Budget home: Lessons from Mrs Hinch

I don’t think there was many people in the UK who didn’t hear of Mrs Hinch and her trusty pal Minkeh this summer. The Instagram that Mrs Hinch made to document her cleaning escapades went viral and left many with the urge to have a cleaning spree in their home. Not only did Mrs Hinch inspire us to get our rubber gloves on and get scrubbing, she showed us some lessons that we all should implement into a budget friendly cleaning schedule and home.

Have your own little Narnia

Mrs Hinch came under fire for this a little but her idea is genius. A ‘Narnia’ is her term for her cleaning stash and she has a big one. It may seem unfriendly to your budget stockpiling items rather than just replacing them when they are running out but if you shop the deals and use voucher codes then you save in the long run. Also having a stash that you’ve managed to get bargains in means that when you’re well stocked you don’t have to worry about cleaning products in your monthly shop when you might have to tighten the budget on groceries that month.

Budget CAN be best

There are so many different cleaning products on the market and some of them can be ridiculously priced. Nearly all of the products that Mrs Hinch uses are affordable and can be picked up in bargain shops such as poundland, B&M and home bargains. She does use a wide variety of different products from time to time but you can do most of your everyday cleaning with a few staple items.

Mrs Hinch has also posted about her home decor and if you’ve seen her home decor shots then you know her home is gorgeous. A lot of the decor she has is from primark, B&M and asda showing that you can have a classily styled home without breaking the bank,.

My top 5 from Mrs Hinch’s Shopping List

In the wave of the cleaning craze I actually purchased some of Mrs Hinch recommended products and that woman knows her stuff! I already used a few and from her recommendations added a few to my favourites to buy. My top five products are:

  • Minky M Antibacterial sponge * (£8.99) – This was the item that sold out in shops for weeks. Once I finally managed to get my hands on one I was scared that I would be disappointed – I wasn’t!
  • Citrus fresh Zoflora – 500ml * (£7.89) – Up until a couple of years I only knew zoflora as the name my mum called sephora by accident but now I’m happily a fully fledged convert. Every scent smells amazing but my personal favourite is the citrus fresh. One of my favourite products to clean with to have the house smelling fresh and if you put it into a steam mop its game changing!
  • Flash bathroom with Febreeze * (£1 – half price!) – Having a shower in the family bathroom even with an extractor fan can leave the bathroom smelling a little damp. We’ve gotten into the habit of cleaning the shower and the walls down with this and a karcher glass cleaner and the bathroom always smells fresh and clean!
  • The pink stuff * (£6.76) – A prime example of a staple product that can be used for multiple purposes. I’m a messy cook and this cream cleaner always fixes my sins on the stove.
  • Dettol multi purpose pomegranate cleaning spray* (£6 – half price!) – Before my zoflora addiction my go-to was dettol spray. There’s something that just clicks in my brain when I use it and makes me that my environment is clean and fresh. I love using the pomegranate scented cleaner as again it leaves everywhere smelling lovely!

*Please note that these are affiliate links and if you make a purchase I will receive a small fee. I recommend only products that I have tried, tested and trust.


Budget bake: Malteser traybake

I regularly make tray bakes as they are so quick to make and easy experiment with. One of the firm favourites with my family and friends though is my malteser traybake. Its very chocolatey and indulgent and perfect for taking to parties or picnics. The base itself is so quick to prepare and the biggest amount of time spent with this recipe is putting it in the fridge to set. I don’t mind having to put it in the fridge a couple of times though as it gives me time in between to prepare or do other things.

What you need:

For the traybake base
400g Milk Chocolate
250g Butter
2 tbsp. golden syrup
400g Digestive biscuits
300g Maltesers

To decorate
400g White Chocolate
100g Milk chocolate
12 Maltesers

To make the traybake base:

  • In a pot place the butter, golden syrup and chocolate and melt together on a low heat ensuring that you stir regularly to avoid the chocolate burning at the bottom of the pan.
  • In a separate bowl crush the digestive biscuits with a rolling pin and add the maltesers and leave to the side.
  • Line a tray with baking parchment. I don’t use a specific sixed tray any deep rectangle trays tend to work well.
  • When the ingredients in the pot are completely melted remove from the heat and mix into the digestives and the maltesers.
  • When fully combined then spread into the tray and smooth down and into the corners.
  • Place into the fridge for an hour or two until the mix has cooled and set.

