Monthly Archives: April 2016

  • Are You Red-y To Get Gardening For British Tomato Week?

    Are You Red-y To Get Gardening For British Tomato Week?

    Red alert: May looks set to get pretty juicy with British Tomato Week starting from 16th - 22nd May.

    So let's celebrate our favourite vegetable/fruit/whatever-it-is in all her fine glowing glory. Are your veg growing skills leaving you red in the face? Maybe you just want to eat a bit healthier without sacrificing your taste buds?Here’s some top gardening tips, tricks, and random tomato facts so you won’t be looking like a squashed tomato.

    1. The infamous fruit or veg debate

    Tomatoes make tasty sandwiches, why not grow your own to have constant supply?
    Let’s start with the inevitable: just what on earth is a tomato? It’s succulent, sweet, and juicy like a fruit but you can’t top your cereal with it or have it on ice cream (gross). Oddly enough this argument eventually reached the US supreme court in 1887! So why all the kafuffle about the identity of a tomato? The reason behind it was money:  if our fave red tommy was seen to be a member of the veg gang, they would be eligible to be taxed when imported. They’re technically classed as ‘fruit of the vine’ like peas, cucumbers, and beans. Whatever tomatoes are,  the most important thing is they’re one of your healthy five-a-day foods and super tasty.

    1. They’re full of all the good stuff

    Prepare for gardening season with discount tools, seeds, and planters for your tomatoes from Poundstretcher
    Tomatoes are high in vitamins A, E, and C as well as being rich in potassium which makes them perfect for topping up your energy levels. Scientists have been studying the positive outcomes of a diet rich in tomatoes for years, after it became apparent that they may be linked with reducing blood pressure, preventing cancer, and off-setting heart disease. While most scientists say the studies are still ongoing, they all seem to agree that we all should be eating more tomatoes. Talk about plant power!

    1. They’re tricky to grow

    Get your gardening gear
    These little toms need plenty of sunlight to grow tall and often require support from rods to prevent their vines straining under their weight when they start to ripen up more. British weather is a harsh mistress to our tomatoes, with temperatures spiking up and falling down. Conservatories, greenhouses, balconies, and very sunny window sills (without curtains) are perfect for helping tomatoes sprout up. They need temperatures to be roughly 15 degrees Celsius at night and a minimum of 20 degrees Celsius during the day to flourish so it’s easy to see why so many decided against growing these delicate flowers. However difficult they may be, the versatile tomato will give you so much more freedom with cooking than any of your other crops. With the right research and gardening equipment, you’ll be producing the richest, reddest, and ripe tomatoes in no time!

    1. They’re the bee’s knees

    As well as improving your garden, tomatoes will certainly help with your culinary skills in the kitchen cooking.
    Tomato plants LOVE bees.Those little fuzzy flying mini beasts pollinate these crops in particular to help them to grow in to tasty, tangy toms. Having trouble convincing the bees to help out with your gardening? Plant a variety of seeds which will blossom in to the types of flowers they’re most attracted towards, to direct them towards your red beauties.

    1. They make food so much better

    From greenhouses to plant feed, we have all the gardening kit you need to grow your own tomatoes
    Never has there been a plant as versatile as a tomato. You can eat them raw in a sandwich with some cheese, you can chop them in to chunks to go on top of a pizza, or slice them thinly with a coating of garlic and cook them slow for a sundried effect… the possibilities are endless. Tinned tomatoes are a great base for making your own pasta sauce from scratch while cherry tomatoes make a sweet little snack with some salad or when cooked, a nice filling for a stuffed mushrooms recipe. Is it just me or are you now feeling hungry too?

    Get your tomato seeds and gardening equipment from Poundstretcher at amazing discount value

    What’s your favourite tomato recipe? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and we’ll repost the best!

    Want to get some gardening tools and equipment? Come along to a store near you to browse and buy. You can find your local Poundstretcher here.

