More frugal tips from the MAIL !!


It’s most commonly used for cooking but baking soda has a multitude of other uses too – and they could make your life a lot easier.

The cheap ingredient, which everyone has a pot of in their kitchen cupboard, can be used to clean your house, boost your beauty and even improve your health.

We’ve rounded up the bizarre but brilliant alternative uses for baking soda, which is also known as bicarbonate of soda, and they’re guaranteed to have you turning to the wonder ingredient again and again.

Everyone has a pot of baking soda in their kitchen cupboard but its uses extend far beyond cooking. Here, we round up the incredible ways you can use the ingredient - including beating cellulite, removing tooth stains and as a deodorant 

Everyone has a pot of baking soda in their kitchen cupboard but its uses extend far beyond cooking. Here, we round up the incredible ways you can use the ingredient – including beating cellulite, removing tooth stains and as a deodorant

Remove tooth stains: Sprinkle baking soda on a cotton bud and rub it onto your teeth for a few minutes to remove any yellow stains.

Unblock your drains: Flushing your drain with boiling water then adding half a cup of baking soda – then one cup of vinegar and one cup of hot water – will unclog drains. Once the bubbles die down, run the hot tap water down the drain for about 30 seconds to one minute and hey presto – your drains will be new and improved.

As a deodorant: If you’re looking for a cheap and natural alternative to deodorant, experts say that baking soda has super-absorbing qualities if sprinkled under the arms.

Remove a splinter: Splinter removal doesn’t have to be a painful experience with knives and unsuccessful tweezing attempts. A paste of baking soda and water will draw the splinter out of the skin within a few minutes.


Baking soda is so handy because it helps regulate pH – keeping a substance neither too acidic nor too alkaline. When baking soda comes in contact with either an acidic or an alkaline substance, its natural effect is to neutralise that pH.

Beyond that, baking soda has the ability to retard further changes in the pH balance, known as buffering.

This dual capability of neutralising and buffering allows baking soda to do things such as neutralise acidic odours, as well as maintain neutral pH.


To remove dead skin: Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with water and use it to slough away dead skin on hands and feet – it will also remove odours.

Beat blackheads: For a quick fix, a paste of one part baking soda, one part toothpaste and two parts water can help get rid of blackheads on the face. With the mixture in a dish, it can be applied to the affected area using a toothbrush as often as needed. If applied every day before bed, blackheads will disappear.

To soothe sunburn: Mix a teaspoon with some water and smooth over any sunburn, rashes or ivy poisoning for instant relief.

To give hair a deep cleanse: If you use a lot of dry shampoo and hair styling priducts, mixing a teaspoon of baking soda into your regular shampoo will work to remove residue and give you super clean locks.

Beat heartburn: If you don’t have any tablets lying around, add half a teaspoon of soda to a large glass of water and drink it an hour after eating to reduce heartburn pain.

Clean your sofa: If you’ve spilled a drink on your couch or your dog has trodden muddy paws into it, experts say sprinkling baking soda on it before rinsing it off can remove the stains.

Clean your oven: When it comes to cleaning your oven, mix a half-cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water to make a paste-like consistency. Coat your oven evenly and let it sit overnight and then put a small amount of vinegar in a squirt bottle, spray a little to the baking soda residue and use a cloth to scrape it off.

Beat cellulite: Take one teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, mix them together and add some water. Massage intensively for three minutes to reduce dimples.

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Spring pleasures


Forgive the bad photo quality however I had to share these – my newly planted strawberry plants and mint.  I also planted an American blueberry bush and raspberries as well as herbs in pots for the altan.  Not all plants are out yet, it’s still too cold however I am so pleased to get my hands dirty and hopefully get to use these beauties in my meals and desserts in the not too distant future !!

Waste not – want now !!

Food waste is not a laughing matter so taking a leaf out of “The Frugal Girls” blog  I took out all the food in my fridge that was destined for the bin.  Her aim in doing this (left over Friday activity) is to inspire and encourage us however she admits that many feel ashamed when doing this – I did too, however,  looking at the array of vegetables on my kitchen counter I decided to see if some could be used in a creative way.

Anyway here is my fridge contents – not looking so good and the dish I made with them.  Unfortunately some food did get thrown away however I am now composting them so I guess I am doing a little less damage to the environment….


I made this pasta sauce however I peeled the courgettes so the mixture looks a little bit different from my usual batch, however it tasted very good !!

I also made my own coleslaw with the onion and cabbage which was a great hit with baked potatoes !!

Have a good day !




Money can’t buy happiness

Tonight on Channel 5 at 9 o´clock  it´s time for a new episode of  “Rich House Poor House” where two families swap houses and lives for a week – to see how the other half live !!

A related article in The Telegraph, which quoted a survey on what makes people happy, found that those of us “not” living the dream of wealth  and status are actually happier and less stressed than those living the high life.   Interesting questions raised and a few surprises, so check it out tonight.

If, like me, you are not a UK resident, you can see this programme on

Here´s a link to the article: