A City Break to Relax and Escape – on a Budget!


Life is stressful, and between working our jobs, maintaining our homes and looking after children, it can be easy to neglect our own health and wellbeing. We all deserve a treat and, with so many low-cost airlines and hotel comparison sites on offer, it’s never been easier to whisk yourself and a loved one away on a city break for a wonderful weekend. Below we’ve listed some top tips to help keep your trip low-cost and ensure you don’t waste a penny.

 

Go self-catering

Thanks to websites like Airbnb, it’s never been easier to find accommodation in apartments or studios that allow the luxury of having your own kitchen on your trip away. This means that you can prepare lunches and snacks indoors and create a romantic picnic to bring with you on your sightseeing adventures. In the evening, you can pick up a local recipe, wander around the markets and buy local ingredients to create a romantic meal at home. This doesn’t mean you can’t dine out as well, but dining in the majority of the time will help you save money and it doesn’t need to be boring – perhaps stick to local foods!

 

Price around

If you’ve found your dream hotel on a booking site, but you’d love to save a bit of extra cash, then use the internet to your advantage. Search for a money-off coupon online, or join a loyalty scheme where you can save some cash by using someone else’s sign up link. Look for two nights for the price of one deals and remember that weekday stays are often significantly cheaper than a weekend stay. This point also relates to flights, if you can fly on a Thursday or return on a Monday, you can reduce the overall cost of your flights.

 

Embrace the free sights

It’s amazing the number of sights on offer on a city break, many of which won’t cost you a penny. Search blogs and websites and find hidden gems to explore in your chosen city and remember that some sites across Europe can cost less with your EU passport. Various sites offer ‘free entrance’ on certain days of the year, for example, on the first Sunday of the month, there is free admission for all visitors to the Colosseum in Rome and in Paris, the Louvre is free on a Friday after 6pm for all under 26-year-olds. Don’t forget all the beautiful free walks that are on offer. A quick Google search on your chosen destination and you’ll find coastal walks, walks through the mountains and walks through stunning botanical gardens, all for free! Not only are you getting a chance to fit in some exercise, but it’s a chance to let your mind escape the manic pace of everyday life.

How to run your own Boot Camp on a Budget!

How to run your own Boot Camp on a Budget

Getting fit through a healthy diet and regular exercise will help you to enjoy life, making the most out of every opportunity that comes your way. From the physical improvements you’ll see to your body, to the overall improvements to your health, being fit should be one of your biggest priorities. Many people assume that to get fit you need to join a gym, or take out an expensive health club membership but this isn’t the case. You could get your friends and family involved and start your own boot camp – get outside in the fresh air and stick within your budget whilst you get fit. Below, we’ve listed out our top tips to help you start your very own boot camp on a budget!

 

Set your goals

When you start out, gather together a few of your closest friends or family and get together to plan your goals that you’re going to achieve by attending boot camp each week. This way you can all support each other, and hold each other accountable – basically becoming each other’s personal trainers throughout the duration of your boot camp.

 

Plan ahead

Each week take 15 minutes to sit down and plan out your boot camp workouts for the following seven days. Aim for 2-4 sessions each week, and agree with the rest of the people attending your boot camp which days and times you’re going to work out. Trial mornings and after work, weekdays, and weekends to see which sessions suit you and your lifestyle best. The easier you can fit your workouts into your day, the more likely you are to commit to them.

 

The workouts!

Getting outside gives you so many amazing opportunities for fun, challenging workouts. Go for a run, trying each week to add an extra half km to your distance, or if you’re happy with your distance, shave off the time you’ve been running at. Head to the park, use the benches for tricep dips, or push-ups with either your feet on the bench or your hands. Use the monkey bars for pull-ups and the slide to do step ups onto.

For more great tips to help you live a fit, healthy lifestyle within a tight budget, read our blog (http://www.voucherist.co.uk/resources/).

Three Cheap Winter Foods to start Buying now

Cheap Winter food to Start Buying now

Winter may not be here yet, but it certainly feels like it’s on its way. When the days get shorter and the nights get darker, there’s nothing quite like tucking into a hearty meal after a long day. To help inspire you to create wholesome and healthy foods packed with vitamins to protect yourself against any winter illnesses, we’ve created a list of the top three winter foods to start popping in your trolley.

 

1. Turnips

We tend to see a rise in the use of root vegetables in the lead-up and during winter, including turnips and parsnips. Turnips are what’s known as a cruciferous vegetable, which means they contain high concentrations of minerals, vitamins, and carotenoids. They are also a brilliant source of folate, fibre, and vitamins E, K, and C. Try them in a stew, in soups or even just roasted in the oven. Delicious!

