Monday, 30 January 2012

Free childrens swim with Kellogg's

Kellogg's are giving away vouchers for a free kids swim with their cereals from January to March this year.  The voucher admit one child (under 16) to one free swim session when accompanied by an adult ages 18 or over and is valid until 01.01.2013

You can go online to the kids swim free site site to find participating pools.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Cash Budgeting and cash envelopes

One of my biggest changes has been moving from never carrying cash to using a cash only system for incidentals, fuel, groceries, lunches etc though the month.  This means we draw enough cash out after pay day to cover the expenses (just, if we have enough) and then use the cash through out the month.
Inspired by Heather at Beauty that moves I made ones with the names on:
At the beginning of the month/end of the last month, we do all the math:
Lunches this is for school lunches – I work out how much school lunches  (£9.25 per week) and snack money (50p each per week) will be and put that amount in the envelople.
Fun – This basically covers the boys activities over a month – swimming lessons, (£4.10 per lesson), football practice (£2.50 per week) ,Beavers (£25 per term).
Fuel – We set aside a fixed amount for both of us each month, once I run out it is tough.  MadDad does get mileage for any additional mileage he does to and from clients, so that covers his additional fuel in a month.
Groceries – Again a fixed amount per week to cover it all.  I have found this has forced me to stick to my menu plans, to shop around, to make our own bread, biscuits and cakes.   I have also found that it pays to pop to the village butchers for my eggs as they are much less expensive and the local greengrocer for any veg we haven’t managed to grow.
We pay as many of our bills as we can by direct debit and keep a spreadsheet showing the expenditure.  I try to make as many presents as I can and we also make our own cards.
I am also pretty honest when asked about visiting soft play or a whacky warehouse type place, if we do not have any spare cash, then I say that we can not afford it this month, but I have cakes and coffee at home and you are welcome to come and visit me.
One thing I have learnt is that lots of people are in the same boat as me too and it is great when one of the mums sees you on the school run and says that chicken are half price in the co-op this week or such like.  People always comment that our cakes and biscuits are nice and that they just buy them, the thing is once you find a recipe that works, it only takes 10 minutes to make a batch of cakes with the mini’s and the costs is minimal.  If you need any debt management advice, or any help with managing your finances, then visit the experts at Debt Free Direct, where you can get all of the help that you need.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Recycling bags

Our local authority has started to charge for the clear sacks that we have to use to put our plastic and card recycling in to and being the thrifty mum I am, I have come up with another solution.

At least twice a week one of those charity plastic bags is put through my letterbox.  I do give to charity but tend to give to the church shop in the village I live in so do not use these bags.

Well I have started to save them and use them for all our recycling.  After speaking to the refuge collection guys last week to confirm that they would take it and they agreed that they would.  The only bags they do not take for recycling are black sacks with things in.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

My Winter Financial Manifesto

If you follow my other blogs ( and, you will no that I am not keen on making resolutions at the beginning of the year.

I make a manifesto each season and I thought that it was high time that I made some personal financial ones too.

From Pininterest

  1. Continue to make out meals from scratch and as frugally as possible by meal planning
  2. Make sure that I reduce the amount of waste that we throw out, both food and packaging
  3. To use the library instead of buying books
  4. To start make a planting plan for our raised beds in the garden
  5. To start decluttering the house, with a box for bin, charity and sell and make sure I sell the items.
I would love to hear your manifesto for the winter season.

Please leave a link in the comments below.
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