How on earth it happens I don’t know, but yet again my cupboards, drawers and shelves are full to bursting with junk. I’m not even that much of a shopper, this stuff just seems to breed.
So at least once a year I have a huge cull of all the clutter. Then I sort it into piles of things I want to keep and things I want to sell. The fun is seeing how much money I can make out of all the cast-offs.
Now the nights are drawing in — that and the fact the rain puts me off going out — I’m planning on using the evenings to get a handle on all my possessions.
I’ll start with my clothes and shoes because I’m in the middle of switching from my summer wardrobe to my winter one, and that always means chucking out a few things.
Apparently (according to the Waste and Resources Action Programme, or WRAP), the clothes in the average UK wardrobe are worth around £4,000 and yet a third of the items have not been worn for at least a year.
MISS MONEYSAVER: How on earth it happens I don’t know, but yet again my cupboards, drawers and shelves are full to bursting with junk
I hold my hands up to this: I know there are quite a few items in my wardrobe that I haven’t worn for a couple of years.
Get an extra £2 off fruit and veg for little ones
Sainsbury’s supermarket is topping up the Government’s Healthy Start scheme for half a million women who are pregnant or parents who have young children in England.
Those on a low income with at least one child under four qualify for a Healthy Start card (healthystart.nhs.uk) which helps them buy milk, fruit, veg, formula milk, tinned pulses and some multivitamins.
Between now and April 11, 2023, families with a Healthy Start card get a bonus £2 coupon at the checkout at Sainsbury’s once a week. This can be used to buy fresh, frozen and tinned fruit and veg next time they visit.
Market research agency Give Opinions is looking for people to test sweet and savoury snacks before Christmas.
The chosen testers will be paid £50 for their opinion on the sweet treats and £100 for the savoury line.
If you think you have the time and the tastebuds, fill in the form at giveopinions.co.uk/enrol/C1J6-70G and wait to hear if you’re chosen.
For a start, I have some Diva dresses in various colours that I used for TV appearances but which don’t suit me any more. I thought I would try to sell them on vinted.com as that seems to be where ‘the kids’ go.
But when I compared the prices it was asking for similar items with the prices on eBay, I decided to stick with the auction site (even though I’m pretty fed up with eBay at the moment, with its odd charges and the way it keeps wanting me to use its posting service).
Mind you, I have made a mental note that next time I want to buy from Diva or Karen Millen or another good High Street brand, I will check out Vinted first, as the prices are good for buyers.
I also have a couple of designer pieces which I keep saying I will sell, so I’ll put those on either vestiairecollective.com or reluxe fashion.com. Vestiaire is the better-known site but Reluxe has better reviews on Trustpilot, so I will probably use that instead. Like clothes, shoes sell well if they’re in good condition and are a decent brand name.
I have no designer heels but I do have some from good High Street names that I would like to get shot of, including Zara, Dune and Office.
So I’m going to try a new site I found (so new it doesn’t have a rating on Trustpilot yet) called sellmysoles.co.uk. It is free to advertise on and charges 9 per cent of the final price once you have actually sold your shoes or boots.
If you can’t be bothered to list all your clothes and accessories online (and I don’t blame you as it is an effort), you could make quick cash by taking them to a local ‘weigh my clothes’ place.
Go to smartrecycling.org.uk to find a drop-off point near you for clothes, shoes, bags and belts that are in good condition. At some centres they also collect bedding and bric-a-brac, but these need to be packed separately. They will pay there and then by weight.
Tech products, such as computers, laptops, iPads and smartphones, are also good earners, but make sure you restore devices to factory settings before handing them over to anyone else, to remove any personal information.
Again, you have the choice of selling these online or in-person. If you have a CeX (uk.webuy.com) store near you it’s worth going in with your laptop, phone or games console, or DVDs, games or tech accessories to see what it will offer you.
Pinch of salt in your pinta to make it last
Did you know that the average UK household throws away £800 worth of food every year?
With food inflation at a 42-year high and likely to rise even further next year, we need to start making the most of everything we buy.
