Monthly Archives: February 2017

  • Greenfinger's Guide To Growing

    Greenfinger's Guide To Growing

    A big hello from the Poundstretcher garden! Allow me to introduce myself. The name’s Greenfinger, Gregory Greenfinger -Poundstretcher’s very own gardening expert, and I’m here to help you with all your gardening needs!

    To make things easier, I’ll be running monthly blogs to help you find the best time to plant your favourite flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables - and I’ll even throw in some ideas of how to use them in your kitchen too!

    So if you’ve been bitten by the gardening bug and want to get passionate about planting, then take a look at my guide to growing in February!

    planting

    Getting Started

    Small Spaces

    Before you start planting any seeds, it’s very important to prepare the ground first. While most seeds can be planted outdoors, it’s key to note that if you’ve not got much room you should sow your seeds in trays or propagators (a small tray with a see through lid) first. That way you’ll give your plants a great head start before you plant them in the ground!

    If you need a hand with supplies, I suggest picking up some  propagation sets and some fibre pots, along with one of our fantastic walk in greenhouses from Poundstretcher's great gardening accessories range to get you started!

    getplanting

    Large Spaces

    If you’re lucky enough to have a huge garden, then you don’t have to worry about plating your seeds inside first. You do however need to prepare the ground before you start to sow anything – and the first thing you need to think about is weeding!

    weeding

    Weeding

    Get rid of any pesky plants that you don’t want growing in your garden, by digging them out by the root. This will ensure that they won’t make a reappearance later down the line, and ruin the appearance of your garden.  Just remember that while people generally use the term “weeds” for plants such as dandelions and nettles, it actually just refers to any plants that you don’t want to see in your garden!

    I recommend picking up one of Poundstretcher’s hand trowels or hand forks, along with some trusty gardening gloves to give you a hand with the ground work!

    Soil Improvement

    Once you’ve removed all the weeds from your garden, you can then move on to improving your soil. This just means making the texture a little bit easier for the roots to grow in, so it’s easier for them to get to all the nutrients and water in the ground.

    The best way to do this is by firstly applying loads of organic compost to the soil. You can either buy a bag of it from any home and gardening store, or you can try making your own from things like shredded paper, vegetable peelings, mowed grass, and even the tops of any weeds you dug up!

    After you’ve applied all your compost, you then need to move on to the fertilizer. While compost is typically used to reduce nutrient deficiencies in your plants, fertilizers are used boost the soil’s structure and fertility - so it’s really important to apply both to your soil. Again, you can buy your own fertilizer, or make your own by aging and drying manure for at least 6 months (if you happen to have any lying around) and applying it to your plant beds.

    Just remember that if you’re starting your garden from scratch or you’re using clay based soils, it’s best to do all the preparation the winter before you plant your seeds. And don’t think you’re off the hook if you’ve already got plants in your patch, as you’ll need to mulch their beds with some compost and fertiliser before growing season starts up again!

    digging

    Digging

    While you only really need to do this if you’re growing fruits or veg, digging is a very important part of ground preparation. Helping to fluff up the soil, digging ensures that plant roots get enough air to aid their growth, allows for easier drainage to stop the roots from drowning, and generally makes it easier for roots break through the soil!

    While digging may seem pretty straightforward, old Greenfinger knows different! To get the best results, grab one of our digging spades along with a trusty gardening fork and some left over compost and fertilizer, and dig a straight 10inch trench in the area you want to plant in. Using your fork, dig in roughly 10cm of compost and fertilizer and spread it out across the trench before using your spade to dig another 10inch trench. You can then transfer the soil from the second trench into the first, so that it covers the compost and fertilizer.

    You’ll need to repeat these steps until you’ve dug the entire area you want to grow in. But make sure you remember to remove any weeds you see along the way, and break down any clumps of soil you come across while you go!

    seeds

    Planting

    Once you’ve got all the boring stuff out of the way, you can start thinking about what you want to plant! No matter if you want to start your own allotment, or you’re just fanatical about flowers, I’ll be on hand every month with hints and tips for what to sow! February is the best time to plant:

    crsyanthmum

    Dahlia Flowers

    Flowers

    sweet pea

    Sweet Pea Flowerslantern

    Chinese Lanternssnapdragon Antirrhinum

    dinsey-set

    Garlic

    Herbs

    • Basil
    • Oregano
    • Thyme
    • Sage
    • Dill
    • Garlic

    rosemary

    Thymesage

    Sagebasil

    Basil

    pepper

    Peppers

    Veg

    • Broccoli
    • Lettuce
    • Onions
    • Peppers
    • Tomatoes

    lettuce

    Lettuce

    Featured Recipe

    With all this great food at your fingertips, how could you not get excited about eating it? That’s why every week along with my tips about what to plant; I’ll be treating you to a featured dish to help you make best use of your produce in the kitchen!

