• Recipe: Devilicious Halloween Cookies

    These devilicious cookies are the perfect treat for your ghoulish guests this Halloween!  Use our cookie cutters to create spooky shapes then get creative with your icing to really make these cookies spooktacular!

    Preparation time: 1 to 2 hours

    Cooking time: 10 to 30 mins

    Serves: 20


    • 250g/9oz unsalted butter, softened
    • 250g/9oz golden caster sugar
    • 2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • 500g/1lb 2oz plain flour
    • red and black food colouring (optional)
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • Halloween-themed cookie cutters
    • red, white and black writing icing
    • 200g/7oz ready-to-roll fondant icing
    • 1 tbsp apricot jam, warmed with 1tsp water


    1. Beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl, preferably using an electric mixer, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. (If the mixture looks a little curdled, add a spoonful of the flour.) If you’re using food colouring, add a few drops to the mixture.

    2. Sift together the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Stir the flour into the butter mixture and work into a dough using floured hands. Turn onto a floured work surface and knead into a ball (the dough will be quite wet). Divide the dough into two portions, wrap in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for at least one hour.

    3. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

    4. Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm/¼in thickness on lightly floured work surface. (It’s best to roll out one portion of the dough at a time, leaving the remainder in the fridge.) Cut shapes out with the Halloween cutters. Take a few limbs and heads off the gingerbread man for added gore.

    5. Place the cookies onto the baking tray, leaving a gap between them in case they spread a little.

    6. Bake for 12-15 minutes, leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.

    7. Once cool, let your imagination run wild. Use the red writing icing along the edges of the missing limbs and heads as blood. For the skeletons and mummies, roll the fondant icing out to a 0.5cm/¼in thickness on a work surface dusted with icing sugar and cut out shapes using the same cutters as the cookies. Brush the cookies with the warmed apricot jam and stick the icing onto the cookies. Decorate with the white and black writing icing.

    Recipe credit: BBC Food

  • 8 MUST-READ books that became huge Blockbusters!

    book lover book pile

    You’ve seen the stories on the big screen but have you read the books?

    To celebrate #ReadABookDay we’ve put together a collection of MUST-READ books– in all kinds of genres– so that even if you’ve already seen the films, there’s something to suit everyone!

    Whether you’re looking for a meatier novel than your typical holiday read, or you fancy a better way to spend the commute to work than scrolling through Facebook, jump into these page-turners!

    Good Housekeeping Image Good Housekeeping Image

    The Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling (1997 – 2007)


    You might think the whole Daniel Radcliffe/Rupert Grint/Emma Watson combo is gripping, interesting and even, from time to time, quite humorous, but that is just the tip of the Marauder’s Map...

    harry potter who are you

    You might think, who am I to disregard the films so flippantly—especially since they are, after all, the 4th highest-grossing film franchise of all time—but the books are something else entirely!

    Not only will you discover important details that cannot be found in the films due to screen-time restraints, J. K. Rowling has that sort of infectious writing style that is unpretentious and accessible to most audiences, whilst being nail-bitingly gripping.

    WARNING: Possible side effects include: A clinical inability to put the books down resulting in lack of sleep and the possible hallucination of 'snitches' flying round your head...

    Harry potter ron


    Harry Potter collection

    Books in order:

    The Philosopher’s Stone

    The Chamber of Secrets

    The Prisoner of Azkaban

    The Goblet of Fire

    The Order of the Phoenix

    The Half-Blood Prince

    The Deathly Hallows

    Bridget Jones – Helen Fielding (1996)


    Arguably one of the most unlikely yet loved modern-day heroines to hit the screens, Bridget Jones has waddled her way through our screens since 2001. Shining an unforgiving light on the day-to-day trials of a single woman’s reality, she obliviously dresses inappropriately for work, is outrageously clumsy and makes more than one painful attempt to speak in public – and that’s just the tip of the Turkey Curry.


    As well as this, her choosing of bad relationships is something that anyone—not just women—can relate to… But Renée Zellweger hasn’t always been the face of this fearless female!

