Friday, 14 September 2012

Saving oney is good for your health

Just a quick Magic Bean for you today,

Something you may not think about when you get to University. Hopefully they've had you change your doctor to a srugery near the University. But they may not have told you about the NHS Low Income Support certificate you can get for help with prescriptions, glass and dentisitry

I don't want to tell you false infromation so I've just popped a link down for you here. Fill in a form and send it off (you can get a form from any GP)  and see if you qualify for help with prescription costs.

Have a good weekend Beans,
Much love,
Hannah Emily Rose.

P.S Dont forget to follow

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Food glorious food!


Hope all you Beans are well and settle into your new digs. Some of you will be frantically packing, other frantically unpacking, but take a chill pill just for a min and sit to read you fav blog!

Yesterday i did a little guide to moving in and realised that there was far to much to talk about in one post. So leets break it down a little bit more. So for you lucky beans today im taking you through a little guide to supermarket shopping

My Top 5 tips for Supermarket success

1. "Such a cheapskate" 
You've got to the store, you've nabbed your trolley where do you head..... All retail stores, including food shops have uber-smart and crafty retail people that creat a customer journey. It lead you round the store in a particular way "assisting" you but particular (more expensive) products. Dont fall for it. Most stores have reduced sections. My local tesco has two! Head there first!!! You may seem like a cheapskate to all your friend but this is one of the best ways of being able to afford some nicer products. Meat for example. The other day i picked up 6 pork loin steaks for £1.89., cooked one for me dinner and the rest went in the freezer. Cheap as chips!!! Well... actually cheaper

2. Jo Brand
Sorry No Brand! I know my puns really are dreadful. This is so simple and i know you all know it. But tesco shampoo and fancy shampoo - both wash your hair!!!!!! Tesco value ham, tastes pretty darn similar to the branded stuff! Cereal is the worst offender. Some of my housemates were buying 2 packet of £3 cereal a week when tesco did an alternative for 60% less. Just give it ago, some times you can be surprised. Im a sainsburys value range tea convert. Its better than most brands ive ever had!

3. Join the club
Normally you say loyalty card to me and I run in another direction. But supermarkets is a whole new kettle of fish! Sainsburys Nectar points and Tesco clubcard is your way of earning back a little bit of money to spend ion store. Or reward points to spend on swanky meals, holiday or themepark tickets!!! Dont mistake this with the credit card. You just want the card that you wsipe or scan at the till point.
In my year at uni ive earnt £10 of points. I still have no idea what im doing ith them, but im sure i'll post about it when ive spent them

4. Super Market Super Team
Ever wondered why, when you go to the shop for just you it coomes to £30 and when your mum goes it comes to £50 for 3 more people!!  Thats cause you need to team up. Perhaps not in your fisrt week, you want to suss out who you want to go together with. But perhaps jsut sharing some items will reduce both your bills. Like bread eggs, milk, vegtables. All the things that have quick sell by dates. Buy together and you'll hopefully reduce your waste to!

5. Trolley Dolly
Simple but effective. When you put things into a basket you end up piling it on top of each other and not thinking about how much money you can be spending. Get a nice big trolley and then you can keep an eye on your budget!

Hope you have enjoyed my frugal Beans
It bean fun

I'll go now
Love Mummy Bean

P.S Don't forget to follow

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Flying the nest

Hello Beans

I would tell you to slap me on the wrist, but beans dont have wrists....
I've been away on a bit of a budget holiday and have been a little bit neglectful. But im back! Today marks one week till I move into my house at Universitiy. BOM,BOM,BOM. Theres so much to do!! Im also well aware some of you Uni student will have already moved and some of you will be enjoying your freshers week! So I'm going to try and do a few different posts for everyone this week.

So a bit of a catch up. I'm about to go into my second yeat at University of Winchester studying drama. I live with two fantastic girls in a little flat near the uni, when of course im not with M+D in Yateley. The boyfriend has been kind enough  to take me up to Winchester over the summer so A. I can keep my university job and B. To move some stuff in a little early. Studying drama I am near depresssed to find out iwill only be studying 6 hours a week for the first semester so I have spent this summer starting budget projects to continue in my "study time". I'm a bargain hunter, a homemade princess, I've had to be tight on the purse strings... how else will i find the money for my expensive shoe habit! So now I'm trying to pass down a bit of knowledge, some i got from  M+D and other stuff I've learnt from First year Fresher mishaps! But all I hope, will help you have a great first year at University, withoutspending a fortune!

Enough about myself. Lets be on with the blog. Today im going to give you my little tips to help you in your first week of halls, without blowing the budget

My top 5 Tips of Moving into halls!

1. Feeding the Five thousand
For alot of people first time away from home means the first time you will be doing all your food shopping... how exciting!....... Some fo your parents will stock you up and other let you fly the nest and fend for yourself, but dont blow your student loan in one week! Cheapest places to shop are of course supermarkets. Unfortunatly not all universitys have them in walking distance, my nearest big supermarket was 45 minuteses walk away when i lived in halls. A bit of a bitch if you have a lot of bags.. or ice cream XD. Im lucky enough that my boy used to take me and my housemates to stock up occasionaly, but when he wasnt around i used to get the free bus. My supermarkets operate these buses once a week to take you too and from the store for free. Fab! If you either dont have one in your area or its not on the right day, dont assume that the regular bus will be cheaper. If your going in a group of 4 or more the bus would cost you over a £10 in some areas, and take you all around the houses. Sharing the cost of taxi may not only be quicker but save a little cash too.
I have suddunly reaslised how much i could write about this shopping malarky, so i think tommorow may have to be a bit of a guide to the likes of Tescos!

