After recently joining a new book club, I’d a few other reads to get through before Mary Mulvihill's Drive Like a Woman, Shop Like a Man' and I’m kicking myself. I could have been saving time, money and the environment if I’d read and employed many of her 101 everyday tips. Not only that but it's an easy, enjoyable little read.

Take the 'Get your own back on shampoo manufacturers' tip. The author gives practical advice on how one shampoo wash can not only do the job and save you time but also help you get more out of the ever more expensive product.

Some of my other favourites include the 'Fresh air, not Fresheners' one. I wholeheartedly agree, air fresheners leave the room filled with a cough-inducing aroma that not only clings to whatever nasty smell you’re trying to eliminate but also pushes the gag-reflex button. Mary recommends opening windows or lighting candles to eliminate odours and for particularly nasty ones, a small bowl of bread soda. Cheap and effective = nice one.

Another pet tip is 'The Full Load' – only turn on the dish-washer when its packed, rinsing any particularly dirty dishes to avoid being bowled over by pungent smells every time you open the door. Better still get a machine with a half-load option. Until the budget stretches I’ll go with the rinse.

My number one favourite though has to be her advice on bulbs – the lighting rather than garden variety. Following the big push to switch from ordinary to CFL’s, over a period of months I bought enough energy-savers to replace all the old energy-wasters in the house. The only problem is CFL’s take a while to power up to their full wattage and during that time, use the most amount of energy that they need. That being the case, we tend not to turn them off when leaving a room, thereby rendering all energy saving attempts null and void. Mary’s tip is to use CFL’s in sitting rooms, kitchens, halls and landings but to use ordinary bulbs in bathrooms and bedrooms. Simple yet brilliant.

Some other tips were less attractive; the average bar of soap may be more environmentally friendly and less costly than its plastic-bottled liquid-soap cousin but it's messy. Nuff said. Mary also advocates doing '...Things by halves', insisting that half the recommended washing powder will do wash the clothes/dishes just as well. As a fashion fan I’m going to volunteer the dishes to guinea pig this one.

The odd time common sense and the Irish mammy have beaten Mary to the advice post but in the majority, her tips are innovative and beneficial. Perfectly sized to fit into any work- or handbag, Mary recommends incorporating a tip a day into your routine to realistically reap the benefits.

There’s everything from tips for the kitchen, bathroom, garden, work, holidays, shopping and presents. So you’re only four months and 16 little chapters away from saving a fortune, reducing your carbon footprint and a whole new practical you.

Taragh Loughrey-Grant