Tag Archives: student budget

Top tips: winter-proof your flat

If your flat is feeling like the Arctic then check out these clever, low-budget tips to winter-proof your place:

  • Tin foil is your friend. If you have a radiator heater attached to a wall, particularly an external wall, a lot of heat is lost behind the radiator. You can reflect the heat back into the room by sticking tin foil on the wall behind the radiator. If you can’t quite get to the wall, wrap a large bit of cardboard in foil and slide it behind the heater.
  • No fire? Block the chimney. If you have a fireplace that you don’t use it’s really important to close off the chimney as it sucks the heat right outside. This can easily be done by shoving bunches of newspaper up there – but make sure you remove it before lighting a fire!
  • Plastic fantastic. I’ll bet your windows aren’t double glazed. However, you can DIY by covering your windows with a layer of bubble wrap. Just cut it to size, spray the window with a fine mist of water and it should stick. You can also put a blob of blue tack in the corners to make sure.
  • Cover your walls. Minimise energy loss by decorating! Putting things on the walls acts a bit like insulation. The more surface area that’s covered by pictures and mirrors the better.
  • Re-organise your furniture. Make sure there’s nothing blocking the flow of heaters or vents in the house. Try to keep couches and beds away from walls and windows, not only to avoid moisture and mould, but because they retain some heat which you don’t want to lose. Also, think about the positioning of your desk. If it’s against an external wall then you’ll feel the cold much more.

Leave us a comment below if you have any more tips and tricks for a warm home.

Recipe: PB, jam and banana toastie

PBJB sammies
PBJB toasted sammies

This is one you’ll either love or hate! It’s quick and easy and will definitely satisfy a hungry belly. It’s the epitome of a student snack! I suggest you try it.


  • white bread
  • jam of your choice (I find something like plum jam works best as I like the smooth texture)
  • peanut butter – crunchy or smooth
  • a ripe banana
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • margarine or butter


  • Spread a thin layer of margarine or butter on one side of the slices of bread – this will be on the outside so it goes golden and crispy.
  • Turn the bread over and spread the desired amount of peanut butter on the non-buttered side.
  • Spread the desired amount of jam on top of the peanut butter.
  • On a plate, mash the banana slightly with a fork and then spread it on top of the peanut butter and jam.
  • Sprinkle a small pinch of cinnamon over the banana. Place the other slice of bread on top, non-buttered side down.
  • Place the sandwich in your sandwich press for at least 5 minutes – you want it to be nice and gooey. If you don’t have a sandwich press you can cook it in a frying pan on med-high heat for about 4 minutes a side.

These yummy, gooey toasted sammies make a great snack on a cold day! But be warned, putting jam in a toasted sandwich is a dangerous endeavour. I’ve seen it spill out and burn someone’s hand, and it ain’t pretty!