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Showing posts from February, 2015

#FabulouslyFrugal 22 February 2015

So we have been busy this last week as it has been half term.  We have managed on a budget the whole week and the boys have made the most of having daylight to play in with their friends. In total I spent £9.40 and that was a real extravagance at Costa.  I let the boys have a hot chocolate and a cake each whilst I finished the weekly food shop.  I was horrified at the price, but they had been good as gold and really deserved it. We don't go back till Tuesday so will be making the most of our extra day with some bowling and a meal at Pizza Express using Tesco Clubcard points. Fabulously Frugal is all about making the most of what you have and the posts that stood out for me last week on that front werte the fab Spring Style post by The White Approach.  Karen really does live a stylish life on a tight budget.  Her home is a chic white style, but perfect for her family and yes it is white and yes she has three boys.  I have visited her and know just who her chicness and style s

Dishwasher Do's and Dont's

I love my dishwasher.  It makes life so much easier.  We fill it during the day and set it to run overnight and then Maxi empties it in the morning.   So what are the do's and don'ts of your dishwasher?  Only run your dishwasher when it is full.  It is much more economical to use it that way.   If the dishwasher is partially full, use the Rinse-Hold cycle to remove odor-causing foods. This is more economical than rinsing dishes by hand, which can waste up to 20 extra gallons of water per load or 6,500 gallons per household each year. Use the right amount of dishwasher detergent - I use dishwasher tablets from Aldi and swear by them.  We live in a soft water area so don't need salt, but depending on where you live will depend on how much and how often you add it.  Do use a rinse aid. They lower the surface tension of the rinse water so droplets don't form. Particularly helpful if you have hard water. Make sure you regularly clean your dishwasher - using it

B is for Bananas - Spelt Banana and Chocolate Bread

We have been taking part in a new series over a The Mad House on cooking with kids, the A to Z of recipes.  We have loved it so much that we are going to be expanding it to here on A Thrifty Mum and this week we want to share our Spelt Banana and Chocolate Bread.  This is a fantastic simple recipe that is easy to make, but will disappear in seconds! This is a really simple recipe for younger kids as you use cups to measure it out. Spelt Banana and Chocolate Bread  Ingredients: 3 mashed bananas ¼ cup of oil ½ cup of brown sugar ¼ cup of caster sugar 4 teaspoons baking powder 1 cup of wholemeal spelt flour ½ cup plain flour Pinch of salt Handful of chocolate chips or chopped nuts (optional) Instructions Preheat your oven to 170 (fan) or 190 degrees C Mash the bananas and combine them with the oil and sugars Add the salt and baking powder to the flours and mix.  Do not over mix, just stir until all the ingredients are combined Add chocolate chips or nuts an

Cardboard and Kids - Fabulously Frugal 15 Feb 2015

How many times have you gifted something only to find that the child was more enamoured about the packaging?  I have long since learned that kids love cardboard,  There were some fab post including cardboard in last weeks linky including this fab camera by Molly Moo .  What child wouldn't want to receive this or even make it then play with it. Our new co host certainly knows the power  of  a cardboard box, so take a look at her post here  Four ways to entertain kids with a cardboard box . Last weeks Fabulously Frugal linky was great and we were delighted with the number of people joining in, but we want more! Please take a look at my fab hosts and their posts, Cass at  Dairy of a Frugal Family ,  Mum in the Mad House   and out two new Hosts Emma at  Mum's Savvy Savings  and Becca from  Bare Feet of the Dashboard  who are going to help us make this linky bigger and better. <div class="the-mad-house-button" style="width: 250px; margin: 0

Love toast - a simple breakfast

My lads love eggs and roast and we decided to jazz it up a bit with our heart toasts.  They are very simple to do and I start them in a dry pan and then finish them under the grill. It is a simple as using a cookie cutter to take a shape out of your bread.  We used hearts, but have done suns and chicks for easter breakfast. Then you can toast or dry fry one side of your bread. Then gently crack your egg in to the center of the bread.  If children are making it, we crack in to a small glass first and then they pour in the egg. Then place under a preheated grill until your egg is cooked to your preference. 