    Bridget Jones car

    The thirty-something’s journey began as a column in The Independent newspaper and was so popular it became a fully-fledged novel in 1996. Written by Helen Fielding, there are three books now to match the films and, yes, the films are nothing short of hilarious, but the quick-witted writing of Fielding will have you laughing out loud!

    Bridget Jones book

    REMEMBER: This book series is the perfect antidote to a bad mood. It’s difficult to feel glum when you’re following Bridget Jones and optimism even in the face of the many comical disasters!

    The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – J. R. R. Tolkien (1937, 1954)

    The One Ring

    You may have sat through many extended hours of Middle Earth’s ups and downs from the comfort of your own T.V. but, honestly, there is no better person to tell those lengthy stories about tiny, shoe-less men, magical jewellery and hugely dangerous journeys than J. R. R. Tolkien himself!

    The Hobbit everyone

    Although the journey to the end of the books may seem as demanding as Frodo’s trek to Mount Doom, why not warm up with the smaller, less intimidating-looking The Hobbit, before tackling the toilsome task of the 1000+ paged The Lord of the Rings trilogy?

    The sense of achievement when that ring finally gets tossed into the molten lava of Mordor and destroyed forever is more emotional than Boromir’s untimely (but necessary) death.

    REMEMBER: “A day may come when the courage of men [to read the book and not just watch the film] will fail… but it is not this day”

    – Aragorn, The Black Gate.



    Books in order:

    The Hobbit

    The Fellowship of the Ring

    The Two Towers

    The Return of the King

    P. S. I Love you – Cecelia Ahern (2003)

    ps I love you main

    You may remember this to be the film that everyone left the cinema screen resembling members of the glam rock band ‘Kiss’, but if you forgot your waterproof mascara to the cinema last time, make sure you remember it this time when you pick up the book!

    PS I love you kiss film

    Like the film, the book by Cecelia Ahern is funny, quirky and fresh, as well as being devilishly sad. Not for the faint-hearted, Ahern tells the story of a wife learning to deal with the death of her beloved husband through love letters sent seemingly from ‘beyond the grave’.

    PS I love you

    But, despite the film being, at times, inconsolably sad, thanks to The Pogues and some very convincing acting, the book will do more to your emotions than you could ever imagine. The jokes are magnified, the characters are deeper and the grief is suffocating – a MUST READ. Yes, there is a distinct lack of Gerard Butler’s cheeky charm and Lisa Kudrow’s raw wit, but what the book lacks in performance, it makes up for in words. Trust me.

    TOP TIP: Probably best to avoid reading it in public but, if you do, waterproof mascara is a MUST!

    Nothing Lasts Forever – Roderick Thorp (1979)

    die-hard ACTUAL

    Whilst Die Hard is arguably one of the highest ranked Christmas films, why not have a read of the Roderick Thorp novel Nothing Lasts Forever that was the inspiration behind the blockbuster hit?


    Following a similar story arc, a retired NYPD detective finds himself in a sticky situation on Christmas Eve, becoming targeted by a group of terrorists within the walls of a skyscraper. But even without the classic eighties happy ending and Bruce Willis in a tank top, you’ll still be on the edge of your seat, ‘Yippie Kay-Yay’ing all the way through!


    The Jurassic Park Series – Michael Crichton (1990, 1995)


    Now, most people have seen the timeless Spielberg adaptation, Jurassic Park that stormed the cinemas in 1993, however not many people might have bothered to pick up the two Michael Crichton novels released from 1990 that inspired the whole concept.

    Strip away the exhaustive arrogance of Jeff Goldblum, the dramatized backing music and Richard Attenborough’s ‘Father Christmas’-esque portrayal of the park owner, John Hammond and you’ll begin to get a sense of how the books differ.


    Strangely sinister, epically exciting and action-packed, the books are not to be missed out on. So, fasten your seatbelts because this story will be bumpier than a ride in one of those Park cars being chased by a herd of Raptors!

    Books in order:

    Jurassic Park

    The Lost World

    One Day – David Nicholls (2009) 


    one day film image

    Now, this film became famous for more than just the heart-wrenching story. This was the film to prove that, no matter how many acting awards you’ve won over the years, a Leeds accent is still a tricky one to execute.

