Money saving ideas to cut the cost of your wedding

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Wedding season has officially started. If you’re in the midst of planning yours, it can feel like every you breath you take you’re adding another extortionate cost to your big day. If you’re like most people (not Prince Harry and Meghan Markle), you probably have an eye constantly watching your budget, so here are some suggestions for keeping costs down by asking for a favour (or ten) and taking a creative approach to your wedding spending.

Decorations

Once you’ve decided on a theme/style, it can be tempting to go on Etsy or NotOnTheHighStreet.com and want to buy tons of hand-made individual pieces for every table, room and guest in that colour palette, but what you could do instead is browse for inspiration and make your own. eBay is also a great place to find craft materials and buying in bulk could save you a lot of money. Of course this tactic requires more time to get the work done, but with a few extra pairs of hands from the wedding party you could get the jobs done a lot faster.

Enlist help

If you have a friend that’s been on a calligraphy course, or just has lovely handwriting, get them to do the table names (or assess if you even need them). If you’ve got a family member that’s a graphic designer, see if they can design the invitations.

Wedding planning is the perfect time to ask for favours, and there’s something in it for them as they can swap their help rather than give a wedding present – so don’t be shy when asking your friend if you can hire their classic car or asking them to play the piano during the reception.

If you’re part of a local forum or community organisation, feel free to ask around there, too. You might find a local discount or friend of a friend that’s more than happy to help.

Dress

These days it’s not hard to find a great, low-cost wedding dress. Many high street stores have their own bridal collections, including Debenhams and Whistles, and ASOS have recently brought out a wedding collection, too.

If you don’t necessarily want to own a dress, consider hiring one, particularly if you can’t see yourself wearing it again. You can hire wedding dresses from designer rental sites like Girl Meets Dress or even from other people in your area online using apps like FatLama.com.

Bend the rules

On your day, you can bypass or stick with the traditions how you see fit, so if something is going to cost a lot of money and you don’t see the point of it, go ahead and leave it out. Whether it’s getting rid of favours, forgetting the veil or mixing up the day completely, just go for it!

 

Benefits of a Spring Declutter

We are all spending a lot of time inside at the moment, but one way to remain productive is to throw yourself into a classic Spring Clean! There’s never been a better time to have a bit of a refresh. You can easily identify items you no longer use, free up space and possibly even make a little bit of money whilst doing it.

If you need some motivation to get started, here are some reasons why a declutter could bring with it a host of benefits, as well as keeping you busy for the time being:

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Image source: featherandnest.co.uk

Just To Freshen Up

Given that we are at home so much, it’s only natural that your mind wanders and you begin to think about improving your surroundings, and doing so can also be a great way to destress yourself and alleviate some of the anxiety of being in your home constantly. 

From simply freeing up space in your home to completely changing the layout of a room, you would be amazed what a little decluttering and rearranging can do for your mood.

Make Money Out Of Unwanted Items

Spring cleaning could also make you some extra cash. If you’ve got a lot of unused things hiding in your cupboards, it could be worth putting some time aside to sort through what could be thrown away, sold or donated. 

You could use Marie Kondo’s famous method of assessing whether something should be kept or not based on whether it sparks joy, meaning you can single out those sentimental items that you want to keep hold of, even if they no longer serve a purpose.

You’d be surprised at what people will buy second hand, so if you find anything that could be used by someone else, try listing it for sale online and see if you could make some money, particularly with things like clothing or electronics. If you’re not sure if something is likely to sell, search for the item in eBay’s ‘completed listings’ and see what prices the same or similar items have recently sold for.

Remember that with Shiply you can deliver items for up to 75% less than typical rates, meaning that high delivery fees won’t put people off of bidding for your items!

If you’d rather not sell, consider donating instead (although this may have to wait until it is safe to do so). There are many places that accept donations, whether it’s a charity shop, a toy library or somewhere that accepts donations for specific projects like recycling wedding dresses/suits or sending old running shoes/sports gear to those unable to afford them.

Make Space For New Purchases/Activities

If you have been thinking about getting a piano, or perhaps making a play area for your kids, getting rid of those old unwanted items is a great way to free up space. It’s amazing what a bit of decluttering and repositioning of furniture can do, and doing some maneuvering could give you the space you need to improve your home and allow you to do more productive or fun activities.

As a bonus, any cash you make from selling the items could be put towards filling the new space!