2. Making a halls a home
For me, the strangest bit about halls was how bare the room is when you come into the room. YOu really have to try to make the room feel homly. But dont blow the budget!! Next year you may be in a house with a double bed or furnished so dont spend a fortune on a duvet that you may end up just having to store the next year. I am very guilty of this!!! I just used a tesco value duvet and blankets if i got cold. Brought a reasonable duvet cover from primark and already the room felt a bit more liek mine. I covered my walls in pictures at univesity. But all those photos can be pricey!!!! Print them off yourself and your going to drain your printer. So if your printing over 10 pictures pop to your tesco, boots or asda and use their photo service. The more photos you print the more the price of each print goes down. So ask your friends at home too if they want anything printed,. Dont give into the instant print either. At tesco this will cost you sometime 150% more!!! Be patient and you can save yourself some cash.

3. Meet and Greet
Meeting new people is daunting enough. My current housemate for this yeat was greated by my mother, who practically attempted to adopt her the moment she saw her. First of all, get mum out the way!!! And what i found really worked was a little girt from home. Some people just brought a tin of sweeties but a batched of homebaked cookies of cakes will do the trick too! If your crap at cooking, tesco do a chocolate cookie mix for 80p! No-one wil ever know!

4. Bills, Bills, Bills
Don't be ashamed to admit we all mis M+D now and then. We can end up on the phone for hours with friends and family but watch that phone bill!. Skype is an excelent free alternative and if you get yourself a webcam you can see your friends too!! The boy has even got skype on his phone so i can call him off my laptop to his phone at any time of the day for free. So it makes all the I love yous a little bit cheaper

5. Playtime!
Bonding with your housemates can be so tricky. Go to the pub and theres so many new people you may just end up in silence the whole night. My and my housemates just used a simplae games of sticky face. Pack of post-it notes and pen is all you need. Write the name of a person that they will either know or have heard of. My favourite was always fireman Sam... or Jesus. and stick the post-it note to their head. You then go round each asking a question about the person on your head and let the hilarity begin. A girl in my house last year had Obama and when we told her it was the presdient of the USA she sat dumbfonded for a while before proclaming the BAMA BAMA BAMA. Was his name. Don't worry, she isnt studying politics.

Hope your all settling in well
Much Love Beans


PS. Dont forget to follow

Friday, 24 August 2012

Happy Birthday Beans

Time to celebrate Beans,

My bestie Bean has just turned 21 so big Happy Birthdays to her! Birthdays can get so expensive when your at University especially when most students will turn the big 21 in their 3rd year. But you can still but great thought into pressies without putting in all that cash you can't afford!

Here are my Top 5 tips for doing a presents on a budget!

1. You don't plan to fail, you fail to plan
Organisation people! You may have got this your ear from your parents or teachers and never really paid attention, but despite how much us students endorse the fact that anything done last minute normally goes... alright but realistically if we want to budget properly then we really need to plan. Depressing as it sounds I already have a list of what every friend and family member is getting for christmas, have a draw with everything I've already brought (or plan to re-gift) and I am eyeing up christmas cards to start writing early! You must set a present budget, write it down on a big peice of paper so you dont over-spend!! Then divide up your budget between your friends (at xmas) - some people prefer to write out ideas and vague costs first. I write down exepcted price because then you stop your self from thinking about that really expensive broccoli steamer for your mum and you think at a more attainable level.
Don't forget parties as well! Half the reason we spend so much at christmas and birthdays is all the food and drink and partying. Plan that into your budget too, and make it a challening budget. Then you will really think about what your spending

2. The incredible Bulk
Bulk buying is a fab way to keep costs down for birthdays, and it doesnt have to be unpersonal. Places like The Card Factory often sell cards at 10 for £1, you have to search for the decent ones but they are great as a back up card when your being forgetful. If you like to buy choccys and thing for people then perhaps of instead buy a carton of roses or quality street for people, just get some polythene bags and some ribbon and make little gift bags. You can perosnalise the tag and it will mkae it look like you'vve put way more effort it!

3. From the heart
Homemade presents always go down a treat. And well in the knowledge that this friend isnt reading this i can divulge what im making for her birthday!!! Shes really into the vintage scene, so i popped to my local habadashery at brought a square of floral material. using a cookie cutter i drew out as many shapes of hearts i could fit on (do this on the non-patterned side, in a light colour!). Then cut all your hearts out (really you only need 2 cut outs - but you may aswell bulk make so you have more when xmas comes around). Place your hearts together, pattern side out and stitch them together round the outside leaving a 3cm gap. Grab an old pillow and rip a hole in the top, and put some that pillow stuffing into the heart. You can then pop some drips of oil in if you like, or just stich the heart up as perfect little decoration. I'll pop up a little demo online later, as i can't sew for shit it will prove that anyone can do this!!

4. Get Baked
No, no students. Im not suggesting anything herbal!!! But baking make great little prezzies, do a few cupcakes with peresonaliesd icing and maybe some little earrings and you have a fabuilous prezzie. I love decorating so for xmas i'm making a hamper of all the things she loves in cookie form, im even making a cookie cigarette packet!!

5. Early bird get the worm, and the cheapest one too
I have begged you students a few time before to start doing this!! Summer sales, and even the xmas ones too!! Stock up on xmas pressies, not only arre the little bits of jewellery or clothing great last minute pressies for any forgeten gifts. but you can pick up loads of novelty items ike marmite mugs or book wines really cheap in these sales in places like BHS or Debenhams! Take advantage, dont say, o well im going to lose it, keep a safe place to hide everything and it wont go missing!

Happy birthday Beans
Love to you all

P.S Dont forget to follow!


Thursday, 16 August 2012

Get fit for not even a fiver!!

Hey Healthy Beans!

Apologies for such a late bog, i did write this on monday but i didn't press the publish button!!! silly me!
I have mentioned before I am on diet as all these pesky beans are great because they are low in fat!! But you can't just diet to lose weight you gotta get exercising too!

