With the big day only one month away, we’re kicking off our Christmas blog series with some present ideas! It’s hard every year to think of something original to buy your family and friends, but our list of local shops in Yorkshire will provide those special and unique gifts that you can guarantee nobody else will have!
- Great Yorkshire Shop, Corn Exchange: Support Yorkshire producers by purchasing your Christmas presents here! They sell Henderson’s Relish, leaf tea from Sheffield’s Birdhouse Tea Company, and natural skincare products from Whitby’s Sweet Cecily’s
- The Traditional Shaving Company, Grand Arcade: For all your bearded friends, pick up an old school wet shave kit or some top-notch products to keep their beard in place
- Chirpy, Chapel Allerton: a creative design store and workshop where you can find some unique home accessories and even take part in some workshops to learn how to do it yourself!
- Little Leeds Beer House, Corn Exchange: A haven for craft beers with an extensive selection of the finest beers from Yorkshire and beyond!
- On The Wall, Boar Lane: You can find everything here from classic film posters to artsy prints, trendy t-shirts to incredible canvases
- OK Comics, Briggate: Know a comic fanatic? Get yourself to OK Comics where they offer an impression selection of classic comics and graphic novels
- Armadillo Toys, Chapel Allerton and Horsforth: The best independent toyshop in Leeds and a child’s dream! You’ll find a vast range of old school and modern toys to keep children entertained over Christmas
- Yellow Sunrise, Corn Exchange: When you step into this magical shop you’ll want to buy every single one of its Japanese and Moroccan goodies!
- The Inkwell, Gillygate: A hipster’s paradise with old-school vibes, filled with vinyl records and pop culture oddities
- Fraser & May, Bridge Street: A shabby chic boutique providing the perfect unique gifts for Christmas including furniture, jewellery and vintage prints
- Monkbar Chocolatiers, Shambles: Your chocolate-loving friends and family will appreciate the delicious handmade chocolates from one of the most well-establish chocolatiers in the city
- Rafi’s Spicebox, Goodramgate: Your foodie friends will love anything you buy them from here! A family run businesses with a tantalising selection of spices and ingredients to make authentic Indian dishes
- Snowhome, Gillygate: You can be sure nobody will have whatever gifts you buy from here, with stunning homewares from small manufacturers and emerging designers
- Burgin’s Perfumery, Coney Street: Step into the past in this traditional perfumery offering 2000 makes from designer brands to independent businesses
- The Yorkshire Soap Company, Blake Street: Give someone the gift of relaxation with handmade soaps and bath salts in an array of sumptuous scents
- The Imaginarium, Blake Street: Next to the YSC you’ll find a store full of bizarre and fascinating trinkets you can guarantee nobody else will have!
- Collard Mason, Devonshire Street: A dark and moody boutique selling clothes, jewellery and homewares from independent designers
- Sheffield Antiques Centre, Broadfield Road: A truly traditional antique shop with an awesome range from trinkets to furniture, all at great prices
- Starmore Boss, Sharrow Vale: For the one who loves a tipple, you’ll find an amazing selection of wines, beers, whiskeys and South Yorkshire’s largest range of tequilas
- MoonKo, Division Street: A bright and quirky independent shop where can find the perfect gifts from home to fashion pieces
- The Record Collector, Fulwood Road: A true institution in Sheffield, pop in for new and second-hand CDs and vinyls, and if you’re lucky you might even catch one of their signings!
- The Famous Sheffield Shop, Ecclesall Road: Celebrating everything that it great about Sheffield, with stunning metalwork pieces, and shop owner Paul who has an impressive knowledge of all things Sheffield
- Hilary & Flo, Ecclesall Road: Venture into the jungle that is Hilary & Flo for quirky interior design pieces from all over the world. Even make a gift yourself in one of their DIY workshops
- Sheffield Skincare Co, Crookes Road: Treat family and friends to some of the incredible skincare products homemade from natural ingredients by founder Megan
Being environmentally friendly isn’t usually a top priority for most people, but World Environment Day is helping to put it at the forefront of our minds, and reminding us how important it is to protect our environment. And not only does it help our planet, it also helps us save energy and money! Read on for our type energy saving and conservation tips.
Heating your home
- Layer up with jumpers, blankets and a thicker duvet when it gets cooler instead of switching the heating on
- Having your heating on low constantly saves more money and energy than switching it on and off when needed
- Reduce your thermostat by just 1°C and you could save you more money than you think!