Preparing For A House Move

If you’re looking to move home later this year, decluttering in advance could save you a lot of hassle nearer the time, and could reduce the amount of items to pack before moving day. If you’re likely to be moving in the warmer months, you might find it beneficial to pack up your winter items well in advance, like warm coats, woolly hats and gloves, or specialist winter sports gear like skiing or snowboarding equipment. Packing away anything that you are unlikely to need before the move will reduce the number of chores to do nearer the time when stress levels are already high in the weeks before your moving day. Remember, house removals on Shiply are typically cheaper than usual too…

Good luck with your decluttering!

Amsterdam Supermarket Introduces Plastic-free Aisle

Image Source: guardian.co.uk

A plastic-free aisle in an Amsterdam supermarket has been unveiled, which includes 700 items now available to buy without plastic packaging.The organisation Plastic Planet were the brains behind the idea, and have called the introduction of this aisle “a landmark moment for the global fight against plastic pollution”

 

The new aisle at Ekoplaza supermarket now has items with glass, metal and cardboard packaging, as well as other compostable materials, which are all clearly marked as being plastic free and do not cost any more than their plastic-covered counterparts.

 

Prime Minister Theresa May recently mentioned her support of plastic-free supermarkets in her 25 year Government plan, and UK store Iceland recently pledged to rid of all plastic packaging on its own-brand products by 2023.The other big UK supermarkets are now under pressure to follow suit, but none have yet to disclose information about their plastic outputs or made any similar commitments.

 

Plastic Planet surveyed British shoppers to find that 9 out of 10 want the amount of plastic packaging reduced in supermarkets, so hopefully these other supermarkets start listening and following Iceland’s lead.

 

iPhone X Prize Draw Winner Announced!

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Between October and November, we ran a prize draw for the opportunity to win a brand new iPhone X. All Shiply customers were eligible to take part in the prize draw, and were automatically entered if they accepted three quotes on Shiply between 9 October and 30 November 2017.

Shortly after the closing date of 30 November, a winner was randomly chosen out of the eligible customers and the lucky winner of an iPhone X was Raj Kumar!

Congratulations Raj from all of us at Shiply!

Resolutions for a Green New Year

Perhaps you want to commit to having a greeener 2018 but don’t know where to start? Have you been watching Blue Planet 2 and want to know what you can do to reduce your negative effect on the environment? Here are some ideas for making your 2018 kinder to our planet.

Declutter once and for all

‘Spring cleaning’ will get your home feeling fresh in time for summer and it’s warmer temperatures. It can be difficult to get started (especially if you’ve got lots to get rid of), so don’t be afraid to ask friends or family for a helping hand – even if it’s just someone to repeatedly say ‘keep, throw away or donate’ to keep you on track. Perhaps you can keep yourself motivated by committing to clear out a certain amount of space in a cupboard by the end of the day or reward yourself with a takeaway in the evening. If you have any items of any value, list them on a second hand marketplace like eBay or Amazon and you might even make a profit too!

Fitness and wellbeing

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Do you have fitness goals this year? Fitness and wellbeing are subjects that are becoming more and more talked about, and rightly so. Perhaps you want to smash a goal like completing a marathon or it could be a smaller lifestyle change like cycling to work instead of taking public transport. Mental health and wellbeing has also been talked about much more in the open, and many people have felt the benefits of speaking about their mental health and self-care.

Take up a green hobby

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Do you want to start something new in 2018? It’s never been easier to find like-minded people online and get together over a shared interest. With websites like meetup.com, you can search for any sort of hobby or interest and you’ll find a group for it! Green hobbies could include learning to upcycle furniture, knitting your own clothing or learning to fix things around the home. Many educational institutions offer short courses in popular crafts like sewing or woodwork, or online ‘how to’ videos could teach you everything you need to know. If you want to do something new in the new year, there’s nothing stopping you!

Eat less meat

The meat and dairy industries are coming more and more under fire with more people turning to a meat-free or plant-based diet. If you don’t want to go fully plant-based, you may prefer to buy locally-sourced ingredients or cook only with vegetables that are in season. The meat and dairy industries have a massive negative effect on the environment, and you can make a difference by adjusting your diet. You might even want to sign up to Veganuary and kick off your new year with a vegan month!

Think green this Christmas

If you’re wondering how to have a less wasteful Christmas this year, here are some tips to make your Christmas a little greener. Planning ahead could make a big difference to how much you throw away and help minimise your effect on the environment.

