Friday, 29 May 2015

Celebrating 25 years of Aldi with cocktails!

I have made no secret of my love of budget supermarkets, in fact my weekly main shop is carried out at Aldi and  I often pop to Lidl too.  I LOVE their food and their prices.

Can you believe that Aldi turns 25 this year?  I couldnt.  Looking back I began shopping at Aldi nine years ago when we relocated back to the NE of England and it was where my mum shopped.  As we used to go shopping together every Thursday it made sense that I started buying from there too and it was amazing.  Not only did we love the products, but we started seeing massive savings, which was really important as we were living on a single wage,

Since then I have become a big advocate of Aldi and can not wait until the plans are passed for one closer to home (which is in the pipeline).

To celebrate this monumental birthday Aldi sent us a cocktail hamper. 



I am going to admit that we haven't had the opportunity to try the cocktails out yet, but I have got a vanilla pod in some sugar so that I can make them as soon as we have a warm weekend! 

I can vouch for the Prosecco, as it is a regular purchase (hic)! 




Pomegranate Punch

The juicy pomegranate and hint of lemon make this cocktail the ultimate refreshing tipple for a sunny day.

Ingredients:
·         25 ml Tamova Vodka (£10.39)
·         20 ml lemon juice
·         2.5 teaspoons of sugar
·         3 teaspoons fresh pomegranate seeds
·         Freeman’s Bay Marlborough Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc (£9.99), as desired
Decoration / to serve:
·         Add a few pomegranate seeds and a piece of lemon zest for garnish

Methodology

·         Add the vodka, lemon juice, sugar and pomegranate seeds to a cocktail shaker
·         Stir until the sugar has dissolved and then shake hard over ice
·         Pour into an ice filled tall glass
·         Top with the sparkling sauvignon blanc



Lemon Pie
This sweet, lemon fizz tastes of summer sip after sip. 

Ingredients
·         10 ml Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin (£10.39)
·         10 ml Goccia D’oro Limoncello (£7.99)
·         1 teaspoon sugar
·         1 vanilla pod
·         Contevedo Cava Brut (£4.99), as desired
·         1 lemon 
  
Methodology

·         Flavour the sugar by placing a vanilla pod into the sugar pot for a couple of weeks
·         Add the gin, limoncello and sugar to the glass and stir to dissolve
·         Top with cava and garnish with a lemon twist
  



Very Cherry
The combination of the cherries and vanilla extracts heighten the fruity flavours of the brandy, making this the ultimate indulgent sweet treat.

Ingredients:
·         20 ml Napoleon Brandy (£11.39)
·         10 ml cherry juice from frozen cherries
·         1 teaspoon sugar
·         1 vanilla pod
·         175 ml Valdobbiadene Prosecco Spumante DOCG (£7.49), as desired

Decoration / To serve
·         Garnish with several frozen cherries on a cocktail stick.

Methodology
·         Flavour the sugar by placing a vanilla pod into a sugar pot for a couple of weeks
·         Defrost the frozen cherries and squeeze out the juice
·         Add the brandy, cherry juice and sugar; to a glass and stir until the sugar has dissolved
·         Top with prosecco




Shooting Star

Vodka and fruit juice create the perfect base for a cocktail, but a dash of Prosecco adds a subtle sparkle.

Ingredients
·         25ml Tamova Vodka
·         25ml of raspberry juice from raspberries
·         2.5 teaspoons of sugar
·         Valdobbiadene Prosecco Spumante DOCG, as     desired

Decoration/to serve:
 3 apple slices
·         2 raspberries

Methodology:
·         Defrost half a pack of raspberries and sprinkle with sugar
·         Squeeze the juice from the raspberries and collect in the bottom of the glass
·         Add 25ml of Vodka and stir to combine
·         Gently pour the prosecco over a spoon into the glass, then add the three frozen raspberries and apple slices to garnish




Sunday, 17 May 2015

How much money do you bring in each month?

Welcome to week one of our money management walkalong.  We are going to take a look at our financial well being and then make a plan.

