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Showing posts from 2011

Snowman Soup

Each Christmas we give the boys teachers a small gift (we tend to do it now rather than at the end of the summer) and this year we made Reindeer Thumbprint Mugs and Ornaments . We decided that we were going to fill the mugs with Snowman Soup . Ingredients Hot chocolate Mini Marshmallows Cellophane Bags Ribbon Label I spent £1 on the hot chocolate, the same on the candy canes and 80p on the mini marshmallows and I got 7 bags of snowman soup out of them.  The bags were 50p each.

Reindeer Food

I love the little traditions we have that make Christmas special for my boys and one of them is the fact that we sprinkle Reindeer food on Christmas Eve. Sprinkle on the lawn at night The moon will make it sparkle bright As Santa’s reindeer fly and roam This will guide them to your home I   haven't re-invented the wheel here, we basically use oats and glitter (you can get edible glitter) or coloured sugar, so that no animals are hurt if they ingest the glitter. It is dead easy to colour sugar, pop it in a plastic bag, add liquid food colour and shake.  If you only have gel food colour you can add that to a few drops of hand sanitiser and shake.  We use this as we live in a rural area, but have used glitter too. Simply mix with oats and pop in a bag and add printable label .  

Thrifty Father Christmas

Letters for Father Christmas Every year my boys write a letter to Father Christmas and each year we get a reply all for the cost of a second class stamp. The lovely people at Royal Mail do a sterling job.  Just make sure you get your letters sent to the following address before 14 December. Santa/Father Christmas, Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland, SAN TA1 Portable North Pole The other thing that makes my boys faces light up and costs nothing is a video message from Father Christmas from the North Pole via the Portable North Pole . This year it is even better as Father Christmas can even say unusual names, so perfect for Mini.

December Thrifty Familities Blog Carnival

December, A moth of the year when people often feel the pressure to spend money that they do not have.  For me Christmas should be a time filled with joy and families and I hope that in this tight economic climate that people do not feel the need to splash out. So let me bring you the second Thrifty Families Blog Carnival, an idea of mine, Becky ( Baby Budgeting ) and Cass ( Frugal Family ), in association with My Family Club , who are our proud sponsor and a fantastic place to find time and money saving ideas. A Thrifty Christmas A Make do mum has an inspiring post about Christmas  Gift Wrapping on a budget.   Quite a few ideas their which I am going to pay homage too (yes steal in other words)! Eco thrifty Living reminds us that gifts do not have to cost anything, with her five gifts that don;t cost anything . Becky from Baby Budgeting ponders the savings you can make by buying an artificial tree (don;t tell anyone, but we are an artificial tree family too). Penny from A

See the New York Ballet perform The Nutcracker for £10 each

I love The Nutcracker and I love taking the boys to see live performances of shows, but living in the Frozen North East of England this is often a very expensive thing for us. However,  we will be going to see  the New York City Ballet’s brand new production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker – which comes to the UK on Thursday 22nd December . This is a  multi million dollar production which includes a 40ft Christmas tree that weighs a staggering 1 ton, seventy ballet dancers and a sixty-two piece orchestra. A massive no-holds-barred experience, described by the NY Post as "the Christmas show of all Christmas shows." Tickets are only £10. Why so little? Because it’s being shown in Cinemas , not on stage. The limited screen run will launch on Thursday 22nd Dec and will be a virtually live performance, an ‘as if you were there’ kind of thing.     Here’s how it works: a camera crew will film a live performance from the New York City Ballet at the Lincoln Centre in Ne

Recycling Decorative Tins

I drink a lot of mint tea and we have a big plant pot of mint outside, but in the winter I have to bring the mint indoors to keep me going throughout the dark days. So I make sure that I keep any Golden Syrup or Treacle tins that I have used through the year whilst baking (or having pancakes) and use then as plant pots on my window sill. They would also make a great gift for Easter if you popped a bulb in.