Tips to prevent boiler breakdown and save money

With snow storms and plunging temperatures hitting the UK over the next few weeks, keeping our heating systems in tip top condition is more important than ever. New research by EDF Energy reveals that over a quarter of boilers have broken down without being insured, with the average cost of repair racking up an eye watering £314 bill. As a result, two fifths of Brits would have to borrow money to cover the repair cost or have no choice but to go without heating if their boiler broke down. To help avoid unnecessary costs and discomfort this winter, EDF Energy have pulled together some top tips to prevent boiler breakdowns…. Arrange an annual Service: Ensuring you have an annual boiler service is the best way to avoid an unexpected breakdown. Sort it during the summer months so your heating is in tip-top condition for when you need it the most. While your engineer is there you should also consider getting a cleaning device fitted, which will help keep your

Meal plan Monday - 09 February

Menu planning is one of the things that keeps me sane and stops me from that ARGGGGGGG what's for dinner feeling that I used to get every day.  It is also how we keep our food cost under control and the waste too.  Both the boys have school dinners at just over £10 a week. Monday Sausages, yorkshire puddings and Bubble and Squeak.  This is our regular Monday meal and we love it.  We always make more vegetables than we need so we can have this on a Monday, Tuesday Soup and homemade bread Wednesday Home made pizza Thursday Homemade Dahl and Naan bread Friday Fish, chips and peas Saturday Lunch - Jacket potatoes with cheese and beans Dinner - Spaghetti bolognese Sunday Lunch - Stuffed omelets Dinner - Roast Dinner with all the trimmings

Tips for Charity and Thrift Store Shopping - Fabulously Frugal 8 February

First off I want to thank everyone for making the relaunch of Fabulously Frugal do amazingly fabulous.  We appreciate every one of you that linked up and I have to say what a great bunch of posts, which are going to save me a ton of money, What stood out for me, was the ways to shop at a charity/thrifty store.  I am always well jealous of people that get amazing charity shop finds.  I have been lucky a couple of times, but not I am confident that I will be much better and get a lot more things that I need. Penny from Being Mrs C did a fab video on Charity Shopping with some great advice. Where as Justine did a fab post teaching us all how to score at the thrift store . So come and link up any posts you have that are Fabulously Frugal including money saving, money management, money making, crafts using recycled products or just of you making the most of what you have. Please do visit my co hosts Mum in the Mad House who is sharing fabulous recycled art projects   and D

Fab free valentine prinables

Valentines day is nearly upon us again and if you are anything like me, I do not use it as a time for putting pennies in to card shops coffers. Si here are a selection of fab free valentine printables. “I Love Everything” Free Printable Coloring Page Passport to love Printable love coupon book You make my heart soar paper airplane   Free valentine flipbook Free valentine heart card small   Coffee cup wrappers treat bags Decorating Free valentine prints Cards Love letters pop up card Heart valentines card Valentine gem card 3 quotes valentines cards Pizza valentine card Free foodie valentine cards   6 pretty graphics valentines cards   Valentine's printable Heart garland card 4 quirky valentines cards 2 free valentines postcards   6 watercolour printables   2 darling cards 4 nerdy valentines cards

Protecting your savings - FSCS

Do you ever worry about just how safe your savings are in a UK bank or building society? Did you know that if your bank, building society or credit union were to fail (and is one of the 900+ financial institutions authorised in the UK) then you are protected by the FSCS (the Financial Services Compensation Scheme) to the value of £85000.  98% of the population has less than £85000 in savings, so should be covered to get their money back within 7 days without having to do anything to get it back. The  FSCS  (the Financial Services Compensation Scheme was established in 2001 and is backed by the UK government and has already helped more than 4.5m people and paid out more than £26b in compensation. Savings is a really important part of financial management and I am the first to admit that we don't have any savings to fall back on at this period of our life.   We used to before we had kids and I hope that we will again in the future. But I am instilling the importance of s

Meal Planning Monday 02/02

Well we made it through January without going into debt, which was fab and we also cleared down the freezer a bit too which was ace.  Both my boys have school lunches, so I only share dinners at the weekend. Monday Sausages, Yorkshire puddings and Bubble and Squeak Tuesday Chicken Soupy Stew with Crispy dumplings Wednesday Spaghetti Bolognese Thursday Lasagne Friday Homemade Pizza Saturday Lunch - Leftover Pizza Dinner - Chicken Fajita Sunday Lunch - Chicken and rice (leftover fajita) Dinner - Sunday roast (whatever meat is cheapest)!

Fabulously Frugal - 1 Feb 2015

I am sure you all know Cass from The Diary of a Frugal Family , well she has a regular month Fabulously Frugal linky and she suggested that we move it to a regular weekly linky and round up. There are so many great blogs out there and so many people who are making the most of their money that we through a weekly link up was a better way to highlight and showcase these posts. So every Sunday Cass and I will be sharing the best of the previous weeks posts and pinning all the previous week's posts to our pinterest boards.  So every Sunday we will be posting the best of the previous weeks additions on to round up, here at A Thrifty Mum, over at Mum in the Mad House and also at  The Diary of a Frugal Family . Weekends alway mean baking in this house, so we have put these gluten free peanut butter cookies from Mommy loves tees on next's weeks plan! I also want to share this fab post on why you need a price book and how to make one  from One MMama'sDaily D