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Updated on February 20, 2016


Sometimes you just want a bargain...sometimes you just need to know about the functional and basic appliances that are on the retail shelves today. You might just be short of we all are in this rush-around world of now now now. In the following pages I shall be reviewing some affordable items and searching out some simple tricks and ideas to make your life at home run smoothly and pleasurably. Affordability is fun.

Andre Vocase

I am your host and experimenter and tryer-outer of all things affordable......Andre Vocase


Letting Off Steam

When my work colleague...Trevor...told me he was going to clean up his house over the weekend...after the students he had been renting to had moved out...I knew this was an opportunity for me to try out my Bush Handheld Steam Cleaner SC-155H2 which I'd purchased earlier in the week with a view to cleaning up my old moneyboxes. (yes...I collect's the thought of saving money that drives me on)

Students = Gunk & Grime in the harsh but possibly fair general assumption

The WHICH guide report a typical retail price of £33 for the SC-155H2 but I shopped around and found it for £25 at bargain for the week.

BUSH Handheld Steam Cleaner

The Bush SC155H can be used to steam clean ovens, hobs, surfaces, sinks, tiles, windows, clothes, upholstery, curtains and many other household items or surfaces...and moneyboxes

So...I hot-footed it round to Trev's place....and unpacked the cleaner...and familiarised myself with the product

Bush Basics

The instructions were easy to understand and the operation was simple and not too challenging. The filling jug ensures you can't overfill the steamer (unless you're daft enough to try putting two jugs in) and as long as you remember that the nozzles and hose will be getting very hot you'll come through the whole operation with all limbs intact.

I began my journey into the world of steam on the kitchen worktop surface....which was covered in grime and gunk....thanks students

Hey Ho, Let's Go

Close-Up of my Challenge

Part Clean

Clean Clean

I was very pleased with the results from my first job. The cleaner was easy to use and I didn't need to put much effort in at all. I do have a short attention span and I like to get things done quickly. Cleaning this particular gunged-up surface took about 2 minutes. All I had to do was hover the squeegee head over the surface...and wipe clean with a damp cloth.

Next stop...the kitchen sink

Get to your battlestations



Once again...I didn't take too was just a case of directing the steam and wiping clean. All I've used, at this stage, is the cloth and the cleaner.

Next job...the hob

No Hob Too Small

Stripped down

One side done

A marked improvement

Another easy job...and for this one I just used the nozzle...directing the steam at the metal and wiping clean. Another effortless operation and another shiny surface

My attention was now turned to the filthy kitchen floor

Milk & Alcohol

A laminate surface gunged up with rancid milk blobs and sticky lager residue
A laminate surface gunged up with rancid milk blobs and sticky lager residue

This proved to be more of a challenge...but after a little effort the milk stains were peeling away as I used the squeegee blade to scrape it into submission.

Getting Better

The Bush Handheld Steam Cleaner has impressed me and it's a definite bargain for the money...particularly when you can pick it up for the AFFORDABLE price of £25 at Argos

Easy to use and great really is an AFFORDABLE bargain

Item Details

  • 4.8 m power-lead
  • 1.6 kg weight
  • 0.8m hose
  • 0.35 litre water tank capacity
  • 12 minutes steaming time per fill
  • Ready to use in less than 5 minutes
  • Overheat Protection
  • Accessories included

Let's Do Lunch

'What ya having for lunch?' my colleague asked

'Whatever I can get for the money I have in my pocket' I replied

So I put my hand in my pocket and pulled out my change....£4.84

' won't get much for £4.84' said Trev....mocking my faith in the art of being a super-saver

'I beg to differ' I told him 'I can get a veritable feast for £4.84...without even going for the reduced stuff'

'Ha's a challenge get a meal for £4.84...but you must spend exactly £4.84...not a penny more...not a penny less'

The Challenge

So I forgave him his nod to Jeffery Archer and I hit the Tesco store in Gillingham to face the challenge. No cheating....he'd already told me he would be scrutinizing the receipt. I decided that if I was to make it a meal I would need to include something sweet...on top of whatever savouries I was to buy

I knew it wasn't going to be hit the nail right on the head at £4.84...but I knew I couldn't let Trev beat me

I wandered the aisles...calculator in hand...and I finally hit the target of edible thriftiness


With the challenge almost won I sat in the staff room to go about leaping the final hurdle...because...had the meal not been enough to fill me up...then it would have been a FAIL

I started with the Chicken Bites...always hit the hot stuff first...but I only ate 4 of them...thought I would move on and come back to them in due course.