    This week’s featured dish: Broccoli and sage pasta. A quick, easy and really tasty way to use your garden produce!

    So if you’ve been bitten by the gardening bug, and you want to try your hand at growing some greens, then pop over to your local Poundstretcher to grab some supplies today!

  • It's Love Your Pet Day!

    It's Love Your Pet Day!

    If you’ve got a four legged furry friend, and you can’t get enough of showing them love, then you’ll be glad to know that on Monday the 20th of February, it just so happens to be love your pet day!

    Mother’s day can move over, father’s day can take a back seat, Valentine’s Day? What’s that? ‘Cause the only day we care about that’s dedicated to celebrating a loved one, is love your pet day!

    Every pet owner knows that the love we have for your animals is rivaled by none. They brighten our worlds, they lighten our lives, they love us unconditionally, and in return we feed them and hope they understand how much they mean to us.

    Sure we sometimes tell them off or shout at them, but we pay for these crimes with that look they give us when we do it.

    While we can never truly explain to them how much they make our lives better, we can shower them with gifts and hope they get the idea! So no matter if you’ve got a dashing doggo, or a cuddly kitty, we’ve got what you need to make Love Your Pet Day one they’ll never forget!

    dog

     

     

    Dogs

    What would we do without man’s best friend, ey? With the wag of their tails, and those big love-filled eyes. Not to mention the sheer excitement on their little faces every time they see us/ something shiny/ a squirrel – who couldn’t love dogs? Well if your gifting ideas are clouded by your adoration for your canine pal, then worry not as we’ve got loads of great gifts to choose from in our dog supply section!

    Tasty Treats

    Pamper your pooch with loads of tasty treats on their special day of appreciation! Why not pick up a few bags of Good Boy chewy meaty twisters or some ridiculously tasty Jumbone beef dog treats! Packed full of succulent meat and loaded with vitamins and minerals, you can give your dog a delicious treat AND keep your playful pal happy and healthy!

    treats

    And if you want to push the boat out and really indulge your dog, then we suggest grabbing a bag of our delectable duck sausages! Jam packed with a delicious duck filling, your dog will definitely feel the love thanks to these special (occasional!) treats.

    Toys

    There’s nothing better in this world than seeing how happy you make your dog, and we all know that the best way to do that is with loads of terrific toys!

    Pack way more fun into playtime with your pooch, with some of our great dog toys! Watch them go wild over this crazy rubber pet toy, and make fetch way more fun with this fantastic sounding pet ball! But if you want to take a more tender approach to the day, you can always pick up one of our adorable plush monkeys – after all, they are your baby!

    pet-toys

    Rest and Relaxation

    Thanks to our extensive selection of pet products, the pampering doesn’t have to stop when it’s time to turn in! If you’ve tuckered out your precious pooch after a day full of excitement, then send them off to sleep in one of our luxurious pet beds! Whether you’re a fan of the traditional style plush pet beds, the practical mattress designs, or you’re more into the glamourous contemporary styles, we’re pretty sure we’ll have just what you need to prove your love for your pooch!

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    Cats

    While we all adore a cute little kitty, it’s fair to say that gaining a cat’s affection is significantly harder than getting a dog’s. While our poochy pals will freely throw their love at us, we have to really work to get into a cat’s good books. But thanks to our extensive collection of cat supplies, we’ve made it so much easier to win them over!

    Tasty Treats

    Although your cat doesn’t get quite as excited as dogs do about food, they still love a good treat! Spoil your little darling with some Dreamies cat treats, coming in tasty chicken or scrumptious salmon!

    dreamies

    Toys  

    While you’re feline friend may not be as hyperactive as your pooch, that doesn’t mean they don’t love to play! We suggest getting over to Poundstretcher to pick up one of our amazing play cubes and cat tunnels, to give them countless hours of fun!

    tunnel---cube

    And if your cat is crazy about keeping their claws perfectly sharp, why not invest in one of our great scratching posts or cat trees – letting them scratch and claw to their hearts content without the worry of being told off!

    scratching-post

    Rest and Relaxation

    We all know that every cat’s favourite past time is snooze. Whether it’s on the floor in front of the fire, or directly on top on something incredibly important – your cat really isn’t fussy. So why not make them that little bit more comfortable with one of our cute cat igloos? Perfectly plush and soft to the touch, you cat will feel like the royalty it already thinks it is, thanks to its purrfect new bed!

    purrrfect-sleep

    And if your feisty friend is a fan of snoozing on your radiator (most likely on top of the clothes you’ve just hung out to dry) then our amazing radiator bed is the perfect purchase for you!  Now your cat can be free to doze off in their favourite place, without the worry of being scolded just for getting comfy!

    rabbit

    Smaller Animals

    For those of you who’ve got a smaller furry friend, you’ll be happy to know that we also cater to them too! Take a look at our small animal supplies to get few ideas about how to spoil your petite pets, including our range of tasty treats, and bouncy bedding!