Calling for posts for Our December Thrifty Blog Carnival

I am calling for posts for December's Thrifty Families Blog Carnival, which is here at A Thrifty Mum on December 8th. All you need to do is send in a post (on making or saving money, thriftiness, upcyling. recycling or living frugally) you have written in the past month (it can already have been published on your blog.) to me at with Thrifty Blog Carnival in the subject header by 6pm on December 6. Each month across many blogs the subject of making money, saving money, living frugally and being thrifty are shared. It’s a sign of the times and a more careful and caring generation of people that we protect our resources, recycle, upcycle and make do.

Way's to make trousers last longer

This great post about turning worn out jeans in to a skirt by Slugs in the refrigerator, really inspired me to look at way to make clothes last longer. We used to be a throw it away family, but now we are make do and mend. Turn the trousers in to shorts - this is perfect for school trousers that are too short in the leg.  You do not even need to have sewing skills you can use wonderweb. Patch any holes.  Again you can use any old material you have lying around or of you are not a sewer then why not try iron on patches like clothes plasters . Have a swapping party.  Get together with other mums and swap your outgrown clothes. Sell them.  If they are in good condition, but outgrown, then pop them on e-bay and use the money to buy new to you ones. I would love your ideas for others ways to make clothes last longer.

Make Childrens summer clothes last longer

Just because the weather has changed doesn't mean that you  need to put your childrens summer clothes away, especially as most children will have grown out of them by the time the weather changes for them to be able to wear them again..  It is all about layers. BG (From New Mummy's Tips ) rocking her summer clothes this autumn Layer shorts and short skits over leggings and tights You can add a long sleeved T shirt and tights under dresses Wear vests under tops Add a plain long sleeved t shirt under a short sleeved one Add long sleeved tops under short sleeved shirts Wear leggings under trousers when the weather gets cold Make sure any roll up trousers are warn unrolled When my boys were small I used to add long sleeved all in ones (the ones with poppers) under their tops Use t shirts for pj tops   I would love to hear your ideas for getting the most wear out of your childrens clothes

Thrifty Families Blog Carnival

Each month across many parenting blogs the subject of making money, saving money, living frugally and being thrifty are shared. It’s a sign of the times and a more careful and caring generation of parents that we protect our resources, recuycle, upcycle and make do. Becky (from Baby Budgeting and Family Budgeting ),Cass (from a  frugal family ) and I thought it would be a great idea to pull these brilliant posts together so we could all learn from and share with each other our thrifty ways. So each month we are going to hold a Thrifty Families Blog Carnival and we woudl love you to take part, All you need to do is send in a post (on making or saving money, thriftiness, upcyling. recycling or living frugally) you have written in the past month (it can already have been published on your blog.)  Please send the link for: November – to   by Tuesday 5th Novembver 6 pm for the carnival on Thurs 10th November at  Baby Budgeting December – to  mail@jenwalshaw

Feeding a family of four for £50

I do a weekly shop at Aldi and if anything else is needed it tends to be the co-op in the village. Now I do have a good store cupboard and freezer with staples like gravy, frozen stock), herbs, spices, flour etc in. Sunday Lunch – mince (£1.99) and onions with veg from the garden and new potatoes from the garden too Dinner – Poached eggs (99p or six for the butcher or friend) on muffins (60p) Monday Lunch – Scrambled egg on toast (99p for the eggs and 99p for a loaf of bread) Dinner - Bolognese made with left over mince pasta (99p a bag) and pasata (59p) with added herbs and any veg left over from Sunday dinner (pureed).  Garlic bread (home made) Tuesday Lunch – Beans and Sausage on Toast (59p) D inner –  Curry with home made naan bread   Wednesday Sausage rolls form the bakers (4 for 99p) Sausage casserole with Potatoes from the FIL Thursday Lunch – Scrambled Eggs with cheese and ham   Jacket Potatoes with Cheese and Beans or leftover curry  Friday   Sandwiches (cheese and ham or e