  • The Ultimate Beginners Guide To Getting A Pet

    The Ultimate Beginners Guide To Getting A Pet

    Never had a pet before but always secretly wanted one?

    Then this blog is for you!!

    With National Pet Month coming to a close, there’s no better time than now to get a furry friend to share your life with. Seeing how excited they get when you come home from work, the couch cuddles while watching trashy reality TV, and getting to know their strange yet hilarious habits are just some of the best parts about having a pet.

    Being a pet owner is incredibly rewarding… however being a first time pet owner is really hard. Don’t worry, these tips will get you on the road to finding your perfect pet!

    1. Reading is fundamental

    When picking the perfect pet, it's a good idea to research what they need.Do as much research as possible about the animal you have in mind, even if it’s a standard goldfish, Labrador or a moggy cat that most people know about. After all, you don’t want to accidentally feed your dog grapes (they’re poisonous) or freak out when your sugar glider starts crabbing (it’s terrifying but harmless). Every year thousands of animals end up in shelters because their owners can no longer care for them. Sadly some of these cases occur because their owners didn’t research enough. Take advantage of the info at your fingertips through the web. This is especially vital with specialist breeds like Chinese Crested dogs, Maine Coon Cats, and exotic animals like pythons, rats, sugar gliders, and aquatic fish.

    1. Work out your budget 

    Take advice from the money rat and see if your budget is ready for a pet. The Pet Hut have some wonderful discounts on big brand pet supplies. Pet beds, puppy pads, ferret houses, a vivarium, litter boxes... the list of daily necessities animals need is endless. Save up as much as you can before getting your pet so you can make their new home the perfect habitat. Most importantly, work out how much their food and pet insurance would cost and how much of your monthly budget you can spare to look after your beloved critter.

    1. Will they fit your lifestyle?

    Will a pet fit in to your lifestyle? Read our blog to find out.
    Who will be able to visit Walter the Westie in the middle of the day while you’re at work? Does Terrence the tarantula have a spider-sitter for when you’re spending the week living it up in Magaluf? Will Rufus the rat get along with the kids and are they too delicate for small children’s unintentionally rough, grabby hands? Are you going to be patient enough to house train Paddy the Pomeranian pup? These are all really important factors to think about when getting a pet. They’re a massive commitment that’ll reward you in cuddles, crazy moments, and complete devotion… which when compared with time or money is priceless.

    1. Do they need a friend? 

    Some pets need friends to live happy lives.
    How many pets would you like?
    Rats, chinchillas, dwarf hamsters, budgies, gerbils, Syrian hamsters, and mice all need companionship to live healthy, happy lives. Sorry first time pet owner, humans just don’t cut it as a sole cuddle buddy for these cuties! Luckily, getting two of these critters means you’ll have double the love and adorable antics!

    1. Don’t worry! 

    Don't worry, with Poundstretcher and The Pet Hut you can find discount supplies and brilliant advice.
    Chances are after you've read everything about your pet of choice and heard all the tips from your new pet buddy friends, you’re a bit overwhelmed. So let me pass on the advice I was given when I was solely responsible for my first pet’s care: don’t worry, it’ll be great.

    Every loving pet owner wonders if they’re doing enough for their new furry family member. It’s likely that you’ll buy them every pet toy, the entire world’s supply of bedding, and have meticulously planned their daily routine yet you’ll still doubt yourself or say you can do more! When you’re at this stage, it is the perfect moment to have fun spending time with your pet, teaching them to be the best they can be, and making sure they know how loved they are.

    Are you a first time pet owner learning the ropes? Or maybe this isn't your first rodeo with puppy pads and litter boxes? We’d love to hear your favourite thing about having a pet, why don’t you let us know on Facebook and Twitter?

    Check out our social media pages for Poundstretcher and The Pet Hut

    We have some bargains waiting for you at Poundstretcher and The Pet Hut for a wide variety of animals! You find your nearest stores here and there!

