Our top fixes for com­mon house­hold dilem­mas plus ex­pert money-sav­ing tips to keep your house run­ning smoothly

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House­hold dilem­mas solved

To-do list

A few things to try this month...

sort the pantry Spare an af­ter­noon to give your cup­boards a good de­clut­ter. Out-of-date cho­co­lates and half-eaten pack­ets of bis­cuits won’t tempt any­one, so take stock and clear out. Adopt the rule of ‘first in, first out’ to en­sure noth­ing goes out of date, treat your­self to some pretty, stack­able tins for home-baked goods and have a go at la­belling up your jars.

start a veg­gie gar­den What could be more re­ward­ing than eat­ing pro­duce that you’ve grown in the back gar­den? Start in the au­tumn and plant spring cab­bages, garlic and onions, and sow broad beans – you’ll have crops ready to har­vest in the spring and sum­mer. The Royal Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety web­site, rhs.org.uk, has month-by-month ad­vice and tips on how to grow fruit and veg.

try freezer cook­ing Life can get very busy at this time of year. With all the kids’ par­ties, house­hold chores and af­ter-school clubs, time can slip away. Be­fore you know it, it’s din­ner time and you’ve got to feed your brood! Get ahead by bulk-cook­ing meals that you can di­vide into in­di­vid­ual or fam­ily-sized por­tions and pop in the freezer – it’ll save you both time and money. Lakeland sells a great range of freezer pots, bags and pens for la­belling.

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