Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2014

How not to succumb to the lure of the ice cream van

It looks like summer is here and one of the ways you can tell is that tinny tune that the ice cream van makes.  When I was small my father told me that if it played a tune it meant that they had run out of ice cream and guess what............... I believed him. As a mum that sound of the van used to fill me with dread as it is no longer inexpensive to get an ice cream for the boys from the van.  But never fear, you do not have to succumb to the van if you are well prepared. I make sure that I have the following in my house over the summer period: Ice cream cones, I like the flat bottomed ones as it means the boys can pop them down Various ice creams Toppings (raspberry sauce or monkeys blood as it is known in our house) Sprinkles Ice pops - inexpensive and as such means I can hand them out to all the boys mates Ice lollies Homemade ice lollies   Teaching Kids Money Management and Value We decided to use the ice cream van as a learning exercise for the boys and

10 ways to encourage Kids to Save - A new generation of Savers

66% of 18-24 year olds are saving regularly each month.  This is fantastic new to me.  I was part of the credit generation and learned the hard way that saving was important. On average they save just over £200 per month according to the Disposable Income Index, a report commissioned by Scottish Friendly  (follow Scottish Friendly on twitter ) This got me thinking about ways to encourage my kids to become savers too and ways to encourage your kids to save. Make it visual.  This is why saving pennies in a jam jar or glass bottle is so effective.  Or have a savings chart with stars and stickers.  Children can see how much they are saving and it makes them want to save more.  Set a good example - talk about saving and how you save up and plan for important purchases. Incentivise it - Pay them interest on their savings or offer bonus when they reach a certain stage. Set a goal - give them something achievable to focus on.  This will obviously vary from child to child.

Monochrome at ASDA

I took this picture of Maxi last week (yes he is wearing a hat in the middle of summer) and so many people complimented and commented on his bedding that I wanted to share it with you.  More so as it is such good value.   Monochrome at ASDA by mum-themadhouse featuring white bed linens

Encouraging kindness in children

My mum always told me "to be kinder than I needed to be" and this is something that I have lived by all these years. When thinking about which was our favorite quote for the  #HeinzPastaQuotes competition with  @tots100  we decided to share this one, which is from from Aesop's Fables, specifically The Lion and The mouse by Aesop. I want my children to be kind, to put others first and to always be kinder than necessary and I have been wondering how to encourage them to always be kind. Show them - I hope by always demonstrating kindness when I can that they are learning by example. Recognise their kindness - Give them praise when they are kind Encourage them - help them be kind by providing suggestions of ways they could be kind Discuss kindness - talk about ways that you can be kind as a family and random acts of kindness How do you encourage kindness in your children? 

Family Film Night on a Budget

We love family film nights.  They are fun to organise at home and pretty inexpensive.  We go all out and have popcorn, tickets and make a real night of it. We tend to buy DVD's or Blurays as we can rewatch them and we share them with family and friends.  Make sure you have popcorn, hotdogs and drinks and straws for a fab, frugal family film night. Make your own popcorn boxes . This are great and stop fighting over a large bowl or bag of popcorn. Hand out tickets for movie night Having tickets makes the night a real event.  Plus you could award them as a reward for good behaviour Free movie night printables Why not make movie night a party and use these fab free printables for invites and for the food table too.

Thrifty tips for visiting Center Pacs

I recently took part in a fab hangout with Tots100 on hints and tips for visiting Center Parcs . We visited Whinfell Center Parcs earlier in the year on a budget and I wanted to share with you my hints and tips for making the most out of Center Parcs on a budget. Visit the supermarket before you go.  Even if you are planning on eating out, make sure you take basics such as salt, pepper, washing up liquid, tea towels etc.  Plan picnics so take tin foil or bags for sandwiches You can hire bikes, but you can also take your own, if so make sure you take helmets and bike locks too We only ate out once during our trip, instead choosing to eat in  the lodge.  There is also a BBQ, so take some BBQ coal with you There is a fire in the lodge, so take some fire sticks rather than buying them on site Take board games and a DVD for family nights The swimming pool is ace and including in the price of your holiday, so make the most of it.  But take with you towels and goggles and

3 ways to save money on a family day out

We love going out for the day and we have got packing for our day out down to a fine art.  So these are the three ways that I save money on a family day out: Pack a picnic: It doesn't have to be a lot, but taking food makes such a difference to us and our budget.  It doesn't have to be sandwiches.  We often take pie or quiche with new potatoes or even hot dogs (in a flask) and buns. Take a flask: Even a couple of teas and two drinks for the boys can really add up, so we have a number of flasks that we can take out with us depending on how long we are out for.  I fill them with water and op teabags,sweetener, coffee, hot chocolate and milk in to cover all options. Look for voucher deals and pay in advance If you know where you are going, make sure you look online for money off deals such as kids go free or two for one. Even if you can not find any most attractions offer money off if you pay for your entrance online in advance. I would love to know how you save

Thfirty Thursday on Cold Tea and Smellie Nappies

I am delighted to be featured on Cold Tea and Smelly Nappies  this week and I wanted to share with you Gina's fabulous blog and weekly Thrifty Thursday link up. Want to know I little more about why I am thrifty and what thirty blogs I love?  Then head over to Gina#s place for a little bit of an insight in to me.  What are your favorite money saving blogs?

10 Ways to save money on holiday

Holidays can be expensive if you let them.  However, there are ways to make them easier on the pocket and ways to save money whilst on holiday without making everyone miserable. Saving money before you go on holiday Shop the sales If you know that you are going on holiday at a certain time of the year, then make sure you buy sun cream, sunglasses and shorts etc in the sales the previous year.  Suncream has a shelf life of over 12 months if it is unopened. Travel Midweek If possible travel midweek, flights and travel are much cheaper midweek than at the weekend when everyone else is travelling. Book in advance Book your train fare, air travel, transfers, airport parking or car hire in advance.  You will save the most this way.   Compare prices Make sure you compare the cost of things such as insurance, train fare, air fare etc  It pays to use price comparison sites. Get cashback on your holiday. Quidco are a real  favorite of mine as they allow you to claim