 

2. Brussels sprouts

Sprouts are a little like marmite – you either love them or you hate them. However, despite their reputation, they are a fantastic source of source of fibre, vitamin C, and antioxidants, which have many health benefits. Brussel sprouts don’t need to be eaten just boiled – you can make them taste better by roasting them with olive oil, pepper, and salt to help retain their nutrients and add them to cranberries, walnuts, and apples to create a delicious Winter Brussels Sprouts Salad. You might discover you like them after all.

 

3. Fennel

Fennel tends to resemble a cross between celery and a white onion and it tastes milder but similar to liquorice-flavoured seeds. It’s an excellent source of potassium, vitamin C, folate, and fibre. You can saute and slice it slowly over a low heat until it’s soft and caramelised. Then try adding it to a steak or burger so a wonderful explosion of flavours.

Bring these foods into your diets now to start giving your body all the nutrients it needs to fight against the cold and flu of the winter months.

For more delicious recipes for the Autumn and Winter months and money saving tips, why not check out the Voucherism website today?

3 Money Saving Ingredients for your Autumn Dishes

Money Saving Ingredients for your Autumn Dishes

Autumn is a wonderful time of year, with crisp weather and beautiful foliage. We all need a warming bowl of goodness to ease us into the autumn season. The good news is that autumn food doesn’t need to cost you lots of money. We’ve put together three budget ingredients that are good for your health and can open up a whole world of rich beef stews, warming risottos and more!

 

Squash

Butternut squash is packed with flavour, making it a perfect ingredient for boiling, roasting, and mashing. You can peel the skin, then toss it with salt, pepper and olive oil for a delicious daytime snack. You can even roast the seeds too. The best thing about the squash is the flesh. You can cut it into chunks and roast in the oven with big flavours like bacon, sun-dried tomatoes or chilli flakes. When it’s cooked, you can add it to salads, blend it into a soup or even try a delicious bacon and butternut squash risotto.

 

Puy lentils

The humble lentil doesn’t seem very popular, but it certainly should not be overlooked, as it’s full of nutrition and taste. There are a variety of lentils and they usually fit into two different categories. A great choice, however, is the puy, speckled or green lentils which hold their shape and taste amazing. These are perfect for hearty soups, lovely warm salads or lentil hotpots.

 

Cooking bacon

Bacon is wonderful, but cooking bacon is even better for making autumn dishes. If you aren’t sure what’s classified as ‘cooking bacon’, then it’s simply the part of bacon that isn’t the correct size to be packaged and sold as actual ‘bacon’, so just the leftovers. You can often buy it in bulk and you should cut it into smaller pieces and freeze some to use at a later date. Perfect to use in the butternut squash and bacon risotto or brilliant to add to soups, salads or stews. You could try a bacon and lentil soup on cold days.

For more money saving tips and tricks, why not check out Voucherism today!

Money Saving Tactics in the Kitchen

Money Saving Kitchen Tactics

Why is it that fruit and veg can cost an arm and a leg, but junk food is cheap as chips? When the nation is declaring that we should be fit and healthy to reduce obesity it seems more needs to be done. However, there are money saving tips that can mean you eat good food without breaking the bank.

 

Frozen foods

Fresh fruit and veg seem like a great option until you see the price at the supermarket, so how about opting for frozen fruit and veg instead? Studies have shown that they have just as many nutrients and vitamins as the fresh veggies, so you don’t need to worry about lacking any of the good stuff. The bonus of frozen food is that you can keep it in the freezer and bung it in your meal whenever you fancy without worry of it going off within a few days.

 

Batch cooking

Unless you live in a big house full of people, it can sometimes seem a bit of a chore eating through the huge meal you’ve made if you’ve cooked up a huge stew or curry that needs eating. Unfortunately foods only last a few days in the fridge, so you may find yourself eating the same meal for three days. Batch cooking is the way to resolve this. Cook up a big meal and put half of it in the freezer. Different meals last different times in the freezer so check out www.foodsafety.gov to check on times. They can generally last one to six months, so make sure you check out their recommendations.

 

Audit your fridge and shelves

How many times have you come to use a sauce or a packet of food and found it’s gone past the sell by date? Make sure you audit once in a while and put the products close to their use by date out in readiness to use up first.

Clean eating doesn’t have to cost a fortune, so there’s no excuse for not eating healthy foods and staying fit and well this winter: take our advice for money saving ways.