    We love animals at Poundstretcher, so we’re delighted to be in partnership with the PDSA. You can learn about the wonderful work they do from their official website.

  • Get Creative For National Stationery Week!

    Get Creative For National Stationery Week!

    Happy National Stationery Week!

    There’s nothing better than the smell of a new notebook and a freshly sharpened pencil poised ready to write your hopes, dreams, a best-selling novel, or your weekly shopping list!

    And despite the rise of the digital age, writing and drawing the old fashioned way will never be erased.

    So if you’re starting a new job or sending the kids back to school, university or college, be sure to fill your pencil case without writing off your finances.

    To celebrate National Stationery Week (25th April - 1st May), here’s some inspiration for your doodles and diaries:

    Track your travels…

    We have a fantastic value range of stationery at Poundstretcher from diaries, address books, notebooks, and more!

    Forget social media like Instagram and Facebook (well not ours, of course).

    Documenting your holiday doesn’t need to be always digital. Grab a disposable camera or polaroid and start snapping away on your holiday. You’ll get to relive the glory days of waiting for the surprise of how your shots turned out and it’s a great way to teach the kids about life before Y2K! Choose your colour scheme for your stationary with a notebook and pens that’ll complement each other.  You can do the standard old fashioned photo album where you write names, ages and the year underneath the pictures or maybe you want to caption them and tell a story.

    Make it me, me, me…

    Our stationery range includes diaries, colouring books. pens, pencils and all their school essentials

    … with a diary!

    It can be your teen’s best friend, the keeper of the secrets, and it helps us unleash our inner Bridget Jones when we’re sat at home on a Friday night eating our body weight in pizza (not that any of us do that here…).  Journals are an excellent for releasing the emotions that you probably don’t feel comfortable expressing with anyone else. It can be a wonderful way to get to know who you are and to help you reflect on how you felt while writing. Plus it means you can have an excuse to buy different coloured pens and pencils so get some stationary to start filling in that blank page!

    Life in art… 

    Keep the kids occupied with our fantastic budget stationery sets including Disney and more big names!

    Looking for a unique way to document the little ones growing up? Grab  notebooks, pens, and pencils and label each page with each year up until your child is 12. Then ask them to doodle whatever they want annually. As each year passes, the drawings in the book will change and you’ll be able to witness your mini Van Gogh’s life unfold in art through their ages.

    Have a wonderful week celebrating all things creative during National Stationery Week 2016!

    We have some sensational offers on stationery at a discount price that you’re sure to love! Why not pick up your must-have pens, pencils, and notebooks from your local Poundstretcher? Find your local store here and come visit us during National Stationery Week!

  • The Do's And Don'ts Of Retro Gardening

    The Do's And Don'ts Of Retro Gardening

    It’s National Gardening Week! Looking for some top secret solutions to rejuvenating your garden?

    We've been digging in the archives for some retro gardening tips and tricks so you don’t have to!

    Visit your local Poundstretcher for great value gardening accessories and tools

    From the brilliant to the bizarre, have a go at these to get the secret garden you've always dreamed of:

    DO make a slug pub.

    Clean out a tuna can and crack open a beer. Prepare your best Peggy Mitchell impression, pour a little beer in the tuna can and marvel at how the slugs will be drawn away from your precious planters. Just be sure to not pour too much in otherwise it’ll be happy hour for those sweet slime balls! Don’t want to give away your beer? Sugar and baking soda works just as well.

    DON’T let the caterpillars eat your veg.

    Claim back your crops by cutting up some onion and place inside a squirting bottle to spray your plants with the mixture. Those hungry caterpillars will be so put off by the onion smell that they’ll turn their chompers away from your garden!

    DO get your garden buzzing with bees.
    Attract bees to your garden with our seed mixes.

