Smart Spending and Smart Saving Tips
with Jane Furnival

Jane's Tips


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NB: I am not a doctor. Although I am putting up these suggestions in good faith I do not intend to contradict medical opinion. If you have serious concerns about your health, you should  see a doctor.



Studies show that in many cases symptoms clear up just as fast if you do or you don’t take antibiotics. You can strengthen your immune system  by eating enough fruit and veg, getting plenty of sleep and exercising in the open air. Try echinacea drops and natural antibiotic agents including vitamins A,  C, and D,  grapefruit seed extract, olive leaf extract, raw yeast and natural antioxidants found in berries.

Frozen shoulder cured for less than the price of a visit to an osteopath

Simeon Niel-Asher is an inspired osteopath whose clients include George Michael, Victoria Wood…and me! He got me back on my feet when my back went after a cleaning lady hid my flat shoes under the sofa cushions and went on holiday (as they do) forcing me to wear high heels for a week.

Check out


New Scientist magazine each new year publishes the results of its search for the best hangover cure. Basically your liver needs help to clear out the alcohol. Vitamin C is its best friend, but you can also help by providing it with a substance called glutathione by taking a cheap anti-congestant whose chemical name is acetylcysteine, marketed under various brand names such as Mucosolvon, Fluimucil, Solmucol, etc. Take it before you go to bed with some vitamin C and you will wake up a little less hungover (depends on how much you've drunk, of course). Make sure you take some vitamin B6 with it.

I would also add the even cheaper solution of drinking a large glass of water before you collapse into bed, as a hangover is partly due to dehydration.

Drinking too much is a total offence against thrift anyway. Try totting up the cost and seeing what more useful things you could be doing with the money. On the subject of hangovers, it seems strange to want to trade off pleasure the night before for pain the day after why not just have fewer drinks and enjoy feeling good the next day. " If you regard drinking as an activity in itself and spend several hours a week on it then you have the same thrift problem as people who think shopping is an activity in itself. Finally the indication that it is more than a thrift problem is when you start missing appointments. If you have failed to make it to a meeting, a date, a lecture, a rendezvous, or work the next day, then you have a problem, even if you think you can 'handle it'.

Pick your own herbs

The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in mid-Wales (for more info about CAT see the energy/electricity tips page) is offering a guided tour of its organic herb garden  followed by  a workshop on herbal identification and remedies in the afternoon. The day will highlight which herbs to use for common ailments - dandelions for liver complaints and liquorice for peptic ulcers -  using both home-grown and wild herbs. Herbal Medicine Awareness Week is organised by the National Institute of Medical Herbalists. or phone 01392 426022 to find your nearest herbalist.

Student massage

The London College of Massage offers treatments for aches and pains from its senior students at about a third of private professionals' prices. The students are very thorough and will want to talk to you in detail about the kind of aches/pains you get so they can decide what is the most relevant massage. There is sometimes a waiting list for this popular service, but it doesn't take long and is well-worth the wait. 020 7637 7125.

Healthy soap

Check out the Original Health Soap Company at

On prescriptions ... 

Before paying the expensive prescription charges ask the pharmacist if there is an equivalent available over-the-counter (OTC) generic.  Always check the quantities are the same as prescribed.   If you have to buy a lot of medical prescriptions consider taking out a season ticket - you pay a one-off charge (to cover a year or a quarter if you prefer) which covers all medicines during this period. You need to get a pre-payment certificate (ppc) from 0845 850 0030 or pick up form FP95 from a Post Office or download a form from

Compare costs of top brand names with own-brand equivalents - Nurofen and ibruprofen. See what I mean!

All contraception is free if it is prescribed by a GP or health clinic.

Help to relieve eczema and skin problems

If you have sensitive skin - or care for someone who has - you may have already discovered The Original Health Soap Company. Their products may not be the cheapest, but once you've used their soap and washing powder, you'll be hooked, like I was.


This is a classic stress symptom, but it can be a sign of dietary imbalance. Try to ensure your diet has more lysine than arginine in it. gives a useful chart. Basically, try to favour foods towards the top of the list: nuts are out, but dairy products help, especially yoghurt and cheese, and of course ice cream!

See Jane's top tips on VideoJug: Cheap Cooking Ideas, Saving Money On Your Shopping, Budgeting Tips, Identifying Shop Tricks, Reducing The Cost Of Air Travel, Saving Money On Mobile Phones, Saving Electricity, Offers And Bargains Explained, Cheap Cleaning Alternatives, Reducing Your Car Costs



Copyright Jane Furnival 2007, 2008