Here are my 5 top tips for losing pounds without losing the pennies

1. Coach potato to athletic sensations
Watching the Olympics, thinking you could do tat, of course you can!!! Well no probably not. But you may get inspired to take up one of the sport you see on the telly! But some of these sport can get pricey. The average price of a judo class is £6 a session. Do really learn a sport and to get fit you should be exercising 3 times a week so thee classes could cost you £18 a week or £78 a month! But there are tonnes of sports you can do for free and I've found one where your not even on your own! C25K, you may have heard of it. An NHS course run by Cool Running is a plan to get you from running for 1 minute to 30! I'm on week 3 at the moment in which you run 1 and a half minutes the rest then 3 minutes then rest and repeat. You need to be committed and it will work mum can now run for 20 minutes!

 Here is a link

2. Guna ride my bike until i get old
Want to save money on fuel and exercise, get cycling! I've nicked my mums bike and ave just been doing lots of different local routes working up my miles. Try and time your self and measure the route - i put it into Google and use an album tat i can know the exact timing of to cycle too. Eventually your stamina will improve and you'll be able to do longer and longer distances

3. Beans beans the musical fruit
Ever seen all that fancy gym equipment and wondered how expensive is it. Free, AND IN YOUR CUPBOARD! To get rid of your bingo wings, while your watching the telly pick up a tin of beans and use these as weights! Yours stairs are fantastic as steps, i pop my laptop onto about the fifth step and get stepping for a good 30 minutes. Have a mosey on youtube and you'll find free tutorials on so many fitness routines from cardio to yoga. Not costing you any pennies

4. And that little piggy went wiiiiii all the way home
If whats putting you of exercise is leaving the house don't panic, tonnes of people would be frightened. So look whats in your house. My parent brought the wii fit 2 years ago and its nearly gone unused. So get on it make a profile and have a gone. Dont have one? Then pop to the charity shop and i guarantee they will have an exercise DVD or two to pick from. Cheap as chips - well cheap as potato wedges done in fry-light!

5. There is no better price than free
Gyms and slimming clubs are always looking to get new members so have a spy about and find out what deals they have. I have some fab news, Kinetic Gyms are offering a free 5day pass. Even if you jut pop for a swim or to a zumba that's still £5 saved! If you really are set on joining a gym the have look at local university's, most take members of the public but can be half the price of some chain gyms!

Remember your 5 top tips a day!!!

Love Hannah

Dont forget to follow

Monday, 6 August 2012

Time to set Sale

Hey Beans,

Everyone has a favorite season. My dad like Autumn;  my brother and me go back to uni. My mum likes winter; her birthday and Christmas all in one month . My brother likes spring; lots of Easter egg to nibble on! And i love summer. For one beautiful reason. I cant stand the heat, i never get a tan and my body has never been bikini ready but theres one summer event I've never missed.... the sales

Of course not me attempting to make you jealous at all i thought I'd show you my beautiful purchase from this weekend

Now Beans don't panic I've not gone crazy and spent all of my magic beans on some frivolous selfish purchase! These shoes are not only a symbol of absolute beauty they're a symbol of my hard work and savings!! Thats what this blog is all about. Making your money go that little bit further so you can have these little luxury splurges.

My top 5 tips for Summer Sales

1. Be in the know
I'm not talking just a ... oh monsoon sale is July. Beans we need specifics!!! Having worked in retail for 4 years im normally chatty anyway but even if you are a bit of a grumpy gills get talking to the ladies behind the tills!! Sales assistant will deny it most of the time but as we head into June most will know when the sales are going to be in on in their store. Another little tip, if you know a sale is coming up in the next week try and pop in to the store for a browse; cause little hints can tip of what items will be going down. Some stores just move departments others mark all the items with a coloured dot or a number (which normally correlates to percentage off the item). Most stores go into sale mid week to- so try to pop in for some late night shopping. Near me Basingstoke is fab for evening shopping! It always less crowded, no queues for the fitting rooms, and you can get in before the weekend traffic nab up all the bargains

2. Early bird catches the worm but slow and steady will win the race
Patience is a virtue, yes i have now taken to reciting Chinese proverbs but it can be true in the mind field that is the summer sale! Stores aren't stupid. They aren't holding sales out the kindness of their heart they're doing it cause they're trying to get rid of old stock and make a little bit of a profit! So most sales start of at 30% then creep up and up until you can sometimes get 70% off. Yes some of that stuff can be a load of old rubbish even your crazy aunty Meryl wouldn't wear but sometimes you can find little jewels! One of the best for these amazing knock-downs is Claire accessories. What I've found with Claire is that because their target market is pre-teens and Justin Beiber addicts some of their more grown-up items get shoved into sale. It might take a little bit of searching but yesterday i brought 5 sales items for 5 GBP!  Bargain! So not only did i get a little bit of jewellery for myself i also got a few jokey presents for xmas!

Blah, blah, blah.. boring budgets. I know, but its so important. Sometimes we can see how much money we would have saved and not thought 'can i actually afford this?' Just because there's 50% off of a pair of Louis Vitton still means they're at least 150 GPB and i don't know any student who can afford that. Perhaps instead pop inb some key description words of the shoes you like into maybe new look or topshop website (like platform, court, nude, black, studded) an see what they have that similar, this may mean you have to wait a little bit longer but the cash is well saved. What the point of having beautiful shoes if you have nowhere to wear them?