    So if you’re ready to celebrate and show your pet some love, get yourself down to your local Poundstretcher or your nearest Pet Hut to pick up some supplies today!

  • The Savvy Parent's Guide To Half Term

    The Savvy Parent's Guide To Half Term

    So the kids are off, they’re full of energy, and they’re expecting their much anticipated half term to be filled with all manner of cool stuff to brag about when they get back to school. No problem, right? You’ll just whisk them away to some tropical island that’s always hot, is made of sweets, and is populated by all 802 Pokémon – easy.

    For those of us who don’t live in a fantasy world, coming up with ideas for half term that’re both fun and within our budget is slightly more difficult. While you’ll always have old faithful’s like a trip to the cinema or a wander around town, you can’t exactly fill an entire week with them - and even if you could, you want your kids to have a bit more fun than that anyway, don't you?

    Well luckily for you, Poundstretcher has just what you need to keep your kids entertained this week!

    loomz

    Arts and Crafts

    Let’s be real – while we’re all praying it won’t, it’s probably going to rain/ be cold/ be windy for the entire half term. But don’t worry ‘cause with our great range of arts and crafts kits, we’ve definitely got something to keep the kids occupied if you end up being stuck indoors this week.

    Why not see this as a chance to get the creative juices flowing and even learn a brand new skill? With the help of our incredibly fun craft kits, you can hold your child’s attention, and (if you’re lucky) get them into a brand new hobby!

    Give each other a stylish make over with the help of our Super Loomz Deluxe kit! Packed full of bands, beads, charms, and clips, along with a helpful loom board, this is the perfect kit for any budding fashionista!

    But if glam isn’t your kids jam and they’re more into traditional crafts, you could always introduce them to the wonderful world of knitting! Our super cool knit kit comes with 4 colourful yarns, a hoop needle, and some handy instructions on how to knit their very own hat! But don’t worry if they fall in love with the craft so fast that they run out of wool, as we also stock loads of yarn –meaning they’re free to try out loads more patterns and colours!

    And if you’ve got a budding scientist in your sights, you can blow their mind with this amazing solar robot kit! Educational and exciting, this cool character can be transformed into 14 equally exhilarating robot modes, including a crawling crab and a flashy speedster! Plus, with the added bonus of it taking on both land and water, we’re pretty sure you’ll be just as excited about it as your child!

    dinsey-set

    And if your kid’s more arts than crafts, you can always pick up one of our great Disney themed art sets, and sit back and watch as they nurture their natural artistic talent!

    Outdoor Activities

    If by some miracle it’s actually warm enough to venture outside this half term, then you’re going to want to take a look at our great range of sporting equipment!

    outdoor-toys

    Combine the thrill of friendly competitive fun, with the kick of staying fit and active! With loads of great sporting sets to choose from including our cracking cricket kit, the glorious golf set, and our terrific tennis gear – you’ll have to start thinking of ways to get them back inside!

    camping

    Camping

    If you’ve got itchy feet and are dying to get away, but you’ve just not got the funds to go abroad, then why not dig the tent out and take the family camping! With our extensive range of camping gear including our very useful picnic mat and travel rug, tent ground sheet, plastic cups and the all-important disposable BBQ set – you could give the kids the exciting trip away you’ve all been craving!

    disposable-BBQ

    So if you’re stuck for ideas for on how to make this half term a humdinger, then get yourself down to your local Poundstretcher and pick up some supplies today!

  • How To Spring Clean Like A Pro

    How To Spring Clean Like A Pro

    It’s that time of year again. Christmas is over, you’ve got loads of new stuff that you haven’t found a home for yet, and you’ve still not tidied up from all the festive fun you had.

    Let’s face it, now that we’re nearly half way through February (what!?) none of us have any excuse for putting off the all-important spring clean for any longer. But luckily for you, that’s where the lovely people over at Poundstretcher come in.

    No matter if you’re stuck for storage space or you just aren’t that crazy about cleaning, the Poundstretcher team are on hand and ready to help you sail through your 2017 spring clean!

    Cleaning

    Mould Removal

    While we all know that a good hearty squirt of bleach will do wonders for your toilet bowl and drains, it can also be used to rid your home from the bane of all our lives – MOULD.

    bathroom

    Tiles

    If mould and mildew between your tiles is ruining what would (obviously) be a perfect bathroom, why not try mixing equal parts of bleach and water together in an empty spray bottle, and targeting the affected areas. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing it with a good stiff cleaning brush and rising thoroughly. You can even try this out if you just want your grout to look a little bit whiter too!