    The film’s story is a close parallel to the book’s—a typical story of boy meets girl, then life takes over and drives them in different directions, naturally creating a ‘will they, won’t they?’ scenario throughout.


    Whilst the film managed to maintain some of the warmth and intelligence found in the book, it is dreadfully let down by Anne Hathaway’s uneven West Yorkshire accent. Described as ‘totally inconsistent’ by fans, the heroine, Emma Morley (Hathaway), dips between an uppity BBC news reporter and a non-descript Lancashirian, which gets so irritating towards the end that the shock of her death is more of a relief that she’s stopped talking than anything else.

    one day film 2

    At least in the book, you don’t have to wince every time 'Emma' opens her mouth, plus it sparks ounces more charm, humour and emotion than the films captures so grab a copy!

    The Shining – Stephen King (1977)


    You may remember a frenzied Jack Nicholson shoving his head through the axe-wounded bathroom door and introducing himself as someone called ‘Johnny’? Well if you thought that was scary enough, you obviously have never read the Stephen King original novel.

    Hold on to your crayons because it’s about to get ‘redruM’!

    red rum shining

    “Surely it can’t be as scary as the film…?”, you might say. Without the screechy music, snappy edits and Nicholson’s gut flipping, core-shaking performance at being a nutcase, it’s surely nowhere near as scary!

    But you’d be gravely mistaken.

    King is known for many things but mainly that he is THE scare-King when it comes to his stories. Horror knows no boundaries with his writing. This book will literally reach up from the page and, with unyielding hands, drag you in to the nightmarish Overlook Hotel where everything is ten times scarier and the caretaker Jack is even more chilling.

    the shining book

    TOP TIPS: Make sure you have a good supply of soothing drinks (Hot Chocolate, Horlicks – you know the kind), try to avoid reading it when you’re home alone and, for goodness sake, DO NOT read it before bed!

    Final say…

    So whether you’re a bookworm or a film fiend, these books will have you either gripped, giggling, sobbing or cowering behind your sofa so switch off the tele today and get reading!

    Harry potter herminoe


  • The HOW TO guide: doing Father's Day on a budget!

    shutterstock_428112886 It’s that time of year again to celebrate that legendary man whose life teachings became fundamental pillar blocks to your general success as a human being!

    The Man who introduced you to The Matrix. The Man whose years of nagging carved you into a professional ‘light-switcher-off’er. The Man who, in the face of blackened skies and torrential rain, would stand by his decision for a family camping trip, insisting that, surely, it’ll ‘brighten up soon’... Yes, it's that time of the year to celebrate the man we all call: 'Dad'.

    The Legend The Legend

    Whilst on Mother’s day a bouquet of daffodils and a card usually suffices, father’s can be slightly trickier creatures to get right in the present department, especially when you’re on a budget! So instead of trudging around shops searching for the flashiest gadget or electronic device to set you back a month’s rent, why not go for something a little less excessive and a little more personal?

    Give your Dad something more personal this Father's Day Giving your Dad something more personal this Father's Day could be just the trick!

    Here’s a couple of ideas HOW TO show your Dad just how much you appreciate him telling you off all those times he caught you opening various objects with your teeth, whilst also being savvy with your pennies!

    Wake him up with a feast!

    According to reliable sources like all reputable cereal companies or anyone’s mum, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And, for the majority of the general public, Sunday morning lie-ins are at a superior enjoyment level to most other activities and should be engaged in whenever possible. So, for your dad this year, why not get up an hour earlier, peel your eyes away from your pillows or Xbox screen and make him Breakfast in Bed!

    A Breakfast Banquet A Breakfast Banquet

    But before you panic that your cooking skills are less than acceptable, remember— your dad is not Gordon Ramsey. He is not going to start bashing his fist on the lap tray if the croissants you might have forgotten about in the oven are a little crispier than humanly edible...

    To save disappointment on both parties, however, why not make life easy for yourself?