Buy Second hand presents

Shiply blog imageImage Souce Ebay.co.uk

Second hand doesn’t have to be a stained or half eaten present. It can also mean something virtually brand new in a box that was an unwanted gift for someone else but perfect for who you’re buying for. Before heading straight for brand new, consider looking for something second hand. Use sites like eBay to find pre-loved (or never-loved) items that deserve a better home and look good as new, which should please even the fussiest of Christmas guests. It should save you some money, too.

Be mindful of potential waste

There are a lot of things we do around this period that are excessive, without giving them a second thought. Do you really need to buy a huge bag of sprouts when it’s only one person that’ll actually eat them? Do you really need three whole desserts for a family of six? When you’re shopping, try and think about portion sizes (if you’re going to be following recipes, look at what is recommended for each person and try to stick to it). People overspend and overbuy – remember you can always buy more another day if there’s not enough! The same goes for gifts – if you have more than one gift for one person, do you really need to wrap them individually and do they really need more than one in the first place?
If your loved ones have stockings, think about what you’re putting in there and don’t just fill it for the sake of it. Will the small toys really be used? Do they really need all those gimmicks? Think carefully about what you’re buying and the consequences on the planet if they’re thrown away.

Make sure you recycle

Shiply blog imageImage Source: Wonderopolis.org

If you’re finding it too difficult to find out how many mouths you need to feed, or presents to buy (maybe you’re not sure who’s going to be coming round and when!), make sure that you’re able to recycle what you do not use. For waste food, make sure you don’t just throw it away – leftovers can be sorted into portions and eaten later. Popular ways to use turkey leftovers include making christmas sandwiches or turkey curries. As a last resort, discard in a compost heap or put in a food bin for the council to collect.

Make sure you separate wrapping paper and cardboard to be recycled. If you don’t already recycle, take a look at your local council’s website to see how you can avoid putting your Christmas waste into landfill.

Think green this Christmas!

How Shiply can help you this December

Shiply can help with a range of challenges you might face over the Christmas period, from the all-important build up, right through to the new year. With savings of up to 75%, Shiply can help save you money during what is typically an expensive time of year, for a range of different services like moving home, helping with those bulky furniture arrangements and getting those all-important presents to your loved ones.

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Coming home from uni?

If you have to leave your halls of residence at the end of every term, you might need some help getting everything home. It’s easy to find a removal service on Shiply, and if you need help packing and unpacking, our transport providers can quote for these services, too. Perfect for if you’ve asked enough favours this year from your parents or friends or if your uni is particularly far from home.

Christmas presents

You’ve found the perfect gift for Mr or Ms Impossible-to-buy-for, BUT you’ve discovered that the item is collection only and is to be collected from the other side of the country…or somewhere just too difficult to get to. Many of Shiply’s customers find it super-easy to find a courier to get you that perfect gift, whether it’s coming from the next village or the next country. Shiply is also an eBay-compatible application so you don’t need to put in ebay item details manually – just put the eBay URL into our form and the fields will populate automatically with item information and photos to save you time.

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Image source – therugseller.co.uk

Moving home?

Have you recently bought a new home that you’re going to be moving into in time for the arrival of Father Christmas? The combination of the pressure of Christmas festivities alongside what is notoriously one of the most stressful things you can do could easily be calmed by hiring a helping hand, be it just a man with a van to get your things from A to B with a bit of heavy lifting or whether you’d like someone to take care of the whole process while you’re at work, including packing, unpacking, assembling and disassembling furniture and appliances. We can even help with pets!

Preparing your home for Christmas

Preparing your home for Christmas day can involve a lot of organisation and hard work. Maybe your Christmas tree is too heavy to carry yourself or you could do with some help having your decorations delivered as well as installing them at home. Just list your requirements on Shiply if you think it’ll be difficult to do alone this year.
Not enough chairs for everyone to sit round the table? A man and van service can help you gather up those spare chairs from loved ones’ homes so you can all be comfortable on Christmas day.

Tesla reveals electric ‘Tesla Semi’ to rival diesel trucks

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Tesla has revealed their new electric articulated lorry, the Tesla Semi, which they hope will be a replacement to the diesel-guzzling trucks currently in use by 3.5 million truck drivers in the US. It is the first electric truck to be revealed amongst several companies making similar electric vehicles including Daimler AG, Volkswagen, Cummins and Nikola.

CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, revealed that the Tesla Semi can also reach an impressive speed; an empty trailer can go from 0 to 60mph in just 5 seconds! The truck will have a central driving position (not on one side like we currently drive) with touch screens on either side of the driving seat. The truck will also have cameras instead of wing mirrors.

Safety is a big concern for Tesla. The truck will come with an enhanced version of Tesla’s current semi-autonomous driving system called AutoPilot which is installed in all Tesla vehicles – this gives them self-driving capability which is safer than human driving. The new truck is also said to have lane-keeping technology and be impossible to jackknife.

For truck drivers, the range the truck can travel on one charge is an important factor. The Tesla semi will be able to travel 500 miles on one charge whilst full and at highway speeds. Despite this impressive range for such a large vehicle, this is still significantly less than the range of current diesel trucks on a tank of diesel, with refilling much faster than recharging a truck’s battery.

No price has yet been revealed, but Tesla says that the vehicle will work out cheaper per mile (about 20%) than a diesel equivalent once all costs are accounted for including fuel and maintenance.

Do you think the Tesla Semi is enough to convert diesel truck drivers?

Road Safety Week 2017

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Image Source: roadsafetyweek.org.uk

The last week in November this year (20-26) marks Road Safety Week 2017, an annual event arranged by the charity Brake, to raise awareness of the dangers of the road and to spread life-saving information about how to be safer in and around road traffic.

‘Speed Down Save Lives’

The theme for this year’s Road Safety Week is ‘Speed Down Save Lives’, a campaign encouraging drivers to think about their driving speed and it’s effect on stopping distances. Modern cars can get up to high speeds in very short amounts of time, and this year’s campaign is committed to raising awareness amongst drivers that it’s their responsibility to know how fast they’re going and how long their vehicle will take to stop if they see a hazard in the road ahead.

How can I get involved?

If you want to join in the campaign for safer roads this year, you can apply for a free action pack either as an individual campaigner or as an organisation like a school or community.

If you’d like to raise a road safety complaint in your community, Road Safety Week is a perfect time to do this – take a look at the Brake charity website to find out how to organise petitions, hold a demonstration or how to go about getting speed limits queried in your area.

If you’d like to contribute to this fantastic cause you can do so in a variety of ways, whether it’s a bake sale, run a race for Brake or just give a donation. Brake will be collecting money throughout the week across the country: London 20th Nov, Birmingham 21st Nov, Huddersfield 22-23 Nov and Leeds 24th Nov.

What will you be doing for Road Safety Week?

Have a Green Halloween

Halloween is a time for fun, but the costumes, pumpkins and sweet wrappers can make it a breeding ground for waste. If you’re worried about contributing to the amount of plastic filling our bins this halloween, there are a few things you can implement to keep waste (and cost!) down without affecting the fun.

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Image Source: avogel.co.uk

Walk, don’t drive

When you’re trick or treating, stay close to home and avoid getting in the car. Take a walk in your area instead – try and organise trick-or-treating in a group so you feel safe and can have fun chatting on the way round the houses.

Make or borrow your costume

If you’ve got some time, why not try making costumes from materials you have in the home? This obviously takes some time, but don’t be afraid to keep it simple and work with what you have. If you’ve not got time to make a costume, try visiting eBay for second hand costumer or visit a local charity shop. As well as reusing a costume, it’ll probably save you money, too!

Use up the pumpkin

Many of us buy a pumpkin to carve for a window display and typically throw most of it away. Next time you’re digging out a pumpkin’s insides, have a think about how you can prevent throwing it away and putting it to good use. You can make soup, or use the pumpkin in the same way you would use butternut squash in recipes, and you can of course roast and flavour the seeds how you’d like for a healthy snack!

Make treats

If you’re going to a halloween party, consider baking something to take with you rather than purchasing cakes. By doing this you can cut down on sugar and cater to dietary requirements, and you’ll have fun getting creative in the kitchen. An added bonus is that you’ll know exactly what ingredients you’ve used so you know there won’t be too many nasties in there!

Avoid plastic bags

When you’re trick-or-treating, consider taking a reusable bag for collecting your treats rather than purchasing a plastic halloween-themed vessel, only to be thrown away days later once the sweets have gone. You can decorate your bags to make them fit the theme (hint: an orange Sainsbury’s bag is a very convenient colour for halloween!)

Happy Halloween!