- Use draught excluders to keep the chill out and the heat in
- Turn down the pressure on your power shower
- Take shorter showers and repair any leaky faucets
- Fill the kettle with no more water than you need
- Only do laundry or turn the dishwasher on when they’re full
- Turn the tap off when washing your face, cleaning your teeth, doing the dishes etc.
- Collect rainwater and water plants with used water from boiling pasta or from your bath
Day to day
- Cook a few meals at once to make use of having then oven on
- Use leftovers for another meal
- Wash your clothes at 30°C and air-dry if possible
- Cut down on meat and processed foods
- Combine multiple errands into one trip to save fuel
- Print as little as possible and try paperless banking and e-tickets
- Switch off and un-plug appliances
- Turn off lights when not in use (its not the Blackpool illuminations like your mum always says)
- Walk or bike as much as possible, or try carpooling and taking public transport
- Plant trees, flowers and plants, and start composting
- Reduce use of harmful chemicals which pollute the air and water
- Buy local and organic produce
- Use more natural cleaning and beauty products
- Be more aware of the resources your using including water, heating, travelling etc.
Reduce, reuse and recycle!
- Buy products with minimal packaging
- Cut out littering – this weekend is the Great British Beach Clean!
- Start using reusable bags, containers, water bottles etc.
- Stop using disposables such as razors and kitchen towel
- Buy second-hand books (or go to the library) and other pre-loved items
- Borrow instead of buying and try upcycling clothes and furniture
- Recycle properly and cut down on waste
There are many factors that go into choosing the right rental home for you, some of which you may not have considered! Even though you’ll be renting not buying, you’ll still be living in this home for a considerable amount of time, so it has to be right for you. Here’s a few things to think about before deciding on a rental home.
- Location – do you want city centre, suburban or rural? Do you want somewhere close to work, family and friends? Location is such an important factor, just as important as the property itself, so make sure you really think about where you want to be. Tip: we have a range of homes in various different locations to suit all lifestyles and preferences.
- House type – do you want a stylish apartment or a family home? How many bedrooms do you need? Are you living alone or sharing? Tip: we have both apartments and houses, most 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms, some new builds and some converted properties in listed buildings.
- Facilities – does the house come with white goods? Or do you already have your own? Do you want an ensuite? Would you like a garden or balcony? What is included in the property? Tip: all of our properties come with a fitted oven/hob, and the majority also have washer/dryer and fridge/freezer, as well as carpets and blinds.
- Local amenities – are there shops and convenience stores nearby? Do you want to be close to restaurants and bars? If you have children are there good schools? Is being near a gym and leisure facilities important to you? Do your research into the areas around the properties you’re considering. Tip: We always locate our properties in areas that are close to local amenities to ensure tenants have everything they need within a reasonable distance.
- Transport – are there good transport links such as trains and buses? Do you want to be near the stations or is it not a key factor for you? If you have a car, is there parking? Tip: many of our properties have parking unless they are city centre, and all have great transport links.
- Children and pets – there can sometimes be limitations if you have children or pets and some places, especially apartments are unsuitable. Tip: all of our houses allow children and pets, but most apartments do not allow them for safety reasons. Consider this when deciding on your house type.
- Criteria – some rental properties will have criteria applicants need to meet; do you match the criteria specified if any? Tip: as we run government schemes including Affordable Rent, Market Rent and Match Deposit, these come with a list of criteria, such as income and employment, to ensure we are helping people who need it.
- Budget – do you have a strict budget? Do you have money for the deposit? Can you afford bills on top of the rent amount? Tip: many of our homes are on the Affordable Rent Scheme, meaning the rent is 80% of the average market rent of that area. For these properties the deposit is equal to one months rent.
- Visualise – whilst physical factors are essential, so are emotional responses, it needs to feel like your home; can you visualise yourself living here?
When you view a property there are also a few things to look out for and check – damp, mould, size, gas or electric, lights, water, security, neighbours and views from the property. Once you have decided on a property or been offered one, move fast as good rental homes go fast! Once you move in, make sure you do a property inventory, and ask these essential questions from Money Saving Expert:
- Where’s the mains water stopcock?
- Where’s the fuse box?
- Where are the gas and electricity meters?
- Which days are rubbish and recycling collected?
- Are there instruction manuals for any electrical items?
- Who supplies the gas and electricity?
- Where is the thermostat?
- What’s the landlord or letting agent’s number?
- Where are the TV aerial and phone line sockets?
- Which provider supplies the home phone and broadband?