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.



Sunday, 12 April 2015

The best gift we gave this Christmas was the gift of Now TV

We are a pretty technological family, even when it comes to TV.  We love our Smart TV, but not everyone in the family is the same.  So when it came to thinking of what to gift the in laws this Christmas we decided on a Now TV box.




They have a plasma screen TV that they love, but neither want to move any further forward than that.  My father in law is a farmer and works really hard and often work takes over especially if a cow is calving!

So when we were sent a Now TV Box to try we saw that it would be the perfect gift to give them and wow, we couldn't have been more on the button.

The Now TV Box has been a HUGE hit.

  1. Now TV is a non-contract Video on Demand service powered by Sky TV
  2. Is turned their TV in to a smart TV for £10
  3. Now TV gives access to a range of third-party streaming content, including BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, BBC News and even YouTube (which has been a huge hit for tractor videos)!
We were so impressed with the box we were given that we bought one for our parents and then my BIL bought one  for his daughters room too!

What we were really impressed with was it turned their TV, which has a great picture in to a smart TV without them having to go and buy a new TV. We purchased the Now TV box with 3 Month Entertainment Bundle for less than £30.

The in laws have had it for four months now and love their Now TV Box.  I am so pleased that we got them a useful gift.


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.



grab button for The Mad House
<div class="the-mad-house-button" style="width: 250px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="http://www.muminthemadhouse.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.muminthemadhouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fab-frugal-mad-house.jpg" alt="The Mad House" width="250" height="250" /> </a> </div>

Please take a look at my fab co hosts and their posts, Cass at Dairy of a Frugal FamilyMum in the Mad House and Emma at Mum's Savvy Savings 



Thursday, 2 April 2015

Budgeting for your baby

Having a baby can be a real challenge financially.  I had two in 14 months, so I know that!  Making your money go further is essential, but I also know the feeling of wanting to have the best for your new baby.


Top 10 tips for baby essentials without blowing your budget


  1. You don't always need name brands.  I was a regular visitor in my local boots when Maxi was a baby and one way they helped me save money was by offering me top notch own brand alternatives at a fraction of the price.
  2. I always took advantage of the bulk buying opportunities that were about before my new baby came.  I had a stockpile of wipes, nappies and other basics long before Maxi or Mini arrived.
  3. Shop the sales.  We bought clothes in the sales in next years sizes at a fraction of the cost.
  4. Breast is best -  Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for around the first six months of your baby's life. Not only is the healthiest option for your baby, but the good news is it's free and unless you choose to express, doesn't need any accessories.
  5. Think about value or cost per use.  We bought both the boys expensive high chairs, but they are still using these chairs ten years later!  Yes ten years later.  Making their cost per use negligible.  They have been one of our best baby investments ever.  We also bought cot beds that turned in to junior beds.
  6. Shop smart: Make the most of 'baby events' and promotions
  7. Make the most of your reward card points and parenting club offers.  We joined every parenting club we could find! 
  8. Be clear about what you need.  We were very lucky and friends and family all chipped n buying us some wonderful gifts.
  9. Do you need it?  Think twice about whether or not you will actually use something  I am ashamed to say we had baby clothes still with tags that the boys grew out of before they could ware them.  Tiny babies so not need a huge wardrobe and as much as little shoes look adorable babies don't need shoes and they tended to kick them off!
  10. Second hand isn't second best.  There are many people like us who bought things that their babies didn't wear or wore very lightly and you can pick up real bargains. 
Boots was one of our regular haunts for bargains when the boys were little and even before they were born.

Boots Baby are currently celebrating their 125 birthday and to celebrate this landmark year, Boots baby have created the #BootsBaby125Years celebration film.  A look back through the archives and the personal journeys of families through the years.



It is now even easier to budget for a baby with online shopping.  You can view the Boots Baby range online and order by 6pm and collect from your chosen store at 12pm the following day.

What are your top tips for budgeting for a baby?


Sunday, 29 March 2015

Frugal activities for Spring

We started our two week break for the Easter Holidays on Friday and I am so looking forward to a couple of more relaxed weeks with the boys without the stress of getting up for school.

