Make The Most Of Your Open Fire With Firemizer

We adore our open fire. It is the heart of our lounge. The place we all enjoy.

When we moved house 14 months ago, the fireplace was closed off and out of use. One of our first jobs was to have it opened up professionally. We purchased a gorgeous 1920s wooden surround from a local reuse centre, and had a chimney sweep visit. You don’t even want to know what weird stuff (including skeletons) was pulled from that chimney.

I recently discovered Firemizer. A company dedicated to helping you get more from your open fires, woodburners and stoves. Firemizer sent me 2 pretty cool products for our fire- The Firemizer solid fuel saving device and a box of Firebuilder firelighters.

Firemizer- The solid fuel saving device

OK, this is cool! The Firemizer claims to reduce your solid fuel usage by up to 38%. This is because the Firemizer slows down oxygen reaching your fire, reducing the burn rate. The Firemizer also ensure that all fuel is burnt equally with no small lumps falling through the grate, or sitting unburnt on the edge of fire grates.

The Firemizer is a thin metallic woven mesh of stainless steel alloys that sits on your fire grate, and you build your fire on top of it. As your fire heats up so does the mesh, conducting heat evenly across your fire. The mesh arrives quite large, so I did have to cut it down to size to fit our fire grate. This is a bit of a tricky job, and you must wear gloves as the metal is sharp!

 

I did notice that the burning fuel was spread much more evenly across the fireplace and the amount of ash left behind was reduced dramatically. The ash tray is normally lumpy and there is often chunks of unburnt fuel sitting amongst the ash, but when cleaning the grate out after using the Firemizer, I didn’t see any lumps of unburnt fuel at all. The Firemizer will last approximately 500 burning hours! That’s roughly a 12 hour fire, every day for 6 weeks.

Overall, I did like the Firemizer. I was really impressed with how the fuel burnt more evenly spread, making me feel like I wasn’t wasting wood and coal- I’d normally find half burnt lumps when I clean out the grate, but this didn’t happen with the Firemizer. I did find that our fire burnt slower with the Firemizer, due to the reduced amount of oxygen reaching the fire. While a slower burning fire uses less fuel, I didn’t like that the fire never got ‘roaring’. I find that because our fireplace is small, a fire really needs to burn properly at a high heat to really warm the house up. With the Firemizer, we never quite got the big fire we wanted. If I added lots more fuel, the fire would suffocate and burn even slower! I think the Firemizer is definitely suited to those with a larger fireplace or for people who want their fire to burn slowly all day to gently heat one room.

The Firemizer is available to buy from the Firemizer online shop for £19.99

Firebuilder- The unique firelighter

These firelighters are unlike anything else I have used in the past to light our fire. The Fire Builder is an eco friendly alternative to common chemical infused firelighters, as they are made from 100% recycled cardboard. Simply place a block into your fire grate and light around the edges with a match. Then simply add small lumps of coal or smaller logs around and on top of the block and you will have a nice full fire, fast.

The Fire Builders light easily and burn for a long time, long enough to easily light coal which can often be tricky with chemical lighters, which burn out quickly. The Fire Builders are suitable for fireplaces, woodburners, stoves, chimineas and barbeques with no use of kindling required. They also don’t smell! Some firelighters smell so strong of kerosene, but because these firelighters don’t contain any kerosene, there is literally no smell at all!

We do make our own paper brick’s to throw on the fire, by soaking shredded paper in water and squeezing out as much water as possible, leaving a lumpy pulp brick. This is often time consuming and they take a long time to dry, especially if made in winder time, when the air is cold and damp. These firelighters are a great alternative when you just don’t have time to make your own.

You can purchase a box 5 Fire Builder’s, which make 10 fires (snap each Fire Builder in half) from the Firemizer Shop for £6.99.

The Firemizer and Firebuilders were gifted to us in exchange for this post.

Cut The Cost Of Christmas Dinner

Christmas dinner is one of the most costly parts of your festive celebrations. Between buying the perfect turkey or other meat, the vegetables, side dishes, desserts AND drinks… it can become a little bit too expensive for some of us to handle. Over the years I have managed to bring the price of our Christmas dinner right down.

Luckily there are ways to control your spending on Christmas dinner and in turn save some money for the rest of your festivities or just for your family.


Get your mits on vouchers!

First of all you need to start utilising websites such as Voucher Codes PRO. They are ideal for helping you stay on top of your costs by offering coupons for some of the biggest supermarkets in the area. You could cut your bills down by half just by using vouchers and making sure that you pay attention to the promotions which supermarkets hold in the run up to Christmas.

To reduce what you spend you may want to get into the habit of asking family members to pitch in with either a side dish, a dessert or some drinks. That way you are still hosting the day but you aren’t spending all the money you have on the food for everyone else. Plus, it might make people happy that they get to feel involved in the whole process and make some things themselves. Get dad to bring peeled spuds, Grandma can bring the pudding, Auntie can bring the Bucks Fizz!

 

It might sound like sacrilege, so apologies in advance- but turkey is incredibly expensive at this time of year. With thanksgiving and then Christmas a month later, turkeys become a commodity which everyone wants in their house. The problem with this is that supermarkets will take advantage and hike up the prices of this big bird to make a tidy profit. It may be a better idea to buy a chicken instead to roast, or check out a veggie nut roast instead! A whole turkey can be wasteful, especially if you’re a small family. Go for just a turkey crown instead, for a fraction of the cost.

The best way to save money when cooking your meal is to cook several things in the oven at once. Of course, your meat will take much longer than everything else to cook, but everything else can be cleverly timed to make sure that you save energy and serve everything at the same time on Christmas Day.

If you have the freezer space, buy reduced vegetables in the lead up to Christmas. Chuck them in the freezer until Christmas Day. 10p parsnips purchased in October, taste just as good as £1 parsnips bought on December 23rd! Read more about freezing food here.

 

Boil all of your veg together in one pan for 5- 10 minutes, then you can put them all on the same roasting tray at the same time if you want them roasted in goose fat, or separate the potatoes and then cook them in the oven on sewerage tray. The same applies to most of the side dishes- if you have small baking trays you can stack them next to each other in the oven.