4. Wana be frugal... turn to Google!
As a completely addicted on-line shopper will tell you there are bargains to be had, but despite millennium claims that eventually we would never leave our house and out entire lives would be delivered to our doors we are still venturing out into stores. Before you go out though pop onto ASOS, BooHoo or maybe Simply Be. These on-line retailers don't have stores so don't have to pay for renting the space or the extra staff. This way clothes prices can be kept down and your the one who gets the saving. I always have a little scourer before i go out to make sure i don't miss out on a good deal

5. Buyer's remorse
The panic buy. I'm certain we are all guilty. My most fatal was a black and pink rag like skirt I brought in hast in boxing day sale of 2007 in M&S. Apart from in that fitting room (where it was the only thing that fitted) it never got worn again. You really have to watch this, so many stores don't do returns on sale items. You can most likely get store credit. But if you've brought a questionable dress and decide that you need to actually perhaps pay some bills with that money store credit ain't guna get you far.

Most basics like jeans and plain tops never go on sale cause they sell all year. So sign up for GAP VIP emails and you get invited to 30% off events throughout the year. They also let you know when the sale is coming up and they're sale you can get some real bargains!!

Happy Shopping
Much love
Mummy Bean 

Thursday, 2 August 2012

A little bit of T.L.C

Good evening Beans.
Been having a massive tidy up today but now my room is spotless i treated myself to a little TLC. Some off us girls will head to a spa or salon but I did it the budget bean way!! I told you a few weeks ago about my youtube tutorials i watch. Well Ive gone from novice nail design to a pro and i thought i'd do you a little tutorial. This was a new one that i'd never practiced before so don't judge to hard! But here is how to get V.I.P Nails ...

1. Here's what you need...

2. Give your hands a good scrub!! I use Soap & Glory...

2. Choose and paint a base coat...

3.Apply some scotch tape creating an upside down v shape

4. Paint a second coat in a different. I went for a black against my bold pink!!!!

5. Top it off with a clear coat and a spritz of hairspray to make it dry a little faster

And there you have it! A cheap way to get fabulous nails that everyone will notice!!!
Enjoy your beans

Monday, 30 July 2012

Well deserved rest

Good Afternoon Beans,

Well my little Beans, i hope you are well rested after the weekend! I was working! God a 6 day week can be a killer, but at least mums home-cooked meal to come home to cheers me up no end!! My friends forced me to watch Mexican/Spanish horror film KM-13 (which was really just a ghost story that was topped up with Japanese horror staples that fail to scare the shit out of you i.e half dead pale children who laugh like their being tickled by a rapey teddy bear). I did blankly refuse to watch Silent Hill, this is the only version I'd like...
Sorry Jonah

Apart from being bored to sleep by KM-13 I spent the rest of the weekend hanging with the boyfriend, we played Rayman, went on a walk and we were going to go into a lovely town near us called Farnham but we got rained off so ended up making cupcakes instead. I borrowed my mum piping nozzles from when i was a kid and made chrysanthemum flowers. I'll upload the picture later, I do warn they are practise cakes so they wont be perfect, but for my first attempt they were lush! I'm guna get a petal tip next week so then i can make a bouquet of flowers for a friends birthday!

Magic Bean of the day!!

We all know it makes sense to wait to buy those new DVDs until they come down in price. But why don't you make money out of the ones your just plain bored with! Stores like CEX will buy them off you! Check out their website get yourself a quote, if you sell enough you may even have enough store credit to buy that brand new game or box-set you had your eye on!

Happy Bargaining Beans
Don't forget to follow me!
Hannah xxx

Friday, 27 July 2012

Payday Budgets!!!

Well hello Beans,

I trust you are enjoying your day I am! I'VE BEEN PAID! Finally got all the money for my deposit and rent for the house massive weight has jsut lifted off my shoulders! Even better i have a little left over for me too.
Out of my gang of friends back home I'm the only one at university. So with them all in full-time jobs and me with my meesly 8hr part-time work its sometimes difficult to keep up. But my word is it do-able! Difficult but do-able. All you need to do is make sure you've got a really good budget in place

Here are my 5 top ten tips for Payday Budgeting

1. Tommorow, tommorow, i'll do it, tommorow!
No you won't. You know how i know that. Cause i wouldn't. You waon't do it the next day or the one after that and then eventually you'll say 'oh, next month'. Despite my continuing attempts to have procrastination named an olympic sport, budgeting is not the appropriate time to divulge in such an activity.
So get to it. Now!!

2. Honesty is always the best policy
Theres no point lying to yourself about your financees (you'll know). Trying to kidd yourself that you don't have an over draf, or that at the end of the month you'll pay this that and the other off isn't going to help. Be realistic with yourself. Work out your figures and write it down in big letters and put them up. Wheather its your phone bill, your water bill or perhaps how much you spent on booze last month. Be realistic.

3. Get Calculating.
Write down every incoming bit of money you have for month on one side of a coloumn and on the other your outgoings you have to buy. Food, rent, bills, phone bill are just a few examples. Be honest with yourself to, if your a smoker budget your smokling but dont be unrealistic and make sweeping statements like im not guina smoke (cause it probably won't happen). Then you can see what your left with. I like to divide that figures into weeks and then i can see how much i have for the whole week.

3. Every penny counts!
This is something i got my friend whos about to be a fresher to do. once you've work out what you've got coming in every month and out every month get yourself some pennies. 1 p for every pound and fill up a jar. Every time you spend a pound you put a penny into the out goings jar. This emans you have a visual representation of your finances. If your not mathmatically minded it really helps to see your earnings too and see when your budgeting how your money divides up. Sometimes you dont realise how much you've spent on absoulte shit!

5. Work hard. Play Harder
What really makes budgeting worth it to me is not have that paniccy feeling at the end of the month thinking where the hell am i guna find money for food or rent. If you can plan your spending, you'll find the more you budget the niftier ways you'll make your money last longer. This means when you do want a little splurdge your able to do it without that guilt hanging over you

Happy Budgeting Beans

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Sneaky Beans

Hey Beans,

Feel like I've been living off of beans lately. When I'm really manic they seem the easiest thing to eat in a rush. Like most people in the U.K I seem to be permanently on a diet (the choccy wrappers in my bin are disagreeing) but dieting not only can be a pain in your phat arse but can be really pricey too! So I've been coming up with nifty recipes that are low fat and low carb and really yummy too - and it seems most of them contains beans!! This recipe can be used with quorn mine (even lower in fat than regular mince and nearly half the price) and really gives the quorn some needed flavour!