This week we are going to make a record of our annual income split down per month.  For many people this is the simplest thing to do.




Forms of income

Salary
Wages (remember that if you are freelance that this will be gross)
Child benefit
Child tax credits (If eligible)
Cashback
Interest from savings




Dowload you A4 copy here

So I will be back during the week with a form to track your expenditure.



Do you have a post that is about thrifty parenting, decorating or lifestyle.  One that is about frugal food or crafts and art.  or even a post about making the post of what you have, then please do link up.  Each week we make sure we pin the post, feature some on our facebook pages and then we each have a round up on a Sunday. Let’s all share that being frugal can be fabulous. 

This week I want to share with you this fab oval craft from Tiny Tots Adventure.



The Mad House


Please take a look at my fab co hosts and their posts, Cass at Diary of a Frugal Family,Mum in The Mad House and Emma at Mum’s Savvy Savings.


Friday, 15 May 2015

Free £10 Gift Voucher for Thrifty Mum Readers

Are you a planner? My number one top money saving tips is to always plan your purchases and this week I want to introduce you to a fab new app called Zeek and to offer you a free £10 gift voucher too.

Zeek is basically a voucher market place where you can buy gift vouchers at a reduced rate or sell any unwanted vouchers.  It is a really clever idea and works really well.

Having tried out the app, I have to say that I am really impressed and will be using it again in the future.  We used our money to buy Argos vouchers for a couple of birthday gifts and saved 8% on their face value.

There are quite a lot of companies on the app already and you can either look at what is hot or you can search for a specific voucher.

In order to authenticate your account you are asked to load £1 on to it, but that does come off your next purchase.



Get a free £10 Voucher


I also have a free £10 promo code for anyone that uses the app via my link and adds the code 2devzn into the promotional codes section will get a free £10 code, which means you get an even greater saving on any voucher you want.


Sunday, 10 May 2015

Money management for beginners

Believe it or not my background is in accountancy and I married an accountant too, however, I never really took our home budgeting seriously, that is until we had NO money!  yes I was a fool.

So over the next four weekends I am going to talk to you about money management and budgeting for beginners.  We are going to take a look at how how to capture your spending, work out your total incomings, prepare a basic budget and then make a basic financial plan

We are going to do it in this order as I personally feel you can not make a short or long term financial plan without knowing how much you are bringing in or how much is going out.

This is a really simple thing to do, but you really do need to follow the steps.

Each week I am going to provide you with a basic planner and then talk you through the steps and then we are going to look at ways we can manage out families finances.

So before we start net Sunday I want you to take a week to make sure you are committed to this.  It is easy, but can be mentally exhausting.

To prepare:

  • Gather all your financial statements in one place
  • Make sure you have  shredder
  • Gain the ability to view your bank statements online
  • Dedicate an hour a week to your paperwork

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Do you have a post that is about thrifty parenting, decorating or lifestyle.  One that is about frugal food or crafts and art.  or even a post about making the post of what you have, then please do link up.  Each week we make sure we pin the post, feature some on our facebook pages and then we each have a round up on a Sunday. Let’s all share that being frugal can be fabulous.

My pick of last weeks posts is this fabulous Cinderella colouring sheets from In The Playroom


We may need courage to work out our financial plan and we also need to be kind to others and ourselves too.

The Mad House


Please take a look at my fab co hosts and their posts, Cass at Diary of a Frugal Family,Mum in The Mad House and Emma at Mum’s Savvy Savings.


Sunday, 3 May 2015

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 2015 and it will expire on 31st July 2015.




From 14th July 2015 (until 14th August 2015) 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.
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Do you have a post that is about thrifty parenting, decorating or lifestyle.  One that is about frugal food or crafts and art.  or even a post about making the post of what you have, then please do link up.  Each week we make sure we pin the post, feature some on our facebook pages and then we each have a round up on a Sunday. Let’s all share that being frugal can be fabulous.


The Mad House


Please take a look at my fab co hosts and their posts, Cass at Diary of a Frugal Family,Mum in The Mad House and Emma at Mum’s Savvy Savings.



