Hedgehogs, holidays & heatwave hacks – this week's MSE Forum highlights
With the days being as soupy as they are across much of the UK, we've compiled a list of MSE Forum-sourced ideas for how to stay cool in a heatwave. Check 'em out and add your own, then tuck into the rest of this week's MSE Forum highlights.
A few of this week's top threads
We're always scouring the MSE Forum for useful, interesting or cheering threads. A few that caught our eye this week:
- I've been visited by a hedgehog and her babies – they even let me handfeed them! (Photo below)
- I'm hosting a Ukrainian family of four. They're planning for the future and asked: "How much do we need to be earning to live independently in Glasgow?" Please help me estimate
- My in-laws want us to join their Caribbean cruise but I don't think it's worth the money – should I suck it up, or put my foot down?
- What's the cheapest way for a gang of 70-year-olds to get from Newcastle to Heathrow?
This mama hedgehog and her hoglets visited an MSE Forumite's garden
- I'm on holiday and the sun lounger wars have begun. 'Reserving' with a towel is against the hotel rules so I moved several, but made myself some enemies in the process
- My eBay item never arrived so I raised a case. Now the seller's threatening to pay me a visit if I leave a bad review
- I'm a saver with an eye on the future; my wife believes we should live for the now – how do we find a happy medium?
- I need to transport my many goldfish from my old garden pond to my new home, where the pond isn't yet finished – what's best in the interim?
Photo of the week
MSE Forumite plumduff55 knitted this intricately embellished baby set using Aran wool. You can see more such creations in the thread 2022 – No Craft Spending – I WILL bust my stash and make pretty things!!
Please note: We love seeing your photos in the MSE Forum, but if you're uploading one, make sure it doesn't include any personally-identifiable information such as your face or address.
How to stay cool in a heatwave
Courtesy of the MoneySaving community, here are some cheap/free ideas for staying fresh 'n' cool despite the best efforts of the sun.
- Keep a plant mister (or any spray bottle) handy and regularly spritz yourself with water. To cool the blood, plunge your wrists into cold water. Keep damp flannels in the freezer, then drape them around you. Take a cold water bottle to bed and put your pillow or duvet in the freezer before use. Keep spoons in the freezer so you can press them to your face. A fan cools the person but can warm the room, so have your fan face you and turn it off when you leave the room.
- Leave out wet towels for your pets to lie on, or plump for a cheap cooling mat. To avoid overheating, early morning/late evening is best for walking dogs. Be aware that, while some breeds of dog might benefit from a coat trim, 'double-coated' breeds actually use their fur to trap air and stay cool.
- You can make ice lollies for your dog using a lolly mould or simply an ice cube tray. Suggestions include weak gravy and doggy chocolate, and blended veg with yogurt. Or just add a few flakes of tuna to jazz up plain ice cubes.
- Humans deserve homemade ice lollies too, and one MSE Forumite suggests some outlandish ingredients such as shandy, custard, Angel Delight or mashed up fruit.
- For kids' packed lunches, freeze sandwiches and cartons of juice ahead of time. (This MSE Forumite notes that cheese and meat fillings freeze well; mayo doesn't.)
MSE Forumites have been sharing their ideas for keeping kids and pets cool in a heatwave
- Avoid upping the heat in the kitchen at dinnertime: turn leftovers into wraps, followed by cooling Greek yogurt for pudding. Or whip up a big batch of something that can be served cold over a few days, like a fancy pasta salad. Another cheap 'n' cold dessert idea: basic vanilla ice cream sprinkled with crushed Maltesers.
- Don't forget to hydrate. Get creative with your summer drinks (think virgin cocktails, ice cream floats, ice coffee, balsamic vinegar added to water or simply tap water with a slice of cucumber or wedge of lemon). Make a big batch of your own iced tea to share with visitors.
- Office worker? If you usually work from home, consider heading into the office to take advantage of the air-con.
- Dress in loose-fitting cotton or linen rather than man-made fibres.
- Adapt your home. Open several windows to create a through breeze if possible. Line curtains with thermal lining and keep them at least partially closed. If you have a loft, open the hatch at night so that the hot air will rise into it.
Meet one of our Ambassadors
Our volunteer Ambassadors are experienced MSE Forumites who keep things running smoothly, both from 9-5 and outside of it. We're not sure what we'd do without their help, frankly. Before Ambassadors, we had the similar 'Board Guide' programme in place.
This week, it's our pleasure to introduce you to heatherw_01, who focusses on the Shopping & Freebies, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning and UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments.
I heard about MSE and Martin Lewis about 20 years ago. I always enjoyed hearing great MoneySaving tips, which was what got me into the site to start with. Plus all the other helpful information Martin provided.
I joined as a Board Guide back in April 2004 after spending time on the forum and was happy to help out as I know there is so much that would help others who are struggling. Especially at a time like this during a cost of living crisis.
Now I am chronically ill, disabled and can't work at all, so the MoneySaving tips I learned help me every day as I try my best to get by on just a couple of hundred pounds a month PIP. And the tips mean I can help others out too.
Money Moral Dilemma
Every week, the Money Tips email features a real-life Money Moral Dilemma (MMD for short). They're intended to encourage debate and, as such, they're usually among the most discussed threads each week.
Should we keep evenly splitting restaurant bills even though we don't drink?
When we go out with friends, my partner and I split the food and drinks bill evenly with the group, though neither of us drinks alcohol. The groups we're part of can order multiple cocktails, bottles of wine and beers, which pushes the total cost up. Should we speak up and pay less, or just accept the equal split to keep the peace?
You can find out what our MSE Forumites think and add your own two cents on the Money Moral Dilemma discussion thread. Remember the MSE Forum rules: keep it kind and keep it clean. Remember, there's a real person behind every Money Moral Dilemma.
Got a Money Moral Dilemma of your own? Email us at MMD@moneysavingexpert.com and it could be featured.
Latest comping wins
One of the most frequented boards, Competitions Time, is where compers come to find and share competitions. There are countless success stories, but here are some of the most recent: a set of Aqua Gelz won by redfox5 and a Sharpies set won by Samjade97.
There've been some 'art-warming wins this week
Your two cents
With summer wedding invites dropping through letterboxes, we'd like to know: Is it cheaper to get married abroad? Let us know your experiences.
If you're not a member yet, it's easy to register for the MSE Forum.