Save on electricity

Next time you’re cooking pasta, use my tried-and-tested method. Bring it to the boil, turn off the heat under the pan and leave for exactly 20 minutes before draining. You’ll save both fuel and the bother of testing to see when it’s ready!

Vodka to the rescue!

Do you have clothes that smell musty? Or soft furnishings that reek of cigarette smoke? Get them fresh again by pouring some neat vodka into a spray bottle, spritz your item lightly and leave to dry. Any odours should be neutralized, and it’s cheaper than a trip to the dry cleaner!

Get set with your jam

I love making jam and now it’s chutney time, the preserving continues. The best way of reducing time/faff/question marks over setting is with a Thermapen (jam is set at 105C). They’re not cheap – from £36; thermapen.co.uk – but are professional quality, super-quick and dead accurate. A great present for a jam-maker.

Make your washing machine last longer

A tip from the man who fixed my washing machine: don’t always use the highest spin if you don’t need to (say in warmer weather). It’s like constantly driving your car at top speed. If you can spin at 1000 as much as possible, apparently the machine will last longer.

Easy-peasy lemon pudding

Try this deliciously easy Lemon Posset pudding: heat 600ml double cream and 150g golden caster sugar, stirring. Boil 2 minutes, stirring. Cool. Add juice and zest of 2 large lemons; divide between 6 glasses and chill. You’ll be hooked!