    Pancake Stack with juicy berries and a generous dusting of achievement! Pancake Stack with juicy berries and a generous dusting of achievement!

    Pancakes are a guaranteed crowd pleaser, so make sure you get a non stick frying pan to flip them about the place easily until perfectly cooked. Or until they end up on the floor…

    And if you want to create something a little more fancy, why not get yourself an egg poacher and go with a show-stopping ‘Eggs Benedict’?

    Eggs Benedict Eggs Benedict

    Whether he’s a Full English kind of bloke, welcoming any amounts of fried extras, or he’s the sort of man who drenches his muesli in hot water, at Poundstretcher, we’ve got a huge range of kitchen products—from muffin trays to mini frying pans, so you can give your Dad an impressive breakfast he hasn’t had to make himself for less!

    The Mighty Full English The Mighty Full English

    Go on— push the TOAST out!

    Get him off the sofa and into a deck chair!

    The next job on the agenda is to make sure that, under no circumstances, must your dad get involved in his usual weekend jobs this Sunday. No mowing the lawn. No fiddling with the boiler. And absolutely nothing involving him climbing under the family Volvo in his 17 year old, oil-stained Ferrari T-Shirt and a screwdriver…

    Father and Son in the sun Father and Son in the sun

    Father’s Day is about him relaxing and enjoying himself so, after his ‘world-class’ breakfast, why not get a little picnic together, round up the family and head down to the local park or beach and catch some rays?

    Kit yourself out with a picnic blanket, outdoor plates, party drinks bottles, sharing bowls filled with crisps, homemade salad or nuts. And don’t forget a cool box to keep your drinks cool and your sandwiches intact!shutterstock_444547879

    If you’re less about the ‘planning and prep’ side of eating al fresco, why not pick up a couple of disposable BBQs and a bag of assorted meat and veg to get on the grill? The important thing is to get your dad in a comfy chair under the sun with something to keep him occupied, like a Paper or a beer. Then you could probably feed him just about anything!

    Obviously, it’s important not to forget the naughty nibbles for afters! Since here at Poundstretcher we always have an endless supply of amazing confectionary deals­— like boxes of 120g Maltesers and bags of Mars Mini-bites for just £1­— you can satisfy, not only your dad’s sweet-tooth, but the rest of your family’s as well!

    Family Fun Family Fun

    So, take a break from the tele and make sure you get your family out this Father’s Day!

    And a few added extras, because everyone loves a surprise!

    Obviously if you fancy getting him a few little treats— some Father’s day stocking fillers— then we have some amazing deals on gifts for him too! With our range of Umbro 100ml Eau de Toilette only £1.49, the brand new collection of our Classic and Cavailia branded boxer shorts and the amazing deals on summer socks, you can still surprise him with a few goodies without breaking your budget!

    So, whatever your budget, make sure your Dad feels like a King this Father's Day! Because, let's be honest, that's exactly what he is!shutterstock_395530639

  • Fresher's Week Tips And Necessities To Survive!

    Fresher's Week Tips And Necessities To Survive!

    With fresher’s week around the corner, there’s a lot of buzz and excitement students off to uni and many tears from their parents! But fear not mums and dads, we have put together a list of tips and necessities to ensure your young one stays safe.

    So students, here’s how to survive fresher’s!

    1. Stock up on all the Red Bull. There is going to be endless nights where you’ve left assignments to the last minute. Plus there’s nothing like a little kick of energy in the morning before an early lecture.

    man waving his arms in the air

    2. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep! Even though there’s plenty of energy in a can of Red Bull, you must ensure they get at least 8 hours asleep to keep healthy and make sure you always energised. Grab one of our Boston Duvets to get that perfect night’s sleep!

    pooh bear cuddling up in to bed

    3.  SAVE! As soon as you get your student loan, the temptation to spend it all is real! Keep saving money on essentials and food by shopping at our store, we’re here for a reason!

    group of rapper throwing money- making it rain

    4. Fresher’s fair! This is where all the bargains are, stock up on as much as you can and grab those freebie coupons! You never know when they will come in handy.