    You won’t bee-lieve the difference these critters will make to your garden! Bees are vital to our eco system and don’t always feel quite so welcome in our gardens. So throw them a mini garden party by planting their favourite flowers to pollinate! Contrary to popular belief these fluffy flying bugs are actually pretty friendly and don’t sting unless angered to the extreme, so they’ll totally bee-hive themselves in your yard!

    DON’T be afraid of a little shade.

    Pick your plants based on your environment. If you don’t get tons of sunlight on your part of the cul-de-sac, why not grow some veggies and flowers that’ll thrive? Arugula, kale, lettuce, and spinach only need an estimated 3 – 4 hours of sun per day to flourish. While Violets, Lilly Of The Valley, Foxgloves and even Hellebores can all shade pretty well. Planters and trays will help you pick the warmer sunny spots and move your leafy greens and blooming buds to the right space to get their needed dose of UV.

    DO get some fowls’ foul. 

    This is the gross part so I’m going to be graphic: chicken manure is really good for your plants. I know it sounds horrific and not the type of thing you want when you’re sitting in your English garden waiting for the sun… but it works. Containing nitrogen and potassium, it's a brilliant base fertiliser that nourishes the soil superbly. Pick it up in pellet form for a less smellier and a more absorbent fertiliser.

    DON’T forget a little magic.
    Struggling with your garden? Make your yard an eden with Poundstretcher.

    If you love reading about vintage tips, chances are you probably love that retro style too. So enchant your garden with a few subtle throwback references, it’ll give your back yard an otherworldly time tunnel vibe. Go neo-Victorian with inspiration from the infamous Cottingley Fairies with our ornamental fairy solar lights and Victorian stake lights. Get lost in Austen's era with our stunning English roses bench and mini topiary ball or turn back to the Tudors with a stake light homage to their architecture. Pick a time period and stick with the theme so your garden can achieve a timeless atmosphere.

    DO bring your garden indoors.
    Mason jars are versatile for garden party drinks and planters!

    If you’re living in a flat but craving the greenery of a garden, you can still enjoy planting indoors! Line a mason jar or empty coffee jar with moss and some pebbles for drainage, fill with compost and start planting your seeds! Spider plants are lovely for apartments and tend to produce more baby plants for you to decorate your home with. Growing herbs is also a brilliant way to add some flavour to your food and your home, our cute little rustic planters would look great filled with basil or thyme on your kitchen window sill. The best part? They’re all really low maintenance so even the planting novices and those short on time can develop their green fingers and thumbs.

    Check out our brilliant range of garden tools, accessories and more! Why not visit us? Find your local Poundstretcher here.

  • 10 Signs You’re Obsessed With Your Pet

    10 Signs You’re Obsessed With Your Pet

    Let’s face it we need no reason to celebrate our favourite four legged friends. They greet us when we come home from work as if we’ve won an Oscar every day, they give the best cuddles, and they hardly ever judge us when we’re going for that extra slice of pizza.
    Okay, so maybe they sometimes judge us silently but that’s only because we’re not giving it to them!

    We’re a nation fascinated with our pet BFFs and furry family members. So in honour of National Pet Month, here are 10 signs you’re obsessed with your pet:

    1. You’re sad that you can’t share the joy of chocolate with your dog because it’s poisonous for them. So you buy them doggy treats and eat double the amount of chocolate just to narrate to them how amazing it is. After all, sharing is caring.
      This dog has a muffin on his head.
    2. You want matching jackets… with your names on. In fact you just want to permanently wear the same outfits because it’s seriously too cute to handle despite being a bit weird. You’ve probably shopped in the baby and toddler section of stores to look for the perfect outfit for best. It’s a bit difficult trying to explain to the sales assistant why your daughter has a tail though…
      Cat with a top hat and suit.
    3. You tell your kids the pets are their siblings. This has probably led to some very awkward chats with their teachers at parents’ evening.
      Pets are family so treat them to something special from Poundstretcher
    4. Even though your house is covered in pet beds, you still let them have yours. Even though your house is covered in pet beds, you still let them have yours. Forget your significant other, they’re clinging to the edge of the bed while you and your beloved pet are stretched out. Your fur baby is your little spoon and permanent hot water bottle, it’s a bond no one can break!Cheap dog beds available from Poundstretcher now
    5. Despite being scared, you put up with their mad moments. We’ve all been there, curled up foetal style on the sofa as the dog runs up and down post-bath or watching the cat chasing nothing but the fairies in their mind. Why do they do this? Nobody knows.
    6. You make a heart sign with your hands while mouthing ‘I love you’ when they watch you leave for work. Your biggest dream in life is for them to understand that you’ll be home in time for tea and trashy soaps at 5.30pm.
    7. Your Facebook wall is full of status updates about your pet… and you know the only ones liking those are your mum and other people who are as obsessed with their animals.
    8. In fact they do have an Instagram page. While you’re not a pushy stage parent, you’re quite eager for them to get more followers than Grumpy Cat so you can quit your day job. Look out Kris Jenner, there’s a new momager in town!!
      Dogs taking selfies? Wow!
    9. When it’s time for a vet visit, you bond with the other pet parents in the waiting room. They’re the only ones who understand your plight. Plus you recognised them as one of your pet’s Instagram followers so you must greet the public.
      Keep your pet healthy with supplies from the Pet Hut
    10. Your pet is just as obsessed with you too. They watch you sleep, eat, talk on the phone, leave the house… they even watch you watching TV! You know it’s strange. They know it’s bizarre. Neither of you care because you’re happy!Pets are family. Buy your family wonderful toys, food, and accessories from Poundstretcher now.

    To celebrate National Pet Month, check out our fantastic pet products from Poundstretcher and The Pet Hut. 

  • 10 Reasons Your Sibling Is Your Best Friend

    10 Reasons Your Sibling Is Your Best Friend

    National Sibling Day is approaching! Yes that’s right, jot down April 10th on your calendar as another holiday you need to celebrate. To mark this momentous occasion, here are 10 reasons why your sibling is your best friend (even if you kind of secretly hate them):

    1. Sibling relationships are likely the longest relationship you’ll ever have. They last from cradle to grave and outlast even parental bonds.
    Get cute throws and blankets from your local Poundstretcher

    2. They teach you social skills…and what not to do in public. Studies show that children with brothers and sisters manage to get along better with their classmates when starting school because they’ve modelled their communication and sharing skills on their siblings. Also if you’re the baby of the family like I am, you’ve probably learned how not to behave from watching your siblings humiliate themselves (hilariously) in public. Comedy gold.
    Reward your sibling for teaching you right from wrong this Sibling Day!

    3. You can say the most horrific insults to each other… but you know deep down that they love you and don’t mean it. Most arguments that sink friendships make brother and sister bonds stronger.
    A sibling bond is like no other. Buy a gift for them from Poundstretcher

    4. Younger siblings are basically your minions. They look up to you as their big brother or sister and learn how to face the world. Also you’ve probably convinced your baby sister or brother to do random, silly, and just plain stupid things purely for your own amusement. They’ll back you up when you’re trying to blackmail mum and dad by giving them the puppy dog eyes as well as covering up your own mishaps.
    Younger sisters or brothers deserve a treat for National Sibling Day. Check out toys and games from Poundstretcher

    5. Siblings are the link to your past. They’re the only people who you can reminisce about your parents and your childhood home with. You’ve watched each other grow wrinkly, fat, thin, and everything in between but that doesn’t matter to them because you’re their sibling.
    get all you need at a great value for your family gatherings from Poundstretcher

    6. You have a lot of material on your older siblings… which is really useful when you want to get your own way. Want the last biscuit? Casually mention that you may know who broke the green house window last Summer. Looking to borrow their party outfit? Maybe you know who unravelled all the toilet paper to TP the neighbour’s house last Halloween? Older siblings think they’re the boss but secretly the youngsters have them wrapped around their little finger!
    Siblings may argue but they love each other!