Next up...the sandwich....just half of it though...I didn't want to peak too early and fill myself up. Tasty it was too...West Country Cheddar and Red Onion.

Chew slowly...always my rule

A packet of cheese and onion crisps followed the sandwich

At this stage I already knew that my eyes had been bigger than my belly and it proves the adage 'never go shopping when you're hungry' to be right.

Still...I opened my gob and chucked in a custard tart...that was nice...but the Pork and Apple Scotch Egg remained uneaten.

I did scoff the mini pork honey and mustard pie was only the size of a golf ball...though a great buy at just 40p

It doesn't matter....more to snack on at home later

Items For Later

  • 6 breaded chicken bites
  • 1/2 a cheese and onion sandwich
  • 1 pork and apple scotch egg
  • 5 bags of crisps
  • 1 custard tart

I feel that's a challenge won

Tesco, Gillingham

A markerme8ogx -
Gillingham, Medway ME8 0GX, UK
get directions

The Gurkha Kitchen


On my way to work I sometimes pass by The Gurkha Kitchen , a Nepalese Restaurant situated between Maidstone Market and the Maidstone West Railway Station. I noticed their sign for Banquet Night on a Wednesday Evening. Set meal for £13.99, which seems very reasonable to me, so I made a note to avail myself of some Gurkha hospitality on the next available Wednesday.
It was a step in the dark for me because I'm not totally au fait with Nepalese cuisine. A quick request for info from my FaceBook friends told me what to expect, and various friends gave high praise indeed for this particular establishment

Banquet Night


So I made my choices from the menu and awaited my Chicken Tuk Tuk starter with a 4.8% extremely cool Gurkha Lager. Nice choice. The starter was well presented with strips of marinated chicken in batter served with a crisp fresh salad, a pool of yoghurt and some drizzles of a hot sauce to add to the tangyness of the taste. Lush and tender chicken and a great start for a starter

The Gurkha Kitchen


Lamb Jalfrezi


Banquet Night


Next up was the main meal, I had plumped for Lamb Jalfrezi with pilau rice, chillies and peppers, and it was a fairly hot dish. I'm not overly keen on hot meals but this was eatable without burning my delicate throat and without leaving me with streams of tears running down my handsome cheeks, lol. I asked what level of 'hotness' the Jalfrezi is and was told it was classed as a Madras Hot. As with the chicken in my starter, the lamb was exceptionally tender and easy to eat (no toughness here) and, although I couldn't eat it all, that was no reflection on the quality of the dish. I ate all the meat, of course. I decided to hang about for another two lagers after my meal, partly because I felt relaxed in the cosy atmosphere of the restaurant and partly because a young lad (with his brother and mum and dad) on the next but one table, had ordered a 'phal', which is two hotness levels up from my Jalfrezi, and I wanted to see if his head would explode. Brave lad. Overall, I was pleased with the pleasant dining experience, the speedy service and the exceptional cleanliness of the establishment and I shall be revisiting, with friends, and quite likely on a Sunday to sample their £12.99 Sunday Menu.

Gurkha Lager


Full Up


As for the affordability factor, you would expect to pay around the same price for a
curry from most local oriental fast food places, and they would not normally be a patch on this for quality of food

Top marks to The Gurkha Kitchen
The boy's head didn't explode

A markerme168rj -
Maidstone, Kent ME16 8RJ, UK
get directions



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    • ufk profile image

      Andy Fraser 2 years ago from Maidstone England

      Ah, thank you very much Paul Parsons

    • profile image

      Paul Parsons 2 years ago

      What a Great idea thanks

    • Liam Noone profile image

      Liam Noone 4 years ago from South East England

      Cool, looking forward to it

    • ufk profile image

      Andy Fraser 4 years ago from Maidstone England

      I'll be adding more very soon. I have just been testing a new CrockPot (slow-cooker) and that came out very well



    • Liam Noone profile image

      Liam Noone 4 years ago from South East England

      Excellent idea for a hub and I hope that you might be adding some more great advice very soon. I like the fact it is laced with humour too. We need it in this day and age, that's for sure.