My top post from last week was food for freezing.  I love my freezer and freeze leftovers or foods that are close to use by all the time and this is a great post. 

Sunday, 26 April 2015

How to clean your Washing Machine

I really believe in looking after the equipment I have in our home.  Our currently washing machine is only the second one we have had in our 20 years of being married and it has served me really well.  

We put the washer through its places, pretty much daily.  What with muddy football kids and the fact that I recently died some white sheets red.  

Once a month I clean all our white goods, washing machine, tumble dryer, oven and dishwasher and here I share with you how I keep our washing machine spick and span.



By doing it regularly it takes 10 minutes of active cleaning and the rest of time is automated and you really can not clean anything in a dirty machine! 

You can see the red stain on the rubber, which wouldn't rub off with a cloth.

Materials

Bleach
White vinegar
Cloth or rag
Old toothbrush
  1. Add two cups of bleach to the powder drawer.
  2. Run the washer on a hot wash empty. As we use liquid or powders in the machine and run it at 30 degrees there is often a build up of unused product in the machine.  This will remove it and make sure that there is removed and that there is no buildup of bacteria and help with stain removal.
  3. Add two cups of white vinegar to the powder drawer.
  4. Run the washer on a 40 degree wash.  The vinegar will ensure that you have no odor issues
  5. Remove the powder drawer and soak for 20 minutes in the sink in hot water with one cup of bleach.
  6. Take a cloth and damp it using the water the powder dispenser is soaking in and run around the door seal, ensuring to pull it back to clean all areas.
  7. Take a clean damp cloth and wipe the door area and seal.
  8. Using the bleach solution cloth, wipe inside the machine where the powder dispenser does.
  9. You may need to use a toothbrush to clean the powder drawer.
  10. Once clean, take out and dry it and replace it in the machine.
Where my powder dispenser goes!

My powder dispenser once cleaned

In order to keep your machine smelling clean and fresh it is important to leave the door open in between washes.

My machine after it has been cleaned



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Do you have a post that is about thrifty parenting, decorating or lifestyle.  One that is about frugal food or crafts and art.  or even a post about making the post of what you have, then please do link up.  Each week we make sure we pin the post, feature some on our facebook pages and then we each have a round up on a Sunday. Let’s all share that being frugal can be fabulous.  

The Mad House
Please take a look at my fab co hosts and their posts, Cass at Diary of a Frugal Family,Mum in The Mad House and Emma at Mum’s Savvy Savings.

So whilst you are cleaning the washing machine, why not have a go at tinting jars with the kids.  They look amazing.  Hands on as we grow has a great tutorial.





Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Finding LEGO Bargains

We love LEGO.  Not just the boys, but me and the husbeast too.  LEGO is out go to gift for birthdays and Christmas for my nieces and also for the boys friends.

Both the boys are big LEGO fans with Maxi currently in to LEGO Star Wars and Minecraft LEGO and Mini in to LEGO City.

So I make it my job throughout the year to keep an eye out for LEGO bargains.


How to find bargain LEGO


Friends and Family.  LEGO lasts forever.  The boys have some of my old LEGO, so why not ask around friends and family to see if they have any in the loft they can gift or you can buy off them.

Ebay.  When we started the boys collection we wanted an assortment of bricks and baseplates, so kept an eye on ebay and finally something local popped up, which fit the bill perfectly.  The beauty of LEGO is you can pop it in the washing machine on a cool wash in a delicates bag or alternatively in a sink full of milton to make sure it is clean.

Facebook - I was introduced to the LEGO Deals UK may the bricks be with you page and this is a great page to follow as they pop on any offers that people might find.  I managed to get Maxi's birthday Star wars set half price from Asda from keeping an eye on here.

Local Facebook pages - This is another great place to keep an eye out for deals.

Boot Sales - If you are just looking for bricks then boots sales can be a great place to pick up really great value ones.  We haven't had much luck with sets,


I have a present cupboard where I put anything we have sourced throughout the year and LEGO is one of those toys that never goes out of fashion, so I buy it when I see it.



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