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.


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


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.

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
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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?

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