Jack's mac 'n' cheese with cauliflower and bacon

Jack Monroe was a single mother whose delicious recipes, published online were so nutritious and thrifty that they were handed out by food banks as examples of how to manage on next to nothing.

Her blog, A Girl Called Jack, has gathered hundreds of thousands of regular readers. After successfully feeding her and her two year old on a budget of just £10 a week she landed a book deal.

Her second book A Year in 230 Recipes is out now and she's here today to cook her filling, tasty (and cheap!) mac n cheese with cauliflower and bacon.

Ebola alert - should we be worried?

Since March of this year, the issue of the Ebola epidemic has swollen from slight concern to a state of global emergency with over 4,500 deaths to the killer disease. Despite no confirmed infections in the UK, sales of gas masks, freeze dried food and protective suits have reportedly rocketed as a growing number of 'preppers' do all they can to safeguard themselves against a possible UK epidemic.

Today we are joined by one such 'prepper', survivalist Peter Stanford and Dr Chris Van Tulleken who believes the hype is unnecessary.

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A Christmas getaway to suit you

The Christmas market in Cologne, Germany

Christmas is coming and while the streets of the UK are soon to be packed with eager shoppers, thousands of us will be travelling abroad over the next couple of months combining a short break with that all-important gift buying spree.

From European Christmas markets to more international shopping destinations, Travel Supermarket's Bob Atkinson is here with some of the best deals in town.

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Jennifer Ellison on ruthless Dance Mums

Jennifer Ellison

They have a reputation for being some of the most ruthless, competitive and ambitious people in show business. No, not dancers but the Dance Mums.

A new series that stars tonight follows Jennifer Ellison and her Dance Academy girls as they compete against the nations best in the incredibly competitive world of dance.

The series exposes explosive arguments between the mums, showcases moving performances from the girls and documents the argumentative, stressful and emotional journey to the dance world cup in Portugal.

TV: Dance Mums With Jennifer Ellison premieres on Lifetime on Monday October 20 at 9pm

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Martin Lewis' money saving tips for the winter

Martin Lewis

Brrrr... The mercury has started to tumble, indicating summer is well and truly over. As it'll only get colder, our Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis says now's the time to ensure you're set up for winter to keep the cost down and the heat up. Here are his top tips:

1. Find out where your stopcock is

No ooh err missus necessary. Everyone should know where their stopcock – your mains water tap - is. Frozen pipe bursts create an average £7,000 of damage, made worse if you can't find the off switch as your home floods. So be prepared.

As Angie wrote on Facebook: "I know where mine is but only due to a burst pipe and collapsed floor a few years ago. Took us & the council 2hrs to find."

In my house it’s under the kitchen sink, a very common place to find it – yet bathrooms, boiler rooms, behind a panel next to the front door and shared corridors in block of flats are all other places it may be found.

Plus many homes may also have an outdoor one. To help you locate yours, check out this video from Thames Water.

2. Switch now and you could get £100s back

This is a great time to switch energy supplier if you pay by direct debit, as it's likely you're in credit after the low use summer months. So switch now, and you'll probably be given cash too (switch after winter and you may be in debt). I'm not saying spend this cash, just put it toward future bills.

John tweeted me to say just how easy this is: "Just switched from Scottish Power to First Utility - in credit to the tune of £151. Cheque sent within days of my contract ending."

It can take two months to change to a new supplier, so do it ASAP so you've the cheaper price in time for the cold spell. Switching isn't a big deal, it's the same pipes, gas and meter - the only difference is price and customer service. The best way to do it is to use a comparison site.

For the specific fixes in the table below use Martin’s Top Fix Comparison, which lists the price you’ll pay alongside the pros and cons. It also pays up to £30 cashback if you switch through it. Alternatively, see a full list of Ofgem approved comparison sites.

3. Free loft/cavity wall insulation, open-to-all

Energy firms get fined if they don't meet Eco quotas, so some give free insulation. British Gas's Free Insulation allows ANYONE in England, Scotland or Wales with a suitable home to get it (ie, you don't have to be its customer or on a low income).

The savings from doing this can be huge; the Energy Saving Trust estimates you'll see a reduction in bills of £290/year compared with a typical uninsulated home. It should be fitted two weeks after you've had a survey.

4. Cut boiler costs by £100s - you don't need your energy firm's cover

Many energy firms use our fear of losing heating to charge hefty insurance costs. They also want us to think there's some link between our energy provider and our boiler cover. There isn't - you're not locked in. My quick tips are:

a) Renters usually don't need it, as their landlord's likely responsible. You should check.

b) Ensure you know what cover you need, choose between boiler-only, the cheaper option that covers your boiler and its controls, or central heating cover, which includes full central heating cover on top (including radiators, pipes, etc.).

c) To find the cheapest compare via uSwitch and if you have more time add Energyhelpline for a wider comparison.

5. Are you entitled to any extra winter help?

Winter is a tough time for many as the cold sets in, but there are some funds which may help...

Winter fuel payments. If anyone in your house was born on or before 5 July 1952 and gets a state pension, pension credit or jobseeker's allowance you automatically get the up to £300 winter fuel payment (providing you meet the qualifying criteria throughout the week of 15 to 21 September 2014). Some on other benefits may be eligible too, but will need to claim if new to it.

Cold weather payments. Anyone on specific income support/jobseeker's allowance/pension credit automatically gets £25 for every seven days their local temperature is either recorded as, or forecast to be, an average of zero degrees Celsius or below between 1 November and 31 March 2015.

Choosing between heating and eating?If you're seriously behind, or in general financial hardship, you may be eligible for special tariffs/help. Try the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 33 66 99.

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Is gender neutral the future of parenting?

Today the most controversial and strangest crazes in pregnancy, birth and child rearing have been revealed. While some have already hit the UK, others are only just catching on - but all are set to influence how British parents behave in 2015.

One of these trends is gender neutral parenting. Beck Laxton decided to bring up her son as gender neutral for the first five years of his life and she's here today along wIth Siobhan Freegard, who is behind the parenting crazes research.

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