    Try it yourself!

    You’ll need:

    Bleach and brushes (don’t forget your rubber gloves!)

    showercurtain

    Shower Curtains

    Picture the scene. You’ve just found the perfect shower curtain to match your meticulously decorated bathroom. A few months of happiness pass, as you and your shower curtain live in blissful harmony with one another - that is until the day it happens. The day the mould appears. Surely you’ll have to throw your precious shower curtain away now, but where will you get another as beautiful as this?

    Well worry not as Poundstretcher is here to save the day! We suggest pre-washing your shower curtain in warm water with a few of your bath towels, and popping in some laundry liquid and a tiny bit of bleach. You can then run it through the washing machine on its lowest temperature for a maximum of 10 minutes, before immediately hanging it out to dry –voila!

    Try it yourself!

    You’ll need:

    Bleach and Laundry Liquid

    cleaning-lady

    Window Cleaning 

    When it comes to spring cleaning we’re all guilty of forgetting about our windows. Be honest, when was the last time the words “I need to clean the windows” genuinely came out of your mouth? Even when we do muster up the willpower to do it, we very rarely do it properly because that’ll take ages, right? Well think again, ‘cause with our help, you’ll not only realise that it’s pretty easy to do, it’s actually weirdly satisfying too!

    Start by using a brush to sweep around the corners of the window, that way you’ll get rid of any excess dust that’ll get in your way later. You can then use some warm water and a bit of window spray to wipe down the glass. Just make sure you don’t use too much spray as you’ll end up with streaky windows!

    Once you’ve finished get rid of any excess water with a clean squeegee, but make sure you keep wiping it with a cloth to stop any dirt transfer. Then use a clean microfiber cloth to ensure the window is totally dry.

    Finally, use a wad of crumpled up newspaper to buff the window and achieve a professionally cleaned look that’ll be the envy of your street!

    Try it yourself!

    You’ll need:

    A dustpan and brush, window cleaner, a window cleaning set and a microfiber cloth

    cleaning3

    Mopping

    While it’s one of the easiest chores to do, mopping is also the most boring by far. But if you do it right, it means you won’t have to do it quite as much – meaning you’ll have way more time to do absolutely anything else!

    Start off by hoovering or sweeping your floor to stop any dirt transferring later. You can then fill up a mop bucket with boiling water, and squeeze in a bit of all-purpose cleaner. Once you’ve done this you can then quickly and easily wipe your floor, but be sure to keep ringing out your mop as you go!

    Try it yourself!

    You’ll need:

    A Mop, a mop bucket, a broom (or hoover), and some all-purpose cleaning fluid

    Storage

    Now that Christmas is over, we’ve all got loads of stuff that’s just *about*, because we just don’t have enough places to store everything. Everywhere from the living room, to that little room that’s full of stuff you don’t want to look at, but for some reason you won’t throw away (don’t lie, we know you have one) is just full of…things. Where will they go? You really don’t know! How did they get there? You have no idea! Do you even need them? Definitely yes.

    Well luckily for you, we just so happen to have loads of great storage solutions to get your home back to the tidy haven it used to be!

    livingroom

    Wooden Storage Crates

    Add a bit of rustic chic to your home with our great range of wooden storage crates. Lending a cute rural vibe to your place, these quirky crates are ideal for storing everything from chargers and cables, to books and DVDs! With a variety of designs to choose from including plain, "Bits and Bobs" and the very cute “Home Sweet Home” pattern, there’s really no excuse not to get one.

    Havana Boxes

    If you’ve come over all girly and just so happen to also need some extra storage in your room, then have a look at our gorgeous Havana storage boxes. Choose from 4 stunning designs including butterfly, leaf, floral or black and white, and finally house your homeless items.

    kids-bedroom

    Kids Storage

    But what about the kids room? We hear you shout. We’ll we’ve got storage for them too! Thanks to our super cute and kid friendly pieces including this happy luggage case, and the friendly frog box, you can (attempt to) keep your children’s rooms tidy all year round.

    slippers

    Under Bed Storage

    Don’t worry, we aren’t going to pretend that we don’t hide stuff under our beds too! But now we’ve made it so much easier thanks to our super useful under bed storage boxes. Gone are the days when you had to go through every box to find the 1 thing you were looking for, as our handy boxes have a see through base that’ll help you save time when you’re on the hunt for your stuff.

    So if you’re in the mood for a spring clean, then get yourself down to your local Poundstretcher and pick up some supplies today!

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