To decorate the traybake

  • Melt the white chocolate in a pot on low heat ensuring that you stir regularly so that it doesn’t burn and stick to the pot.
  • Pour on top of the traybake. Instead of spreading with a palette knife I like to tilt the tray side to side slowly to spead the chocolate completely over the traybake.
  • Then set the traybake back into the fridge for a few minutes while you prepare the last of the decoration
  • Melt 100g of milk chocolate. I usually microwave the chocolate at this part as it is a smaller amount and tends to burn in the pot. Alternatively you can melt in a bowl over hot water in a pot. It entirely p to you and what chocolate melting method you prefer.
  • Once melted with a spoon drizzle the milk chocolate over the traybake. It doesn’t have to be neat – I personally think it looks better if its messy! I usually do horizontal and vertical lines and they come out in different sizes.
  • Once you have finished adding the milk chocolate to the top then place maltesers onto the traybake. I usually cut the traybake into 12 medium/large squares so I place the maltesers onto where roughly the middle of the squares will be. You could alternatively make smaller bite sized portions by adding more maltesers on top and cutting smaller square.
  • Once the maltesers are on top of the traybake then place the traybake back into the fridge to set the chocolate on top for a couple of hours.
  • When the traybake is completely set then its time to slice! I suggest taking the traybake out of the tray, keeping it in the baking paper for 10 minutes at room temperature to take the chill off it. Then heat a knife with hot water and slice the traybake into squares and enjoy!

Let me know if you try this recipe and like it!

Money saving beauty: Learning to DIY your glam

I see so many people getting hair ups and make up done by make up artists for nights out on a regular basis and most of the time they say its because they don’t know how to do it themselves. I completely understand the anxiety around looking your best and not feeling good enough to try to do it yourself but from experience I’ve learned that there are so many talented people online who are sharing their knowledge in a simple, easy to follow way and it can save so much money in the long run.

Sociable glam can add up to an unsociable budget

In the past year I’ve had three hen weekends and three weddings to attend and multiple nights out with friends and work colleagues. I’ve only paid for my hair and make up for one of the weddings/events and it came to £55 in total. If I had my make up done for all three hens and weddings it would have been £330 alone, that’s not even factoring in outfits and gifts then money during them. Being sociable is an expensive hobby as it is and just like there are ways to save money in gifts and outfits it can be done with your glam as well!

If I’m honest the time that I got my hair and makeup done by professionals wasn’t my favorite look out of all the weddings but I think that’s because I have gotten so used to doing my hair and make up the way I like from the things I’ve learned online and with products I like. People have often asked me where I’ve had my hair and make up done for the events and are always surprised when I say I’ve done it myself.

Learn to glam in your pyjamas

I cannot say it enough but I LOVE YouTube and its taught me so much – from make up to financial planning. I am constantly finding new ways to approach things from other peoples wisdom sharing videos. My two all time favorite make-up YouTubers are Jamie Genevieve and Mykie from Glam and Gore.

Jamie is a Scottish make up artist who shares different glam looks with a mix of affordable and luxury products. She is really down to earth and easy to follow and I’ve learned so much from her tutorials. Mykie is a SFX pro and as much as its not something you really need that often she also does some great make up looks that can be worn outwith Halloween, I’m adding her in because she is so entertaining to watch and shows you how to have fun with make up.

For learning through YouTube I’d say search the looks that you want or try and find someone with similar skin troubles or tone that you like and follow along.

You don’t need an expensive kit

I have invested in some good – more expensively priced products for my make up kit over the years but every product has lasted so long and I have been able to justify each purchase within my budget or they have been given as gifts. You don’t need an expensive collection of make up to achieve the same glam as a make up artist though, if you look in their kits they use a mix of products just like everyone else and there are plenty of dupes of higher priced brands that give similar results.

Sleek makeup and Makeup revolution have so many palettes and products that are affordable and make up kit essentials. I will do a run down of whats in my kit with a full budget of what its cost another time.

Do you rely on others to get glam? or do you DIY it? Whats your favorite tips and tricks on being glam on a budget? let me know in the comments below.