentials like sunscreen from Poundstretcher
    A picture says a thousand words and you certainly don’t want your holiday snaps to say boiled lobster or tan lines. Stay healthy and protected from the sun with a high SPF sun cream as well as nourishing moisturiser.

    3. DO get comfy.

    Get cosy while you travel with our blankets and throws
    Whether it’s a long flight or a seemingly never ending road trip, travelling is uber tiring. Make sure to keep you and your family cosy throughout a flight with a cushioned neck pillow. If you’re travelling by car, you can bring along a throw blanket for the kids in the back to cuddle up for a sleep.

    4. DON’T get lost.

    Stay safe while travelling and plan your trip
    Having an adventure abroad is exciting, exhilarating… and sometimes a bit scary. Especially if you don’t speak the local language or if you’re travelling solo. Make sure you have a list of the activities and sights you absolutely need to see then work out how far away they are from each other. If they’re close by, walking is a wonderful way to experience another culture and new places you want to visit. If it’s a bit of a trek you can travel by public transport, most city breaks offer travel cards to help you navigate this new land on a budget.

    5. DO keep the kids entertained.

    Entertain the kids with toys, arts, and crafts from Poundstretcher
    ‘Are we there yet?’ is a phrase that haunts every parent’s soul. When you’re confined to a long flight, preparing for the inevitable jet lag and travel from the airport to the hotel, the last thing you need is for your angels to become little monsters. Even short trips feel like ages for kids so make sure to include activities in their case like colouring books, stories, and toys to keep them occupied.

    6. DON’T forget travel size toiletries.

    Travel size shower gel, body wash, and moisturiser sets from Poundstretcher
    Fun size, tiny, and unbelievably adorable. No matter how you say it, those cute little bottles of shampoo, body wash, and moisturisers, make us feel like hobbits and it is glorious. These tiny essentials at 100ml or less keep you looking and feeling fresh for the week. After all if you’re in the pool all week you’re not going to want the dreaded green ogre chlorine hair.

    7. DO make time for tea.

    Buy all your essentials like tea and coffee from Poundstretcher to take with you when you travel
    Holidays are all about experiencing another way of life and escaping the everyday… but sometimes you need a taste of home. There’s nothing better than a cup of tea in the morning and a week without our PG Tips or Tetley tea bags can leave us in the awkward #BritishProblems territory. So take a supply in your suitcase so you can enjoy your beloved brew!

    But most all, when you travel:

    8. DON'T forget to have fun!

    This is your time to explore a new place or visit an old favourite for some much needed rest and relaxation!

    Safe travels from Poundstretcher 

    So why not stock up on your travel essentials for your holiday from your local Poundstretcher store? You can search for your nearest branch here.

  • 5 Egg-cellent Ideas To Crack Easter

    5 Egg-cellent Ideas To Crack Easter

    Chocolate egg day is almost here! Hopping over to an Easter party but don’t know what to bring? Or maybe you’re stuck for entertaining the kids over the holidays? Never fear, you’ll crack Easter with these egg-squisite (I couldn’t resist) ideas that are perfect for parents on a budget.

    1. Bake those bunnies.

    Baking Easter bunny biscuits on a budget

    Everyone loves homemade baking and nothing says Easter like bunny biscuits. They're cheap to make and best of all you won’t need to be Mary Berry to make these tasty treats.
    All you need is:

    • 4 tbsps of flour
    • 1 tbsps of maple syrup
    • 1 ½ tbsps of sugar
    • A handful (or two) of oats
    • A splash of milk
    • A sprinkle of cinnamon
    • 1 tbsps of your chosen butter, margarine or equivalent spread

    Sift the flour in to a bowl and mix all of your dry ingredients together.  Take your wet ingredients in a pot and turn up the heat so they melt together in to sumptuous sugary syrup. Stir it thoroughly to keep it smooth. This will be your coating and what holds the biscuits together. Your mixture won’t look like there’s enough but it’ll surprise you by spreading well. Switch off the hob and mix all the ingredients together until they made your crumbly, oaty dough. Grease your pan or grab some baking paper and start making those cookie shapes! You can use a cookie cutter or have fun moulding them with your hands, it’s a pretty pliable mixture so get stuck in! Bake until golden brown and let them cool before tasting. If you want to add more ingredients like raisins, chocolate chips, or even grated apple, go for it!

