Wednesday, 13 August 2014

10 Top tips for saving money on fuel

One of our biggest expenses after mortgage and council tax is fuel.  Both utilities and petrol and diesel for our cars. So any way to save money on fuel is a bonus for me.

So my top tips for reducing your fuel consumption.
  1. Do not use your car as storage, make sure you are not carrying lots of unnecessary things in the boot, as this will make it heavier and use more fuel to drive
  2. Do not use your air-conditioning unless necessary as this also uses fuel.
  3. Keep your windows closed, this makes the car more streamlined.
  4. Do not leave a roof rack on for longer than necessary as this could add up to 5% to your fuel consumption.
  5. Make sure your fuel cap is on correctly to prevent fuel evaporation.
  6. Drive as smooth as possible in as high a gear as possible.  Try not to brake excessively.
  7. Use cruise control and avoid driving at high speeds.  Try to maintain your speed to keep momentum.
  8. Check your tyres are correctly inflated.
  9. Turn off your engine if you are going to be idling for more than 10 seconds.
  10. Use the correct oil for your engine and make sure your car is regularly serviced.
Another super way to save money on your fuel is Tesco fuel save.  Once you spend £50 in Tesco you activate the fuel save element on your club card and it gives you a 2p saving.  Until the 30th September, every purchase you make gets added up over a month and when you hit £50 you get 2p off a litre of fuel, to be used by the end of the following month. For every further £50 you spend over a month you'll get another 2p off, up to a maximum of 20p off a litre


                    Wednesday, 6 August 2014

                    Times Table Teddy Bear Tea Party

                    Activity: Teddy Bear Tea Party

                    How long: 1 hr

                    Cost: as much or as little as you want

                    What you’ll need: 

                    A blanket or table cloth to sit on. Cups and plates to eat from such as these times table plates from http://uk.timestableplates.com which are a fantastic reminder for times tables. 




                    Teddy bear snacks, this can be real or pretend play food, traditional Teddy Bear picnics have honey sandwiches and teddy bear biscuits and of course you’ll need your favourite teddy’s and dolls.

                    Directions:  

                    Everyone loves a teddy bears picnic, you can play teddy bear games and eat some gorgeous teddy bear food. Traditionally teddies have their picnic for afternoon tea. They like to go to bed early so it is best to avoid the evenings when everyone is too tired to enjoy themselves. Here are the words of The Teddy Bears Picnic Song that everyone knows.

                    If you go out in the woods today
                    You're sure of a big surprise.
                    If you go out in the woods today
                    You'd better go in disguise.
                    For every bear that ever there was
                    Will gather there for certain, because
                    Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

                    Picnic time for teddy bears,
                    The little teddy bears are having a lovely time today.
                    Watch them, catch them unawares,
                    And see them picnic on their holiday.
                    See them gaily dance about.
                    They love to play and shout.
                    And never have any cares.
                    At six o'clock their mummies and daddies
                    Will take them home to bed
                    Because they're tired little teddy bears.

                    Every teddy bear, that's been good
                    Is sure of a treat today
                    There's lots of wonderful things to eat
                    And wonderful games to play
                    Beneath the trees, where nobody sees
                    They'll hide and seek as long as they please
                    Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.






                    Tuesday, 5 August 2014

                    Create a Kitchen Garden

                    Activity: Grow your own herbs, flowers, cress heads in the kitchen

                    How long: 1-3 hours

                    Cost: Allow £6 including tools


                    What you’ll need:

                    We’ve opted for paper pots (8 pots £0.99p) that children can decorate first using some of the contents in the craft kit. There are lots of flower, herb and cress seeds (available from most major supermarkets for around £1.30 per pack), peat pellets (or compost) (£0.29) and watering can/trowel set (£1.99 B&M) (optional). Eggs (£1.46 for 6).

                    Directions: 

                    Find a nice bright window sill in your kitchen or create an area on the kitchen floor that gets sunlight. Then get gardening in the kitchen.