1. Frozen Quorn Mince packet (£1.89 from tesco)
2. Tin of Beans (possibly two depending on size of the dish, just use common sense)
3. 4 sweet potatoes
4. 30 ml of semi-skimmed milk
5. 100g Primula cheese light OPTIONAL (If your feeling a little naughty)


1. Wash and peel the sweet potato and give it a few stabs with a fork. Pop into a microwavable dish and cover - leaving air holes. Cook on 750Watts for 10 minutes

2. Take the mince (don't defrost its a cook from frozen) and put into a large saucepan. Tip in your beans. Heat for ten minutes on the hob, but don't let it boil! Just a nice simmer

3. Using oven gloves! Take the sweet potato out of the microwave and mash drizzling in your milk - if you use a ricer you get a much smoother result. Once smooth add in you primula cheese

4. Tip the quorn mince into an oven bake dish and top with your sweet potato mash

5. You can top this with some greater Cheddar or red Leicester is you like. But if you've got the primula cheese you still get that cheesy taste. Not dieting? crush up some smokey bacon crisps (use mini cheddar smokey BBQ) and chuck on top with the cheese for a nice bit of crunch

6. Brown in the oven for 5-10 minutes

7. Enjoy!

I like to serve this with a bit of broccoli or spinach and peas. You can always hide your veggies in with the mince as well

This makes enough for 4 people so if you have any left overs pop it into some tupper-ware and once cooled pop into the fridge or freezer
If your left with extra sweet potato mix it with your favourite veg - i like broccoli and swede and you can use the next day for bubble and squeak.

Enjoy your munch

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Going for Gold

Hello Beans,

It begins! The official opening ceremony might not be until Friday but today we see the GB Women's football team kick of the Olympics against the New Zealand team. You know what, i kind of don't care. I know i know, these people are amazing athletes and have tried really hard blah blah blah, but this feels a little bit like rubbing our faces in it. Brings back memories of school sports days where we'd just watch the skinnier and more talented people do things we couldn't be arsed to attempt. But it seems this year London 2012 Olympics will be unavoidable for us Brits. Streets are covered in bunting and cars are decorated with flags, switch on the news and Boris Johnson is gabbing on about 'burning flames' and 'olympic spirit'. If you can't beat them, maybe join them... just don't let the buggers make you pay.

1. Wheels on the bikes go round and round
I don't know about you, but how they sold the tickets really bloody confused me. It was a lottery but it wasn't you didn't pick what you were going for - eeehh? If your hoping to go see one of the Olympic events but you either didn't get a ticket or didn't like the price, Then watch for free. Particular outdoor long distance events will be completely free to go see, such as cycling, the triathlon and the marathon. That way you can say you went to see the Olympic games - without paying a penny. I've popped a map in of the cycle race I'm going to see this Saturday!

2. D.I.Y
So you didn't get picked for the GB Team, darn me neither. Prove them wrong! Next week I'm going to be holding my own mini Olympics with table tennis, high-jumping and bobsleigh - no i have not quite figured out how I'm going to do that yet! I'm going to make some gold silver and bronze cup cakes for little prices too!!! Why don't you do the same, with your family and friends, although look away when you 90 great aunt tries to do rhythm gymnastics!

3. The bigger the better
The BBC have set up 22 different big screens all around the country for us to see the Olympics on, if its a nice sunny day like today it will be much better to be sat in a lush field watching than stuck on your sofa!

4. Doing your bit
One way to try and see the Olympics for free would be stewarding but its a little to late for that!! But remember the paralympics begins on the 28th August and you still have time to volunteer! Looks on websites like Vinspired and Jobmonkey and you may be in luck. But be speedy!!

5. The Olympic Drinking Game -MY FAVOURITE!
Drinking, a sport taken part in by many athletes, typically students; despite the danger, of vomiting, embarrassment and of course the whole liver cancer in later life thing. This drinking game we came up with at the last Olympics when i was 16 and still sipping bit of WKD to get WASTED!!!

1. Fill a hat or bag with slips of paper with all the different events on
2. Someone picks out a sport and has to name the countries that won medals
3.For everyone country they name incorrectly they take a shot (max 3 guesses)
4. If they can not only guess the countries but also say what medals they got they can give away that shot to someone else around the circle
5. Keep going round until your suitably hammered.

Hope you enjoyed my student Olympics special
Till tomorrow

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Keep your cool

Dear Boiling Beans,

We've been moaning for weeks that there has been no sunshine for weeks and now we've been overloaded. I've practical turned to God since they've fixed my offices air-con system! If you've not got air-con, don't panic, no need jumping into your neighbours paddling pool just yet. 
Here are my 5 top tips for keeping your cool without baking all your dough (wow, my jokes are worst than my fathers)

1. Pistols at the ready
This is probably my favourite way to keep cool with my mates. Water fight. No planning necessary, not even water guns, regularly i begin mine with a bucket of water to my boyfriends face! You can get 100 water bombs from the pound shop - you'd never guess there a pound - and they sell loads of cheap toys as well. Just remember to be safe, even have some spare old goggles lying around, this will make it easier for you to see and to win as well!! If you have any reluctant members of your group make it a bit of a competition, whether its a water fight for the last cider. Or winner gets to pick their favourite Ice lolly

2. I'll take you to the candy shop...
Yes 50 Cent, lick it like a lollipop. But please i beg of you, don't be buying from the ice-cream vans or stalls! Whatever Ice-lolly you like from calypsosos to crunchie blasts, always buy the the multi-pack. Its simple math! your saving at least 50p an ice ceream, which over a long summer adds up. That goes for ice-cream too; for a scoop of Kelly's Cornish Ice-cream your looking at £1.50, a litre tub at tesco costs £2!! Save your sprinkles and wait till you get home! You'll save a lot of wonga.

