VCC Savvy Surfer Hacks #002

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Hello! We’re back with the second installment of our Vintage Cash Cow Savvy Surfers Life Hacks.

“What’s new in the world of Vintage?” I hear you ask. Er, well, quite honestly not a lot. I mean that’s generally the way it goes when it comes to vintage… but, we do have some timeless classics this week, for our top tips to make your life run just that bit smoother.

As the saying goes: sometimes the old ways are the best ways.

Local Library

Library hacks

We know that libraries have been around for years, but did you know that it’s not just books that they stock? They lend everything from toys to CDs, DVDs and even video games.

That’s actually just the basics, as most libraries offer free WiFi and free computer access, with printing, faxing, laminating and photocopying, likely to be among the additional services provided too.

In fact, your local library is doubtless a hotbed of activity, you just didn’t know it. Other functions that are possibly available include; courses, children’s activities, older people’s activities, health & wellbeing groups, sports equipment, even free sanitary products. Fancy that!

Google your closest library to see what’s going on, or better still pop in and check out the action in person. Most libraries are also open in the evenings and on Sundays, so there’s no excuse not to get stuck in.

Petrol Pump Panic

Petrol cap side indicator symbol

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This has to be one of the best-kept secrets about cars, and you don’t have to be a mechanic or know your carburettor from your catalytic converter to find this one useful.

If you’ve ever driven a friend’s car, or a hire car, and had to fill up with fuel, you’ve probably experienced that feeling of frustration, not knowing which side the fuel tank is on. Heck, even if it’s your own car, we’ve all prone those “senior moments” of forgetfulness, even if you’re not strictly senior yet.

Pausing on the forecourt and craning your head out of the door or window to check, is always an option. Although the other drivers waiting behind will probably love this feat of acrobatics even less than your body will. But there is a much simpler solution.

Every car has a fuel gauge on the dashboard to let you know how much petrol or diesel you have left. But up until now, you’ve probably overlooked the little arrow or triangle symbol near the petrol pump icon. That arrow indicates which side of the car the fuel tank is on. If the arrow points left, the petrol cap is on the left and if it points right, then it’s on the right side of the car.

If the car is a little more old fashioned it might not have that handy little triangle arrow, so instead when you see the fuel pump symbol look at the nozzle. The fuel tank and petrol cap will be on the same side that the nozzle and hosepipe appear. Super simple!

Petrol cap indicator symbol
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Cable Tie Classic

Cable tie hacks

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Let’s face it, we could pretty much fill an entire year’s worth of these blogs with the cool and curious things that you can do with cable ties. But this week we decided to stick with our old favourite, the classic cable tie wire tidier.

With modern gadgets invading practically every inch of our lives, it’s pretty much impossible not to get a tangle of wires somewhere in the house, as all those unruly cables vie for space at your plug socket.

To keep them in order and avoid an unsightly knotty mess, bundle them neatly together and secure them with a cable tie. To take it one step further, you can use additional cable ties to secure the wires to your furniture. Like a table leg or the side of your desk for example.

Not only will this keep the wires from getting in a muddle, but it will also stop you tripping over them or accidentally pulling a plug out.

Chocolate Curls

How to make chocolate curls

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Our most delicious hack to date and it’s been around for decades. If you’re hosting a dinner party, or you just want to pretty up your dessert, you can make your very own homemade chocolate curls.

All you’ll need is a bar of chocolate and a vegetable peeler. We find that this works best if you place chocolate in the fridge first. This hardens up the chocolate and produces a better curl. Plus it makes less mess on your hands. Although we won’t tell if you still want to lick your fingers clean!

Just shave the chocolate bar, using your vegetable peeler, directly on to the pudding, and voila, a decadent dessert to rival any top-notch restaurant.

Cut Price Hair Cuts

Models wanted


Hair cuts today cost a pretty penny, even in the less salubrious salons. But have you ever walked past the hairdressers and seen the sign “Models Wanted” and wondered what it meant?

Well, trainee hairdressers have to start somewhere and after completing their course, and required amount of hours hacking mannequins hair, it’s time to have a go at the real thing.

This is where you come in. You volunteer to be the apprentice hair stylist’s guinea pig in return for a cut-price cut. Just like a normal hair cut, you get to call the shots and decide how much gets cropped and in what style etc. Plus there will always be an experienced member of staff on hand to watch over and guide the trainee.

And it’s not always complete beginners that will be chopping at your locks, sometimes experienced staff will have completed a new qualification and require someone to practice their new skill on.

At the end of the day, what’s the worst that could happen, it’s only hair and it grows back right? And if all does go wrong you can always spend some of the money you saved on buying a hat!

We hope that you love these golden oldies and find them every bit as useful as we do. Sign up to our Savvy Surfers Life Hacks service and we’ll email you with five fresh new tips each week.

What are your favourite time-honoured tricks? If you know a great short cut or a handy way that helps you each day, we’d love to hear about them – send them to

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