I know you have some great tips of your own (email me at email@example.com to tell me about your most unusual ones), but did you know that you can make milk last longer if you put a pinch of salt in it and shake it around?
Weird, I know, but salt is a preservative that deters bacteria, so it can help keep your milk fresh for quite a while, particularly if you store it at the back of the fridge where it is coldest (not in the door, which is warmer).
For cupboard goods, I have saved countless biscuits, cereals, nuts, seeds and more from going stale by using the marvellous Klippits (£14.99 for a pack of 48 mixed sizes at lakeland.co.uk) to stop air from getting into opened packaging.
Lakeland also has re-sealable freezer bags (£7.99 for 20) in which you can store leftover gravy, custard, soup or sauces in the freezer.
I also use Lock & Lock plastic storage boxes of all sizes (available at Amazon and most hardware stores) to keep leftover meals, cheese and half-cut vegetables fresh for days in the fridge (far more effective than putting them on a plate, even with a cover).
To preserve fruit and veg, fill a large bowl with a solution of one part vinegar to three parts water and soak the produce for about 15 minutes. It removes bacteria, meaning the food is less likely to start rotting early.
Just wash the produce thoroughly before eating to erase any lingering after-taste!
Did you know that you can make milk last longer if you put a pinch of salt in it and shake it around?
One of my MoneyMagpie team members uses CeX regularly and says you can get more if you are willing to accept vouchers rather than cash to use in its stores.
You can also sell any sort of tech in any condition on money4mytech.co.uk. It has good reviews on Trustpilot and it pays you through bank transfer, PayPal or cheque as soon as it receives your items and agrees a price.
It’s easy to use, too: you just fill in the details on its website then either send your items in the post or have them picked up for free.
If you have some really old tech such as a VCR player or CD player (which I have somewhere), your best bet is to put them eBay, Gumtree or Preloved.
Depending on the make and condition, these are currently on sale on eBay for between £14 to £300, so it could be worth advertising yours if you’re sure you’re not going to use it in the future (I’m not sure yet as I rather like having actual CDs and DVDs to play).
And then there are those bits and pieces hanging around in drawers which are vintage rather than antiques, such as the silver cigarette box I got when my aunt passed on and some silver-plate items I know I won’t use.
You could sell these online, but you will often get more if you sell them at auction — even with the auctioneer charge. My local auction house won’t sell anything worth less than £100, but I’ve found you can get round this by bundling up three or four items that you think probably wouldn’t sell for more than £30 each.
If you have a box of old coins, you could try Exclusive Coins (exclusivecoins.co.uk/sell-your-coin-collection) which buy rare and collectable coins and coin collections as well as sovereigns, guineas, crowns, proof sets and maundy sets.
For books, try one of the many rare book sellers if you have a few nice hardbacks that you think could be worth something. Lucius Books (luciusbooks.com/sell-books-to-lucius/), for example, is particularly interested in first editions and rare printings (as are most dealers).
For ordinary paperbacks you can get instant cash from webuybooks.co.uk which also takes CDs, DVDs and games
There is a big market for men’s watches and you can sell yours quickly at anywatchforcash.co.uk. Though for high quality, collectible models, Prestige Watches, (prestigewatchesuk.co.uk) is a better choice.
You could also try Paul Fraser Collectibles (paulfrasercollectibles.com) which acts as a broker for collectors interested in coins, stamps, autographs, royal memorabilia and so on. It charges a commission, but says that this is lower than most auction houses. It also offers free valuations and advice from experts.
To get instant cash for bric-a-brac, it’s worth trying Text Stuff (textstuff.co.uk), where you can sell items in any condition. You simply send them in and it sends a quote. If you’re not happy, your items can be returned for free.
The upside is that you get immediate cash and de-clutter quickly, even if you don’t make as much as you would selling things piece by piece.
It’s the same with vintagecashcow.co.uk which accepts all sorts of items for instant cash and has decent reviews.
So have a de-clutter and see how much you can make.