It is important to me that we don't overspend during this time and it can sometimes be challenging, especially if the weather isn't great.  So here is our top tips for fab Frugal Activities for the Easter Holidays. 




Frugal activities for Spring

Crafts


Kids activities


Cooking


All these fab activities and ideas have come from our #FabulouslyFrugal linky.  It is amazing what you can do with not a lot.  

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.



grab button for The Mad House
<div class="the-mad-house-button" style="width: 250px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="http://www.muminthemadhouse.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.muminthemadhouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fab-frugal-mad-house.jpg" alt="The Mad House" width="250" height="250" /> </a> </div>

Please take a look at my fab co hosts and their posts, Cass at Dairy of a Frugal FamilyMum in the Mad House and Emma at Mum's Savvy Savings 


Thursday, 26 March 2015

Now is the perfect time to get your boiler checked

When was the last time you had your boiler checked? We annually have a check in the summer before we start using it again, but now is a great time to get it looked over.

British Gas have asked me what is the weirdest thing in our home or in anyone elses for that matter.  I have to say that we are not that weird a family and have nothing unusual in our home.

However,  my inlaws are farmers, so the weirdest thing would have to be a calf!  When the husband was growing up they used to feed baby lambs that had been orphaned too, but now they are only dairy farmers.

Can you imagine the things that engineers see when they go into peoples houses.  Why not take a look at what Sarah saw on one of her jobs. 



When I was growing up I remember my Dad taking apart a motorbike in the dining room, safe to say my Mum was not amused! 

I do wonder though what people might think when they come in to our home and there are six little boys all being noisy (as my friends boys are often here too)! 

Do you have anything odd in your home?


Sunday, 22 March 2015

Welcoming Spring - #FabulouslyFrugal

We have cut the lawn this weekend and are planning to get the patio cleaned tomorrow as we are certainly feeling spring has finally sprung in the UK.




I have spent the weekend cleaning the fabulously frugal way as we are having some photo's taken of the house for a blog piece on Monday.



I will be popping to the charity shop to see if I can find any gorgeous teacups to make this teacup planter like Crafts on Sea


I love having flowers and plants in our home and one of the things that I love is seeing bulbs spring up in the garden.  I adore these crocus in a cup and will be doing something similar.



I certainly will be making one of these paper daffodil wreaths for the front door with the kids over the school holidays as our family project. 



We are also going to collect some twigs and bring some blossom in to our home with these fab tissue paper blossoms.

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.

grab button for The Mad House
<div class="the-mad-house-button" style="width: 250px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="http://www.muminthemadhouse.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.muminthemadhouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fab-frugal-mad-house.jpg" alt="The Mad House" width="250" height="250" /> </a> </div>


Please take a look at my fab co hosts and their posts, Cass at 
Dairy of a Frugal FamilyMum in the Mad House and out two new Hosts Emma at Mum's Savvy Savings and Becca from Bare Feet of the Dashboard.


Friday, 20 March 2015

5 things I have done this week to save money 20/03

Oh it has been a busy week for us here.  A 10th birthday, Mother's Day and our 20th Wedding anniversary oh and a broken loo on top of that too!  So I am joining in with Cass at The Diary of a Frugal Family in sharing how we have made our savings.

Even though it has been a busy week with some major expenditure we have still managed to find ways to get the best deals.

1) I made my wedding anniversary card.  We never buy cards (well I don't) and I love making them do I guess I saved around £2.  Also no gifts this year either.



2) I made Maxi's 10th birthday cake.  Have you seen the cost of birthday cakes?  Those candles will be put away and saved for Mini's 10th birthday next year!



3) We didn't have a traditional birthday party as such, he had a sleepover and a movie with 2 best mates at the weekend and a tea with friends on his actual birthday.

4) I rang round plumbers to make sure we got the best price for our repair (we tried and failed to fix it, not even the BIL could manage it)!



5)We didn't go daft on Mother's day gifts.  The boys made handmade mother's day cards for me and for my Mother in Law and I got some lovely daffodils (I would rather have a bunch of dafs a week for 10 weeks that a bunch of expensive flowers)!

Have you made any savings this week?

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