    1. Build those bonnets!

    Build an Easter bonnet cheaply with Poundstretcher

    This is random tradition that originates from people wearing new clothes to mark the renewal of the year during Easter. Then Irving Berlin wrote a catchy song about New York’s famous Easter parade mentioning bonnets and voila, hats became an Easter thing! Keep the kids occupied by unleashing their creativity with crafts. The best part about making a bonnet is that you can use anything from paper plates to an old head band. As long as you’ve got a great base so it rests on your head, you’re good to go! Stock up on PVA glue, stationary, stick on goggle eyes, pipe cleaners, tissue paper and glitter to help your youngster with their creative vision. After all, they could be the next Phillip Treacey! When the bonnet has been built, why not make your own Easter parade at home and see who wins best dressed? Let the lounge be your catwalk!

    1. Easter Party Favours

    Make an Easter gift with a jar and some sweets

    Easter gifts shouldn’t have to fry your bank account. The holiday is about new beginnings and welcoming the new Spring season, so if you’re on a budget you can still make some sweet little gifts. Gather up your arts and craft gear like pens, paints, and ribbons to decorate a little jar to fill with sweets. An elegant way of jazzing it up would be to tie a ribbon around the opening or fashion some garment buttons in to a pattern on the glass or lid. This might be a lovely gift for the grandparents if you get the kids involved with craft pens that can draw on glass so they can treasure these memories forever.

    1. Egg And Spoon Race

    Decorate eggs for an egg and spoon race for Easter

    All you need for this is some hard boiled eggs and wooden spoons for this classic past time. Gather the kids to decorate their eggs and spoons with their own patterns using paints, felt tip pens, and plenty of glitter (of course). Then prepare for the race. A great way of spicing up the game is to make it an egg and spoon relay by adding parents in to the mix. Just watch out that no one is cheating!

    1. And finally, hunt for those eggs!

    Find all the eggs on an Easter egg hunt with Poundstretcher's Cadbury Creme Eggs

    It wouldn’t be Easter unless everyone was running around the garden looking for eggs. So grab some chocolates and treats to sprinkle around the garden without the kids seeing. Make sure you also have an extra special (and much bigger) golden egg to hide in a difficult place. The person who covets the golden egg is the winner! You could make it more interesting by organising teams to hunt for the eggs using masks made by the kids. The possibilities with this are endless, and the best thing about it is that thanks to the chocolate everyone is a winner!

    With these handy tips, you're sure to have an egg-citing Easter (last pun, I promise)! So visit us instore now to gather all you Easter essentials from like sweets, kids stationary and craft kits. You can find your local Poundstretcher here.

    Happy Easter From Poundstretcher

  • Your Guide To Lighting Up Earth Hour

    Your Guide To Lighting Up Earth Hour

    On March 19th right between the Spring and Autumn equinoxes, thousands of homes across the globe will unplug. Televisions will be switched to their black screens and electric lights will be switched off, plunging households in to darkness.

    No, this is not the zombie apocalypse.

    This is Earth Hour.

    From 8:30pm until 9:30pm, lights are turned off in solidarity to pledge that people will do more to help the environment through sustainable alternatives.

    Started by the World Wild Life Fund (WWF) in 2007, Earth Hour originates from an event in Sydney, Australia, where people switched off their lights to raise awareness of sustainable energy and climate change. Since then the movement has evolved in to a worldwide event for people to take action on environmental issues that are dear to their heart.

    From signing petitions for important worldwide political bills and raising money to build solar lights in electricity-free villages, for an event that started with a few lights being switch off Earth Hour has created a lot of positive changes. Not bad for an eco-friendly team of just NINE people working behind the non-profit campaign!

    So you want to take part in Earth Hour? Here’s what you can do.

    A big part of Earth Hour is about seeing the changes happening right in front of our eyes which increase our own awareness of how much energy we waste. The idea is that switching your lights off at home is one small step which ignites your own passion for doing more afterwards. More can mean volunteering in your community, setting up fundraisers, or even something as simple as buying energy saving lightbulbs and solar lights.

    Firstly, it’s really important to remember that when taking part to stay safe. You may be switching off your main lights but it doesn’t mean you have to sit in the dark or have a candle burning for an hour.

    Earth Hour is a lovely activity to enjoy with friends, so it’s the perfect excuse for drinks, nibbles, and a catch up. Gathering together outdoors would be a brilliant way of celebrating Earth Hour if the weather is warm enough. You can decorate the garden with pretty solar lights while planning your next earth saving adventure (and gossiping).