3. Its going to be Intents
Tempted to get away for a weekend, maybe book a B&B for the night. Stop right there. A travel lodge will cost you £40-60 for a night, why waste all your pounds on a roof over your head when you can make a whole weekend from £50. I don't mean Girl guide camping or Scouting and i certainly don't mean when your Dad drags you to a nearby forest for a family holiday. I mean BBQ, booze and ghost stories! Me and my friends love road-tripping, bundling into one car with the music really loud to some random destination - just remember to split the petrol cost!!!

4. Cool as a cucumber
This is an absolutely crazy trick that i actually got from a pet book. Cucumber ice-lollies. I used to freeze half sticks of cucumber for my rabbits and my old school friend was dumb enough to try and eat some. After a long time of convincing me i tried it to and was very pleasantly surprised. Its really healthy for you and helps keep you hydrated. This frozen cucumber also makes a great addition into a jug of Pimms.

5. Always use protection
Shes about to nag, run away.... Thought i would offer the obvious tip, use sun cream!!! I burn so easily so I've always got a little travel sized bottle with me. It doesn't need to be anything fancy. Super markets own are normally great, just perhaps have some baby wipes to hand to get any grease off. Don't spend silly money on an after sun either, just as you leave the house in the morning, for the beach or wherever, pop your favourite moisturiser in the fridge. Feels great when it goes on and you've saved a little bit cash for a souvenir post card and keyring.

Happy Baking Beans

Monday, 23 July 2012

Bad Bean

Good morning Beans,

Let me begin this blog with my sincerest apologies. My mission to save us beans one dot at a time perhaps slipped my mind for a moment as the boyfriend and myself played host to some of our besties for a bbq! Om nomnomnomnom I hear you say!
Of course our bbq was done budget style! BYOM (Bring your own meat) on the invite and i made some fantastic barbecued choccy bananas for after! Just nipped down to our off licence for some beer and some fizzy drink, raided the freezer for meat to defrost and found some packets of crisps left over from x-mas (still in date) and we were off.  Really wishing id got a picture of the bananas... looks like im just guna have to make some more this week. Of course all for the sake of the blog!!

Some in Lew of my post yesterday I'm going to give you my five top ten tips for the perfect summer bbq that wont burn a hole in your wallet

1. The BBQ Bucket
No im not suggesting you nip down to KFC! The BBQ Bucket is a new nifty BBQ that's great for at home, while camping and out on the beach. The one i brought the boyfriend was about as deep as a can of beer and as wide as a Frisbee, no need to raise it on blocks or rocks the bucket does that for you and it comes in lots of nifty colours too. So don't keep buying disposable bbq at £4 a pop. Spend a tenner on this BBQ Bucket and it will last you a few years too!

You heard of Bring Your Own Booze? While i make most my BBQ Bring Your Own Meat. Now a days everyone has different food requirements allergies, vegetarians and some of us who want to loose a few pounds (of weight that is)! Meat can get mighty expensive so i personally like to make some veggie kebabs with Everyday Value mini chicken breast £2 at tesco. Last night cost me £4 for me and the boyfriend and i even had some left over to pop with some couscous for work today.
You could always take a leaf out of Mama Beans book. My mum makes BBQ Potluck, everyone picks out the hat and brings something, then she bulk buys all the meat and rolls!

3. Your bit on the side
I love a bit of potato salad or egg kedgeree on the side of my burger. But don't go and buy those ready made ones from the supermarkets. Save some beans and make them at home. Try some boiled new potato's with some chopped hard boiled egg and some salad veggies of your choosing, all mixed with a little mayonnaise and your sorted! If you want a healthier side make coleslaw from shredded cabbage and carrot with a bit of Greek yogurt

4. Poor me Poor me Pour me a drink
When i think of A BBQ two things come to mind. My boyfriend accidentally burning down the house. It will happen one day! And i also think of Pimms! Out in the sun, with all your mates, glass of cool pimms in your hand, sorted. But its a little less relaxing once you see the price tag. Why don't you try going for the smaller brands; sainsburys has pitchers, asda has players. These tend to be half the price of regular pimms and i know i cant tast the difference.
You can make non-alcoholic pimms to at a fraction of a price to! Before you recoil in horror at the ingredients let me finish the whole recipe first the lids worth of good luxury balsamic vinegar, diet lemonade and a sprig of mint. Chuck in a punch fruit and your ready to go. Even the guests with the most delicate of palettes wouldn't guess the difference

5. Play the game
With the Olympics right around the corner, living in the host country everyone is getting major excited! Why don't you make your BBQ different by doing an Olympic theme! You could try Olympic rings; Pick up some cheap donuts from a supermarket and ice them different colours to look like the rings, or use pepper rings for something a little healthier! Last Olympics me and my dad created an obstacle course with all my old toys from the shed and got a pack of ten cheap medals for £1 in tesco, and we made a winners burger topped of with extra cheese, sauce and salad. Just adds a little extra to the party and gives the boys an excuse to be watching beach volleyball in the background

Another week of work ahead and I'm already yawning. Really starting to miss term time, sleeping all day, becoming addicted to BBC Iplayer and becoming so lazy i once left the washing up for 3 days waiting for the boyfriend to come visit!

See you later my BBQ Beans

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Wipe the slate clean

Good Morning Beans,

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend!
Tonight i'll be doing a photo tutorial on dotty Manicures, saving you all that cash at the salon!$-)
Thought I'd drop this magic bean on you now!!!

