Gift Ideas

  • 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.

  • Budget Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

    Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and it’s often the most thoughtful gifts that make the best impression with your loved ones!

    To help you make 2015 a Valentine’s Day to remember, the team here at Poundstretcher have put together 4 budget Valentine’s Day ideas that will show your partner how much you care, but still allowing you to stick within your price bracket on this special day.

    Bake Cute Cupid Cupcakes

    Budget Valentine’s Day 1

    For the Red Velvet cupcakes:
    • 350g plain flour
    • 450g sugar
    • 1 tbs cocoa powder
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 2 eggs
    • 225ml vegetable oil
    • 225ml buttermilk
    • 1 tbs vinegar
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1-2 oz red food colouring

    To make these romantic Valentine’s Day cupcakes, first preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Whisk the eggs and add all the liquid ingredients, combining thoroughly. In another bowl mix together the dry ingredients, then add the liquid mixture and stir thoroughly. Pour the mixture into cupcake papers (the recipe should provide around 24 cupcakes) and bake for 20 minutes.

    For the icing:
    • 8 oz cream cheese
    • 225g soft butter
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 840g icing sugar

    Beat together the cream cheese and butter until creamy, then add the vanilla. Sift in the sugar and use the mixture to top the cooled cupcakes. Finish off your cupcakes with heart-shaped toppers to show off all your hard work, and enjoy.

    Shop the full range of kitchen essentials to create your cupcakes here on the Poundstretcher website.

    Cook Breakfast in Bed

    What could feel more special - or more romantic - than breakfast in bed? This cute heart-shaped eggs in a basket idea is the perfect start to your Valentine’s day.

    Budget Valentine’s Day 2

    Simply cut a heart shape out of a large, thick slice of bread. Fry or grill the bread gently on one side while you crack an egg into a bowl, separating the white and the yolk.

    Then place the bread, cooked side down, in a frying pan over a gentle heat and pour a little of the egg white into the heart-shaped hole. Top it off with the yolk and cook until the egg is done to perfection. Serve with tea or coffee, a big smile and a kiss!

    Run a candle lit bath

    Why not run your loved one a relaxing warm and scented bath packed with bubbles this Valentines? Turn out the lights and add some candles for the ultimate relaxing soak. We’ve got a great selection of scented candles to choose from here at Poundstretcher, available from only £2.99.

    Budget Valentine’s Day 3

    Budget Valentine’s Day 4

    Create Picture Perfect Memories

    For a thoughtful and inexpensive gift idea, simply find a number of photos of you and your loved one from a special occasion or memory. Print off, and fit them into a multi-frame to showcase all of your happy memories! We have a selections of cheap photo frames from only £1.99.

    Budget Valentine’s Day 5

    Do you have any great, cost effective Valentine’s Day gift ideas?
    Share your ideas with us on the Poundstretcher Facebook page!

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