    Sustainability isn’t just about saving the planet, it’s also about ensuring that future generations keep looking after the earth.

    So why not get the kids involved with Earth Hour too?

    Get some faux solar light candles that flicker like real ones, to avoid any potential hazards, and load up on the torches for some fun and games free from electricity. Telling stories with shadow puppets is a fun way to help the little ones unwind for bed and means parents get to showcase their best animal impressions for the voices.

    For older children, a good old fashioned game of sardines is hilarious in the dark. If you’re not familiar with the game, it’s very similar to hide and seek except one person hides while the group searches for them. When someone finds the hider, they have to try to squeeze themselves in to the hiding place too, without making a sound or alerting the group. This continues until everyone is packed in, literally, like sardines! The first person who found the hiding place has to hide first in the next round. It’s funny and scary in the dark with just torches to light your way, especially for the last person standing at the end!

    It’s never too early to start using sustainable eco-friendly energy, so why not have a look at our fantastic range of solar lights? To visit your local Poundstretcher, you can search for your nearest branch here.

  • How To Grow Your Own Veg (Even Without A Garden)

    How To Grow Your Own Veg (Even Without A Garden)

    We all try our best to get our five a day. Thankfully what used to be a chore has now become the latest food fad! Hunting for pictures of yummy curly kale crisps, salad hacks, and cauliflower pizza bases (Yes, healthy pizza!) is now a mouth-watering gateway in to #healthy. So it’s not surprising that growing your own food has become the nouveau life goal.

    Why should I start growing my grub?

    I know what you’re thinking: living off the land must cost the earth? Nope! Growing your own is cheaper because you can plan what you need well in advance and put any leftovers in the freezer. It’s a great way to veg-ucate kids to eat the healthy food they usually turn away (or spit out). Not only is it good for your body to eat those fruit and veggie laden dishes, planting your own produce also good stress buster. Plus nothing tastes better than that warm sense of pride you get from making your meal from scratch.

    What do I need?

    Luckily you don’t have to be a farmer or even have a garden! Surprisingly all you need is a few planters, a sunny spot, and a bit of patience.

    For your food to thrive it needs five hours or more sunlight each day, making windowsills and balconies the perfect fruit and veg patch. It’s best to pick a windowsill that’s wide and sans ornaments so your planters will fit. Plants hate to be overcrowded and their roots need plenty of space so make sure your planter or seed tray is pretty deep for their roots to sprout outwards. If your house has more shade than a cloudy day, a small tiered greenhouse in the garden can feed your them sunlight while keeping out those pesky bugs.

    Now let’s dish all the dirt on… well, dirt. Compost is vital for fruits and veggies to gain nourishing nutrients. Keep an eye out for soil or loam based composts that contain water retaining granules, extra nutrients or plant foods. Overwatering plants is a common mistake made by gardening newbies. A good way to check is to give the compost a quick poke with your finger to check it’s moist. To prevent excess water, gather some garden stones to layer on the bottom of your pot. Pour in your compost and firm it down then grab your gardening tools to start planting!

    Which seeds should I sow?

    So you’ve got all your gardening kit and a little habitat ready to begin growing your own food. Now all you need to do is figure out exactly what seeds you want to grow. Think about your favourite healthy meals you enjoy eating regularly. Growing fruit and veg that will be versatile enough for different meals allows you to truly protect your pennies.

    The weather is getting warmer which means it time for those sunny salad seasons! Lettuce is brilliant for first time food growers with a limited amount of space. How big your lettuce grows depends on how far you space them out. You can harvest the outer leaves without digging up the plant so you can have your own fresh lettuce larder.

    Even when the weather gets colder, you can still heat things up with some chilli peppers. They take a little longer to grow but are totally worth the wait. Make sure to water them gently and regularly check that the soil is not oversaturated with water. They’ll spice up your salads and make a great healthy snack with some humus.

    Basil will add a bit more flavour to your meal and is another windowsill allotment favourite. Seeds can be sprinkled thinly and you’ll start to see them shooting up in about two weeks. When your basil is ready to be picked, you can take the leaves as and when you need them. Start planting in the Summer so you’ll be able to have that delicious tomato and basil soup by the time it’s cold outside.

    Why not browse our fabulous gardening range for inspiration? Visit us in store so you can get started planting your home grown grub, ready for Summer!

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