Stocking up can be  great way of saving money. Whenever i see a great deal in the shops i fill my cupboard. 
These baby wipe had 60% of! Down to 95p each. They make great face wipes and they're always good for sensitive skin. Johnson's are my favorite although boot own are good when there are no offers about. Huggies have a bit of a weird smell and i feel like im walking around smelling like baby butt all day!

So I've saved myself £15 this week, what bargains did you get?
Email me any great bargains you spot

Have a good bargain hunt!

Mrs Clean Bean

Friday, 20 July 2012

Working 9 to 5

Good Morning Beans,

So yesterday we banished away our summer boredom on a non-existent budget! But what if you need a bit of extra dough. Maybe for your rent over the summer, a new wardrobe, or you just want a booze fund by the time you get back, you need a summer job. Easier said than done.The job market is not fab at the moment, we all know that, but there are opportunities out there for us students looking for some extra beans.

Here's my top 5 tips for bringing home the bacon

1. Pain is temporary, and so are jobs
Temping, office Temps to be precise. Whether you know what you want to go into to or not after uni. Basic admin skills will always put you in good stead. Temps jobs are a fantastic bit of experience in a wide range of careers. I've been a receptionist, a data cleanser, a scanner, a tea maker and I've even been a Financial Crime Associate. Some positions are just a week, others 3 months, but they normally pay pretty well it averages at about £7 an hour. To get these fab jobs I'd advise going through an agency. Have a bit of a mooch on the web and in your local newspaper but agencies are great for handling the headaches of paperwork and tax stuff and they do the searching for you. I work for a fantastic agency called Tulip recruitment, based in Basingstoke, but national groups like Reed and Pertemps are good to. Give an agency a call email your C.V and then become the ultimate black and white Forest animal. The badger, remind them how fab you are!!! If you don't hear from them in a fortnight then you've probably fallen into the circular filing cabinet, the bin. Don't Panic though i still have 4 more tips to get you the perfect summer job

2. How do you look in a red coat?
Holiday parks can't afford to hire staff all your round, what would be the point. But over their very busy summer period these places are desperate for staff from cleaning chalets, to entertaining kids seasonal workers are hired to make their customers trip as magic as possible. Don't panic if you live really far away either. Some of these places will often chalet accommodation for you at a very small price. If your paying for accommodation the money isn't great your probably talking about £4 an hour 'after expences', but your getting a free holiday too. Its not just in the UK too, you have programmes like PGL, were you work abroad!You cant beat the atmosphere in these places and i guarantee you'll have a summer you will never forget!!
Check their individual websites for more detail or have a look at PGL, I've chucked a link here for you
P.S stick away from camp you have to pay for!!! Camp America you pay them £500 to work for them!!

3. There's no place like home
Remember when you were a kid and you used to tidy your room for pocket money? Well think bigger. If your parents work all day perhaps suggest you'll get some of the DIY or big cleaning jobs done for them. You could ask your neighbours and relatives to! My brother last year spent 3 days repainting our hallway to pay for a festival ticket, while I tended to the veggie patch for a little spare cash. Your parents will be grateful, you've not had to pay any transport to get to work. And you can flop straight down on the sofa when your done and watch telly!

4. Set Sale
Summer sales, no i have not lost my way and started spending all my well earned beans!! I'm searching for jobs!!! Sales can be manic for retail stores are quite regularly they'll bring on some temporary staff just for 2-3 weeks, this could be you! Take a wodge of C.V with blank cover letters, take them into to town with you and find all the shops with Hiring signs! If you've got the time give these places a call before, then you can be super prepared (try and get the manager name, so you can address a cover letter to them) I've worked in retail for 4 years in various different stores and I love it. Its fun your kept busy and even if your colleagues are unfriendly you have tonnes of customer to have a natter with. Just cause your not sticking around though doesn't mean you can slack. Work extra hard and perhaps when it get Christmas time they'll have you back again to work for them!!

5. Do you want fries with that?
I know I know I know! Maccy D's is not the dream place to work. But don't put your nose up to fast food chains. They're constantly recruiting, and they're not too fussy. If you haven't had a job before they're a very good jumping of point. The will fully train you, its not to shabby pay and hey a job is a job! No excuses here are one of the bad boys in nearly every town best thing is when your strapped for cash at uni (because you've not been following my tips!) just apply to your local branch and I'm sure they would gladly have you. No it is not the most glamorous job, and you will go home smelling of chip fat oil and despair, but its work. Someone has to do it

From the Mac Daddy of student spending

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Relax, dont do it

Good Morning Students,

Whether your just waking up or perhaps even just getting in; there's one thing we have in common. All us lucky students are in the midst of a 3 month long summer holiday. Some of you freshers-to-be will be eagerly awaiting you A-Level results, and the rest of us are just making sure we've passed the year at uni! Luckily my wait was over a fortnight a go and i happy to be able to publish to the blogsphere that i will officially be returning to the University of Winchester in September 2012.
But it can get really difficult to fill our summer months, of course theres the initial post uni catch up with all those old school acquaintances that you never really missed 'OMG, hows uni' 'OMG, Its great' 'OMG blah blah blah blah blah'. If your like me you'll have had a big spring clean because you realise you must cram your university hall room back into your box of a bedroom back home. And i expect some of you freshers will be tralling wilkinsons and tescos for saucepans and cutlery and contemplating stocking up on loo roll for the year (well if mum and dad paying for it!!! XD). Unfortunatly not all of us can afford a girly holiday to Shagaluf or A boys banging bonanza in Benidorm, and all those trips you hyperthetically planned over email with your besties just havent materialised into actual days out. But when those purse string are tight it can seem pretty tricky to keep ones-self busy

So lets banish the boredom!!!!
Here are my five easy tips to keep yourself entertain this summer. And they all cost less than a tin of beans

1. On your bike.
Remember when you were a kid an you went exploring, made little hide out dens and pissed of old negihbours play knock down ginger and your only transport was your trusty two wheel friend. Well dust of those wheels, dig out your helmet and get peddling. Whether your cycling for an adventure, going to see a friend, or maybe saving yourself some bus fare, go and feel the wind through your hair. All those little journeys you'd hop into your little 1 litre car for, cycle instead. Think of all the petrol money you can save!
Not a biker? Dig out the rest of the crap in your shed, never know you may still fit your roller blades!!!

