Cooking chicken by sunlight is free! Summer money-saving tips from a penny-pinching expert

WARM weather sees some get out the paddling pool or barbecue. But to me, it’s a time to stop paying through the nose for gas when the sun is right there. 

Solar ovens are a waste of cash. Just position tinfoil and leave a chicken in the magnified rays for a couple of hours. Unlike many roasts it won’t dry out and stays good and moist, helped by a convenient rain shower.

There are drawbacks, like ending up in hospital with gut pain that just won’t stop, but the kids recovered quickly enough to enjoy six solid meals free from the NHS and during that week they weren’t at home wearing out the carpet.

Speaking of kids, do they ever stop pestering when the ice-cream van comes around? I won’t waste money on mass-produced ice-cream loaded with sugar and mostly air, so I came up with a healthier alternative.

I told my kids Mr Whippy is a child murderer who’ll keep them in a cage until he eats them alive. Now when we hear his chimes they hide in wardrobes, crying silently. Problem solved – economically.

Of course, the British summer is unreliable, but rain can be the money-saver’s friend.

Rather than using expensive tap water I fill empty bottles on days of high precipitation using a funnel, taking a tip from survivors of shipwrecks left drifting on the high seas. Avoids wear-and-tear on tap washers. That’s 14p a year you’re getting back.

And don’t despair if you’ve had to cancel your summer holiday. For as long as I can remember I’ve been treating my family to a beach holiday at home, by which I mean my own home.

Shin over the fence of any construction project or the local nursery school at 2am and collect sand. Because this is a common mineral you can take as much as you want and it’s legal.

Spread it across the bathroom floor to make a beach, fill the bath to make the sea, trap a seagull and stick it in there and you’ve got all the joys of Ilfracombe without some vile individual leaving a turd in a Burger King box.

It stays there all summer, even when the children’s visitation fortnight’s over, while I relax in a deckchair making the noises of waves with my mouth, occasionally adding a pinch of salt for that sea air feel.

I can’t imagine anything more relaxing, if the fucking seagull would just shut up for a minute. I’m not feeding it sardines. They’re my tea.

Sign up now to get
The Daily Mash
free Headlines email – every weekday

Let's move to a city where where your life expectancy lowers the moment you're off the train! This week: Glasgow

What’s it about?

Ah, bonny Glasgow, recently voted one of the worst cities to live in Europe due to violence and gang turf wars. Combined with sky-high alcoholism, excessive drug deaths and one of the lowest life expectancies in the UK, it’s surprising there’s any fucker here.

Contributing to the risk of early death, there’s vicious sectarianism in the shape of football rivalry and Orange walks, young team knife fights and dedicatedly shit weather. Still, the slave-trade-funded architecture’s nice, if the building you want to look at hasn’t been burned to the ground in mysterious circumstances. Sometimes more than once.

Any good points?

The people of Glasgow are known for their unfailing friendliness. They’re a gregarious bunch if you’re lucky enough to meet one. However you’re more likely to meet smug English twats who consider themselves ‘so lucky’ to buy a four-bed tenement flat with high ceilings for the cost of a garage in Bristol.

Adventurous palate? You’ll like Glaswegian food. Fancy a ‘well-fired’ roll? Purposely burnt to a crisp during baking, which passes as a delicacy here. There are also square, frighteningly pink sausages and macaroni pie, which is exactly what it sounds like: a disgusting double-carbohydrate nightmare.

Wonderful landscapes?

If you find massive motorways thundering straight through a city centre inspiring, you’re spoiled for fucking choice. Likewise, if depressing, out-of-town shopping centres get you going you’ll never lose your erection.

In the market for some atmospheric ex-industrial scenery? All that’s left is the Finnieston Crane, which impressively and uselessly sits in the car park of the exhibition centre. The whole harbour area’s criminally underused and devoted to developers throwing up ugly student halls. The one bright spot is the Riverside Museum, designed by Zaha Hadid, but only if you can be arsed taking a tortuously complicated public transport route to reach it.

Hang out at…

If you like getting shitfaced and having a fight, Glasgow’s miles better. The city has hundreds of pubs, most of them with wire mesh over the windows. That should give you the general idea.

For food, visit the Ubiquitous Chip, which has been Glasgow’s only restaurant worth visiting since it opened in 1971. Or, if you’re poor like most of the city, there’s Fat Man’s Corner: a crossroads that has KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Tim Horton’s at each corner. No need to wonder why Glaswegians die early.

Into culture and like looking at burnt out husks of buildings completely covered in scaffolding? Visit the world-famous Glasgow School of Art, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh which had a massive fire in 2014 then another four years later as it was being restored. Don’t float the idea of knocking it down and building something else. What else could Glasgow spend £100 million on?

Where to buy?

If you’re fancy, you’ll head to the West End, home of Glasgow’s only Waitrose. There’s a museum and everything, and living there adds three years onto your life.

If you want to get as much bang for your buck as possible, try Govanhill. It’s cheap because of its undeservedly bad reputation, but you’ll be fighting through hordes of hipster gentrifiers opening more wanky coffee bars and bao bun shops every day.

From the streets:

Tom Logan: “Yeah, it rains endlessly, there are junkies everywhere and the back court is full of needles and fly-tipped washing machines, but I’ve bought my own flat at the age of 22 so who gives a shit?”