    7. It’s really annoying if they’re more attractive than you… but while they may have the beauty, you know you got the brains of the family.
    Celebrate your brother or sister on April 10th!

    8. It’s irritating when they’re smarter than you… but while they may be a know-it-all, at least you got the beauty genes of the family!
    Get creative and smart kids some children's books and stationary from Poundstretcher

    9. You don’t need words. Just one raise of an eyebrow or smirk can tell you what your brother or sister is thinking. It’s a secret sibling language that is so unique that only you understand.
    Have a laugh for National Siblings Day

    10. Most importantly, they’ll support you no matter what. Having a sibling means you have a lifetime of support no matter what… even if they don’t really know what to do to help. They don’t have to call you every day but you know they’ll come over when you need them. Sometimes just being there with a cup of tea and chocolate is enough – just make sure it’s your sibling who is treating you!
    You'll find great children's toys and gifts at great value from your local Poundstretcher

    Celebrating National Sibling Day? Why not browse our fabulous range of offers on food and homeware to get your sibling something nice to show your appreciation? Find your nearest Poundstretcher store here.

  • Go Green For Earth Day!

    Go Green For Earth Day!

    Did you miss out on Earth Hour? Never fear, Earth Day is here!

    Every year on April 22nd thousands of people across the globe pledge to become more environmentally friendly.

    So in keeping with the seventies spirit of the movement, how about some simple tips for saving the earth through sustainability?

    1. Get some sun with solar

    Our solar lights are fantastic value for money, eco friendly and beautiful bargains!

    From fairy lights, garden stake lights, and cute sun jars that’ll look as cute in your bedroom as they do on your patio, solar has gone from being a fad to home essential. Using a solar panel to recharge the batteries, the sky is the limit with solar.

    1. Eat less meat

    A vegetarian and vegan diet is a great way to celebrate Earth Day

    With the success of Veganuary, thousands have pledged to eat less animals to take the strain off of the environment. After all, mother earth has enough on her plate! With mass produced meat wasting gallons of water and electricity just to feed the animals we’re eating, even one day meat free helps. It’s a great way to get the kids eating healthy and learning about new dishes while also being surprisingly cheap! Why not give it a try this year for Earth Day and start your own Free From Friday or Meat Free Monday each week?

    1. Make your own natural cleaning products

    With simple household essentials, you can make your own earth friendly cleaning products

    Always cleaning up after your mini beasts? Why not make your own household cleaner from natural ingredients? The supplies are cheap and there’s no harmful chemicals that could be dangerous for the little ones and your four legged friends. All you need is white vinegar, baking soda, salt, water, and a few drops of lemon for a fresh zesty scent. Mix it all together in a squirty spray bottle and you can wipe away dirt from your kitchen sides without worry.

    5. Plant more flowers and food
    You can find cheap value gardening accessories at Poundstretcher

    Trees and plants help us to breathe by releasing oxygen and absorbing the carbon dioxide we breathe out. So with more greenery being destroyed, we need to plant more to make up for the loss. Fortunately planting can be really fun for kids and stress busting for adults! Get the kids excited about healthy fruits and veggies by growing your own seeds and start giving back to the environment starting this Earth Day. It’ll add more ingredients to your meat free day, even if it’s just a few herbs in hanging planters on your flat’s balcony. Every small eco action adds up!

    6. Change your bulbs
    Energy saving lightbulbs are a great way to start being eco friendly

    This one seems a bit obvious but you’d be surprised that many people forget about energy saving light bulbs! These little beauties reduce your carbon footprint and your electricity bill so of course, they should be a staple in every home. Especially households helping the environment!

    Want to make a start at going green for Earth Day? Check out our fantastic gardening range full of seeds, tools, and solar lights to start your eco activist adventure!

    Let us know on Facebook and Twitter what you’re up to on Earth Day and how you plan on helping to save the world one light bulb at a time!

     

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