2. Playtime
Here's one the boys will like, although ive quite enjoyed having a go myself. Remember all those videogames you had as a kid; Mario, Spyro, Crash Bandycote. Well dig out your old consoles and give yourself a reminder. Me and the boyfriend have been trying re-complete Rayman now for two months, i cant get past the 3rd level without his help!!! Maybe challenge your friends to a gaming night, or have a race to see who can finish the game first. If you've got a playstation 3 your PS1 games will still work in the game, just give them a good dust of first, and this does mean you still get quite good graphic for such old technology. Some of you may have heard of Sims Social too. Im not really much of a gamer, but i loved sims as a pre-teen. If you cant reload your old discs, dont going buying the new ones. Just upload sims social on facebook. Its free, its fun, and now you can intarct with your friends on it. So dont go an buy the latest game when you've £50 worth of gamin hiding in the loft

3. Skillage
Whatever your feeling are towards video sharing social networking site youtube, whether you hate it for rocketing Justin Beiber to super stardom or love it for numerous videos of adorable cats doing adorable things, you have to admit it is an excellent time waister!! It should receive an award for its services to procrastinaters around the world, with Twitter coming a close second. However this master of distraction is hiding a peice of gold from us super skrimping students, video tutorials. If you can for one moment draw yourself away from watching The Duck Song for the millionth time just try to typing How To... in your search bar.
Here is where tip no 3 comes in. Learn a new skill. Theres so many you could try. You can find turtorials from how to knit, how to fix, how to morris dance. The list is endless. Try and go for something you dont need equipment for. My housemate and I found ourself in a very uncomfortable position learning the basics of yoga in the comfort of our living room; no gym fee, no snotty yummy mummys glaring the shit out of us, and the trainers were great, even when you nipped out for a fag halfway through she say your doing great. Okay so perhaps thats not the best example of commitment, but set yourself a challenge, and give yourself a deadline. I'm learning how to do the perfect manicures, my friends learning to sew and my boyfriends learning how to fit a new gadget to his little peugot 106.
Learn a new skill. Keeping entertained. Saving Money - i beleive thats a hattrick! Perhaps i should learn some football terminology to?

4. Swap it
Remember all those fab skills you've just learnt? Well lets put them to good use! I really wanted some new cusion covers to decorate my house. Knowing what a fabuolous sewer my bestie now is I called her for a little favour. In return for some gorgeous pillow covers i painted her nails in a funky dotty design. So your skills not just saving you money but your friends to, and your getting a helping hand in return!

5. Book some time at the library
Remember those last days at university before you left, think really hard and you may vaguely remember your teachers mentioning something about a READINGLIST! It depends on your course but most of us will have been given a list of maybe 5-6 books - if your lucky (i have 22) to read over the summer. These books probably wont be in a public library, and if you find a substitute its probably not to the right academic standard you need. Dont fret, if you didnt have a chance to pick up your books before you left, there's a free alternative!!! Dont scourer amazon for all your books, contact your university for a Sconel Card. Think of this card like VIP Entry. It gets you accsess into most other university librarys in the country. You can start your revision and dont have to to trek back to where your studying! These are great, not just for studying but for finding other resources. Wana make your essays really sparkle. Perhaps make a visit back home and have nosy though there books, and maybe you'll find something new to make your essay really stick out (hopefully for good reasons).

To get a Sconal card you will have to be registered with the university and therefore Freshers cant get one. Some Universitys will let you in the library as a visitor, i've done this at Reading University before (which has a fantastic library). However dont fret, most the books on your reading list are the basics, books you may need to buy for the whole course. If they are then pop onto some second hand bank websites, my favourite is and have a look there. Just make sure its the right edition your buy. Books get updated all the time, dont payout for a book that outdated! If that doesnt work and scouring amazonn has left you short, try and contact the university, most have bookshops already on campus selling used books, or they will know somewhere that will. Try and contact your faculty, they'll have the best idea for your subject.

Happy Saving

Got any tips, post a comment!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Dear Students

Dear Students,

When you're a student living within your means is really important. But no where near as important as Booze, Jeremy Kyle, and lie-ins! Do be Serious! By the end of the year half  my housemates found themselves living on beans. Beans on toast, beans on potato, even beans straight out the tin. My names Hannah, I'm studying Drama at The University of Winchester, just about to go into my second year and I'm determined not to repeat some of my rookie mistakes of my freshers year.
Your first year at university is many things, exciting, scary, hazy (depending on the amount of alcohol you've consumed'). There's one thing it ain't.... cheap. Whether you have a loan, a job or just rely on the bank of mum and Dad, us students are constantly finding our wallets empty and our purse strings tied very tight. Alongside studying, making friends and missing our parents (we all do just a bit) this is the first time most of us Young Adults have been in charge of our own finances. Tuition fees have risen and some students beginning their course this year will finish university with debts of over £25,000! That's just on tuition , you still have to pay for the roof over your head and the food in your belly, nevermind books, supplies, even booze.
I'd like to change that. Everyone these days seems to budgeting, yummy mummies, old grannies, even our politicians, and know its time us students do the same. Living within your means doesn't have to mean living on beans though. I'm guna share with you lot my attempt to be a student on a budget.
New students, old students, and whoever else has the Internet; Living on Beans.