                    Prepare your egg shells don’t forget to decorate these as well as the pots, add dampened cotton wool and sprinkle with cress seeds. Place the peat pellets or compost in the pots and scatter seeds.  
                    For older children, why not look up on the internet / in KS1/2 guides about growing plants and photosynthesis.  




                    Benefits: Growing things in the kitchen is a fun and engaging task for kids. It’s a good way of showing children how to follow directions and they will love watching the seeds grow throughout the summer holidays. It also teaches about responsibility, as the seeds will need to be watered every day or so. 

                    Monday, 4 August 2014

                    Become a Kitchen Retailer


                    Activity: Set up a grocery shop and take turns being shop keeper / customer

                    How long: 1 hour, a successful shop can trade all afternoon!

                    Cost: £0

                    What you’ll need: 

                    Tins from your cupboard, real or play coins and a till if you already have one, if not you could use an old biscuit tin, stickers and a pen to price the product

                    Directions:

                    Use items you have in your cupboards to make a shop, ask your child to organise the product into different categories and using stickers get your child to price each item and open the shop for business!


                    Other ideas.

                    Why not print out a load of play fruit from Mr Printables.  Then you can have fun with that too.  Or some kids kitchen menus.  I also love the idea of pretend shopping lists 

                    Sunday, 3 August 2014

                    Wonderful Wooden Spoon Characters

                    Activity: Recreate your family as wooden spoon characters  
                    How long: 1 hr 30 mins 
                    Cost: £4
                    What you’ll need: 

                    Wooden spoons (£1.99 for 8 B&M); craft items 



                    Directions:


                    Start by making your spoon character’s face by drawing a face on the inside of the wooden spoon using felt tip pens. Draw whatever expression suits the puppet you're making - happy, sad, angry, poking a tongue out etc. 

                    Decorate the puppet by sticking tissue paper and scraps of material to your wooden spoon for clothing. Create the characters arms and legs with pipe cleaners, add other features like hair or hats. Make lots of puppets and put on a show!

                    Saturday, 2 August 2014

                    Weetabix Jenga




                    Activity: 

                    Stacking Weetabix Jenga-style!

                    How long: 30 mins

                    Cost: £1.49 for 12

                    What you’ll need: 12 Weetabix (the Banana ones are fab!)


                    Directions:

                    Build a tower with your Weetabix by taking it in turns to layer each one – a top tip is place them diagonally in twos, crisscross formation one on top of another. See who lets the tower fall first! 

                    Friday, 1 August 2014

                    Create Weetabix Friends and Faces


                    At the beginning of the summer we were sent a fab "Kids in the Kitchen" goodie box from Betta Living and over the next four weeks I am going to be sharing with you some of the fab activities from this box. NOw I wasn't paid to share these with you, but they are such great activities it would be a crime not to.   All the activities are simple, inexpensive and fun to do.


                    Activity: 

                    Decorating Weetabix is fun (and healthier than biscuits). See who can create the most colorful and creative critters or funny faces on their Weetabix! Use fruit instead of sweets to make this even more healthy!

                    How long: Up to 1 hour

                    Cost: £3.50   

                    What you’ll need: 

                    Weetabix (£1.49 for 12), writing icing (£2) or make your own icing, plus items to decorate - Smarties, M&Ms, strawberry laces, blueberries, strawberries, vanilla yoghurt, banana.

                    Directions: 

                    Before the decorating begins you could ask your child to draw out some designs and ideas, this is a good exercise to encourage creativity. Use the writing icing to follow the designs.
                    Using your icing pens (or mix icing sugar with water to create an icing paste) stick the features on your Weetabix to create funny faces.

                    Create the funniest faces you can think of by sticking on colorful treats such as banana sweets to create a mouth, Smarties to create and nose and blueberries as eyes! And why not go against the clock and make it a Weetabix face-painting race?



                    You can also do this with biscuits. You can either get creative and bake your own biscuits or just use regular biscuits – pimp up some digestives or rich tea biscuits from any supermarket.

                    When you’ve finished ask your child to wash up any dirty bowls!


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