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Showing posts from May, 2014

Cheap Eats —Shopping Tips and Cooking Ideas on a Budget

Whether you enjoy spending time in the kitchen or not, cooking for the whole family and serving up a variety of healthy meals is an everyday occurrence for the majority of mums. Still, even though it happens every day, it’s not without challenges such as getting the kids to eat their greens as well as combating rising food prices.  Even so, you can still provide nutritious meals for both young and old family members without having to break the bank. What’s more, you might be surprised at just how tasty some of the dishes you conjure up really are. Shopping tips Buy cheaper cuts of meat and poultry — Even though sirloin steak and chicken breasts are some of the easiest cuts of meat to cook with, they tend to be fairly expensive. However, braising steak or chicken thighs are much cheaper and provide just as much nourishment. To get the meat as tender and tasty as possible, you should consider using a slow cooker Plan for the whole week — Try and buy everything you ne

My #Shelfie

OK, so this is a thrifty blog, but that doesn't mean that I don't like nice things and often lust after them, but I also admit that I adore home made things and things that hold a meaning to me. When I saw the fab competition on +Tots100  in conjunction with Victoria Plumb to share a #Shelfie, I knew I had to join in.  I also took the Victoria Plumb Great British Home quiz, which has me all wrong.  it has me down as Mrs Elegant, but MadDad would tell you I am a Mid Century Modern girl every time or a stuck in the 50's kid as he also calls me! So this is my Shelf in my Cruddy (craft room/study). Top Shelf:  I have my & which the boys bought me from M&S (it had been reduced to £5) so was a bargain, Then we have some pipe cleaner tulips that me and the boys made together and my large red paperclip holding a fab Jennie Maizels post card , Middle Shelf: My blog planner file, bakers twine - I use if for wrapping everything, A hashtag (again bought in the sale

Warm weather money saving tip or ban the icecream van

I have long since learned that the ice cream van is no friend for my money saving needs. So we have a rule here that we do not visit the ice cream van. Instead I have a freezer full of ice lollies, ice cream and ice pops, which I buy. However, this didn't stop the boys wanted to visit the ice cream van like their peers, so we decided to teach them the value of their pocket money and show them just how far it goes with the ice cream van and how far it goes with mummy's freezer. It was a fantastic exercise.  They realised that they only got 2 icecreams from the van from their £2 per week, where I bought 9 cones for £2 from Lidl. They also realised that Ice Pops are much more frugal too and also that making our own can be fun and thrifty at the same time.

Bissell Vac and Steam Machine Review and Giveaway

I have hard floors downstairs which I love.  They are much more practical than carpet with 2 mucky boys and a dog. Over the past 8 years I have tried all sorts of ways to keep them clean and I think I have finally found the product that does that for me. It is the  Bissell Vac and Steam Machine .  This amazing suel action machine vacuums and steam cleans either independently or at the same time.  It means that I have done away with my vacuum and steam cleaner downstairs (which I gave to my brother in law). What I like: You can either vacuum or steam clean or do both It is lightweight and easy to manoeuvre The handle is adjustable great for a home with people of different heights and for getting the kids involved. You need no chemicals The pads are washable and reusable It comes with a two year guarantee It warms up fast (within 30 seconds) so no long wait to start cleaning It costs under £100 It is space saving.  No need for a separate vacuum, steam cleaner or mop. 

Free two months family and friends railcard

It is that time of year again and you can get two months free family and friends railcard .  You can expect to receive your free two month Family & Friends Railcard in the post by 31st May 2014 and it will expire on 31st July 2014. From 14th July 2014 (until 14th August 2014) you will be able to take advantage of the special £10 discount offer when you buy a 1-year Family & Friends Railcard online. So you might want to make a note of this date to ensure your savings continue - for only £20 for another whole year.  We love our card and you save 1/3 off adult fares, and 60% off kids’ fares on travel throughout Great Britain.  If you travel with a child between five and 15 years old then you’re eligible.  Up to four adults and four kids can travel on one card, and they don't even need to be related. So, for what works out to around £2.50 a month, you can look forward to dramatic savings for the year.  All child fares are subject to a £1 minimum fare.

Bureau Upcycle

When the boys were smaller they had their art table in the nook in the kitchen and I blogged at the kitchen table.  Well the times they are a changing.  They can no longer fir their knees under that small table from Ikea and now they are at school we need a multipurpose space that will suit all of us. I have been looking on eBay for a long time for the perfect cabinet to replace the table.  It really need to have a small footprint as it leads to the garage and also our kitchen cupboard.. Then last year I spotted this fab bureau and knew that it would be perfect and it cost less than £35 (including the fuel to collect it). We have been using it in its place in the kitchen for the last six months or so.  For the boys to do their homework on whilst I am cooking or for me to pop the iPad and laptop on. It also holds our pens and pencils and plain paper so that when ever creativity grabs us we can create there and then.  I often find that inspiration for blog posts grab me when I n