    man counting his money with Bargaining flashed over the image

    5. Learn a recipe! Living off pot noodles for the entire three years isn’t going to do you good and you’ll soon get sick of it! Stock up on our kitchen utensils to become the pro chef you’re destined to be.

    cartoon character cooking holding a wooden spoon

    6. Fresher’s flu is real! If you’re lucky you might get it twice but make sure you take your medicine and vitamins to keep your body healthy!

    cartoon character lying in bed ill with red eyes and blue nose

    7. Toilet Roll! You don’t want to be that one who is the one left with no toilet roll! We have many offers on our toilet roll to make sure you’re never without.

    animated image of Emma Stone making funny faces

    8. Stick together! On a night out make sure you stay with all your friends and stay in the loop with each other through your group chats!

    Group of penguins jumping around in a field

    9. Have a cleaning rota! You don’t want to be that student house that is a mess at the start of fresher's week! You don’t want to wake up and go to the kitchen with warning post it notes everywhere!

    Sponge Bob Square Pants cleaning with multiple arms trying to do everything at once

    10. Have fun! You’re going to uni and living in a new place! Go explore and make new friends and make sure you get that hard earned degree at the end!

    Mouse and bird in looped arms dancing in circles

    Check out our previous blog post on getting all the essentials for fresher’s here! Find your local Poundstretcher here and check our amazing value back to uni range!

    Use #Poundstretcher on Twitter and Instagram so we can check out your Poundstretcher goods.  

  • The A To Z Of What Makes Us Smile

    The A To Z Of What Makes Us Smile

    It’s National Smile Month!

    National Smile Month is the UK’s big campaign to raise awareness about oral health and keeping your teeth squeaky clean.

    Our smile is a way that we express our happiness, which is often overlooked when people talk about their gnashers.

    So to celebrate National Smile Month, we thought we’d share an A-Z guide of the weird and wonderful things that make us smile:
    A row of different smiles wearing lipstick

    Awkward moments…because they’re funny, especially at glitzy award shows.Kanye West's infamous awkward moment at the MTV awards

    Bed… because there’s nothing better than rolling ourselves up in bedding like a burrito.

    Chocolate… a winning smile guaranteed!

    Dogs… there’s too many reasons to list why!
    Two women smiling with their dog on the grass

    Eyebrows… because if they’re not on point it’s a deal breaker.

    Friends and family… our two favourite F words!

    Gardening… proven to lower stress and makes your yard look beautiful.

    Hugs… a big bear hug always makes us smile after a bad day!

    Ice lollies… guaranteed to make you smile, especially if they’re homemade.
    3 Homemade Lollies

    Jack and Jill Bench Set…because everyone seems to love it!

    Knitting… it’s calming and also very necessary if you want to stay warm and stylish in a zombie apocalypse!

    Leicester winning the Premier League… definitely made us smile.

    Makeup… no matter what your gender, a good smoky eye is beautiful.

    Nescafe… because it makes us smile from 9am until 5pm.

    Oreos… because you can twist it, lick it, and dunk it!
    A stack of chocolate biscuits

    PDSA… their great work always makes our smiles beam with pride!

    Queen… both the band and Her Majesty!

    Reality TV… the trashier, the better.

    Sunshine… don’t forget the sun cream though!

    Tea… nothing beats a good cup of PG Tips in the morning.

    Unicorns… we believe, do you?
    Two unicorns with a cup of tea

    Vacations… everyone needs a good holiday to unwind and see the world.

    Weekends… because we get to sleep in, eat all the food, and relax!!

    Xanadu… the cheesy Olivia Newton John film is a camp classic! I mean, roller skates and neon brights? Yes!

    Yourself…try to find one thing each day about yourself that you like, you’re guaranteed to smile.

    Zzzap… who else remembers this nineties kids TV show on CiTV?!

    Be the reason someone smiles today illustration
    Want deals that are sure to make you grin with a beaming smile? Find your nearest Poundstretcher here.
    Have you entered our National Smile Month giveaway? Visit our Twitter and Facebook pages to enter!

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